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FGCU Faculty Senate

FGCU Faculty Senate

Professional Development Fund Grant


Professional Development Fund Grant (PDFG) Guidelines 2017-2018 Philosophy

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 $1,500.00 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 through August 31 of the following year (for example, July 1, 2017 through August 31, 2018).


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


If funding in provided for the Fall period

  Fall application submission system opens Friday, October 20, 2017

  Fall application submission system closes at 11:59 p.m., Friday, December 1, 2017

  Applicant receives notification via email by December 23, 2017

  If a hard copy letter is required by the recipient, it will be provided by the January 30, 2018.  An email request to the PDFG Committee Chair is required prior to the end of January


If funding is available for the Spring period

  Spring application submission system opens Friday, February 2, 2018

  Spring application submission system closes at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, March 9, 2018

  Applicant receives notification via email by approximately April 10, 2018


Period cap: An applicant may request up to $1,500 in a single period (Fall or Spring). For the 2017-2018 year, due to budget restrictions, All proposed professional activity involving international travel will be capped at $1500.


Cycle cap: An applicant may request up to $1,500 during either the Fall or Spring application period.






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 software, and a travel required to access resources of another institution.

Membership Fees for a professional/academic society are not eligible for reimbursement. 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. A funding cycle is an extended academic year to ensure coverage for a professional development activity made during summer. Within the cycle cap and the period cap described above, one may apply for funding in either the Fall 2017 or Spring 2018 period. If the application for funding is declined during the Fall 2017 period, the applicant may submit a request for funding during the Spring 2018 period.


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 immediately 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 in-unit 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 Office of the Provost appoints a representative from Academic Affairs to work with the committee.


The following four criteria are used to evaluate applications:


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


Complete applications are reviewed by committee members 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 max 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 will caucus and assign cutoff scores for Full (100%), Partial (50%), and No Funding (0%) of the eligible dollar amount requested.





Criterion Description



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 supports the mission of the University/



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



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




ONLY ONE application per review period.


If a PDFG was awarded in the previous review period, a REPORT on that previous professional activity must be submitted including how all awarded funds were used for that activity in order to be eligible for a new application. (One Page, 250 Words)


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. (Limit 25 Words; do not restate the REPORT; only the outcome.


If there is any supporting documentation for this report, it may be included in Section 5 (“Attachment section”) of the application file.



If an applicant received a PDFG for a specific professional activity, but be unable to use it for the approved activity, the applicant must notify the committee chair 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 within 10 days of the date of the amended submission.



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 funding may be reduced.


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.  Incomplete applications will declined.


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


An application should be assembled in the following order:


  1. Proposal Cover Page (automatically generated online via the link)


  1. Body of Proposal


  1. 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.)
    1. Specific evidence showing how the activity meets the review criteria
    2. For a conference presentation, a copy of the submitted proposal and the acceptance letter. If a full paper is accepted, identify the paper in Section 5.


  1. Detailed Budget Table


Provide a specific and detailed budget plan/report here, supported by appropriate documentation as available. Create a table or section of a spreadsheet. 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 vita or résumé in abbreviated form; limited to three pages.


  1. 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. Include a working hyperlink to activity 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.