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Performing Arts & Design Program

Performing Arts & Design Program

The Performing Arts & Design Program provides support for released time to performing and visual arts and design faculty to conduct specific creative activities for which their own concentrated effort is needed. The support allows for the recipient to be released from a portion of his or her teaching duties for an appropriate period, usually from two weeks to one semester. The award includes a stipend for research-related expenditures that is pro-rated to the length of the released time ($3,000 for the entire semester). Departments receive funds for replacement teaching pro-rated to the length of the released time ($15,000 for the entire semester). Application to this program requires a letter of approval from the relevant executive officer/s.


Eligibility for the Performing Arts & Design Program is restricted to full-time Illinois tenured and tenure-track faculty whose work is in performance, studio arts, or design in these departments or schools:

  • Architecture (design)
  • Art + Design (studio arts, design)
  • Dance (dance, choreography, and musical performance)
  • Landscape Architecture (design)
  • Music (performance, directing)
  • Theater (acting, design, technology, directing)

Program Criteria

Recognizing that productivity in creative work is an expected part of a performing or visual arts or design faculty member’s regular workload, the Campus Research Board will apply the following criteria in their review of requests for released time through the Performing Arts & Design Program:

  • Requests for released time should reflect a response to a special opportunity that would be significantly enhanced by uninterrupted effort.
  • Preference will be given to untenured faculty pursuing projects central to the work on which their tenure decision will be based. Requests should not be made in the faculty member’s first year at the University unless truly exceptional circumstances exist.
  • Released time should be used for efforts that are expected to lead to a specific contribution to creative work that will reach a wide audience; exploratory projects are not a good fit for this program.
  • Performing Arts & Design Program released time should not be used in conjunction with a sabbatical leave or other leaves or released time opportunities that would lengthen time released from University teaching responsibilities unless truly exceptional circumstances exist.
  • The Campus Research Board will not normally award released time to an applicant who receives similar released time from another campus unit for the same academic year.

Proposals must conform to University Conflict or Commitment policies with respect to compensation from other sources. A paid consulting opportunity beyond the norms of the Conflict of Commitment Policy will result in an unpaid leave of absence.

Type of Support

For awards of released time through the Performing Arts & Design Program, the Campus Research Board will provide to the department/school an amount prorated to the length of requested leave and based on a standard rate of $15,000 for one semester of released time. This rate is the same as for the Humanities Teaching Release Time Program and rates for both programs may be adjusted for inflation on occasion, funding permitting. The faculty member’s department may use these funds for either a teaching assistant or wages to hire a qualified instructor to cover the faculty member’s teaching responsibilities during the awarded released time period. The faculty member is thereby released from teaching responsibilities. Other responsibilities such as graduate student supervision or service activities should be negotiated with the department.

Required Approvals and Restrictions

PAD applications must be accompanied by an approval form signed by the relevant executive officer/s. For faculty with percentage appointments (but not zero-time appointments) in other departments/units, the approval form must also be signed by the executive officer of the secondary department/s or unit/s. Applicants should download the EO approval form. Applicants can save data typed into this form. Enter the requested information, then print for the executive officer/s (the department and/or unit head) to sign. Please upload a PDF of the signed form with the application for teaching release time. The approval form indicates:

  1. That the department is willing to exempt faculty members of teaching for the length of time specified in the application.
  2. That the faculty member would otherwise not have access to this sort of release time from teaching. The Campus Research Board will provide to the department/school an amount prorated to the length of requested leave and based on a standard rate of $15,000 for one semester of released time. In the case of faculty members with two percentage appointments, these funds will be distributed in accordance with the department that holds the course offering/s.

Application Deadlines

Please carefully review all eligibility and submission requirements before applying. Please note deadlines vary by program.
Submissions are due by 3:00 p.m. on the posted date. Applications submitted after the deadline will automatically be held over for the next deadline.

See Current Deadlines