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Part-Time Lecturers Professional Development Fund

The awards for the 2017-2018 Part-Time Lecturer Professional Development Fund have been announced!

Next year's deadline is likely to be Friday, December 14, 2018; however, we are negotiating a new Agreement with Rutgers administration, so union members getting involved now can help advocate for more funds in this PD Fund and also for a timely settlement on the terms of the new Agreement!

Read letter from the Office of the Senior VP for Academic Affairs to Chancellors, Deans, Directors, and Department Chairs:
PTL Professional Development Fund, 2017-2018

The most important criterion to keep in mind when writing a proposal as a PTL seeking funds for your professional development is:

You must demonstrate that the professional development activity will have direct subsequent benefit to Rutgers students in the classroom(s) where you, the Part-Time Lecturer, are teaching. Each award letter in the past has carried the same phrase: This PDF award is for a professional activity "which is related to the courses you are teaching." The award letters also said that "the Fund was established to assist PTLs in pursuing professional development activities related to their instructional role at Rutgers."

PTL leadership encourages as many PTLs as possible to apply.  We want to be able to use the entire $60,000 fund allocated for each year because this will continue to demonstrate that the fund amount is still too small.

FAQs on the PTL Professional Development Fund process

How much is available in the Fund? $60,000.00 for each academic year under the contract (2015-2018). This amount will need to be negotiated in order to put new money into the fund for the years ahead. All funds negotiated have been awarded under the 2015-2018 Agreement.

What is the purpose? To reimburse PTLs for money spent in professional development activities specifically related to their pedagogic needs in connection with and related to their professional activities at Rutgers. Your proposal should demonstrate that the professional development activity will have direct subsequent benefit to Rutgers students in the classroom(s) where you are teaching.

Who administers the Fund? The Center for Teaching Advancement and Assessment Research (CTAAR) administers the PTL Professional Development Fund. The Center for Teaching Advancement and Assessment Research supports teaching and learning through a variety of areas: pedagogy and faculty development, assessment programs, instructional technologies, classroom technologies, and faculty and staff information technologies. Here is the contact info:

Center for Teaching Advancement and Assessment Research
Rutgers University
116 College Avenue
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
(848) 932-7466

Who is eligible to apply? PTLs in the bargaining unit (i.e., teaching during the semester the funds are expended) are eligible to apply for money from this Fund: For example, funds may be reimbursed for activities that have already taken place or that are planned for a future date. This time frame also includes activites during the summer as well.

How can funds be claimed? Save all receipts as necessary supporting documentation. Funds are only reimbursed based on the proper receipts being presented.

What types of activities are eligible for professional development funds? A sample includes the following: attending conferences or presenting a paper at a conference; purchasing materials for teaching (e.g., films, books, software); research expenses; expenses when conducting workshops; training in professional skills related to your teaching assignments at Rutgers; preparation of teaching materials (e.g., producing your own DVD for student use).

What types of activities or things are NOT eligible? The purchase of laptops is definitely not an eligible item for professional development funds. The Rutgers University Center for Teaching Advancement and Assessment Research has stated that departments should make laptops available to Part-Time Lecturers. Also not eligible for reimbursement are general professional development activities. For example, no PTL will be reimbursed for activities that are part of graduate school studies, whether that PTL is a Rutgers graduate student or a graduate student at any other higher education institution. If the activity furthers your development as an academic in your field of study, this reason alone is not enough. You must show how it directly helps students you are teaching right now at Rutgers.

As stated above, Rutgers administration has only agreed to reimbursement of professional development funds to PTLs who demonstrate that the activity directly relates to that PTL faculty member's classroom teaching with Rutgers students. 

How will PTLs be notified about their request? The award results for professional development funds are announced via letter to each PTL from the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, currently Barbara A. Lee. Nancy Carvalho in the Office of Academic Labor Relations (OLR) at Rutgers University will be in touch with each PTL awardee regarding how PTLs will be able to receive the award. The RU administration must also notify the PTL Faculty Chapter and we post the list in a News Item on our website as well as sending out an announcement to PTLs in the bargaining unit via email.


GUIDELINES on the format for making requests for funds in the PTL Professional Development Fund:

  • PTL Employee's Full Name
  • Department/decanal unit/campus
  • Amount of funding requested
  • A detailed budget outlining the use of funds
  • Semester during which funds will be expended
  • Project statement, including how the project relates to professional activities directly related to improving the PTL's service as an instructor teaching courses at Rutgers  (limited to one page)
  • Endorsement by Department Chairperson or Program Director
  • Approval by the Dean (Note: This is a new requirement in the 2015-2018 Agreement)
  • After endorsement by Department Chair or Program Director and approval by the Dean, the request for funding should be sent via email to Nancy Carvalho at


Three critical steps for submitting a request:
First, submit your request proposal to the Department Chairperson or Program Director for review and endorsement.
Second, seek approval from the Dean. Only applications that are endorsed by the Department Chairperson or Program Director and the Dean may be submitted. 
Third, after receiving endorsement at the department/program level as well as the decanal level, send these endorsements (approvals) along with your request to Nancy Carvalho via email:

Other important information: 
The Center for Teaching Advancement and Assessment Research reviews all requests for merit and relevance. The Center will award funds only for those proposals that it determines to be meritorious and is not required to award the entire fund amount of up to $60,000.00, if it determines there are not sufficient meritorious proposals warranting funding. Unused funds are not rolled over to the next year.

Decision Announcement: 
The Office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs generally makes the announcement of the awards in the spring semester.

Distribution begins with submission of the appropriate receipts. We have $60,000 available in the fund for each year under the current contract--and we have agreed that all $60,000 are available for distribution but will not be rolled over, if any funds remain.

Funds for the future depend on a vigorous showing of PTLs submitting proposals for professional development activities for which they desire reimbursement. Armed with the data from a strong demand for reimbursement, we will be well-positioned to advocate for more funds in the next round of negotiations for a PTL successor Collective Negotiations Agreement when the current contract expires on June 30, 2018.

Click here to jump down the page to see the lists of awardees by year (PDF format). 



If you have any questions about PTL Professional Development Funds (or any other matter related to your status as a Part-Time Lecturer at Rutgers), please contact your union at 732-964-1000 or write

For Professional Development Fund questions you would like to address to RU administration: Contact Nancy Cavalho at Old Queens (in the Office of Academic Labor Relations) via phone: 848-932-7174 or email:





PTL Professional Development Awardees By Year: 

Read short descriptions of the activities that have received funding for each year:


Importance of Applying for Professional Development Funds:

PTL faculty who receive a Professional Development Fund award obviously benefit from applying, but there is a way in which not receiving an award has benefit for future rounds of the PD Fund: The more requests submitted, the stronger the message sent to RU administration that PTLs need and deserve professional development funds. Apply! 

The PTL-AAUP-AFT chapter successfully negotiated an increase in the funds available for professional development--we tripled the total amount available (now $60,000 per year) from the previous contract. We want to defend the Professional Development Fund and have strong evidence that PTLs are applying in ever-increasing numbers. In other words, if you apply but do not receive funding in any given year, do not give up! Apply again the next year and the next. 

Union Right to Monitor PDF Funds: The University administration is required to provide the Union with copies of all PTL Professional Development Fund award and denial letters.


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