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students at white boardUnit 18 Non-Senate Faculty Professional Development Fund

In accordance with the current UC-AFT/UC Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), a Professional Development Fund provides Unit 18 Non-Senate Faculty (NSF) with financial support for professional development activities. As the relevant section of Article 9, Paragraph C.4 of the MOU states, “Individual NSF will be eligible to submit requests for funding to support proposals for professional development including but not limited to professional meetings, training seminars, software and paid leave, all of which should be in support of pedagogical endeavors. Only those NSF with continuing appointments will be eligible to submit requests for paid leave.” The phrase “pedagogical endeavors” is interpreted broadly to refer to all activities and projects that contribute to the Unit 18 NSF member’s professional development and effectiveness as a teacher at UC San Diego.

See below for detailed information on applying for these funds.

Apply now for 2024 Awards

Guidelines and Application


Any Unit 18 NSF member who has or had an appointment during the grant period during which the professional development activity takes place is eligible. Part-time and full-time Unit 18 NSF employees are encouraged to apply. Lecturers covered by the Unit 18 contract with teaching appointments in Fall 2023, Winter 2024, or Spring 2024 are eligible during this cycle. The application deadline is Friday, April 5, 2024.

Please note that only complete applications with all necessary documentation will be reviewed. Please read through the requirements for documentation carefully. Travel must follow UC guidelines as described here: 

Awards will cover professional development activities that take place between July 1, 2023 and December 31, 2024. Applicants do not necessarily have to have a contract during the quarter in which the professional development activity takes place as long as they have a contract that will extend or resume beyond the period of the grant (either a continuing appointment or, for pre-six lecturers, an offer letter of appointment for the following quarter or year). Pre-six lecturers requesting money for professional development activities that will take place after the appointment covered by their current contract should include written confirmation from a department chair or program director of an NSF appointment for the period during which the activity will take place. Retroactive grant requests are acceptable.


Any activity or project is potentially fundable if its relationship to specific teaching responsibilities can be established and if it contributes to the professional development of the lecturer. Examples include academic training (coursework related to teaching responsibilities at UC San Diego); attendance fees for conferences, seminars or workshops; research expenses; travel expenses related to teaching or other scholarly endeavors; and software, equipment, books or films for use in the preparation of pedagogical research. Course releases or paid leave for up to one quarter can be requested only by lecturers with continuing appointments.

The professional development fund is not intended to support the following: instructional improvement or course development that should be funded by departments, programs, or other administrative units (for example, materials used directly by students in the lab or classroom); projects aimed primarily at supporting student work; projects that cannot demonstrate an ultimate beneficial impact on pedagogy or the educational mission of UC San Diego; projects that seek funding for the production or promotion of publications; projects that mainly benefit or involve institutions or entities other than UC San Diego; and technical support that should be funded by other university resources.

The most common grants cover conference costs (travel, hotel, fees) for participants of record (organizers, panelists, presenters); however, funds have also been granted for equipment, material, and travel related to academic research. Conference presenters are far more likely to be funded than those only attending.

UC travel policies and budgetary stipulations must be followed when requesting funds for travel reimbursement ( Please review the policies for domestic and foreign travel, ground transportation, per diem, lodging, meals and incidental expenses (M&IE) when creating a budget (use the currency converter to calculate foreign amounts). Because there is a limited amount of funding, the committee appreciates attempts to travel inexpensively.

In the interest of assuring an equitable distribution of available funds, preference will be given to applicants who have not received a grant in the previous two years. Applicants who have received $5,000 in funds in the last two years must wait at least two years after their most recent grant to apply again; exception may be made if there are enough funds available. The suggested range for requests is $500 to $3,000. Funds approved may be less than or more than amounts requested, depending on the availability of money and the applicant’s supporting information. Therefore, the application should include the most detailed and comprehensive budget possible. Late and/or incomplete applications will not be considered.

Application Procedure

The NSF Professional Development Committee, made up of five NSF volunteers approved by the UC-AFT, must follow university procedures for making faculty awards. Applicants must notify their department chair/program director and obtain their signature. Recommendations by the committee will be submitted to the Executive Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs for review and subsequent action. Award notifications will be sent electronically to the email address provided on the application. Approved funds will be disbursed through the applicant’s department, program or academic unit. To receive funds, original receipts and other proof of expenditures will be required by your department, program or academic unit. Submit copies or price quotations of all budgeted expenditures with this application.

 Your application must include all relevant documentation:

☐ A 1-2 page explanation of the proposed project, including a description of its contribution to your professional development and its academic value to the pedagogical endeavors of UC San Diego;

☐ Supporting materials such as conference announcements, price quotations and/or copies of receipts, currency conversion, if applicable, and letters of acceptance or endorsement;

☐ A budget and timetable for the conference or project, including a list of any other available sources for which the applicant has applied or will apply (in the budget, provide a breakdown of exactly how all the funds being requested will be spent/ have been spent; see sample below);

☐ A current curriculum vitae with current contact information (address, phone number, email);

☐ Written confirmation of an NSF Unit 18 appointment (if applicable);

☐ Complete application form, including legible name of department chair or program director and signature (see below).

 Example Sample Budget:

Attendance at MLA conference in New York City, Dec. 26-29

Attendance Fee for MLA $150
Hilton Hotel, 3 nights @$165 $495
Roundtrip Air Travel $329
3 Days M&IE* at $79/day maximum $237
Transportation to/from hotel in NYC $50
Total $1,261

To apply, please scan and bundle of all your documents into one PDF; the first page of the PDF should be the application form, and the PDF title should begin with your LAST NAME (Ex. BAUER, Holly – (Dept) - PDF Application 2024). Email the PDF as an attachment to Holly Bauer at by Friday, April 5, 2024 at 4 p.m. Holly will respond to your email to confirm receipt. NO LATE APPLICATIONS.


Committee Membership 2023-24 AY

The committee membership for the 2023-24 AY Unit 18 Non-Senate Faculty Professional Development Fund is as follows:

Member Department
Holly Bauer (Chair) Analytical Writing Program
Country O'Neill Analytical Writing Program
Natalie Wilson Analytical Writing Program
Jana Fortier Anthropology
Michael Calderon-Saks Sociology

Committee Membership 2022-23 AY

The committee membership for the 2022-23 AY Unit 18 Non-Senate Faculty Professional Development Fund is as follows:

Member Department
Holly Bauer (Chair) Analytical Writing Program
Yingjun (Paul) Cao Computer Science and Engineering
Jana Fortier Anthropology
Heather Henter Biology
Michael Calderon-Saks Sociology

Committee Membership 2021-22 AY

The committee membership for the 2021-22 AY Unit 18 Non-Senate Faculty Professional Development Fund is as follows:

Member Department
Holly Bauer Analytical Writing Program
Yingjun (Paul) Cao Computer Science and Engineering
Jana Fortier Anthropology
Heather Henter Biology
Dal Dean Education Studies