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UC-AFT Professional Development Fund Call for Applications 2021



2021 Call for Applications: Professional Development Fund (PDF) Grant for Lecturers and Other Represented Unit 18 Faculty at UC Berkeley

Professional Development Fund (PDF) 2020-2021 Grant Applications are now being accepted for teaching, research, and scholarship. The PDF offers grants of $500–$10,000 in support of professional development activities that enhance scholarly and pedagogical endeavors, including intellectual and research activities contributing to faculty scholarship and effectiveness as teachers and mentors. Grants are open to all non-Senate faculty (lecturers, teachers, field coordinators and other Unit 18 faculty) with teaching appointments at UC Berkeley during Summer 2020, Fall 2020, or Spring 2021.

 The PDF is available to Unit 18 faculty as a result of the hard work of the University Council – American Federation of Teachers (UC-AFT) in supporting lecturers and librarians across the UC system. The PDF originated in the 2003 UC-AFT Unit 18 contract, along with the continuing appointment for lecturers. The University initially funded the PDF at $135 per FTE on each campus. Our most recent contract increased this to $200 per FTE.



PDF Workshops 

Thursday, 3/11 at 5pm:

Monday, 3/15 at 12pm:

Please attend a PDF workshop to learn more about the application process, grant criteria, successful past applications, etc.

PDF Reception

Wednesday, 3/31 at 5pm:

Lecturers and other Unit 18 faculty are warmly invited to attend a reception honoring last year's award winners; and are encouraged to bring colleagues, friends, and family. We especially urge last year’s award winners to attend this event to celebrate your great work. We will share information about the program with potential new applicants and enjoy this rare opportunity to relax and talk with colleagues from across the campus.

Application Deadline:  Friday, 4/16 at 5pm 

Email applications to No late materials will be accepted.

Award Announcement:  Wednesday, 5/12


PDF Grant Proposals

Grants will fund proposals of $500-$10,000 that include, but are not limited to, the following items:

  • Research expenses
  • Academic training (e.g., taking courses related to teaching responsibilities at UCB)
  • Seminar, workshop, conference or studio attendance fees
  • Software, hardware, and technical support equipment for use in research and/or teaching (including in special cases the purchase of books, films, or software in preparation for teaching assignments) that will remain University property
  • Travel expenses related to teaching, research, or other scholarly endeavors

The Committee encourages creative project proposals and distributes awards broadly within the university community. Preference will be given to applicants who have not received a large award in the last two years. For conference funding, preference will be given to applicants who are presenting at conferences, though applicants attending conferences are still encouraged to apply. The Committee welcomes collaborative proposals, including, but not limited to projects linked to co-taught courses, shared research endeavors, and collaborative presentations.

Awards will cover professional development activities undertaken between May 15, 2021 and June 30, 2022. The Committee reserves the right to offer partial or more substantial funding of requests in accordance with its annual allotment of funds.


The Committee is not able to fund the following items:

  • Projects that primarily support student work or create new opportunities for students
  • Projects that cannot demonstrate an ultimate beneficial impact on pedagogy and/or the educational mission of the University
  • Projects that mainly benefit or involve institutions other than UCB

  • Projects seeking funds for the production or promotion of publications

  • Projects seeking funds for salary or stipend for the applicant, a graduate student, or an assistant

  • Expenses for colleagues who are not co-applicants (travel, fees, etc.)

  • Travel to following states: Alabama, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, or Texas, in accordance with California State Law AB 1887, effective January 1, 2017 (some states listed were added after the law passed), which prohibits using state funds to pay for travel to a state that has passed a law discriminating based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. Please note that more states may be added to the list, and applicants should check the state website for updates.

  • Course relief

  • Incomplete or late submissions


The Application Process

Applicants should submit application materials as a single pdf file attachment by email to, with the subject line “2021 PDF Application.” (Note: In these instructions, PDF in capitals refers to the Professional Development Funding program, while pdf in lower case refers to the pdf document format.) The title of the pdf file should include the applicant’s last name and first initial followed by underscore PDF2021, with no spaces (e.g., DavidsonS._PDF2021.pdf).


