Funding the Seminar: Tips and Lessons Learned
As you search for ways to fund participation in an International Faculty Development Seminar (IFDS), here are some tips from participants who have succeeded in securing financial support:
Pool Funds from Multiple Sources
Our data tell us that even in the face of unprecedented budget constraints, most participants are still finding most of their funding through their own institution. However, there has been a marked decline in the number of IFDS participants reporting that they were able to secure sufficient funds to cover seminar expenses from a single source. Last year, the strategy that yielded the best results for the most people was to apply for funds from a variety of sources/departments. Following is a list of sources that have provided funding for IFDS participation:
- International Education Office
- President or Provost
- Chief Academic Officer
- Department Chair
- Faculty Development Committee
- Center for Teaching and Learning
- Grants for Developing a Faculty-Led Study Abroad Program
- Alumni Association
- Freeman Grant
- Diversity Committee
- Internationalization Initiative Funds
- Office of Research Resources/Residual Research Funds
- Professional Development Funds
- University Foundation, Travel Funds
- Union Funds
- Title VI Grant
- Sabbatical Funds
- Department of Higher Education Professional Development Grant
Write a Compelling Funding Proposal
This may seem like common sense, but surely it helps to know what those who have funds to give will expect in return. Some thoughts to keep in mind:
- Link to an existing campus initiative, or identify the need for a new initiative.
- Focus on outcomes. Some examples of IFDS outcomes can be found here, or you can contact the IFDS team to learn more.
- Be creative about ways you will contribute the knowledge, resources, and contacts you gain
from participating in an IFDS, and show that you are capable of doing so.
Conduct Your Own External Search
Undoubtedly, searching outside of your institution for funds that can be used for IFDS takes time, patience, and effort – but it is not hopeless! Aside from using common search engines, it is likely that your school has access to a private grants database. Further, many campuses have a person or department that specialize in finding funds, so even if your school can’t provide direct financial support, they may be able to lead you to a source that can.
Especially in the case of external grant opportunities, it can take up to a year of advance planning to secure funds.