Professional Development Fund

Next Funding Period is for 2018-2019 Quarter 2 - activities that take place between July 1 and September 30, 2018 - June 1st Deadline

All applications must be emailed to


Under Article 27 in the Collective Agreement between AUGC and CUPE Local 3911, there is $40,000 in professional development funds available annually to CUPE Local 3911 members. This is administered by four representatives from the Union who comprise the Professional Development Fund Committee. Any unspent funds (at March 31st of each year) will be carried forward into the next year. The purpose of the fund is to support individual or group activities that foster the professional development of CUPE Local 3911 members and that directly enhances their CUPE work.


Who Can Apply?

  • CUPE Local 3911 members who fall under the GUA/CUPE Collective Agreement 

  • Members who are currently employed or on the first 12 months of a layoff period

  • Members who are on a 12-month or less temporary Course Coordinator Contract under AUFA (these applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis and must have approval of the CUPE Executive)

Quick Links

What kinds of Activities are funded?

The fund supports a variety of activities, but all must directly connect to your CUPE work for Athabasca University and yield a benefit to your teaching. Applicants must clearly demonstrate this in their applications. Some examples of funded activities are below:


  • Participation as a learner in a course, workshop, conference, or program that relates to your subject area or to the development of skills that will improve your CUPE work

  • Participation in activities that will enhance your skills/knowledge of adult and/or distance education

  • Presentation of papers, participation in poster sessions or panels related to your AU subject area or AU's mission


What are Eligible Expenses and Funding Amounts?

The fund has primary purposes of reimbursing registration fees and travel expenses of member’s attendance at conferences/training activities/workshops relevant to their subject area and the courses they teach at AU. Funding limitations you should be aware of are as follows:


  • $1500-$2000 upper limit per applicant per year, depending on the location of the activity (up to $1500 for travel within Canada and up to $2000 for international travel)

  • The fund will support only one international application per member per year

  • All subsequent applications will be funded to a maximum of $1500 per applicant


What Kinds of Expenses are Not Eligible?

Please note that as of April 2014 this fund will no longer pay for Undergraduate or Graduate courses. AU courses can be partially funded under the “tuition waiver” (Article 21) of the Collective Agreement. Other expenses that are not eligible are listed below:


  • Personal development courses

  • Recreational programs

  • Course development or revision

  • Activities wholly funded by other employers

  • Research activities not related to distance education and/or the work conducted by CUPE Local 3911 members

  • Purchase of equipment, books or software (these types of expenses can be partially funded by each member's allowance as per Article 27.04)


How to Apply

Applications for funding must be made by completing and submitting a “CUPE Professional Development Fund Application Form” (view detailed instructions Here).

There is a call for applications (announced on the tutor email alias) four times a year – early fall, late fall, winter and spring – schedule as follows (next business day when on a weekend or holiday):


  • 1st Quarter – period of April 1 - June 30 - March 1st deadline

  • 2nd Quarter – period of July 1 - September 30 - June 1st deadline

  • 3rd Quarter – period of October 1 - December 31 - September 1st deadline

  • 4th Quarter – period of January 1, 2016 – December 1st deadline


Applicants are encouraged to apply the quarter before the activity although applications for the current quarter or the earlier quarter (i.e. six months before the activity) will be considered. Activities that have happened more than three months previous to the application will not be considered.


Successful Applicants

Once the Professional Development Committee has reviewed your application, you will be notified if you did or did not receive funding. Successful applicants may not receive the full amount they requested and must submit a brief report at the end of their activity, which is published to share with other members.


Be sure to view the Complete PD Fund Guidelines and contact with any questions.