Professional Development Support and Services
The Thinking Matters fellowship is committed to supporting full-time fellows in their research and scholarship. While we provide financial support (described below), we also encourage fellows to speak with Parna Sengupta about their professional goals.
Funds for Professional Development
Overview of Funding Sources
All regular fellows are eligible for up to $2800 of professional development funds. Thinking Matters provides each full-time, full year appointment teaching fellow with $2000 (from September through August), and the University provides each employee with $800 in STAP (Staff Training Assistance Program) funds (from September through August).
Staff Training Assistance Program (STAP) Overview
The Staff Training Assistance Program (STAP) provides for reimbursement of tuition costs, registration fees, and required textbooks for any training activity either related directly to your job or a career development effort.
- Conference registration fees (but not professional organization membership)
- Job-related training
- Career development training
Thinking Matters Funds
Eligible expenses (not covered by STAP)
- Travel expenses, including air fare, lodging, incidental expenses, use of personal auto, car rental, taxi fares and phone charges.
- Cost of meals when there is a clear business purpose for the meal.
- Conference registration and training course fees, when related to University business.
- Dues and subscriptions for memberships to professional organizations and publications related to University business.
- Books for research and teaching.
- Travel for academic interviews
- Equipment (of any kind—computers, etc.)
Using Your Professional Development Funds
Buying Books: For book buying, we encourage you to use the P-card (purchasing card). The card is available to be checked out from the program administrator. If you use the P-card, you must submit your receipts within 24 hours of the purchase. In order to avoid audits and expedite the reconciliation process, the below items and policies are required:
Documentation to be handed in with completed cover form:
- A hard copy of all itemized receipts, please turn into your program administrator
- A process purpose and reason must be stated
Uses Not Allowed
- Personal Expenses
- Hazardous Materials
- Laboratory Animals
- Any Purchase Over $4,999
Research and/or Travel Fund Overview
Travel Reimbursement: Required Documentation
- A boarding pass, showing proof of payment, from a travel agency, airline, or online booking tool.
- Itemized hotel bill for lodging (if claiming actual expenses reimbursement).
- Receipts for meals and other miscellaneous expenses, i.e. taxis and shuttles, costing $75 or more. If no itemized receipt is submitted for a meal, traveler must indicate amount of alcohol included in the meal.
- Itemized car rental agreement for a car rental expense. Amount submitted for reimbursement should not include charges for insurance unless in Hawaii or a foreign country.
- Receipts should include proof of payment. A credit card statement is proof of payment but does not qualify as an itemized receipt.
Please contact Ellen for questions regarding purchases not included on this list. A supervisor’s approval may be required prior to reimbursement.
Although you will receive a quarterly update with the balance of your research funds, we highly recommend you keep records of your spending. This type of record keeping will help clear up any discrepancies, as well as, prevent over spending resulting in you being out of pocket.
You can fill out a form (available online) to request payment for travel related- expenses. All advances for travel related expenses must include supporting documentation such as an air ticket receipt showing proof of payment. Any other advance request not implicitly listed above, is considered an exception and requires advance approval by Ellen. The amount advanced may not exceed the estimated cash required for the activity. If the business need for an outstanding advance ceases to exist, the funds advanced must be returned immediately. Funds not used for expenses must be returned to the University. Advances not cleared within a reasonable time will be withheld from subsequent reimbursements until the advance has been fully cleared.
**For more information, please consult the Administrative and Financial Operating Procedures Desk Reference on our website.