Professional development grant

Suspended until further notice

The next deadline for Academic Staff Professional Development Applications is October 1, 2020.  Read more here!

Click here for an electronic grant application and printable guidelines.


During the 1983-84 academic year, System Administration noted that there were few professional development opportunities for academic staff. As a result, the professional development grant program for academic staff was formed.* Professional development opportunities are an important component of an effective personnel management system. Such opportunities enable staff to increase their effectiveness by expanding knowledge in their areas of expertise, by refining and developing skills, and by enhancing staff morale. The critical functions performed by academic staff require that professional development opportunities be facilitated for institutional as well as individual reasons.

Objectives of the Academic Staff Professional Development Program

  • Individual Professional Development. The Program should provide an opportunity for academic staff to enhance their effectiveness in meeting changing needs and roles in higher education.
  • Improved Program Quality. Staff development opportunities should contribute to improving program vitality during a period of anticipated resource constraints and rapidly changing administrative and educational needs.
  • Improved Institutional Effectiveness. Professional development opportunities should be related directly to the mission of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and, thereby enhance the quality of the institution. Since the university’s mission stresses excellence in teaching, opportunities for instructional academic staff should result in increased teaching effectiveness. Opportunities for non-instructional academic staff should strengthen areas of the university which support effective student development, increase the university’s role as a community resource, and support the emphasis on teaching.


  • All academic staff (instructional/non-instructional) with at least a .50 FTE academic year assignments.
  • Submit a complete proposal (See “Procedures for Submitting Academic Staff Development Proposals”)
  • Late or incomplete proposals not accepted.

Time frame

  • If your activity occurs between July 1 and October 31 the application deadline is June 1st.
  • If your activity occurs between November 1 and February 28 the application deadline is October 1st.
  • If your activity occurs between March 1 and June 30 the application deadline is February 1st.

Selection criteria

  • Multiple contacts - The number of individuals the proposal will benefit. Priority will be given to those proposals that benefit a larger number of staff and/or students.  Separate applications must be submitted for each request.  (i.e. each individual shall submit one application for each PD request with only one event and one applicant on an application.)
  • Impact on Institution - The degree to which the proposal outcome will increase UWL’s effectiveness, its offering, and its reputation.
  • Level of Participation - The more involved the participant in the event, i.e. presenting, coordination, etc. Having an active role in the event is preferred.
  • Frequency of Funding - Among equally strong proposals, priority given to academic staff who have not previously received a grant.
  • Written Quality of Proposal - Proposals that are well-written, clean, and complete will be given preference.

Additional considerations for funding grant proposals

  • Proposals will be considered for funding based on how well proposals meet objectives (II) and selection criteria (see section V).
  • Awards are dependent upon monies available and number of eligible applicants.
  • Funds awarded do not carry over to the next fiscal year unless the PD committee gives special approval and notifies the Budget Office. If the awardee is unable to use awarded funds within the grant time frame (see IV. Time Frame), they must contact the Academic Staff Council office.
  • Applicants are encouraged to seek additional sources of funding for projects and activities.
  • Departments and colleges or academic staff units and divisions are strongly encouraged to contribute to the cost of the proposed professional development activity.
  • Past grant awards have ranged from $300-$2,000 with an average award of $800. Dollars to be awarded are contingent upon funding.

Fundable items

  • Professional training and development
  • Active participation in a conference, such as presenting a paper, poster and/or participating in a workshop.
  • Professional development that is directly applicable and relevant to applicant’s professional position and/or department/unit. Activity should have direct impact on improved services to students, staff and/or the institution.
  • Fees and tuition for UW System or non-UW System institution courses or for registration fees for workshops, seminars, institutes, etc (not toward the completion of a degree or academic/professional credential). The applicant must justify and document the need for training.
  • Fees for speakers brought to campus to provide presentations or workshops to academic staff with immediate impact on multiple academic staff. Primary focus of event/activity must be training/professional development of academic staff.
  • The purchase of required books and supplies for courses or workshops if it can be demonstrated to the Committee that these materials would have substantial use to others who have not participated in this training/development activity. Supplies funded remain the property of the University.
  • Travel, housing, meals and other related expenses related to activity

Non-fundable items

  • Proposals where primary purpose is tuition funding of courses towards the completion of a terminal degree or academic/professional credential
  • Leave for formal study
  • Salary or payment for duties performed
  • Programs or items that are required by the department for the applicant’s position.
  1. The following must be completed:
    1. Proposal Cover Page (first page of application form) 
    2. Budget Worksheet (second page of application form) 
      1. Proposed budget listing the following items by line, where applicable (included with the application materials):
        1. registration fee
        2. travel
        3. food/lodging
        4. other expenses
      2. Proposers must consult travel reimbursement guideline in estimating food/lodging and travel costs. Copies available online at /travel. Include a copy of brochure if the proposal is for attending a conference.
    3. Body of the Proposal, including: 
      1. A complete description of the activity and its objectives including your role in the activity.
      2. How this activity will contribute to your professional development
      3. How this will benefit the university and/or the community
      4. Activity schedule/timeline you will be following.
    4. A current position description
    5. A letter from the department chair/unit director or supervisor indicating support for proposal.  Letter must indicate that the activity is not required for the applicant’s current position.
  2. Process
    1. Submission:
      1. Electronic Submission: Please send an electronic copy of the proposal and all required materials to ascouncil@uwlax.eduTocomplete the application process, one (1) signed copy of the first two form pages must be printed and submitted via campus mail to the Academic Staff Council Office in 302A Graff Main Hall.
      2. Paper Submission: If you are unable to provide an electronic copy, then please submit a single paper copy to the Academic Staff Council office (302A Graff Main Hall) by the specified campus deadline.
    2. The Professional Development Committee of the Academic Staff Council will review and rank proposals, and may interview candidates. 
    3. Results of this review will be forwarded to the Office of the Chancellor. 
    4. All applicants will be notified by e-mail of the committee’s decision.
    5. After you complete your Professional Development opportunity you will be asked to submit a 2-3 sentence testimonial about your opportunity and a picture of either the opportunity you participated in or of yourself.