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FGCU Faculty Senate

FGCU Faculty Senate

Professional Development Fund Grant


Professional Development Fund Grant (PDFG) Guidelines 2018-2019


Professional Development Fund Grant (PDFG) supports faculty development and institutional excellence. Through PDFG, teaching effectiveness may be enhanced, scholarly endeavors enriched, and academic programs developed and strengthened. PDFG supports faculty’s continued or new intellectual achievement and professional growth through activities that involve teaching, research, service, or creative endeavors. PDFG offers grants of up to $2,000 per person per academic year for reimbursable expenses. (See the “Definitions” section below for the specific funding caps that apply.) PDFG funding is based upon the merit of individual proposals and, therefore, it is a competitive award; there is no guarantee that a particular application will earn a funding. Applicants are advised not to make financial commitments based on the expectation of earning the award. Only proposals that follow the guidelines as described below, and are submitted through the online application system, will be considered for funding.


Funding cycle: the extended academic year, from July 1, 2018 through August 31, 2019.

Review period: period within which grant applications are reviewed. A funding cycle consists of two review periods, namely, fall and spring.

Fall period

   Fall application submission system opens Monday, October 1, 2018.

   Fall application submission system closes at 11:59 p.m., Wednesday, October 31, 2018.

   Applicant receives notification via email by December 7, 2018.


Spring period

   Spring application submission system opens Friday, February 1, 2019.

   Spring application submission system closes at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, March 4, 2019.

   Applicant receives notification via email by April 10, 2019.


Period cap: An application (either in fall or in spring) may request up to $1,500. If the proposed professional activity involves an international travel, an application may request up to $2,000.

Cycle cap: An applicant may request up to $2,000 per academic year (i.e., fall and spring combined).


OK — $800 (Fall) + $1,000 (Spring) = $1,800 (Cycle)

OK — $1,500 (Fall) + $500 (Spring) = $2,000 (Cycle)

OK — $2,000 (Fall; International travel) + $0 (Spring) = $2,000 (Cycle)

NOT OK — $1,500 (Fall) + $800 (Spring) = $2,300 (Cycle)

NOT OK — $1,800 (Fall; Non-International travel) + $200 (Spring) = $2,000 (Cycle)

PDFG's annual budget is distributed to each review period according to the Fall/Spring ratio of the previous three years' funding requests. For 2018-2019, the distribution is set to be 41% for Fall and 59% for Spring.



Only full-time in-unit faculty members are eligible for PDFG. This grant is for scholarly, pedagogical, and other professionally related activities. Appropriate expenditures include those for participation in a regional, national or international professional meeting or pedagogical program, supplies for a creative activity, books or journals not readily available in the FGCU library, research equipment, and travel required to access resources of another institution, but do not include membership fees for a professional/academic society. Priority is given to activities that directly support the mission of FGCU, the applicant’s department and/or unit, or contribute to the applicant’s progress toward promotion.

To be considered for PDFG funding, the proposed activity must take place within the funding cycle of July 1 through August 31 of the following year. Within the cycle cap and the period cap described above, one may apply for funding in both fall and spring periods, for the same or different professional activity. If the funding request is for an activity already funded by PDFG, then the application will be reviewed for further funding only if there are funds remaining after applications for new activities are reviewed.

Only one application may be submitted per person per review period (though one may submit an application in each of the fall and spring periods), and an application may not include more than one professional development activity. Multiple submissions from one applicant in a single review period, as well as an application proposing multiple activities (such as multiple conferences), will be disqualified.

Criteria and Process

PDFG’s evaluation criteria draw upon the extent to which the award will enhance the applicant’s future performance as a faculty member and/or benefit the University/Department/Unit. The PDFG committee consists of full-time faculty members elected from each College and the Library. The committee members, who process and review applications, represent different disciplines and as a group possess a degree of familiarity with diverse academic fields.

The following four criteria are used to evaluate applications:

  1. Significance & University/Department/Unit Benefit
  2. Strength of Budget
  3. Scholarly Benefit
  4. Teaching/Mentoring Benefit

All complete applications are reviewed by each committee member and scored on a scale of 0 to 4 for each of the criteria:


4 = Evidence exceeds expectations

3 = Evidence provided is clear and compelling

2 = Evidence provided is moderately convincing

1 = Evidence provided is minimally credible

0 = Evidence provided is not credible or no evidence is provided


The final score (12 points maximum) is calculated by adding [a], [b], and [the larger value of c & d].



