Faculty Development Fund Awards and Criteria for Funding

Saint Mary's College of California recognizes that intellectual growth and scholarly and creative activity are closely related both to each other and to teaching effectiveness.


Faculty scholarship is encouraged and supported through awards that fund scholarly and creative interests and pursuits, as well as pedagogical development. The Faculty Development Fund Committee administers the awards and is composed of a Co-Director for Faculty Development and one faculty member from each school appointed by the respective dean. Scholarly activity and intellectual growth are broadly defined and supported as described below. For questions or more information, contact Co-Director Monica Fitzgerald, mdf1@stmarys-ca.edu


Awards are made for two types of participation: Active or Passive. Activities included in the active participation type include scholarly presentations and research, significant administrative work and pedagogical development. Passive type activities are limited to attendance at meetings, conferences, and symposia without making a presentation.

Detailed criteria are provided below.

A.    Active Awards: Presentations of scholarly work by the following criteria:

  1. Presentation of new scholarly research as a paper or equivalent, (e.g., a poster, round-table, panel paper, or musical or other artistic work) to one’s academic peers or equivalent.
  2. Participation in a panel, workshop, institute, etc. that requires significant advanced scholarly preparation.
  3. Scholarly activity that has been peer reviewed or selected by a professional organization for inclusion in a conference program, e.g., invited paper, keynote address.
  4. Other forms of active participation: If the scholarly activity takes another form that the applicant considers to be active, the applicant must explain why it should be so categorized.

Documentation of active participation must be attached to the application and may include: 1) a letter of invitation or acceptance of paper, or 2) a preliminary copy of the program with the applicant’s name or 3) web link to conference program with your name as a presenter. Faculty may submit an application and receive tentative approval prior to a letter of acceptance and submit acceptance letter at a later date.

B.     Scholarly Research Awards – Preparation of scholarly work determined by the following criteria:

  1. Research related to completing books, articles, reviews, reports, creative work (music, art, drama), scientific, technological projects or other types of scholarly research. This includes travel to archives, interviews, translations, purchase of essential research materials, etc. Pleaes give explicit reasons for travel to support your scholarship.

Documentation in the form of a description with a timetable and estimated budget of the research project must accompany the application for a scholarly/research award. If funding is requested for an ongoing scholarly project for which the applicant has previously received a Faculty Development award, the applicant must include a progress report demonstrating that the project has entered a new phase requiring additional funding.

Equipment and unused materials become the property of SMC.

C.    Active Administrative Awards

  1. Fulfillment of major administrative commitments at conferences (e.g. officers in a professional organization hosting the conference, major symposium coordinator, etc.)
  2. This work requires organizational work in advance of the conference and active duties during the conference.
  3. This is not organizing one panel at a major meeting.

Documentation of administrative work must be provided with application and may include one of the following: 1) email/letter of invitation, 2) web link or 3) correspondence or outline regarding administrative work.

Only one active administrative award is fundable annually.

D.    Active Pedagogical Development Awards determined by the following criteria

  1. Participate at workshops or conferences where faculty are receiving substantial training to improve student learning and their teaching effectiveness.
  2. This is not course development.

Documentation of pedagogical development must be provided with application and may include one of the following: 1) email/letter of invitation or 2) web link or 3) outline of substantial training.

E.     Passive Awards: Attendance or administration determined by the following criteria:

  1. Attendance at conferences or symposia.
  2. Presentation of material that substantially repeats any material presented previously at a different event and requires no additional preparation.

Documentation of passive participation must be attached to the application and may include: 1) a receipt for registration, 2) confirmation of travel.

Only one passive award is allowed annually.


Faculty eligible to receive awards:

  1. Faculty on the Rank and Tenure roster, including faculty on reduced services plan, academic administrators with faculty rank, and faculty on reassigned time or sabbatical.
  2. Salaried Adjunct  
  3. Per Course Adjunct faculty not in probationary status who have contracted to teach three or more courses in the current academic year.

Faculty ineligible for awards:

  1. Faculty on leave of absence.
  2. Faculty emeriti.
  3. Per Course Adjunct faculty with a probationary appointment.


A.    Pre-tenured faculty:

Funds are limited to $2,200 per individual per academic year. Active awards and scholarly research projects are funded up to the annual cap. Administrative awards are limited to $1320 per year. Passive awards have a $600 maximum per year.

B.     Tenured faculty:

Funds are limited to $2,000 per individual per academic year. Active awards and scholarly research projects are funded up to the annual cap. Administrative and Pedagogical awards are limited to $1,200 per year. Passive awards have a $600 maximum per year.

C.    Adjunct faculty:

Funds are limited to $1,500 per individual per academic year. Active awards and scholarly research projects are funded up to the annual cap. Administrative and Pedagogical awards are limited to $660 per year. Passive awards have a $300 maximum per year.



