Dean of the Faculty

Guidelines for Eligibility

Eligibility guidelines for sabbaticals and leaves of absence for faculty.*

  • Sabbatical leaves are a privilege intended to support research, not a benefit, and are granted only on the approval of the faculty member's chair or director and the dean.
  • A tenured faculty member is eligible for a sabbatic leave of absence for one semester at full salary after six semesters in residence. The faculty member may choose instead to continue teaching for an additional six semesters, after which time the sabbatical leave may be taken for two semesters at full academic-year salary or for one semester with full salary.
  • It is presumed that a faculty member on sabbatical leave is not receiving compensation for services in another institution or organization. Exceptions to this general rule must be approved in advance by the Dean.
  • Faculty are expected to return to Brown (for at least a year) following sabbatical leave.
  • Leaves, whether paid (sabbatical, leaves on special assignment, or leave with "top-up") or unpaid (leaves of absence), may be taken for a semester or a year. Only in exceptional cases may a leave be extended beyond a single year, but under no circumstances may it extend beyond two years. If a faculty member on leave with support from Brown (whether salary or top-up) requests a second year of leave, it will be granted only with the understanding that no support from Brown will be given.
  • Faculty are required to have four semesters of service between any two leaves of any sort, with the exception of junior faculty, who are required to have three semesters of service between any two leaves.
  • No more than four semesters of leave of any kind is ordinarily possibly during a seven year period.
  • Sabbaticals will generally only be granted when they are due, and cannot generally be delayed without loss of credit.
  • If a year-long prestigious fellowship is combined with a one-semester sabbatical and still doesn’t cover full salary, funds to top up the award will continue to be available, up to a the lesser of the amount of the award or 50% of a semester’s salary.
  • If external fellowship funds are used to cover part of the sabbatical salary that would have been covered by Brown, the faculty member will receive a research fund equal to 70% of the sabbatical savings.
  • Normally no more than about 1/3 of a department's faculty should be on leave in any academic year.
  • Lecturers and Senior Lecturers are eligible to apply for a scholarly leave of one semester at full salary (or one year at half salary) following twelve semesters in residence.
  • Leave guidelines for junior faculty will differ somewhat from those for tenured faculty:
    • Junior faculty can seek one semester of paid leave at any time during their probationary period. This may be taken as a year at half salary, or combined with internal support (e.g. Wriston fellowship) or external support (grant or fellowship, possibly with top-up), to have the full year for research.
    • Junior faculty are expected to teach for at least three semesters between any two leaves.
    • Because leaves decrease teaching time, department chairs should advise untenured colleagues about the importance of establishing a good teaching record as well as an active research program.

*This policy is contingent upon a vote of the Corporation scheduled for December, 2022.

Additional Information

Giving faculty the chance to step away from their normal duties to focus on research projects, fieldwork, artistic projects, and other professional opportunities.
Published by the Dean of the Faculty's office, the annual Brown Sabbatical Research Newsletter highlights research conducted by faculty during sabbatical leaves.