Office of the Foundation Relations

Faculty Development Programs

Several sources of internal funds are available within the University to support professional development and special projects.  Calls for Proposals are sent out via e-mail.  If you receive funds from an award, the menu on the right can answer many questions you may have regarding your new budget.


Competitive Professional Development Funds

Tenured and tenure-track faculty members, full-time coaches, librarians and academic affairs staff with faculty rank may apply for competitive professional development funds for scholarly and academic projects.  These funds may be used for any legitimate professional development expense including faculty stipends, domestic and international travel, conference and workshop fees, research expenses, subvention fees, professional association memberships, sabbatical expenses, etc. Sabbatical research expenses are also funded through this faculty development program.  The Office of the Provost will be sending out the Call for Proposals in fall. 

Faculty-Student Projects

This program funds a range of faculty-student projects not eligible for HHMI funding but not limited to archival research, research in preparation for honors theses or other significant student projects, and projects in the studio arts, music and theatre.  Projects may involve collaborative faculty-student research, faculty supervised undergraduate research, or intensive projects in the arts, music and theatre.  The goal is to accommodate different types of faculty-student projects aimed at improving student learning and strengthening faculty teaching and/or scholarship.  Tenured and tenure-track faculty members, full-time coaches, librarians and academic affairs staff with faculty rank may apply.  Part-time and visiting faculty may apply with departmental approval. The program pays faculty and student project expenses during the academic year.   For up to eight summer weeks, the program pays faculty and student stipends, student housing, project expenses, travel and other items related to the particular project. 

HHMI Student-Faculty Collaborative Summer Research Program

Southwestern recently received a four-year, $1.3 million grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) to introduce inquiry-based labs into introductory science courses.  HHMI and Southwestern’s Faculty-Student Projects program offer summer collaborative faculty-student research experiences in chemistry, biology, physics, mathematics and computer science, kinesiology and animal behavior.  The deadline for proposals is December 1st. Application materials are here:

Sabbatical Leaves

The Sabbatical Leave Program supports the long-term professional growth of the faculty by funding semester-long leave for innovative, substantial research projects consistent with the faculty member’s plans for long-term professional growth and development. Faculty are encouraged to discuss potential projects with the Provost and their Department Chair well in advance of application. Policies, eligibility, kinds of supported activities, financial considerations, procedures for application, deadlines and timelines are all available in the 12-13 Faculty Handbook (pp. 63-66).  The deadline for submission of sabbatical proposals are due mid-October.  Note: Some deadlines fall as far as two years prior to your anticipated sabbatical leave.

Sam Taylor Awards

The will of the late Sam Taylor set aside income from a portion of his estate to fund continuing education and development of faculty members at United Methodist-related colleges and universities in Texas.  Grants may be used for graduate study or post-graduate research. The submission deadline for the Call for Proposals for the Sam Taylor Funds is Monday, August 5, 2013.  Please submit proposals via e-mail to Christine Vasquez (  To view the past recipients click here.

William Carrington Finch Award

The William Carrington Finch Award is given to a full-time faculty member “for conspicuous accomplishment in furthering the aims of Southwestern University.  Its purpose is to recognized and encourage faculty who best identify themselves with an attempt to fulfill the objectives and aims of the University, as well as to encourage that combination of ability and achievement whoch makes for an effective faculty member.”  The Call for Nominations for the William Carrington Finch Award is sent in February every other year (2010, 2012, 2014, 2016 etc.)

Awards Committee

An Awards Committee will make awards for all internal, competitive faculty development programs.  These include Competitive Professional Development Funds, Faculty-Student Projects, Sabbatical Projects, and any future competitive programs. Committee members will have staggered terms of up to three years.  The Provost, Dean of the Sarofim School of Fine Arts, and Associate Dean of the Brown College will also serve on the committee.  The Awards Committee membership is as follows:  (2012-13 Awards Committee)

  • four tenure-track or tenured faculty elected by division/school
  • three tenure-track or tenured faculty elected by the faculty-at-large
  • one librarian or academic affairs staff member with faculty rank elected by the faculty-at-large