RPD Grant Guidelines

Research and Professional Development Grants



All full-time faculty, adjunct faculty, and administrators are eligible to participate.  Full-time continuing faculty and academic administrators, however, will receive preference as these grants are intended to provide long-term benefit to the College’s academic program.  Proposals for the use of these funds may be submitted by individuals, academic or administrative units, or other groups such as committees, interrelated departments, or associations formed to design a particular project. 


 The Faculty Development Committee will review all proposals.  This Committee includes: a representative of the Provost's Office, one faculty member elected from each division, and two faculty members elected at-large.  Proposals may be submitted to the Office of the Provost at any time during the year.  Proposals will be reviewed twice a year, once in each semester.  Proposals must be submitted by the advertised deadline to be considered for funding.  Applications made out-of-cycle will only be considered in situations for which the regular review cycle is not and could not have been a workable option.


Complete the fill-in proposal form (PDF).  It will help you follow the guidelines.  Use Adobe Acrobat to make and save changes to the form. All proposals should include the following in their consecutive order.  Proposals that do not address these points will not be considered.  If you have any questions, refer to the models provided:

 1. A completed cover sheet. 

 Please make certain that the budget figures in item 7 of the cover sheet agree with the figures given in your detailed budget (see below).

 2.  A narrative describing the project.  The narrative should address the following points a-f

Consecutively and as separate sections:

a)      The project to be addressed, its goals, and its significance;

b)     How you intend to reach your goals (e.g., the methods you will use);

c)      How you will evaluate your project;

d)     A time-table giving the expected dates of initiation and completion of the project and periods when the major part of the work will be undertaken;

e)      Possible sources of external funding and attempts to secure external funds, including specific information about external grants sought and/or received for the current project and how the funds requested in this proposal would be used in conjunction with any external funds.

f)      How the project will contribute to the development of the individual or group involved, including creating a more stimulating learning environment for our students and/or how the project fits into an individual's professional goals.

g)     Your narrative should be addressed to members of the Committee and written in language which is accessible to them.  It should not be written as if it is being submitted to a panel in your discipline.  Although some detail is desirable, the narrative should not be more than three or four pages. 

 3.   An itemized budget.  The budget should be sufficiently detailed to make clear the precise use of funds, and should include a brief explanation about the connection between budget items and the proposed project as needed.  When preparing your budget, keep in mind the following points:

 a)      Proposals should have a complete budget (showing what funding resources are necessary to successfully complete project).  If not all funding comes from RPD, proposals should also clearly indicate what the RPD grant will cover/pay.

b)     Student wages should be budgeted at $7.25 per hour (the new minimum wage effective in Summer 2009).  Highly skilled student assistants – may be paid at a rate of $7.75 per hour.  If you request that your student assistants be paid at the higher rate, you must include a justification for paying at this rate.  If such a justification is not provided, or if the justification is not compelling, student assistants will be funded at minimum wage. 

c)      Requests for continuing education should be explicitly linked to professional or curricular development, not merely the completion of a degree.

d)     Pricing for airfare, hotels, housing, etc. must be justified using quotes from Expedia.com or other external sources.

e)      The following requests are not funded:

  1. Computers and peripherals
  2. Meals
  3. Students doing research on their own (please contact the Provost’s Office for information about funding independent student projects)
  4. Stipends for regular faculty or administrators.
  5. Due to budget constraints the Faculty Development Committee will not consider proposals that request more than $10,000.

 4.    A Current Curriculum Vitae.

 5.   Department Chair/Program Coordinator/Supervising Administrator Commentary.

Download the Commentary (DOC).  Chairs/Program Coordinators have a week beyond the R&PD deadline to write their letter.  Input from Department Chairs, Program Coordinators, and Supervising Administrators helps verify that supporting funds are available for the project and can provide additional information about the work from a disciplinary perspective.  In a competitive funding environment, the chair’s or supervisor’s comments can play a pivotal role in funding decisions.  Although these comments need not be lengthy, they should include clear information about the merit of the project and the appropriateness of the budget.  Applicants should submit proposals to chairs well in advance of the deadline so that chairs have adequate time to provide commentary.


