Faculty Development Fellowships

Faculty Development Fellowships

Nebraska’s program enables faculty to focus on their own professional development for a dedicated period of time, thereby enhancing their value to the university.


Faculty at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln have the responsibility to continuously search for new knowledge and transmit that knowledge through teaching and outreach. In order to maintain the high level of academic excellence required to fulfill these responsibilities, many faculty find it beneficial to periodically update and strengthen their professional skills.

While most faculty focus their efforts during a Faculty Development Fellowship (also known as Faculty Development Leave) on their research programs through study, research, and writing, others choose to focus on teaching-related professional work such as curriculum development or improvements in instructional practice. At the conclusion of a Faculty Development Fellowship, the faculty member is expected to submit a written report on their activities during the Fellowship period.

Faculty members are encouraged to consult with their department chair or dean, as appropriate, early in the planning process regarding appropriate timing and activities for their Faculty Development Fellowship.

Faculty Development Fellowship Policies

Faculty Development Fellowships are governed by the rules regarding Academic Leaves of Absence contained in Section of the Bylaws of the Regents and the rules regarding Faculty Development Fellowships contained in Section 4.2.3 of the Policies of the Board of Regents. In particular:

  • Faculty who have held full-time appointments within the University of Nebraska for six years or more at the rank of assistant, associate, or full professor, or at the rank of assistant, associate, or full professor of practice are eligible for participation in the Faculty Development Fellowship program. Faculty are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity throughout their careers, and six full years of service must elapse between Faculty Development Fellowships. The program cannot be used for the purpose of pursuing an advanced degree.
  • Faculty Development Fellowships are awarded on a competitive basis: each year university wide, there is one Faculty Development Fellowship available for every 10 eligible faculty members.
  • A Faculty Development Fellowship provides full pay for one-half of the normal annual appointment period, or 50% of regular pay for all of the normal annual appointment period. In the latter case, the faculty member may accept outside funds as a supplement, up to the level of the faculty member’s normal full-time compensation. The University will continue to make its full contribution to the various employee benefit programs in which the individual is enrolled.
  • It is required that the faculty member spend at least one year in the employment of the University after completing the Faculty Development Fellowship or reimburse the University for the full amount of the Faculty Development Fellowship, including benefits.
  • If, after a Faculty Development Fellowship is awarded, it becomes apparent that the specific proposal for the fellowship cannot be implemented, the award may be continued on the basis of an alternative proposal, or deferred, or withdrawn, upon mutual agreement by the faculty member, the department chair, the dean, and the appropriate Vice Chancellor (the Vice Chancellor for the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources for IANR faculty, and the Executive Vice Chancellor for all other faculty).
  • The faculty member should be aware that their full FTE still resides at the university during the time of a Faculty Development Fellowship and so all normal university policies and procedures apply (e.g., Interest and Outside Activity Reporting Form (IOARF), travel policies, etc.).
  • Within 30 days of returning to normal academic duties, the faculty member is required to file a written report on the activities of the Faculty Development Fellowship. This brief report should include: comparison of the actual activities to those outlined in the proposal, relationship of the activities to the faculty member’s professional growth within his or her discipline, and the ways in which the experience gained during the Fellowship period will improve his or her performance as a faculty member at the University. The faculty member should submit this report to their chair/head/director, who will forward it to the relevant dean, who will forward it to the EVC or VC-IANR, as appropriate.

How to Apply

Applications will be processed by Faculty Affairs in the Executive Vice Chancellor’s Office as they are received. However, to enable appropriate planning both for the faculty member requesting the leave and for the university, it is recommended that applications for fall or academic year leaves be received by March 1 and applications for spring leaves be received by September 1. Colleges and departments may have additional deadlines.

Required Documents for Faculty Development Fellowship

Consult with your chair or your dean about the appropriate time to apply for a Faculty Development Fellowship and any unit-specific information that may apply. All requests for Faculty Development Fellowships must contain:

  • The Application for Faculty Development Fellowship (Download PDF before completing).
  • A statement by the applicant (typically at most three pages) describing the proposed project. This statement should include an updated report on the activities and accomplishments from any previous paid leaves, a description of the work to be undertaken during the proposed leave, and an explanation of the benefits of the proposed leave to the University and the faculty member.
Faculty Development Fellowship Submission Process
  • Faculty Development Fellowship applications are submitted to the EVC Office through the colleges. Campus-level guidelines are on the EVC Faculty Development Fellowship web page and on the Faculty Development Fellowship application form, which should be downloaded before use; colleges and departments may have additional guidelines and/or deadlines.
  • If the college decides to recommend the FDF, they will send the application package to the EVC Office.
  • The EVC Office reviews the application package to verify eligibility and that all requirements are met.
    • Note: Since changes may be required as a result of the college-level and EVC-level review, the FDF application should not be signed until it is routed through DocuSign
  • Once the EVC Office review is complete and everything is in order, the EVC Office will notify the college that the FDF application packet is about to be routed for signatures and verify the preferred routing and college contact for cc at the end.
  • The EVC Office will route the FDF application packet through DocuSign.