Academic Professional Development Fund Guidelines

The Purpose

Earlham College's Academic Professional Development Fund (PDF) provides grants to teaching faculty for projects undertaken during the academic year or summer months. The purpose of PDF funding is to encourage professional intellectual growth and productivity. Administered by the Academic Dean, Academic PDF-sponsored activities should be of a research, scholarly, or artistic nature and should enhance teaching and learning at Earlham, personal and scholarly professional development, and/or Earlham’s public intellectual profile. They should be directly related to the applicant’s evolving role and duties, and should enrich not only the funded individual(s), but also the college as a whole. Toward this end, all grants are subject to approval by the Academic Dean.

A portion of the Professional Development Fund will be set aside annually to support professional activities of Administrators. Applications should be submitted to Marilyn Lea in the Human Resources Office. Guidelines and forms can be acquired from the Associate Academic Dean or Human Resources.

In some cases administrators undertaking scholarly research projects may apply for an Academic PDF. Feel free to contact the Associate Academic Dean or another member of the Academic PDF Committee for help in discerning whether your project falls into this category.

The Application Process

To apply for an Academic PDF grant you must submit an electronic copy of your proposal to Marilyn Lea in Human Resources (Drawer #33) by the third Monday in February, before the summer or academic year for which you are seeking a grant. Late submissions will not be considered. (Note: Administrative PDF opportunities may extend through the grant year.) You are encouraged to discuss your plans with the Associate Academic Dean or another member of the PDF Committee before you apply. 

Proposals should include the following:

  • The application cover sheet — (docx) (pdf)
  • A 1-3 page description of the project you’re proposing including a well-articulated case for its anticipated benefit to you and the college. Will the work result in a presentation or publication? If it is tied to improving teaching and learning, to which classes(s) will it apply and what specific content will it add?
  • Clarity in content and form. Committee members are not in a position to judge the validity of your scholarship. They can only judge the cogency of your application. Treat the proposal as you would any grant application to an external funding agency.
  • Sufficient background information and description to permit committee members in other disciplines to understand and perceive the merits of the project.
  • A list of PDFs received in the last 3-5 years, for each PDF a statement of the outcomes and products of the PDF, and a statement of how the current proposal differs from or builds on prior scholarship funded with a PDF.
  • An excel spreadsheet with the amount of funding you’re requesting and your anticipated expenses.  Template

At the conclusion of your activities, you must submit the following materials to the Academic Dean’s Office using the online form:

  • A final report to the committee that describes what you did and demonstrates the benefits of the grant to you and to Earlham. This report is due no later than October 15 following the awarding of grants. This report should include your completed spreadsheet and receipts. Future funding will be contingent upon its timely reception.
  • An abstract of approximately 150 words (2 paragraphs) that can be posted on the Earlham website to promote faculty accomplishments. All grantees and the titles of their projects will be posted, along with selected abstracts.
  • Any unused portion of an award.

Who Can Apply?

Any member of the Earlham College teaching faculty, non-tenured as well as tenured, may apply for a PDF grant. Administrative faculty who teach courses are eligible to apply for an Academic PDF if their proposed activities are consistent with the purposes stated in these guidelines. Small groups of faculty may apply for a group award. A group application should state the prospective benefit for each member of the group. If the group project is interdisciplinary, a case should be made for the benefits of that feature. The following points should be carefully noted:

  • PDF recipients are expected to remain at Earlham for at least one year afterreceiving a PDF grant.
  • Persons who choose to leave the college during the year following a grant award may be asked to return funds.
  • If you received a PDF grant in the past, you need to have submitted your final report and receipts in order to be considered for a new grant.
  • People are encouraged to apply for a PDF as a back-up measure against other grant proposals. Should another source of funding come through, please let the Committee know as soon as possible so that money may be reallocated to others.
  • Preference may be given to first-time applicants over persons who have received grants recently.
  • Proposals may be only partially funded.
  • For multi-year projects, renewal of funding is not automatic. A new application must be submitted each year for ongoing support.
  • Priority will be given to funding research that would not be possible without PDF support.
  • The Committee encourages applicants to include students in their projects if possible.
  • All Committee decisions will be final. Please do not ask the Committee to reconsider their decision or review additional material. Make sure your proposal fully informs and persuades.

What does a PDF grant cover?

In the past PDF grants have specifically supported activities representing a new departure in an applicant’s professional and intellectual growth. While the cultivation of new interests may still be supported, current emphasis will be placed on projects integral to the applicant’s teaching and scholarship. Grants will typically fund research and writing beyond the ordinary scope of one's contractual duties at Earlham, but central to the applicant’s and Earlham’s scholarly vitality. Grants may cover a weekly stipend ($250/week for up to ten weeks) as well as project expenses such as books, travel costs, photocopying, postage and equipment. "Travel will be reimbursed as means to a larger end, not for its own sake. Please explain the purposes of proposed travel and draw a clear relationship to future work." Note that stipends are reported as taxable income; expenses are not. “Expenses” means actual costs for room, board, transportation, and materials. “Stipend” means payment for labor. Please distinguish these in your budget spreadsheet.

Examples of projects that may be covered at the discretion of the PDF Committee:

  • Expenses for a writing and research project.
  • Costs for travel research.
  • Important professional conferences not paid for by the annual conference fund.
  • Tuition for courses or workshops that enhance the scholarship, teaching, or other key tasks the applicant performs for the college. For course work extending beyond the grant year, the Committee may partner with an applicant for a percentage of costs not exceeding 50%.
  • Purchase of essential equipment for conducting research or artistic activityif there is no other source of funding.
  • Accompaniment of a May Term or Semester Abroad program if the applicant will play a central role in the conduct of the current program or is formally scheduled to lead that program in the near future.
  • Stipend for collection and analysis of data.
  • Cost of reading materials for enhancement of teaching and learning or a scholarly undertaking with a specific product.

PDF grants do not cover:

  • Routine course preparation.
  • Stipends while on sabbatical.
  • Stipends for summer reading not associated with a specific research project.
  • Stipends for writing, with possible rare exceptions, such as substantial revision of a manuscript accepted for publication.
  • Payment for third party services, including honorariums.

How much can I request? How should I estimate my expenses?

You may request the cost of expenses (travel fare, food and lodging, books, photocopying etc.). There is no set limit to the amount of expenses you may request; however, funds are limited and requests are becoming increasingly expensive. It’s impossible to fund every proposal, or to support every proposal fully. It would be rare for the Committee to fund an individual project above $10,000 for a single year. Requests not involving interna-tional travel typically range from $2,000-$3,000. Projects involving international travel tend to range from $5,000-$7,000. Expenses are not taxable but we require that you keep a careful record and that you submit a full account with receipts at the end of the award period.

You may request a stipend (as it were, "salary" or "allowance") of $250 per week for up to 10 weeks ($2,500 maximum). However, in recent years the Committee has elected to cover expenses as fully as possible and not grant stipends in addition to expenses. Stipends have not been granted in recent years simply for summer reading, as reading in one’s field or to enlarge one’s knowledge and perspective is a normal part of the academic life. A stipend would be appropriate for research, writing, artistic production, translation, collaborative work with colleagues, or data analysis of benefit to the College and wider community when the labor is outside one’s ordinary responsibilities and requires a significant commitment of time and effort. Stipends are taxable.

Professional Development Fund Committee — Charge and Membership

 

Submit a short synopsis and full proposal electronically to Marilyn Lea.

Remember: applications are due by
February 16, 2015.

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Earlham College, an independent, residential college, aspires to provide the highest-quality undergraduate education in the liberal arts, including the sciences, shaped by the distinctive perspectives of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

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