Professional Development

These funds are intended to support professional development activities such as the dissemination of creative work or scholarship, and to be aligned with college priorities.

Professional Development Funds Policy for FY 21

Simmons, like many universities, froze professional development funding in March 2020 in response to the global health pandemic and the resulting serious financial pressures and travel restrictions. Now, as we enter a new academic year, Simmons has committed to making available limited professional development funding for faculty. This allows the university to continue to support faculty scholarship and creative activity, while acknowledging continued financial pressures and travel restrictions, as well as the continued impact of COVID-19 disruptions and additional responsibilities on faculty time.

Funding Opportunities

The Provost has designated a limited central pool in each college to support certain types of activities and expenses in line with institutional priorities. Note that funding is not guaranteed, and all expenses must be pre-approved.

Eligible Activities and Expenses

Full-time and proportional faculty may apply for up to $500 of funding to support eligible activities, including:

  • Online conference registration and fees
  • Individual professional memberships and licensures
  • Access to data sets or online archives
  • Individual lab, studio, or reference materials to advance scholarly or creative projects

Funding is not currently available for travel or in-person events in accordance with University policy and public health guidance. 

Criteria and Process

Funding is limited and priority will be given to activities related to:

  • Presentation of original scholarship or creative activity at national or international conferences.
  • Projects that will support the advancement of tenure-track faculty and Associate Professors toward promotion.
  • Projects that will support sponsored research or successful grant-seeking activity.
  • Memberships or licensure required for professional currency.
  • Projects that will directly benefit communities through professional knowledge.

Faculty need to get approval to access these funds. After discussing the request for funding with their Chair/supervisor, faculty should complete CNBHS’ Faculty Professional Development Approval Request form. Requests should be submitted as soon as plans are known, but at least one full week in advance of the expenditure. Requests will be reviewed by the Dean on a weekly basis, with every effort made to notify faculty of their request’s approval status in a timely manner.

Fund Management and Expense Processing

If approved, arrangements will be made for expenses to be paid through reimbursement, invoicing, or university purchasing card.  All expenses should be submitted via Workday no later than the 10th of the month after the purchases were made (if purchased via university purchasing card), within 20 business days after the professional development activity completes (if purchased individually and seeking reimbursement), or per specific invoicing terms. Proof of purchase is required.