Professional Development Fund

The Professional Development Fund offers limited financial subsidies to support the careers of spouses and partners of eligible faculty and staff. 

Ideally utilized at times of professional transition, the Fund can help individuals engage in job-related education or training, and thus to develop skills and qualifications that will increase their prospects for finding employment. The Fund can also be utilized to underwrite some of the costs of establishing a workspace directly connected to professional activity. Proposals for the sole purpose of personal enrichment are not considered  for funding.

Eligibility and Guidelines

  • The Fund is available to spouses and partners of any staff and faculty who have relocated for their position.  
  • Applicants should be seeking employment or professional development for opportunities within the Berkshires and neighboring region, and/or aiming to work remotely while maintaining primary residence within the Berkshire region.
  • The Williams employee must have a minimum of two year appointment. 
  • Fund requests should be made within the first 10 years of the staff or faculty’s employment at Williams, except 
  • Workspace rental reimbursement requests are only accepted in the first three years after a relocation.
  • If awarded, funds must be utilized during the Williams employee’s  term of employment.
  • Financial subsidies will not exceed $5000 per individual, including a cap of $2500 for workspace reimbursement requests.  

Application Procedure

Proposals will be evaluated by the Professional Development Fund Committee biannually, following December 1 and in June 1 deadlines. Awards can be rolled over into the next fiscal year if the Professional Development Fund has reached its cap. 

The Fund is managed by  the Manager of Spouse Partner Resources. The evaluation committee assesses applications blindly and decisions are made by consensus.  The committee is made up of the:

  • Associate Dean of the Faculty
  • Chief Human Resources Officer
  • Executive Director of the ’68 Center for Career Exploration
  • Learning & Development Manager, Human Resources
  • Assistant General Counsel


If you would like to submit a request, please get in touch with Cecilia Hirsch, Manager of Spouse Partner Resources. She will share additional information on the submission and review process, including examples of successful applications, and can assist you as you build a timeline and proposal that reflects your needs.

Please note: any award is considered a benefit for the Williams employee, and appropriate taxes will be withheld per state and federal guidelines.