If an application receives the scores of:




[a. Significance & Univ./Dept./Unit Benefit]




[b. Strength of Budget]




[c. Scholarly Benefit]




[d. Teaching/Mentoring Benefit]




then its final score is   3 + 3 + 4 = 10.


Applications are ranked from highest to lowest final score. Based on the total budget, the committee assigns cutoff scores for full, partial, and no funding.








a. Significance & University/Department/Unit Benefit

Activity has significance in terms of the prominence of the meeting or activity, the role of the applicant, the number of faculty or students involved, etc., and/or supports the mission of the University/ Department/Unit.


4 3 2 1 0


b. Strength of Budget

Application provides a reasonably planned/executed and specifically itemized budget that follows the University’s rules for expense reimbursement and is supported by appropriate documentation as available.


4 3 2 1 0


c. Scholarly Benefit

Activity is likely to enhance the applicant’s scholarship.


4 3 2 1 0


d. Teaching/Mentoring Benefit

Activity is likely to enhance the applicant’s teaching/mentoring.


4 3 2 1 0




One may submit only one application per review period. However, one may submit an application in each review period in the funding cycle (i.e., both fall and spring) up to the maximum dollar amounts set per period and per cycle.


If one has received a PDFG award in the previous review period or funding cycle, he or she should report on that previous professional activity to obtain eligibility for a new application. The application cover page includes a text box in which to describe the outcome of the previously funded activity, such as article/book publication, progress in a scholarly project, application to teaching or advising, administrative contribution, etc. If there is any supporting documentation for this report, it may be included in Section 5 (“Attachment section”) of the application file.


If the proposed activity has received a partial funding from PDFG before, it should be indicated as such on the application cover page, with the amount of funding received.


Should an applicant receive a PDFG funding for a specific professional activity, but be unable to use it for the approved activity, the applicant must notify the committee as soon as possible. The funding cannot be automatically transferred to another activity. The applicant should submit an amended application proposing the new activity, which the committee will review for a final decision.


Should one use only part of the PDFG funding granted in the fall period, he or she can apply for the balance of the amount for a different activity in the spring period, up to the maximum dollar amount set by the period and cycle caps. For example, if an applicant is awarded $1,000 in Fall but uses only $800, then the applicant will be eligible to apply for $1,200 in Spring.


If an applicant has received or will receive funding from an external source (e.g., keynote address honoraria, Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (OSRP) grants), it must be indicated in the budget page, with its specific dollar amount.


The PDFG committee will review only applications submitted via the online application system and received before the deadline. The committee will not review applications that are emailed or handed in person. Applicants will receive an automatic confirmation email upon submission of their applications; however, this confirmation verifies receipt but not completeness of the submitted application. Each applicant is responsible for submitting a complete application.


An application must be submitted in PDF format only, with all documents combined into a single file named “PDFG.pdf”. The committee will not access websites from links provided in an application; the applicant should provide all the details within the application.


An application should be assembled in the following order:


  1. Proposal Cover Page (submitted online via the form located here)


Supporting documentation must include all the following items in a single PDF file named “PDFG.pdf”:


  1. Body of Proposal


  1. Name, title, department unit.
  2. Detailed description of the proposed professional development activity, including dates and location (If the activity is participation in a conference, include relevant pages of the brochure/program in Section 5 below).
  3. Specific evidence showing how the activity meets the review criteria.
  4. For a conference presentation, a copy of the submitted proposal and the acceptance letter if available. If a full paper is accepted, show the paper in Section 5.


  1. Detailed Budget Page


Provide a specific and detailed budget plan/report here, supported by appropriate documentation as available. Applicants must follow the University’s travel reimbursement guidelines in estimating or reporting expenses. (Do not submit a copy of the TAR.) If a travel or activity has already occurred, all relevant receipts should be scanned into this section.


  1. Current résumé or vita in abbreviated form. Please limit the vita to three pages.
  2. Attachment section


Provide evidence of participation in the proposed activity (conference brochure, program, etc.). The documentation should be specific and detailed, clearly showing the applicant’s involvement. Do not include the entire program, but just the relevant sections. Do not include links to an event website.


Failure to include ALL items will result in rejection of the submitted application. If you have any questions, please contact your College’s faculty representative for the PDFG committee.