Episode #172

How To Write A Request For Internal Funding For Professional Development

The waitlist for Navigate is open! Dedicate part of your summer towards professional development, clearing your publication pipeline, and aligning with your academic mission. Did you know many Navigate members get the program paid for by their university? There is a way to get career-changing coaching at no cost to you!



Today, I share the secret to getting internal funding for professional development. Investing in your writing process, project pipeline, and time management skills will help you achieve your academic mission statement. Our Navigate program is designed to do just that! Listen in to learn how to get your university to help pay for the upcoming Navigate cohort in August.

It’s Not About You

Your funding request should not be about you. It should be about the person or entity you are asking for funding. Yes, professional development training will change your career, but that isn’t as important as the interests of the person you are soliciting. Get inspiration for your argument from:

  • Priorities shared by the Dean in staff meetings
  • The university’s strategic plan
  • Publicized goals of your department

Your argument might be a stretch. It takes some cleverness, but that is what you must do whenever you request funding. So remember, the most important argument for your funding has nothing to do with your personal desires. It has everything to do with the desires of the person or the position you are requesting the funding from.

If You Get a ‘No’, Ask Up!

If your initial request gets rejected, don’t abandon the mission. Instead, ask up! Request a letter of support or recommendation from whoever said no to the funding. Then, take that letter (and your stellar argument) to the next highest person in charge. Repeat this process all the way to the top of the ladder if you have to. 

Most rejections are rooted in finances. But every department, every Dean, has some amount of discretionary money. There is funding available; you just have to find the right person and make the right pitch.

Mindset Obstacles That Are Stopping You From Getting Funding

Hesitation #1: You Already Got Funding

Many academics use the past receipt of funding as an excuse not to ask for more. They feel the university has already invested in them, so requesting more money would be automatically rejected. I encourage you to look at this from an alternate perspective. If you have already received internal funding, that shows they see your value. Treat this as a reason to ask for more! Your Dean already believes in you. Use that to your advantage! 


Hesitation #2: You Are Looking at Funding Like You Look at Personal Finances

If you think of funding the same way you think about your personal bank account, then you won’t be able to leverage those funds in the way that will give you the best payoff. This rings especially true if you consider yourself frugal or a saver. Don’t save the university’s money!

Grants and internal funding are meant to be spent. They want you to use every penny towards the designated mission. In fact, it is problematic when money is leftover or reserved for too long. You want to approach this with the attitude that you are spending money in a way that will get the best result and benefit the university. 


“You really need to understand this deeply in order to be successful in any kind of funding endeavor. Your request for funding should not be about you. It should be about the person or the entity to which you are asking for funding.”


The easiest reason for people to say no is ‘There’s no money for that.’ But really there is always money for more stuff. So what you need to do is make a good enough argument that they use the money on you.”


We’ve opened the waitlist for our next cohort of Navigate: Your Writing Roadmap®. Check out the program details and sign up on the waitlist to be notified when applications open here.



  1. Our 12-week Navigate: Your Writing Roadmap® program helps tenure-track womxn and nonbinary professors with a disruptive perspective on their field to publish their backlog of papers so that their voice can have the impact they know is possible. Check out the program details and get on the waitlist to be notified when the next cohort opens here.
  2. Cathy’s book, Making Time to Write: How to Resist the Patriarchy and Take Control of Your Academic Career Through Writing is available in print! Learn how to build your career around your writing practice while shattering the myths of writing every day, accountability, and motivation, doing mindset work that’s going to reshape your writing, and changing academic culture one womxn and nonbinary professor at a time. Get your print copy today or order it for a friend here!
  3. Want to train with us for free on your campus? Now you can when you recommend our Scholar’s Voice Faculty Retreats to a decision-maker on your campus! Download the brochure with the retreat curriculum and both in-person and online retreat options here.





Stay current in Academic Publishing

Subscribe to our newsletter:

In the Pipeline

writing tips, publishing trends, reading recomendations, free workshops

In The Pipeline Newsletter

Send me Writer's Retreat updates by email!

Send me Writer's Retreat updates by email!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Get Your Cheat Sheet!

Get the PDF Cheat Sheet right to your inbox!

Check your email to find your cheat sheet!

Skip to content
We use cookies in order to give you the best possible experience on our website. By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies.