About: Faculty Development Fund

The Faculty Development Fund (FDF) is a contractually negotiated collective benefit available to all members of the University of San Francisco Faculty Association (USFFA). Non-members (for example, part-time faculty, staff, and administrators) are not eligible to apply. The total amount of the fund is determined in the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). It is then distributed proportionally to each school or college. This document describes the process in the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS).

Guidelines for the College of Arts and Sciences

According to the CBA, the FDF supports research endeavors that support “a candidate’s request for consideration for promotion or tenure,” and for the enhancement of “professional effectiveness” as defined in the CBA. There are two types of applications: travel (for conferences or research) and non-travel (typically equipment and research assistants). Funds can only be used for the purposes stated in the application.

The FDF committee currently consists of five full-time faculty members representing each field and four representatives of the CAS administration. All applications are reviewed by multiple committee members and then discussed; the committee works on a consensus model. Information about the current committee can be found under “Questions and Feedback” below.

All applications are submitted via the Gnosis system. No hard-copy applications or award letters are used. There are currently two funding cycles, one in the Fall (with an October deadline) and one in Spring (with a February deadline). NOTE: In Fall 2019, the FDF application deadline will be Friday, September 6th at 11:59 p.m. This earlier deadline is needed during this cycle because new accounts will need to be created for these awards, which will delay the availability of funds by 3-4 weeks.

The required contents for the different types of applications are found within these guidelines. Faculty are expected to read these instructions carefully and to provide everything requested; failure to do so is likely to result in delays, extra work for everyone, or a denial of the application.

Applicants are welcome to submit more than one application within a cycle, although if there is a budget shortfall not all worthy applications can be funded. Applicants with more than one application are required to rank their applications according to priority order from most to least professionally significant.

No. With the exception of rare circumstances for first-year faculty members as they get used to the system. Notifications and reminders go out many weeks before the deadline. For the FDF Committee to complete its work we need everyone to submit their applications on time. To avoid complications, please do not wait to submit until the last minute before the online system closes.

Applications are given one of three results: accepted, conditionally accepted, or denied. Award letters are sent shortly after the FDF Committee’s final decisions are made, typically about a month after the submission deadline for that cycle has passed.

  • Faculty whose proposals are accepted are free to use their funds as soon as they have received their award letter.
  • Applications that are conditionally accepted are typically those in which the applicant is awaiting an important piece of information (e.g., whether a paper has been accepted for a conference) or the FDF Committee is requesting additional information. Once the issue is resolved with the FDF Committee co-chairs, the application is accepted.
  • Applications that are denied are not funded. The applicant will receive an email summarizing the FDF Committee’s reasons for the denial. We encourage unsuccessful applicants to talk with the Committee co-chairs and/or their Associate Dean to learn more about the reasons for denial and then, when appropriate, to revise and resubmit for the following funding cycle.

Travel and equipment expenses are handled through reimbursements, which are processed through Concur; faculty are responsible for submitting receipts and using the account number listed in their award letter. Reimbursement requests should be submitted and within 10 days of the date of the expense. Research assistant payments are made from the faculty member’s FDF research account; faculty are responsible for tracking student work hours and approving time sheets, using the account number listed in their award letter. For further details, see Post-Award FAQ.

Due to the increasing number and complexity of applications, requests outside of the regular funding cycles will only be considered on a case-by-case basis in true emergencies, such as an unanticipated research opportunity or deadline, or when it’s clear that the FDF Committee made an error in accounting. Faculty can contact the FDF Committee Co-chairs to request emergency out-of-cycle consideration. The co-chairs cannot overturn a denial by the FDF Committee, however, and applicants are encouraged to revise and resubmit denied applications in the following cycle.