Faculty Development Grants FAQ
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Grants & Fellowships

Faculty Development Grants FAQ

 

1. What is equal matching contribution required from the department, college or appropriate external sources?

Equal matching refers to dollar for dollar matching in cash or in-kind to meet the total project. For example, if a faculty development project requires a total budget of $4,000 to complete it fully, and if the applicant requests $2,000 from faculty development grants then the remaining $2,000 of the project budget must be shown to be covered by matching contributions from the applicant's department, college, or appropriate external sources.

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2. What are some of the examples of in-kind matching?

The in-kind matching contribution indicated in the proposal must be essential for completing the proposed faculty development project, related to completing project tasks, and must be part of the project budget. Some examples of in-kind matching are equipment/software, tools, and related items necessary to complete the development activities. Matching support can come from internal or external sources. Computers given to faculty for general use, office secretarial support, release from teaching during a semester, sabbatical support or a graduate assistant usually assigned to a faculty for other purposes cannot be shown as matching support. If applicants have questions about in-kind matching support, they are encouraged to call the Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center. However, ultimately it is the grant review committee's decision to accept a particular form of in-kind matching support as appropriate completing a specific development activity.

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3. What is the relationship between the faculty development project completion date and when the funds awarded for a grant have to be spent?

The funds are awarded for faculty development activities scheduled between July 1 to December 31 or January 1 to June 30. The awarded funds will have to be spent within the particular 6-month period. However, a grant recipient may need additional time beyond the funding period to complete a faculty development project fully. Therefore, the project completion date is six months after the 6-month funding cycle. For example, if a faculty requested grant funds to attend a workshop in December to improve a course, it may not be possible for that faculty to complete the course improvement project by the end of that funding cycle (that is, December 31), but he/she is expected to complete the project fully by the following June 30 and submit a final report.

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4. Do matching contributions have to take place during the same fiscal year?

Depending on the type of matching contribution, it can take place when the activities related to a grant are being performed and completed. For example, a grant may be awarded to a faculty to attend a short course on some topic in June and the faculty may want to apply the new learning to develop a laboratory during fall (that is, during the following fiscal year). In this case, the department may provide matching support in the form of a graduate assistant to help the faculty complete his/her faculty development project and develop the lab during fall, and this is acceptable.

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5. What are some of the activities that are ineligible for funding?

Sabbatical requests, equipment or software purchases, travel to conferences for presenting papers, conducting routine data collection for research, graduate assistant support, faculty or staff salaries, tuition fees, etc., are ineligible for funding.

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6. Can I submit more than one proposal for development activities during an academic year?

Yes, but the total amount requested from the grants for all the activities proposed in those proposals should not exceed $2,000.

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7. If I have a faculty development grant for this year, can I still submit a proposal for the next year?

Yes, but in the proposal submitted for next year, you should mention the status of the current faculty development grant and how you will manage your time, if there is an overlap in completing your development activities satisfactorily. The proposal may receive lower priority.

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8. Can I submit a proposal by the deadline established for July - December development grant proposals for an activity I wish to pursue during January - June of next year?

Yes, if there is a legitimate reason for submitting your proposal intended for January - June along with those intended for July - December. You must state the reasons for submitting your proposals during the previous cycle.

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9. What should be covered in the project report and when is the report due?

The project report should be submitted through an online form set up for this purpose. Grant recipients will be emailed the Web site for the online form for submitting the required information such as a brief description of the project, implementation and evaluation details, and outcomes and benefits. For faculty development projects funded for activities scheduled between July and December, the final report is due on or before the following June 30th. For faculty development projects funded for activities scheduled between January and June, the final report is due on or before the following December 31st.

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10. What can the grants funds be spent for and why?

Grants funds are paid out of Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center's departmental operating funds and the Center does not have any special allocations or endowments for the grants. Therefore, grant funds can be spent only for registration fees or speaker honorarium (line item 670) and travel expenses (line item 830), and not for salaries, commodities, equipment, or other expenses that cannot be paid out of the 670 and 830 line items. It should also be emphasized here that the grant funds cannot be carried over to the next fiscal year, if a grant recipient chooses not to or is unable to use the funds during the fiscal year for which the grant is awarded.

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11. Can I get an advance on the faculty development grant awarded to me?

No, because the Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center cannot issue checks or advances directly to faculty and is not authorized to do so by NIU. All checks are issued by the accounting office at NIU and not by individual departments. For a check to be issued, there must be an invoice or a receipt for reimbursement. Also, NIU does not provide travel advances. However, a faculty who has been awarded a development grant can arrange to pay in advance for registration fees for a workshop or training program approved as part of his/her faculty development project. To pay in advance for registration fees, the faculty must complete the check request for the registration amout and the registration form, and submit them to Faculty Development to process and send them to Accounting for payment directly to the program sponsor. If a grant recipient has purchased travel tickets to attend a faculty development activity, the faculty must complete the travel voucher and submit it along with the original receipts to Faculty Development for processing well in advance of the actual travel date. Otherwise, the grant recipient can complete the check request, travel voucher and receipts and submit them after completing the development activity for reimbursement.

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Last Updated: 7/11/2014