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Research Leaves

Study-research leave may be granted to faculty members for research and/or advanced study necessary to enhance the competencies of those faculty members to carry out their obligations to the university. (At other universities this program is often called “sabbatical.”)

Full-time tenured faculty members with the rank of associate professor or higher or full-time faculty members holding continued appointment with the rank of assistant professor or higher, having accrued a minimum of six years of service, are eligible for study-research leave. Requests may be submitted prior to completion of six years of service, but faculty members must have tenure and have completed the sixth year before the leave period begins.

Research assignment is a special category of study-research leave that is awarded to a tenured academic faculty member for one semester of intensive study or research that increases the quality of the individual’s professional stature and future contributions to the university. It may be taken in lieu of an ordinary yearlong study-research leave.

  • Study-Research Leave: one year, partial salary (not to exceed one-half salary), full employee benefits
  • Research Assignment: one semester, full salary, full employee benefits

Please consult the Faculty Handbook Chapter 3 and 4 for detailed descriptions of these types of leave.

Application Process

To apply for study-research leave or research assignment, the following forms should be completed and submitted electronically to the college dean's office to be approved and submitted to the Provost's office via Sharepoint.

The Research Leave Request Process

Research Leave Requests are submitted one academic year (or calendar year for CY faculty) in advance of the proposed leave date. This provides adequate time for review of the proposals at the department or school, college, and university level before being brought to the Board of Visitors. For faculty requesting a spring research leave, this means that the proposal would be submitted more than a year in advance of the leave dates.

Research Leave requests are brought to the Board of Visitors for review and approval at their spring meeting, which usually falls in March or April.


  • November 1: Request for leave due to department or school head, including the Memorandum of Agreement (see "Research Leave Resources" at bottom of page for links to these forms).
  • November 15: department or school-approved requests due to dean, including the department or school-approved Memorandum of Agreement.
  • December 15: Dean-approved requests due to provost's office
  • Spring: Provost-approved requests presented to Board of Visitors for approval.
  • After Spring BOV meeting: Faculty member, department or school head, dean, and human resources notified of Board of Visitors approval.

Change to Approved Research Leave or Special Leave with Pay

If you plan to make any changes to your approved research leave, please contact your department head/chair or school director as soon as possible to help them ensure that departmental teaching needs are appropriately covered. With your department or school's support, you can initiate the change request process.

Changes to research leaves that can be approved without additional BOV approval include:

  • a postponement of leave for up to 1 year
  • a change from a full year leave to a half-year leave (or vice versa)
  • a change in the location of your research leave
  • a cancellation of leave

Changes to the scope of your research leave will be considered on a case-by-case basis. To request a change to an approved research leave, please complete and submit the Change to Approved Research Leave or Special Leave with Pay (PDF) to your department or school for department head/chair or school director approval. The department or school will then route the request to your college’s dean for review and approval, and then to the Provost’s office for approval. You will receive a letter notifying you of the approved change.

Please email Rachel Gabriele with any questions related to changes to your research leave.


Within two months of return to service, faculty members on study-research leave or research assignment are required to submit a brief report describing their leave activities. Some guiding questions to help craft the report include:

While on leave did you…

  • Receive any awards, grants, fellowships, or other recognition?
  • Serve as a keynote or guest speaker at another institution or at a conference?
  • Accomplish any notable research milestones?
  • Complete or make progress on the activities you thought you would when you submitted your original leave application?
  • Initiate or complete any publications?
  • Acquire any new skills related to your work?

Reports should be emailed to your department head and dean, with a copy sent to the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs at

Research Leave Resources

Before you go on leave:

Changes to your leave:


Email Rachel Gabriele, Associate Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs