Professional Development Awards

The College administers the Professional Development Awards program for tenured and clinical-track faculty, using criteria defined by the Office of the Provost. The program releases faculty members from classroom teaching, undergraduate advising, and administrative and service obligations for one semester at full salary or two semesters at half salary. During this time, the faculty member is engaged on a specific scholarly, artistic, or innovative instructional project supported by the assignment.


A faculty member must have completed at least 10 semesters of full-time service at the University since his/her previous developmental award to be eligible for a subsequent award.

Faculty who receive a stipend and/or fringe benefit supplement to accept a prestigious research fellowship are eligible to apply for a subsequent PDA after a minimum period of full-time service following the fellowship year. Normally, this period is 4 semesters of full-time service for a one-year fellowship.

The College will not approve a Professional Development Award application submitted by a probationary tenure-track faculty member, nor will it approve an application for an award to be taken by a faculty member while on phased retirement.

PDAs for tenure-track and clinical-track faculty with academic year (i.e., nine-month) appointments normally support faculty development projects for one semester at full salary.

Award Criteria

The Provost’s website publishes criteria for evaluating proposals for these competitive awards.

Application/Award Process

The Provost’s website has procedures for applying and for selection. Please Note: The Provost Portal has moved to the new Faculty Admin Center that recently launched. The following link provides directions for the PDA application process:  The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences follows the timeline below:

  • April 25. By this date, eligible faculty must notify the DEO of their intention to submit a PDA proposal in September, and the DEO must forward this information to the Office of the Dean. (DEOs should send this information in a single list to Gabbie McDermott in the Dean's Office on April 25 for 2022.) DEOs should discuss the award process with eligible faculty early in the spring semester.
  • April-May. The Dean, in consultation with the CLAS Executive Committee, will appoint an ad hoc faculty committee representing the range of disciplines in the College to review and evaluate all proposals to be submitted the subsequent fall.
  • Early September. DEOs must review the PDA proposals prepared by their faculty. DEOs are encouraged to seek the advice of their departmental executive committee or senior faculty on the quality of the proposals.
  • Early-September (date assigned annually by the College). At the time faculty proposals are submitted, DEOs will submit a brief description of the process used in their department for reviewing proposals, prioritize the proposals they are forwarding to the College, and provide information about circumstances that influence the timing or priority of proposed PDAs.
  • Late September (date assigned annually by the College). The ad hoc review committee will make recommendations to the Dean according to the established criteria. The Dean consults the CLAS associate deans before making final recommendations to the Provost.

Post-PDA Activity Report

Each faculty member receiving a Professional Development Award must submit a report on PDA activity. If a CLAS faculty member fails to submit this report by the deadline established by the Office of the Provost, the College will delay by one year his/her eligibility to apply for the next Professional Development Award.