The Office of the Provost’s Professional Development Award (PDA) is the heart of the University of Iowa’s Faculty Development Awards Program. The intent of the PDA is to provide faculty members a release from teaching responsibilities and provide the opportunity to engage in intensive research, write scholarly books and articles, create new works of art and composition, present papers, work in industry, and/or enhance clinical/technical expertise. Service expectations remain unchanged. These awards can also aid faculty in the development of grant proposals, software, curricular materials, and multimedia resources for their disciplines. Tenure-track and clinical-track faculty members are eligible for this competitive program.
Each PDA is expected to result in one or more products for dissemination through publication, exhibit, professional performance, or technical implementation. These awards also enrich the educational environment of the university and are considered essential to the university's academic vitality.
Faculty members may receive PDAs at regular intervals, provided they meet eligibility requirements, and their proposals are judged worthy of support at department, collegiate and university levels. It is emphasized that PDAs are awarded primarily in recognition of the faculty member's scholarly accomplishments and future potential in research, creative works, or clinical activities.
When opportunity permits, a PDA may be combined with outside support so that an extended period can be devoted to a project. With the approval of the Office of the Provost, colleges may enact college-specific policies to apply conditions and restrictions according to their specific needs and circumstances.
Leaves of absence in which the faculty member’s salary and benefits are paid wholly or in large part by an external agency (e.g., by a Guggenheim Fellowship, through a visiting professorship at another university, or by a granting agency) are not considered PDAs per se (i.e., application for a PDA is not required). However, if the leave is partially paid by the university, taking such a leave of absence may affect the time to eligibility for a future PDA and may be subject to the State of Iowa payback requirement (see below). If there is any uncertainty about whether an anticipated leave of absence may or may not fall under the guidelines of the PDA program or affect time to eligibility for a future PDA, the faculty member should contact the Office of the Provost for guidance well in advance of the leave.
PDAs for tenure-track and clinical-track faculty with academic-year (i.e., nine-month) appointments normally support faculty development projects for one semester at full salary.
Eligibility for Initial Award
Full-time tenure-track and clinical-track faculty members with academic appointments who have completed a minimum of 10 semesters of full-time academic service (excluding summer terms) are eligible for an initial one-semester PDA. Flexible load (e.g., reduced teaching) assignments may or may not be included in the 10 required semesters at the discretion of the college (see additional eligibility information from the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences).
Part-time tenure-track and clinical-track faculty with academic appointments become eligible for a PDA at the level of their appointment upon completion of a minimum of 10 semesters of part-time service. The PDA is then consistent with the percentage of the part-time appointment. For example, a 50% appointment for 10 semesters yields an equivalent one-semester award at 50%. Alternatively, part-time faculty are eligible for a "regular" PDA when their portions of service equal the minimum requirement for full-time service. For example, 20 semesters of half-time service satisfy the minimum for an initial PDA at equivalent full-time salary.
Eligibility for Subsequent Awards
Following a PDA, faculty members with academic appointments must complete 10 semesters of full-time service (excluding summer terms) at the University of Iowa to become eligible for a subsequent award. Service that counts towards eligibility must be on campus. Eligibility of part-time faculty members for subsequent awards is calculated on a prorated basis as described for initial awards. Subsequent PDAs presume that the faculty member was productive during the previous award period and the intervening years.
PDAs for faculty members with fiscal-year (i.e., twelve-month) appointments support faculty development projects for up to one year.
Eligibility for Initial Award
Tenure-track and clinical-track faculty members who have fiscal year appointments and have completed a minimum of 4 years of full-time academic service or the equivalent (i.e., prorated for part-time faculty) are eligible for their first PDA of 4.5 months (i.e., one semester) in length. Alternatively, fiscal year tenure-track and clinical-track faculty members who have completed 8 or 11 years of full-time academic service or the equivalent (i.e., prorated for part-time faculty) are eligible for a PDA of nine months (i.e., two semesters), or a full 12 months, respectively.
