Policy on Establishing and Awarding Four Course Releases


To encourage writing for large, competitive grants and contracts by building a reserve of a total of four course releases each academic year and giving the principle investigator one course release when writing a grant or contract with a total amount of $1 million or more from a funding agency or agencies.


  1. The principle investigator is a board-appointed, full-time faculty member with primary appointment in Western Michigan University's College of Education and Human Development, and the college is the lead applicant at the college level.
  2. Each grant, which could span multiple years, must apply for close to $1 million or more from a funding agency or agencies, excluding cost share or in-kind contribution. Close to $1 million is defined as $950,000.
  3. If there are more than four applicants each year, each faculty member may apply once every two years.
  4. Full-time staff members in the college are also eligible for the incentive, with the amount of funds transferred to the unit for professional use.

Amount of funding

Each course release will be at the replacement cost of $4,000. The replacement cost will be released to the department, or unit in the case of a staff member, within two weeks of submission of the proposal or at a time agreed upon by the principle investigator, the department chair and the dean.

Application process and selection criteria

  1. With the approval of the department chair, the principle investigator fills out the existing Plan to Initiate a Grant form and submits it to the dean’s office.
  2. The Tate center advisory committee will review and make the decision.
  3. The review is on a rolling basis; the application will be reviewed within two weeks of submission. Applicants are encouraged to submit early.
  4. The primary criteria for selection include:
    1. Fit with the mission of the college.
    2. Competitiveness of the potential proposal.
    3. Balance between experienced and new grant writers.

Actual timing of the course release

The principle investigator discusses with the department chair regarding the actual timing of the course release.

Duration of the policy

The program will be in place for five years beginning on June 1, 2013. It is subject to the availability of funds in the College of Education and Human Development facilities and administration account. It will be evaluated at the end of the five-year period.