Faculty Development

Our fellowships for tribal college faculty and staff help them earn advanced degrees.

About Our Faculty Development

about-faculty-img We provide fellowships and professional development opportunities for tribal college faculty and staff, giving them a chance to earn advanced degrees and add to the intellectual capital of tribal colleges and Native communities.

Professional Development Opportunities


The American Indian College Fund hosts an annual Tribal College and University Faculty Research Convening and publishes an annual Tribal College and University Research Journal, the only research journal in the country dedicated to tribal colleges and universities. The College Fund also hosts an Intensive Writing Retreat to develop manuscripts by tribal college faculty for publication. In addition, Faculty Professional Development grants are provided to tribal college faculty so that they may attend and present at regional and national conferences in their field of study.

Fellowships for Tribal College and University (TCU) Faculty

The American Indian College Fund offers three fellowships for TCU faculty members. Fellowships applicants must:

  • be a faculty member at a Tribal College or University (TCU).
  • be adjunct/part-time instructors, administrators, or TCU leaders who teach at least one course.
  • obtain administrative approval from their TCU administrators to take sufficient leave time to complete all requirements of the fellowship within the fellowship’s time limit. (A full sabbatical is not required, but the amount of appropriate release time to ensure successful completion of the program).
  • sign an agreement stating they will continue teaching at a TCU for at least two years following the completion of the fellowship (or one year in the case of the pre-dissertation fellowship).

Mellon Faculty Career Enhancement Fellowship

Faculty who are “all but dissertation” (ABD) in a Ph.D. program are eligible to apply. The amount of the fellowship award is $40,000 for a one-year period. It is expected that the fellow will be conferred their Ph.D. (or other terminal degree) by the end of this period. The Mellon Faculty Career Enhancement Fellowship Deadline has passed.

Apply for The Mellon Faculty Career Enhancement Fellowship here.

Mellon Master’s Fellowship

TCU faculty members and staff members with teaching responsibilities who are likely to become faculty may apply for up to $25,000 in assistance to complete master’s degrees. Preference is given to master’s study in the humanities and humanistic social sciences. For further information and application materials, check back here for future funding opportunities. The Mellon Master’s Fellowship deadline is currently open for Fall 2019 and Spring 2020.

Apply for The Mellon Master's Fellowship here.

Nyswander/Blanchard Pre-Dissertation Fellowship

Faculty enrolled in a Ph.D. program at any level are eligible for this fellowship. The dollar amount of the award varies year-to-year as it is endowment driven, but ranges from $2,000-$9,000. The Nyswander-Blanchard Pre-Dissertation fellowship Deadline has passed.

Graduate Hours Fellowship Program

Provides funding for faculty seeking to complete 18 credit hours in their respective fields in order to meet recent accreditation requirements for highly qualified faculty (Priority will be given to faculty at TCUs accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.) Fellowships are awarded for a period of up to three consecutive semesters for each faculty member; the amounts received will be based on candidates’ necessary credits (minimum of 6 and maximum of 18), with an upper limit of $15,000.

Graduate Hours Fellowship Program deadline is accepting applications on a rolling basis. Currently seeking applications for Spring 2020.

Apply for The Mellon Graduate Hours here.

For further information please contact: Faculty Development Program Officer | (303) 426-8900

TCU Faculty Research Convening

TCU Faculty Research Convening

The TCU Faculty Research Convening is a two-day workshop that highlights research conducted by TCU faculty. The major focus of the research convening is the dissemination of research and networking among TCU faculty, and the development of important conversations and research topics such as pedagogy practices, cultural continuance, and faculty development. The two-day convening consists of presentations from faculty across disciplines and has encompassed the areas of research, best practices, curriculum development, pedagogy, and the success of current programs at TCUs.

TCU Research Journal

In 2016, the College Fund initiated the first peer-reviewed journal, the Tribal College and University Research Journal (TCURJ), which focused solely on research conducted by TCU faculty. The TCURJ is designed to provide current TCU faculty who are conducting research with an avenue for publication. The College Fund believes it is critical to support TCU faculty in conducting research that benefits TCUs and Native communities, by disseminating research to both Native communities and the wider research community. The TCURJ is linked online through the Research Journals web page.

Intensive Writing Retreat to Develop Manuscripts for Publication

The College Fund recognizes the importance of writing retreats as supplemental support within current and previous Faculty Development initiatives. A recent external evaluation of faculty fellowships revealed that TCU faculty identified a need for supplemental support in the area of developing manuscripts for publication. The Intensive Writing Retreat (WR) provides the space and time that many TCU faculty need to focus on developing a manuscript from their research. The WR also provides mentorship and presentations from senior Native faculty in the development of manuscripts, conference proposals, presentations (poster, roundtable and conference etiquette. The Intensive Writing Retreat will be held October 23-25, 2019.

Faculty Professional Development Grant

The College Fund will award 13 one-time professional development grants up to $2,000 to assist faculty member’s attendance/presentation in the faculty member’s field of study at one of the following:

  • a regional or national conference
  • a training
  • a workshop
  • a seminar

Through conference attendance, TCU faculty will:

  • Learn about current research, issues, and growing trends within their respective fields of study
  • Gain a unique perspective to broader conversations
  • Develop research interests, skills, and agenda
  • Share research and experiences stemming from the TCU context
  • Cultivate research collaborations, exchanges, and partnerships
  • Network and foster relationships with non-TCU faculty
  • Disseminate research with a broader audience

Expenses covered through the professional development grants include:

  • registration
  • travel
  • hotel
  • per diem

Professional Development grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

Faculty Development Applications

Graduate Hours Fellowship Program for TCU Faculty Members
  • Letters of Reference for Graduate Hours Fellowship Program
Master’s Fellowship for TCU Faculty and Staff Members
  • Letters of Reference for Master’s Fellowship
Mellon Faculty Career Enhancement Fellowship
  • Tribal College President Approval
Nyswander-Blanchard Pre-Dissertation Faculty Grant Application
  • Letter of Support
TCU Faculty Research Convening Call for Proposals and Registration Form
  • TCU Faculty Research Initiatives Professional Development Grants

TCU Program Applications

Native Arts and Culture

Scholarly Emergence for Environmental Design and Stewardship (SEEDS)

  • SEEDS Organizations
  • SEEDS Pre-Application: Action Plan
  • SEEDS Budget Template

Wisdom of the Children


Kresge Survey

Faculty Fellow Dissertations

Mellon Career Enhancement

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