Research Leave Policies

Approved by Main Campus Executive Faculty, December 6, 2019

Endorsed by the Council of Deans, February 10, 2020

I. Goals

  • To support and prioritize faculty research enthusiastically
  • To create an environment in which faculty know research is expected, facilitated, valued, and rewarded
  • To provide clarity to faculty and administrators regarding research leave options, eligibility, and process

II. Types of research leave

We propose four types of research leave, grouped into two categories, building on the existing structure.

  • Non-competitive research leave
    1. Sabbatical
      • One semester at full pay, or two semesters at half pay
    2. Junior Faculty Research Fellowships, JFRFs
      • One semester at full pay
  • Competitive research leave
    1. External Fellowship Leave (1)EFL
      • EFLs are granted for one or two semesters, at full pay
      • The number of faculty who can be awarded EFLs in a given year is not explicitly limited by the Provost’s Office, but is subject to the teaching and other needs of departments.
      • Faculty are free to apply (see selection criteria below) at any point in the academic cycle
    2. Georgetown University Research Leave (2)GURL
      • One semester at full pay
      • Depending on the available funding, the number of GURLs is limited each year
      • GURL is open to all tenure line faculty, both junior and senior
      • Applications are reviewed by the Research Awards Committee (RAC) in the Fall or early Spring, for the following Fall or Spring.

Periods of EFL and GURL count towards sabbatical credit. Faculty are permitted, and encouraged, to apply for other internal or external funding to cover complementary research costs incurred during periods of research leave.  Similarly, multiple leaves (e.g., one JFRF plus one GURL), can be combined, subject to eligibility.

III. Eligibility for research leave

All types of research leave are treated equivalently in calculating the eligibility criteria below (3)

  •  “3-in-4” rule: A maximum of three semesters of research leave that are not fully funded by external sources can be taken in any four-year period
  • Faculty are eligible to apply for any of the four kinds of research leave if taking the proposed leave would not violate the “3-in-4” rule or the Faculty Handbook limit on leaves (Section III.C.10).

IV. Selection process

All research leaves are subject to the eligibility criteria above.

  • Sabbatical: granted, subject to normal approval processes
  • JFRFs: granted, subject to normal approval processes
  • EFL: automatic, subject to the following conditions:
    • 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 are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year
  • GURL: competitive
    • Faculty submit applications to their department chairs, who approve the application.  Deadline: Oct. 31.
    • The Vice Provost for Research solicits peer reviews of applications and convenes the Research Awards Committee that selects final recipients in the late Fall or early Spring, for the following Fall or Spring.

V. Financial issues

  • Faculty are guaranteed full continuation of salary and benefits during periods of research leave, except in the case when they elect to take a one-year sabbatical on half pay.
  • In the case of EFLs:
    • If the fellowship comes with a salary or stipend that is less than the faculty member’s annual Georgetown salary, those funds accrue fully to the Office of the Provost
    • If the fellowship comes with a salary or stipend in excess of the faculty member’s annual Georgetown salary, such excess can be used towards otherwise unfunded summer salary. 
  • If the hiring of adjunct faculty is necessary to cover courses due to faculty absence, reasonable costs of doing so will be covered by the Provost’s Office.