Application materials must include the following:

1. A completed checklist and cover sheet (see attachment below)

2. A one to two-page application letter addressed to the Professional Development Funding Committee, which includes the following:

  • The specific purpose of the funding and the amount requested
  • The time frame in which this funding will be used
  • The relevance of this proposal to the applicant's scholarly and pedagogical development (as it applies to the applicant's role as a Unit 18 Non-Senate Faculty at UCB)

3. Letters of support from department chairs, colleagues, and/or peers are not required but are strongly encouraged. If a project has received other forms of support from departments, research centers, or other sources, letters with evidence of such support must be provided. Support, including partial funding, from your department or program is considered favorably by the Committee.

4. A budget breakdown consistent with University policies, including other anticipated sources of funding. Reimbursements require itemized receipts, so DO NOT book travel packages that provide a single rate for flights, hotel, and car rental. Such packages cannot be reimbursed.

Information on planning and booking campus travel can be found here.

  • If you wish to use Connexxus (the University online travel booking system), you may do so, but you will need to use personnel credit cards. Direct bill IDs cannot be used.
  • US Department of State per diem rates for foreign travel can be found here.
  • Domestic per diem CONUS rates can be found here, in compliance with Subsistence Expenses p.23 of UC Policy G-28).
  • Convert foreign currency to UC dollars via OANDA Currency Converter.

The budget should be based on a realistic estimate of projected costs at the time of purchase, not on sale prices that may no longer be available when the purchase is made. It is advisable to err on the generous side in your estimates. However, please consider that there are limited funds and many other applicants.

Travel expenses will be reimbursed and not distributed in advance of the travel. Equipment purchase amounts should include sales tax and shipping costs. Please see the UC Policy G-28 Travel Regulations for information regarding compliance with IRS regulations on the provision and reimbursement of business-related travel. Reimbursement for travel must be submitted within 45 days of the completion of travel.

Please list budget items in order of priority for funding. While the committee aims to fund proposals fully, complete funding is not always possible. The committee may award partial funding for proposals according to these priority lists.

5. An updated CV, including applicant's campus address, email address, and phone number. The CV should state whether the applicant has a continuing appointment, and should include a brief summary of courses taught and/or developed at UC Berkeley.


Reimbursement Deadline & Reporting

The University requires documentation of all expenditures before reimbursement. Grant recipients must submit the following documents in a single pdf format document to the Academic Personnel Office via e-mail to for reimbursement by June 30, 2022.

The message should be titled “applicant’s last name and first initial, then underscore PDF2021”

(e.g., DavidsonS_PDF2021), and should include the following:

  • A one-page post-award summary that documents the contribution of the project to the educational mission of the University and may be used in subsequent years to promote or advertise the program. There is no required format (1–2 pages).
  • One scanned pdf of original receipts documenting all expenses
  • A completed reimbursement form provided by the Academic Personnel Office (please request it by emailing

No reimbursement will be processed until all materials, including the one-page post-award summary, have been submitted to the Academic Personnel Office at

Please note that once awarded, a grant cannot be increased to cover a discrepancy between the estimated and actual cost of the project. Grant funds cannot be used for a project other than that for which they were originally dedicated. Requests for exceptions due to unavoidable special circumstances (e.g., conference cancellation, significant grant recipient health issues, or unanticipated project-related risk to personal safety) must be pre-approved by the UC Berkeley Academic Personnel Office. To request such an exception, contact (and cc Committee chair Jac Asher at using the subject line “2021 PDF Project Change”.



If you have questions, please contact the PDF Committee Chair, Jac Asher at


Professional Development Committee Members

Jac Asher, Gender & Women’s Studies (Chair)

Charlotte Smith, School of Public Health

Shreeharsh Kelkar, Undergraduate and Interdisciplinary Studies (UGIS)

Lotta Weckström, Scandinavian

Nora Melnikova, South & Southeast Asian Studies