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Academic Staff Professional Development

Background and Purpose

This program exists specifically to provide grants for professional development, renewal, and retraining of academic staff. Because it is characterized by innovation, the program can provide a variety of forms of support. You are encouraged to discuss ideas with the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs staff. Awards under this program will not exceed $1,000 from ORSP. Support for this program is provided by the UW System, Office of Academic Affairs.

Three types of activities are supported under this program:

  1. Travel Support:  to learn new skills required to meet a present academic challenge or to develop skills and gain experience necessary to assume a different role within the academic community. Travel for workshops and specialized training is allowed under this program; however, tuition will not be provided for credit-bearing courses. Routine travel to professional meetings is not typically funded; however, specialized workshops or training sessions associated with annual professional meetings may be supported.
  2. Consultant Support: to seek advice or obtain information and services from an expert. Funds may be used to bring consultants to campus and to cover necessary expenses for materials for attendees at on-campus workshops, or to support on-line workshops or consulting.
  3. Project Support: to enable academic staff to implement a project that incorporates significant personal professional development. These projects should lead to the development of new skills, or knowledge that prepares the applicant for career advancement, new assignments, or performance of current assignments with greater expertise. As for all grant programs, any non-expendable materials purchased are the property of the University.


All academic staff with at least a .5 FTE appointment are eligible to apply under this program. Departments and colleges or academic staff units and divisions are expected to contribute to the cost of the proposed professional development activity. Proposals for workshops or other projects will not be funded if the event has taken place prior to the proposal submission.

Writing Guide:

The Professional Development (Academic Staff Professional Development) application is processed in BP Logix. Please visit the Using eForms and BP Logix page for a detailed explanation of the eForm system.

To apply, an academic staff member must initiate the Professional Development Form. Once the form has been initiated, choose Academic Staff Professional Development (for Academic Staff only) from the Professional Development Program drop down.

The proposal consists of:

  • Professional Development Form (Select 'Academic Staff Professional Development' in the form)
  • Applicants must clearly explain and justify all requested expenses in the budget explanation section of the form
  • Attach a Narrative (2 to 4 numbered pages in a word-processed document) to the BPLogix form addressing each of the following: 
    • Project synopsis, describing activities pertinent to professional development
    • Benefits of the proposed activity to the applicant and to others
    • Plan detailing how, when, and to whom information from the activity will be disseminated
    • List of the applicant's Academic Staff Professional Development funding awards in the past 5 years
    • If more than one person is included in a travel request, special justification regarding the need for multiple participants must be provided in the narrative.

Deadlines for Application:

Submit your proposal by the first work-day of these months: June, September, November, February, April. Proposals must be received at least six weeks before the proposed travel to provide adequate time for proposal processing and committee review. Proposals submitted after travel has occurred will not be considered.

A decision will be made by the end of the month in which the proposal is due. 

Previous Awarded Projects

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