Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQ

Awards decisions are made by a TDF committee consisting of both faculty members from the PTFA and representatives of the University administration. Information about the current committee can be found on the home page, under “Teaching Development Fund."

TDF applications must directly relate to courses being taught at USF. The TDF cannot be used for research, student travel, credit-bearing courses at other institutions, other professional development not directly related to courses currently being taught at USF or to compensate faculty to attend USF events, programs, or meetings. The CBA states that the TDF is intended “primarily for domestic participation and travel in the continental United States,” but “international participation and travel may be considered on a case-by-case basis should sufficient funds be available.”

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 a mid-October deadline) and one in Spring (with a mid-February deadline).

The required application contents are found within these guidelines and on the Gnosis TDF application site. Faculty are expected to read these instructions carefully and to provide everything requested. You will need:

  • Completed application form (found on the application site), including narrative and annotated budget.
  • Conference announcement or invitation/acceptance (if relevant).
  • Registration cost document or invoice (if relevant).
  • Three competitive airfare or train quotes (if requesting air or train travel funding).
  • Three competitive hotel quotes (if requesting hotel accommodation funding).

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. Notifications and reminders go out many weeks before the deadline. For the TDF 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 minutes before the online system closes.

Please contact the TDF Committee co-chairs or Program Assistant listed on the "Teaching Development Fund" section of these guidelines, should you have trouble with any aspect of application submission.

Applications are given one of three results: accepted, conditionally accepted, or denied. Award letters are sent shortly after the TDF 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 TDF Committee is requesting additional information. Once the issue is resolved with the TDF Committee Chair, the application is accepted.
  • Applications that are denied are not funded. The applicant will receive an email summarizing the TDF Committee’s reasons for the denial. We encourage unsuccessful applicants to talk with the Committee Chair 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.

To receive reimbursement, you will need to submit an expense report electronically through Concur using the account number listed in the award letter. Travel reimbursement requests should be submitted within 10 days of the date of the completion of travel. Retroactive travel reimbursement requests should be submitted as soon as possible after the relevant TDF Award is made.

Note: All reimbursement requests must be within the same fiscal year as the expense was incurred; the fiscal year ends on May 31st. Requests for reimbursement for expenses in a previous fiscal year will be denied by Accounting and Business Services.

Yes, purchasing airline tickets without using a personal credit card is an option for faculty. In the College of Arts & Sciences, this is done with the assistance of the CAS Office of Operations, which uses a “ghost P-card” for airline tickets; this will be paid from TDF funds. If you are a CAS faculty member, please contact Sharon Li (pli7@usfca.edu) or Dan Dao (ddao@usfca.edu) for details; in other schools, please contact your Dean's Office.

While past funding is a good indication that the conference fits within the charge and guidelines of the TDF, past funding is not an indicator of future outcomes. In addition to fit with the TDF mission and guidelines, as well as the terms of the CBA, the TDF Committee considers variables such as available budget, number and amount of overall requests, and so on.

Travel Application FAQ

Either is fine, as long as you are able to provide the required supporting documentation. Since there is no guarantee you will receive TDF funding, some people prefer to apply before the trip; since submitting retroactively allows you to provide a more accurate budget, some people prefer to apply after the trip. Please keep in mind that Accounting and Business Services is unable to process reimbursements for expenses incurred in a previous fiscal year, and therefore applications that involve such expenses cannot be considered. (The fiscal year ends on May 31st.)

The Committee needs to see evidence that faculty are selecting economical fares; if evidence isn’t provided of this, the Committee may fund only part of the airfare. The best way to provide this is to get and save multiple price quotes when you book the flight. If you neglected to do that, please provide information from www.faredetective.com on the average airfare for the time period of purchase.

Yes. You can apply in the Spring TDF cycle for travel you propose to make between June 1st and September 1st. For administrative reasons, the procedure for processing these awards is somewhat different:

You will receive an e-mail notification of the TDF Committee's decision on your application at the same time as the rest of the Spring decisions are made and announced. However, should you receive funding your award letter will not be issued until the University has moved funds into the central TDF account (per the CBA, no later than October 1st but possibly earlier) or until any remaining funds from the previous fiscal year have rolled over into the central TDF account (typically mid-August but possibly earlier). At that point, an award letter will be issued and you can submit your expense report in Concur. 

Keep in mind that you cannot be reimbursed during one fiscal year for costs you paid in a previous fiscal year; the fiscal year runs June 1 to May 31. If you receive notification that your summer travel funding has been approved, please wait until after June 1st (the start of the new fiscal year) to make any purchases, as any purchases made prior to that cannot be reimbursed. Again, you will need to wait for your award letter to submit your Concur expense report -- and, as with all awards, include the letter with your expense report.

If you receive notification of an award for summer travel, you may prefer to make some of the purchases during the current fiscal year (i.e., before June 1). Before doing so, please contact and work with the TDF administrative chair, since they will need to work out a reimbursement plan with the approval of CAS Operations, and you will need to submit expense reports before May 31.

You can also wait for the Fall cycle and apply retroactively for travel between June 1st and the Fall deadline, although there is no guarantee that your request will be approved by the TDF Committee.

You may apply for international travel, but your application will be given lower priority and is less likely to be funded. The CBA states that: "Teaching Development Funds are intended primarily for domestic participation and travel in the continental United States. A greater weight will be given to domestic uses. International participation and travel may be considered on a case-by-case basis should sufficient funds be available." It's useful to make clear to the committee why the teaching development you seek cannot be achieved through domestic travel and participation.

Please submit one application containing your entire itinerary. It is essential that you explain each part of the trip and its relative priority in your application. You should also include a contingency plan (or Plan B), including the costs of the trips if taken individually, in the event that the TDF Committee denies or finds issues with one part of the application.

You must fill out a Request to Be Absent form prior to your travel. This form must be signed by both the department chair and the appropriate Associate Dean. Failure to complete this form for TDF-related travel may endanger your future TDF travel applications.

The best thing to do is to apply and to indicate when you expect to hear about final plans. You can then update the TDF Committee when you’ve heard from the conference organizers. You may also choose to wait and apply retroactively. It is also always advisable to include in your statement of objectives any other professional reasons you plan on attending the conference beyond, or instead of, the presentation of a paper.