UT Tyler

Faculty Development Leave

The University of Texas at Tyler

Download FDL Application Form


The purpose of the Faculty Development Leave (FDL) is to provide UT Tyler faculty opportunities to enhance their research and scholarship portfolio, develop national and international collaborations, and reinvigorate their academic career in support of student success and strategic plan of the university. FDL may be granted as set out in the Texas Education Code (Section 51.101 et. seq.) upon approval by the President. FDL provides release time to tenured faculty members by providing a limited number of campus-wide awards through a peer-reviewed, competitive process. The overriding principle upon which proposals will be evaluated is the potential for achievement of a degree of excellence surpassing the normal responsibilities of a faculty member.


FDL proposals may be submitted by those who have: served as full-time faculty at UT Tyler for at least 6 consecutive academic years at the time the proposal is submitted; earned (or, for assistant professors, will have earned) tenure at UT Tyler by the time the leave commences; and not taken any other development leave within the University of Texas System during the prior six years of full-time service.

Non-tenure-track faculty, part-time faculty, visiting faculty, and untenured faculty, except for those being considered for tenure in the same year, are ineligible for this program. Leaves of absence and duly approved extensions of the probationary period (tenure clock extensions) will be excluded in determining a faculty member’s years of full-time service.

Application format and deadline

Applications must include the cover page and a narrative as indicated on the cover page. The project description cannot exceed 5 single-spaced pages (12-point font), including tables and figures, but excluding references. A current CV (3-page limit) and any supporting documents such as a cooperative agreements, invitations, etc., must be attached to the application. Completed applications must be emailed as a SINGLE PDF file to research@uttyler.edu. Applications for academic year 2019-2020 are due on or before January 31, 2019. The earliest the leave can be granted is for Fall semester, 2019.

Responsibilities and Obligations

FDL awardees must agree to continue employment with UT Tyler for at least one academic year upon return, or must return all salary and benefits provided by the university for the FDL.

The applicant is responsible for securing approval of department chair/school director and college Dean as part of the FDL application. FDLs are awarded based on a merit review process described below.

Faculty awardees must make a TED-type presentation on their research and scholarship activities during the leave. They must also provide a written report that will be uploaded to the website of the Office of Research and Scholarship.

Leave Period and Levels of Support

Each FDL is granted under one of the following sets of terms:

1. A leave period of one semester (Fall or Spring) at full regular salary. Applicants requesting FDL under these terms should specify the semester of leave (Fall or Spring).

2. A leave period of one academic year (cannot cross academic years) at one half of the regular salary. Under these terms, the faculty member will be assigned a 50%-time appointment at his or her academic salary rate for the Fall and Spring semesters. Employee benefits and required withholdings, including retirement contributions, calculated either on the faculty’s percent-time appointment or the resultant monthly salary, shall be reduced accordingly during the leave period. To minimize any negative consequences of the temporary change to a 50%-time appointment, the university will continue to provide health benefits under the state, UT System, and UT Tyler policies in effect during the time of the FDL. Beyond any such adjustment, no additional compensation for the loss of benefits, such as retirement contributions, arising out of the faculty member’s decision to elect a full-year FDL, will be provided. Faculty considering this option are strongly encouraged to consult with the benefits coordinator in the Office of Human Resources before making a final decision.

Regardless of which of the two options is chosen, one-time funding will be provided to the awardee’s academic unit to help offset the cost of hiring temporary instructors to meet the unit’s teaching needs.

Review Procedures

Each FDL application is first reviewed by the appropriate departmental and college committees. The committee could be an existing committee (e.g., research, tenure and promotion) or one that is expressly formed for the review of FDL applications. The academic unit ranks the FDL proposals and forwards them to the College Dean who then forwards it to the Research Council, which will review and forward its recommendations to the Provost and ultimately to the President, who will make the final decision.

Review Criteria

Proposals for FDL will be reviewed and ranked based on the importance of the proposed research and creative activity in the context of the applicant’s career trajectory and potential contribution to the university. Another important criterion will be the track record of the applicant, and prospects for successful completion of the proposed activity during the leave period or soon thereafter.

In general, compelling proposals focus on a tangible, well-defined project that may be feasibly completed within the allotted time, and the proposed activities will lead to either new areas of research and scholarship or enhance existing activities of the applicant. Less competitive proposals are those that consist of multiple projects at various stages of completion and may not lead to activities beyond those proposed.

Final Report

Upon return to campus after the completion of FDL, the awardees are required to submit a detailed and full report (5 pages maximum; single-spaced) to include the activities, accomplishments, deliverables, and future plans. Copies must be provided to the Chair of the department, Dean of the college, the Office of Research and Scholarship. The report is due no later than 90 days after the end of FDL. The awardees are expected to make a TED-type presentation to their colleagues at the Annual Faculty Research Day and/or the Celebration of Scholarship event.

UT Tyler