Open question: sabbatical funding?


This is a question for you:

I suspect most universities have moved to a one-semester sabbatical, with a full-year sabbatical at half pay. First of all, is that true? Second, if you want a full year of sabbatical, where do you find that other semester? (Or do you take a pay cut?)

One possibility is a Fulbright; then there are centers like NESCent; and there are on-site grants from facilities of DOE and NASA. Those sound wonderful, but if you don’t want to have to be geographically tied to a specific place for a whole semester, what to do?

Care to share what you’ve done for sabbatical, what you’re planning, or what questions you have? I won’t check back in for a day or two, but by all means chat away.

7 thoughts on “Open question: sabbatical funding?

  1. Sabbatical is practically only a fantasy at my institution. The only way it happens is to get outside money to pay, One of our faculty got money for this from Fullbright, but it only gives money to American citizens, which lets me out.

  2. At Calgary, 6-month academic leave is at full pay, 12 month is at 80% pay. I took a 12 month and just ate the pay cut.

    Whether you want to be tied to a single location geographically I think depends very much on how you plan to spend your sabbbatical. If, say, you’re writing a book, hunkering down at NCEAS or something might well be a good idea.

  3. It was the worst of times, it was the best of times. My university didn’t have funded sabbaticals for a number of years, they just existed in concept, and they just awarded a limited number this year for the first time in a good long while. I’d eat a 20% cut. I wouldn’t/couldn’t eat the 50%, though.

    Being in residence at, say a place like NCEAS or NESCent would be great, or some foreign institution, except for the fact that my spouse isn’t going to leave her work for that time and I wouldn’t want to be away from her for a many months. I’m away enough as it is, for fieldwork, meetings, and other travel. (Huh. Getting slick with R could be a sabbatical project in itself. Just thought of that. So far, this summer, I’ve been so buried in fieldwork, student fieldwork, and other paperworky things it hasn’t emerged.)

  4. I am on a full-year research leave of which half is funded by my employer (SLAC), and the other half by the lab (a collaborator with whom I had worked before) I went to. I essentially asked whether they wanted me for free for a semester or half off for the year. It was not a hard decision for my collaborator. It has worked extremely well.

  5. My institution is half pay for a full year sabbatical, but there is a straightforward supplement application that bumps you up to 5/6. One suggestion for making up the difference, which applies to folks like us (researchers at teaching schools) is the NSF Research Opportunity Award (ROA) sabbatical supplement through the NSF RUI program. You find an NSF-funded R1 researcher who you want to partner with, then submit a letter to the program officer of their grant describing the work you will do with them and how it relates to the aims of the grant and advance your scholarly activity. This is a discretionary supplement to the NSF grant, so there is no formal panel review; the PO just makes the call. Funds can cover travel and salary. They encourage being in residency at the R1 lab, but short visits or fieldwork apply as well. I encourage you to look into it, if you are fortunate enough to have a funded collaborator (…or a new one you want to establish, the supplement is no cost to the PI, and they get your labor/input on their project.)

  6. Thanks for mentioning, explaining and providing the link for the ROA! I know a couple people who have made avail of this, and it’s a good mechanism to get summer salary as well, to work in a lab or fieldsite with a collaborator.

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