 At the conclusion of each project, the recipients of the grant must submit to the Associate Provost a short report of the use of the funds and a candid assessment of the results achieved.  This report should include (a) the activities engaged in and the extent to which the goals were achieved, (b) how the funds were spent, (c) whether there are any funds to be returned, and (d) any tangible outcomes to date (e.g., conference presentation, course revision, publication).  Subsequent proposals will not be considered until reports on all previous projects have been submitted.  If you are applying for another Research and Professional Development Grant before a previous one has expired (in effect, a previous project is on-going), please provide an interim report on the use of outstanding grants to the Associate Provost.  The report should include the following information:  suggested date of completion, an account of the funds spent, and an estimate as to whether or not all the funds will be spent.  If the project results in publication, the Committee requires that support from a Research and Professional Development Grant be acknowledged.  The Committee also requests that the grantee deposit a copy of the work in the Gettysburg College Faculty Collection (Special Collections) of Musselman Library and submit an entry about the publication to the Faculty Notebook.

 V.  Funding Priorities

 Note that these funding priorities are guidelines and not rules.  Colleagues with questions about these guidelines should contact the Chair of FDC or the Provost’s Representative to FDC

Some funding decisions for low priority items may be delayed to spring semester depending on availability of funds.

 Identifying priority of budget items

 High priority

 Travel and associated expenses to work on scholarship – for example:

            Lodging, travel visa, photocopies, books, binding documents, cell phone, etc.

            More than one trip in a semester/year for data collection if well-justified

            Expenses associated with excavation

             Required subvention for book publication

            Information on the press/publisher should be provided

            Costs should be split equally among all editors

            We should have a copy of contract/agreement before we fund: Out-of-cycle request will be

            considered once publication costs have been determined.

            Performance and recording of such performance (either DVD or CD)

            Including rental of recital hall, paying for musicians/actors

            Hotel for guest musicians/actors

            Production costs up to 100 DVD’s or CD’s with 10 units donated to the College

             Attendance and participation in art exhibits

            Including travel, lodging, shipping costs

Packing materials, supplies for completion of work

Student assistance

In research (wet lab/field research; bibliographic research)

As administrative assistant – support for editorial assistance, for conference organization

The major question to be answered for student assistance: is this valuable experience for our students?

Training in new area of scholarship or to upgrade knowledge

            Tuition for attending workshop or course and associated travel expenses

            Attending artist residency/colony

             Bringing consultant/expert to campus to train faculty and/or students

Curriculum Development/Instructional Improvement

Please note that FDC does not fund annual recurring costs for ongoing or long-term projects

Supplies to support particular project

            Perishable (e.g., reagents, Petri dishes); art supplies

Subscription to databases to support particular project

Fees – to visit a lab, museums, library, etc.

 Medium to high priority

 Transcriptions services – translating text

Small equipment – e.g., digital camera – equipment belongs to department/college rather than faculty


Patent application        

Legal consideration

Additional expenses associated with sabbatical

Language lessons

 Low priority

 Travel expenses to bring collaborator to campus

Request should explain why GC should fund request and not home institution/organization of         collaborator

We would only cover travel costs with a cap ($500 domestic collaborator; $1000 international collaborator)

Travel and associated expenses to bring speaker to campus

Travel to attend national Board of Directors meetings or other professional activities not directly associated

    with scholarship and beyond attendance at professional meetings.  Capped at $500.  Must explain how

    department travel budget is used and why department travel budget is not used to cover this expense –

    only one trip supported per academic year

Travel to attend a third conference or to cover expenses associated with international conferences beyond

    Professional Paper Fund

Conference registration (Departmental funds or the Professional Paper Fund should cover this)

Non-student research assistance