Eligibility for Subsequent Awards
Following any PDA, full-time faculty members with tenure-track or clinical-track fiscal year appointments must complete a minimum of four years of service at the University of Iowa to become eligible for a subsequent semester-length award. Longer award periods have proportionally longer service requirements, following the eligibility requirements described for initial awards. Service that counts towards eligibility must be on campus. Eligibility of part-time faculty members for subsequent awards is calculated on a prorated basis as described for initial awards. Subsequent PDAs presume that the faculty member was productive during the previous award period and the intervening years.
Application. See the instructions on the Apply for an Award page.
Criteria. Applications will be evaluated against the General Criteria for Evaluating Faculty Development Activities listed under the General Principles section. Faculty should consult these criteria when preparing their applications.
Departmental and collegiate support and approval. Each application for a PDA must include: (a) a description provided by the DEO of how the academic unit will meet its instructional needs, including graduate student supervision, during the leave period and (b) the signatures of both the DEO and dean to indicate that the applicant meets program eligibility requirements, and that the application follows the requested format. Proposals that do not follow the requested format will be returned to the applicant. Application deadlines may not be extended to accommodate proposals that are returned.
Selection. Following collegiate review and evaluation of applications, colleges will recommend career development award recipients to the provost. Applicants will be notified by the provost as to whether their proposal was recommended to and approved by the Board of Regents.
1. Prior service
The Office of the Provost may count service at other colleges or universities toward the required years of service for an initial award. Requests to count such service must be approved by the Office of the Provost prior to application for a PDA.
2. Exceptions to service requirement
Exceptions of no more than one semester to the specified required periods of service may be made by the Office of the Provost: (1) to allow a faculty member to coordinate a PDA with grant activities supported by non-university agencies, (2) to accommodate instructional needs of a department, or (3) to allow for other special circumstances. Exceptions must be approved prior to application for the award.
A faculty member may request deferral of a PDA to accommodate unanticipated circumstances, such as extended illness or acceptance of an administrative position in the university. Requests for deferral should be submitted to the Office of the Provost with emails from: (a) the DEO, certifying that the instructional activities and needs of the department will not be impacted by the deferral, and (b) the dean, endorsing the request. If the original research proposal is not applicable when the award is taken (which is likely if the deferral is for longer than one year), the faculty member must submit a revised research plan before the actual award period, so that the award request and subsequent report, both of which the university must report to the Board of Regents, will be consistent. A faculty member may request deferral twice, or up to two years. If the request extends beyond that point, a new application will be requested.
A faculty member who accepts a PDA must agree, in accordance with the Iowa Code, to return to regular duties at the university immediately following the award for a period of instructional activity at least twice the length of the award (prorated for part-time faculty). For example, an academic-year faculty member who accepts a one-semester award must return to the university for two semesters of full-time teaching following the award period. Similarly, a fiscal-year faculty member who accepts a one-year award must return to the university for two years of full-time service. Summer session teaching by academic-year faculty does not count towards this payback service. Time on paid or unpaid leave from university duties by a faculty member does not count toward either this payback or the instructional activity requirement for a subsequent award. Any PDA recipient who fails to satisfy this requirement shall repay the university the full amount of their compensation and fringes received during the period of the award.
Each recipient must submit a report on the development activity to the Office of the Provost shortly after the end of the award period. See the Report on an Award page for detailed instructions (including sample abstracts), and note the deadlines for submitting reports. See also additional reporting information on the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences web site.
The Office of the Provost submits an annual summary of faculty development award activities to the Board of Regents. Board support for the faculty development awards program is essential to its continuance, and therefore timely submission of reports is critical. Faculty members who fail to provide the required report will have lengthened service requirements for subsequent awards. Faculty members should keep a copy of the report for use with subsequent developmental applications that require information about university-supported activities.
Departments are rarely given supplemental funds to cover instructional needs created by faculty members' acceptance of a PDA. For example, a small department with relatively specialized instruction might receive such funding. This support would not exceed the amount needed to meet the minimum teaching requirements of the unit. Application for such support should be made by the department and endorsed by the dean at or before the time of application. The DEO and dean should make clear to the faculty member and to the provost whether or not their endorsement of the application is contingent on receipt of supplementary funds.