Online Application Instruction Summary

  1. Log in at
  2. Fill out the application form, including the abstract
  3. Attach required documents (prospectus, justification, C.V. summary, and previous PDA post-award report if applicable)
  4. Save form as DRAFT while working; when done, click "Submit as Final" to submit the completed application materials to your DEO(s)

Before preparing your application, read the information regarding requirements and deadlines for Professional Development Award applications:


The application, which must be submitted online, consists of the application form and four attachments

  • prospectus,
  • justification,
  • summary curriculum vitae, and
  • last faculty developmental award report, if applicable.

Start a New Application

To access the application form, log in to the Development Awards portal in the Faculty Admin Center. The view will default to your “Application and Award History” page, which will show any previous applications you have submitted. To start a new award application, click the "Start a new application" button at the top right of the screen.

Application Form and Required Attachments

  1. Applicant Information: Review and complete directory / appointment information.
  2. Previous Award Information: Indicate what developmental awards (with pay) and/or leaves of absence (with or without pay) you have accepted over the past five years.
  3. Proposed Activity / Abstract
    If your request for a Professional Development Award is approved by the college and university, it will be submitted to the Board of Regents as part of the request for approval of your award. Please make sure your abstract meets the following requirements. Failure to do so may jeopardize approval of your award.  See sample abstracts on this page.

    Instructions for abstracts:
    1. The abstract must be between 400 and 1,200 CHARACTERS maximum, including spaces.
    2. Use clear and concise language that would be understood easily by a layperson.
    3. Write the abstract in third person and in active voice (e.g., Professor Smith will complete research for her book on Shakespeare).
    4. Summarize the proposed activity and the expected outcome of the activity.
    5. Describe how the award will benefit teaching/students and the University of Iowa.
    6. Describe how the award will benefit the state of Iowa or society generally.
    7. Professional Development Awards: Please refer to the award as a “Professional Development Assignment” or “PDA.” We are required to use this terminology in reporting to the Board of Regents. Please see additional editorial tips on this page.
  4. External Funding Information.
    Indicate whether you have received external funding to help support any aspect of the proposed activity. If so, provide a brief description of the funding source(s) and amount(s).
  5. Understanding of Obligation to the University and the State.
    Check the box to indicate that you understand your obligation(s) to the university and the state should you receive a Professional Development Award.


Upload required attachments using the buttons at the bottom of the application form.

Prospectus (maximum 5 pages, double-spaced)

Explain the project in terms that an educated reader from outside your field can understand. Specify:

  1. Purpose and significance: Describe the nature and significance of the project, including a clear, concise statement of the objectives for the project and your aims in undertaking it.
  2. Work to be accomplished: Describe specifically what you plan to do during the award period. Where will you do the work? Identify persons (if any) with whom you will work.
  3. Projected results: What tangible results will your project have, what form will they take, and how and where will you share your results with others (e.g., publication, presentation, exhibition, classes)?

Justification (maximum 1 page, double-spaced)

How will the project contribute to your teaching (be specific with course titles, number of students taught)? How will it contribute to your own scholarly development? In what way does this project require a time commitment beyond that involved in the normal activities encompassed in teaching, research, scholarship, and service?

Summary Curriculum Vitae (2 to 5 pages)

Upload a summary (NOT your complete CV) of your professional employment, duties, and accomplishments. Include a list (selected, if necessary, to keep within the page limits) of your professional publications and creative works, with the correct sequence of authors for joint publications. Include other information relevant to appraising the proposed assignment project.

Last Award Report (if applicable)

Upload a copy of your last UI Faculty Development Award (e.g., Professional Development Award or other developmental award), if any. If you do not have a copy of your previous report or if your last developmental award did not require a formal report, in a maximum of 3 double-spaced pages specify:

  1. the nature and purpose of your previous project(s);
  2. impact on your research direction and the research of graduate students supervised;
  3. follow-up work and funding that resulted from the previous project (be specific with project titles, funding sources, and amounts of grants);
  4. products, exhibitions, performances, and presentations resulting from the previous project (be specific with titles, journals, dates, and so forth); and
  5. academic and instructional benefits attributable to the project (include course titles and number of students taught).

Sample abstracts

Sample #1

Prof. XXX will examine the effect of the widening of the Atlantic Ocean on the long-term evolution and biodiversity of Caribbean reef corals.  Prior to 25 million years ago, corals dispersed from the Mediterranean to the Caribbean.  However, as the Atlantic started widening ~10-25 million years ago, the species pool split, isolating Caribbean reefs.  The project will apply newly developed, non-traditional morphologic techniques to construct evolutionary trees and analyze patterns of species origination and extinction using fossil material, thus adding to our understanding of the evolution of the natural world.  In this way, the project may help us save existing species from extinction, thus benefiting society someday.  This project is also expected to result in several journal articles, a grant from XYZ, and new material for Professor XXX’s undergraduate and graduate courses.

Sample #2

Legislatures often delegate policymaking authority to bureaucracies because policies can be complex and agencies have substantial expertise.  At other times legislatures write detailed legislation that limits agency discretion to ensure that bureaucracies choose policies that are consistent with the preferences of elected officials and the public.  Prof. YYY’s study seeks to explain why legislatures do or do not attempt to constrain bureaucracies.  He will incorporate his findings into his undergraduate course, Political Decision Making.  Moreover, the findings will assist policy makers and bureaucrats understand the processes in which they operate.

Sample #3

Professor ZZZ’s project concerns changes in the hiring and promotion practices of employers over a 20-year period.  Building on his earlier study of six Chicago employers, he will conduct initial field work with these employers and prepare a proposal to the National Science Foundation to conduct a quasi-panel organizational study of how staffing practices have adapted to social, technological, economic and demographic changes.  The results will help businesses in Iowa and beyond understand and adjust to these changes.  Prof. ZZZ will involve graduate students in the project, in which they will learn about fieldwork methods and business staffing practices.

Editorial Guidelines for Abstracts

Use clear and concise language that would be understood easily by a layperson.

Write the abstract in third person and in active voice (e.g., Professor Smith will complete research for her book on Shakespeare).

Write as one continuous paragraph. 

Refer to Professional Development Award as a “PDA” (instead of CDA, Career Development Award, Professional Development Award, or Professional Development Assignment). We are required to use this terminology in reporting to the Board of Regents.

Use "Prof." instead of Professor or Dr.

Do not include first name (e.g. Prof. Smith, not Prof. Jane Smith)

Use "University of Iowa" or "UI." Lowercase university when used alone within a sentence (result in new material for university course).

Use "U.S." instead of United States.