1. Applications must be submitted (via electronic submission) to the Director/Office of Faculty Development by the 20th of each month—August to May --and must be submitted prior to the proposed activity. Applications for retroactive funding receive consideration only in exceptional cases. The Faculty Development Fund committee meets every month September to May, except December to evaluate applications.

Applications for funding of summer activities (May 20 to August 20) must be submitted before May 20. Funding for activities occurring before July 1 will come from the current academic/fiscal year allotment. Funding for activities after July 1 will generally come from the following fiscal year allotment.

2. Use of the online Application form (link below) is required. The application process is completed online and supporting documentation is also attached (as pdf files). If you have more than one form, you can put them altogether in one PDF file and attach. Applications must briefly describe a) the proposed activity, b) its relevance to applicant's scholarly development or teaching, d) if classes are to be missed, how they will be covered, and e) the estimated expenses including transportation, lodging, meals (up to the annually determined per diem), and appropriate registration fees. When transportation is by personal automobile, give mileage and consult with the business office for the current mileage rate. If you are paying fees in another currency, please calculate the exchange rate.

  • Membership fees in professional organizations are not typically paid through this fund unless this generates a substantial reduction in meeting registration fees.
  • If applicant is receiving funding from another source for the activity, this information and the amount received must be included in the application.
  • So that all qualified faculty may benefit from limited funds, applicants are urged to economize to the extent possible.
  • No hard copy of the application is needed.

3. In general, expenses for funds awarded are sent to faculty after they have submitted all receipts for their expenses, through an Expense Report that is submitted to Faculty Development.  If some funds are expended before the event (e.g., travel arrangements, registration) those funds can be reimbursed before the event, as long as all appropriate receipts and an Expense Report are submitted (Note: a hotel confirmation sheet is not an expense receipt) to Faculty Development.  In this case, no more than two Expense Reports can be submitted, which means faculty must make sure they are keeping and organizing all appropriate receipts to be submitted after the event.

5.  Faculty may request advance funds with the Application.  Checks or E-checks will be disbursed to the recipient approximately 30 days before the funded activity. Faculty cannot use their P-Cards to pay for expenses. For the academic year, all expenses must be turned in by June 30th – we cannot reimburse expenses with next year’s funds.

  • For a cash advance of the awarded amount, the request is to be included within the Application.  The advance must be reconciled with an Expense Report and receipts (reflecting deduction of the award) and submitted to Faculty Development no later than 30 days after the event.  This to comply with College policy as it relates to IRS requirements, and to avoid being considered a taxable fringe to the recipient.  (Should less than the award amount be spent, a check for the difference owed to the College is to be attached to the Expense Report).
  • Applications for a Declining Balance Credit Card (which can be preloaded up to the amount of the award) may be found on the Purchasing website: (http://www.stmarys-ca.edu/purchasing/decliningbalance$20card).  The user will be emailed a statement with the posted transactions and have 15 days to review, attach all receipts and submit to Faculty Development.  If additional cash is spent then faculty also need to complete an Expense Report, with those receipts attached, to receive reimbursement for those expenses.

 Note:  Research projects by faculty and/or students may qualify for certain exceptions to the normal timeline for reconciliation of advanced funds and will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

6.  Purchases of equipment or software are not to be made out of pocket, but through the College’s procurement policy.  Such requests need to be made to the Faculty Development Office who will work with the faculty and appropriate College department for purchase and approval.  Attach approval of any exceptions made to the reimbursement request. 

 7.  As a condition of receiving the award, the recipient agrees to submit a written Activity Report on the Moodle site within 30 days after the conclusion of the funded project or activity.  The Office of Faculty Development will no longer accept written Activity Reports.  All Reports must be submitted via Moodle.  Subsequent Applications for awards will not be considered until this Report and receipts for expenditures are received. If the activity and expense reports are not received 60 days post event/conference, the award will be rescinded. The money will return to Faculty Development to enable other faculty to apply for funding.   

 8.  Any unused portion of the award must be returned to the Office of Faculty Development, documented on your Expense Report. If the recipient of an award must cancel plans, the award in full must be returned immediately.

9.  If the project or activity results in a publication, applicant must acknowledge the support of the Faculty Development Fund of Saint Mary’s College.

10. If you are traveling abroad, you must submit a TRAC application in conjunction with your Faculty Development Fund application. TRAC meets once a month. Funds cannot be approved or released without TRAC approval.

TRAC Travel Abroad Application

 Award Application on Moodle Site (http://gaellearn.stmarys-ca.edu/mod/data/view.php?id=208650)


Activity Report form on Moodle Site (http://gaellearn.stmarys-ca.edu/mod/data/view.php?id=208651)