External Fellowship Leave

The External Fellowship Leave (EFL) Program provides one or two semesters of leave for tenure line faculty who have been awarded a funded external research fellowship.

Award features

  • EFLs provide one or two semesters of leave, depending on the length of the external fellowship, free of all teaching and service obligations, to tenure line faculty at any rank – Assistant, Associate, or Full Professor
  • Any shortfall in regular salary during the period of the fellowship will be made up by the university
  • Award of a period of EFL requires the approval of the faculty member’s department chair and dean.


  • All tenure line faculty of the Main Campus, with the exception of those in the McDonough School of Business, are eligible to apply.
  • An EFL is a period of research leave, and as such is subject to the 3-in-4 rule: that is, a maximum of three semesters of research leave can be taken in any four-year period.

Qualifying external fellowships

For the purposes of this policy, qualifying external awards must be funded research fellowships.

  • An external fellowship is funded if it provides salary support or stipend (ideally, paid through Georgetown, or at least offsetting Georgetown’s costs) of at least $20,000 per semester.
  • An external fellowship is a research fellowship if it (i) is offered by a government or recognized not-for-profit research institution, such as a university, college, or foundation, (ii) furthers the faculty member’s research agenda, and (iii) is expected to lead to output that is published or otherwise disseminated without restriction.
  • Neither appointments at institutions of higher education that require the faculty member to teach, nor appointments with for-profit organizations, are considered research fellowships.

Applications for External Fellowship Leave

Faculty members should check in GMS that they will be eligible to take a period of research leave as planned, and discuss the timing with their department chair, well in advance.

In order to accept a funded external research fellowship, a faculty member must apply for and be granted a period of EFL.   Applications should be submitted in GMS as early as possible, and typically at least two semesters before the leave would be taken.  It is understood however, that some qualifying external fellowships can be awarded with little in the way of forward notice.  In such cases, subject to the faculty member being eligible to accept the award, every effort will be made to process the application expeditiously.

Applications for EFL consist of a short project description of up to 250 words a current CV, written proof of the award, and details of the fellowship, including the institution at which it is tenable, the level of financial support, etc.

Please note that in order to apply to an external sponsor for the fellowship itself, an application must be submitted through GU-PASS by clicking on the “New External Grant or Fellowship Request” button and following the directions there.

Applications for External Fellowship Leave are accepted on a rolling basis.

Applications, which are accepted on a rolling basis, should be submitted via GMS, which can be reached by clicking on this icon on your GMS dashboard.

Please refer to this job aid for help using the GMS portal. Chairs and other reviewers will review internal grants for approval in GMS. 

Financial process

An EFL recipient will receive full pay and benefits as normal.  The external fellowship funds should be paid directly to the university, and the faculty member will see no change in the way that salary and benefits are received.  In exceptional circumstances only should the external fellowship be paid directly to the faculty member, in which case the balance would be received through the normal payroll process.

The semester or semesters will count as service towards sabbatical credit.  Units that need course coverage as a result of the faculty member being on leave should work with their school-level Senior Business Manager and the Provost’s Finance and Business Office in the budget planning process.


Recipients should submit a 200 word description of the activities that were conducted while on leave by June 30 or January 31 immediately following the semester(s) in which it is taken, with links to electronic copies of any materials – publications, working papers, reports, etc. – produced as a result.

Faculty members who do not submit a deliverable as required will be ineligible for future internal grants.