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Faculty Development Grants

Each year, two(2) $2500 Faculty Development Grants will be available to faculty interested in developing a course that involves a study abroad experience. There are two formats for such courses, and one of these $2500 grants will be awarded for each type of study abroad course:

  1. Spring Semester "Break Away" courses : course that meets on-campus during the entire Spring semester AND includes an obligatory, integrated study trip during the Spring Break for ALL students enrolled in the course.
  2. Summer Session courses: A course that occurs abroad during 1-6 weeks of the summer May-July


Faculty Development Grants will be announced each year in December and have an application deadline of February 14th. Awardees will be funded for exploratory travel that MUST be accomplished by the end of the current fiscal year, June 30th.

Step 1:

Please submit the following Application

Step 2:

Write a 2-3 page narrative that MUST include the following sections:

Course Title and Concept

Course Audience: Who is likely to take this course? (e.g. majors? Freshmen? Students from the entire university or only students in a particular school? Does the course satisfy any Univeristy CORE requirements? etc.)

Destination and Study Trip Duration: Summer can be 1-6 weeks; Spring Break is fixed at 1 week

Preliminary Feasibility Assessment: Feasibility refers to time, cost and safety concerns. For instance, if you're thinking about a Spring Break Away study trip, the cost must be limited to $2000-$2500. The short time and the small budget preclude distant destinations like Asia where the airfare would take most of the budget. In terms of safety, Duquesne University does NOT allow University-sponsored travel to destinations on the State Department Travel Warning list.

Academic Integration: How will the academic and travel components be integrated? What resources available in the foreign location will possibly be utilized? How will you prepare students in advance such that they can get the most out of their time abroad? How can you structure reflective activities during and after the travel component?

Student Learning Outcomes: List 3-5 Learning Outcomes facilitated by the study abroad component

Mission Fit: How does this course and study trip support the mission/aims of your department/school/Duquesne University?

A Complete Application:
  1. Grant Application, signed by your department chair and dean 
  2. 1-2 Page narrartive
  3. Submit to: Dr. Roberta Aronson, Executive Director, International Programs

DEADLINE: February 15th

Criteria for Selection

A Committee comprised of faculty and deans from across the University will review and select the awardees. The Committee will meet in early February and consider the following:

  • Course Concept: (Is this course one you currently already teach on campus? If so, how can you anticipate changing it with the study abroad component?)
  • How well does the course support the mission/aims of your department/school/Duquesne University
  • How does the proposed travel facilitate student learning? What techniques are you considering to maximize student learning?
  • What kind of learning outcomes do you anticipate being possible as a result of studying/teaching abroad?
  • How will you assess student learning, particularly assessments that would be distinctive to this format?
  • How will you prepare students in advance of the travel? In the Break Away format, there are 7 weeks of class before the study trip. Think about how the study trip will be integrated into the course before, during and after the study abroad component? In the Summer format, address how you will prepare students in advance and whether you will create an opportunity for their learning to continue upon return?
  • Use of on-site resources: One of the hallmarks of an excellent study abroad course is the utilization of resources not available at home. These resources can be of a wide variety, from physical sites to on-site experts and scholars. Suggest any such resources you may want to utilize in order to maximize student learning.
Successful Faculty-Led Courses
What Kinds of Courses Work Well? What Kinds Do Not?

Whether you are thinking about a Spring Break Away class and study trip OR a Summer study trip, we all worry about whether students will be interested and subscribe. There is a minimum number of students needed to make the economics of these trips work, so teaching a course that appeals to a wide group of students and choosing a destination/s that is appealing makes a difference. Here are a few things that we have learned:


  • CORE classes work especially well
  • General electives with wide appeal
  • Courses for majors that can be open to non-majors and have NO prereqs
  • See previous Spring Break Away courses
  • Courses that don't work well? A single section of a course required for majors