Professional Development Awards (PDA)

Provost Office; Associate Dean for Research
Amended Date

Key Contacts

For questions about the CLAS process, please contact the Associate Dean for Research and Infrastructure.


Tenured faculty members; promoted clinical-track faculty may also apply.

Policy Purpose and Description

The College administers the Professional Development Awards program for tenured faculty (Associate and Full Professor ranks) and promoted (Associate and Full rank) clinical-track faculty, using criteria defined by the Office of the Provost. The program releases faculty members from classroom teaching, undergraduate advising, and possibly some administrative and service obligations for one semester at full salary or two semesters at half salary. During this time, the faculty member is engaged on a specific scholarly, artistic, or innovative instructional project supported by the assignment. CLAS PDA applications are reviewed and ranked by a nine-member committee made up of full Professors from across the College’s disciplinary areas. 


A full-time tenure-track or clinical-track faculty member must have completed at least 10 semesters of full-time service at the University since their previous developmental award to be eligible for a subsequent award. (For part-time faculty calculations, please see here.)

Faculty who receive a stipend and/or fringe benefit supplement to accept a prestigious research fellowship are eligible to apply for a subsequent PDA after a minimum period of full-time service following the fellowship year. Normally, this “payback” period is twice the length of the leave (e.g., 4 semesters of full-time service for a one-year fellowship leave).

The College will not approve a PDA to be taken by: 1) a probationary tenure-track faculty member; 2) a Clinical Assistant Professor; or 3) a faculty member while on phased retirement. Probationary tenure-track faculty and Clinical Assistant Professors may apply for their first PDA no earlier than the spring deadline immediately following their recommendation for tenure and/or promotion by the Collegiate Consulting Group.

PDAs for faculty with academic year (i.e., nine-month) appointments normally support faculty development projects for one semester at full salary. In rare cases, a two semester PDA (academic year or calendar year) at half salary may be approved.

Award Criteria

The Provost’s website publishes criteria for evaluating proposals for these competitive awards.




The Provost’s website has procedures for applying and for selection. Please Note: The Provost Portal has moved to the new Faculty Admin Center that recently launched. Instructions for the PDA application process are at this link. 

Please note that the PDA application deadlines have moved to the middle of spring semester. Current deadlines can be found at this link.

Post-PDA Activity Report

Each faculty member receiving a Professional Development Award must submit a report on PDA activity by the deadlines set by the Provost’s Office. If a CLAS faculty member fails to submit this report by the deadline established by the Office of the Provost, the College will delay by one year their eligibility to apply for the next Professional Development Award. The Provost’s Office provides guidelines for writing this report.


Instructions for the PDA application process are at this link.

Applications must be submitted through the Faculty Admin Center.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I defer my PDA?

It is expected that faculty will take their leave during the approved term; however, we recognize that other factors may make that impossible. A mechanism has been developed through the Faculty Admin Center Development Awards portal to request and approve PDA deferral/change requests. All requests to defer, change, decline, or cancel requested terms following submission to the board, must be made through this new process.

There is a limit to the number of deferral requests allowed. Faculty may request a deferral of up to two years following their approved term after which they will need to reapply.

Contact the Assistant to the Associate Dean for Research for directions on how to submit a deferral in the Faculty Admin Center.

Related Information

Provost Office Guidance for Faculty Development Awards