About research and professional development grants

The Faculty Development Committee reviews all proposals for Research and Professional Development Grants, and is charged with making recommendations on funding to the Provost. 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 will be reviewed twice a year, once in each semester. 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. Applicants submitting proposals out-of-cycle must present compelling reasons why their application could not be considered in the normal cycle.

Procedure for submitting a proposal

Applications for RPD grants (Fall, Spring, and out of cycle requests) are to be submitted via a PeopleSoft form. To access the online application, sign in to PeopleSoft (opens in new window). In the left side navigation, choose GBC Menus -> Research and Prof. Devel. Grant -> Create an Application.

The application requires filling out a cover sheet, a narrative describing the project, a detailed budget (with supporting documentation), and uploading a current Curriculum Vitae. Please read and understand all of the guidelines in this document to assist you in creating a successful application.

Please read the Instructions for Using the PeopleSoft Application form (opens in new window).

Once the application is submitted, a confirmation email will be sent to the applicant, and an email will be sent automatically to the chair/supervisor of the applicant to request a letter of support. These emails will include .pdf versions of the application for review and record keeping. The chair/supervisor will be directed to a module in PeopleSoft that will allow them to submit their letter.

The fall deadline for proposals is October 1 at 11:59 p.m., with chair letters due by October 15 at 11:59 p.m.

The spring deadline for proposals is March 1 at 11:59 p.m., with chair letters due by March 15 at 11:59 p.m.

If a due date falls on a Saturday or Sunday, proposals and chair letters will be accepted on Monday until 11:59 p.m. Proposals will not be accepted after the due date/time. (Note: Proposals may be saved in Peoplesoft and submitted at a later time.)

Notification of decisions will take place approximately 6 weeks after the chair letter due dates.

Proposal Guidelines


All full-time faculty, adjunct faculty, and administrators are eligible to apply. 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 Committee seeks to fund a variety of proposals from across the campus, but preference will be given to those proposals linked to the academic mission of the College. Funds for Research and Professional Development Grants are intended primarily for the use of members of the campus community who will be a continuing presence. However, the Committee recognizes the important role played by part-time faculty and non-continuing, full-time faculty. As such, part-time faculty and non-continuing, full-time faculty are eligible to apply for Research and Professional Development funds with the understanding that their proposals will be given a somewhat lower priority. Administrators considering study leaves or other initiatives to enhance their skills, develop new competencies, or sponsor programs of benefit to themselves and the College are welcome to submit proposals, especially when these are linked to the College’s academic mission.

Evaluation criteria

Two categories of grant proposals will be considered:

  1. Individual Development/Research: Proposals to support research projects, to train oneself in another area of expertise, or to upgrade knowledge in a particular field are all appropriate uses of Individual Development/Research funds.
  2. Curriculum Development/Instructional Improvement: This category includes projects that are focused on activities such as improving instructional delivery or new pedagogical techniques, revising or redesigning an existing course(s), or to expand expertise into a new substantive area. The JCCTL also offers support for this category.

The Committee urges applicants to look for external sources of funding for their projects. External sources typically provide funding at a higher level than is feasible for the Faculty Development Committee, and applicants who receive external funds free up funds for other campus projects. Competing for external funds is a process that often requires some trial and error. All efforts at securing external funding – even those that have yet to bear fruit – reflect favorably on a proposal. Your chances of getting the grants administered by the Committee are significantly higher if you can prove that you have explored possibilities for external support for the project and that the project has the support of your department.

If you have received multiple R&PD grants for the same or similar projects, you must demonstrate that you have pursued other sources of funding for your work. This is crucial to obtaining further funds from the Faculty Development Committee. The Committee may be concerned if a proposal seems to duplicate previous projects, although we recognize that building on past work can often be a productive research strategy. In such a situation, a clear explanation about the progression of the work will increase the chance of funding.

Department chair/supervisor commentary

Chairs/supervisors have a week beyond the R&PD grant submission deadline to write their letter. Input from chairs/supervisors helps to 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.

Funding priorities

The Faculty Development Committee will not consider proposals that request more than $7,500.

Note that the funding priorities below 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.

High priority

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

  • Lodging (up to 4 months of housing for the applicant only), 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. Requests for continuing education should be explicitly linked to professional or curricular development, not merely the completion of a degree.
    • Tuition for attending workshop or course and associated travel expenses knowledge -
    • 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 member
  • 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
  • Conference registration (Departmental funds or the Professional Paper Fund should cover this)
  • Non-student research assistance

Not funded

  • Computers and peripherals
  • Meals
  • Membership fees for professional organizations
  • Stipends for regular faculty or administrators
  • Students doing research on their own (please contact the Provost's Office for information about funding independent student projects)

Project report

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. Reports should be submitted by email to Diane Brennan (dbrennan@gettysburg.edu) in the Provost's Office. 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.