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Sabbaticals (Paid Professional Leave)


The purpose of sabbatical leave with pay is to increase the scholarship and professional development of members of the faculty and thereby enhance their capacity for service to the University of Washington.

Each year, the College of Engineering is allocated a limited number of quarters of Sabbatical Leave. Faculty members who meet certain eligibility criteria (described below) may apply for this leave annually each fall quarter.

Leaves are awarded to coincide with the normal academic quarter dates:

  • Autumn quarter: 9/16 - 12/15
  • Winter quarter: 12/16 - 3/15
  • Spring quarter: 3/16 - 6/15

A faculty member who wishes to apply for Sabbatical Leave with Pay will prepare an application dossier (described in Faculty Application Instructions below) and forward it to their department chair.

The department chair will review the application and prepare a cover letter citing their independent recommendation related to the leave. The chair will submit the entire package to the Dean.

The application and chair's letter will be reviewed by the Dean, who will then submit a recommendation to Academic HR and the Provost. The Regents of the University of Washington have final authority to grant leave upon recommendation from the Provost.

Faculty members are generally notified of their leave award status in early spring quarter.

Eligibility criteria

A faculty member is eligible for a Sabbatical Leave not earlier than the seventh year of service to the University or not earlier than the seventh year after return from a previous Sabbatical Leave. Leave Without Pay taken by a faculty member may extend the period of time before he or she is eligible for Sabbatical Leave. Faculty members are encouraged to contact the Dean's Office or Academic Human Resources for assistance in determining their eligibility for Sabbatical Leave. Assistant Professors are not eligible for Sabbatical Leave until they have been reviewed and approved for tenure/promotion.

Applications for Sabbatical Leave are accepted by the College of Engineering annually, during Fall quarter. Applications should be submitted at least 9 months in advance of the date of the proposed leave.

Faculty application instructions

The following documentation is required of the applicant:

  1. UW Application for Sabbatical Leave
  2. Letter from the faculty member including the following:
    • A detailed statement of the applicant's plans for utilizing the time requested. This statement should include such information as the time sequence for completion of any project or plan.
    • The names of foundations or institutions, if any, with which the applicant expects to be affiliated during the leave, an outline of special resources available for the proposed work, and the source and amount of any supplementary grants or salary.
    • A statement of evidence of productivity in scholarly or creative work and a brief review of professional activities.
  3. A copy of the applicant's current CV.
  4. If the applicant so desires they may submit supporting letters from faculty members of the rank of associate or full professor, or from any other appropriate individuals not necessarily associated with the University. Three (3) copies are required of each of these items of support if submitted.
  5. Request for Approval of Outside Professional Work for Compensation if the applicant plans to receive payment for research or consulting activities during their leave.

Chair's role in the application process

Upon receipt of an application for Sabbatical Leave, the department chair will review or prepare the following materials and submit them to the Dean via email ( using the Subject Heading: “SABBATICAL REQUEST: [NAME OF FACULTY MEMBER]”), by November 1st, along with the attachment of the materials described above.

  1. Prepare - Either a letter of recommendation approving the leave and stating the merits of the applicant's programs, their ability to accomplish it successfully, and the benefits which will accrue to the University as a result of the proposed leave, or a letter disapproving the leave and stating their reasons for such recommendation.
  2. Review - The UW Application for Sabbatical Leave form. The form should include any information about outside funds that are available. Please ensure that the form has been filled out completely and carefully

NOTE: The salary while on leave may be full or partial depending on the period of the leave and whether the faculty member has full or partial tenure. Salary support is calculated from the tenure-backed, state funded portion of the faculty member’s salary. Details are provided on the form and the AHR website.

The Assistant to the Chair will forward all copies of the entire application dossier, along with the Chair’s letter and the Application for Sabbatical Leave form, to the College of Engineering Dean.

On the basis of information provided by the applicant about financial support from outside sources, the details of their financial supplement from the University will be worked out by the applicant's department chair in accordance with the formula for Sabbatical Leave support.

Travel expenses while on leave

Faculty who request funds for travel expenses while on Sabbatical Leave must obtain written permission from the chair/director or dean/chancellor and submit it with the Travel Expense Voucher (TEV) to the Travel Office. Please refer to the Travel Office for more information.

After the leave

A summary of the leave activities should be emailed to the provost at upon return from leave and it should include:

  • Accomplishments:
    A statement of evidence of productivity in scholarly or creative work and a brief review of professional activities.
  • How did it benefit the UW:
    A statement regarding the value of the applicant’s project in terms of benefit to the institution upon return from Sabbatical Leave.

Following completion of Sabbatical Leave, a faculty member must return and work for the University for the period of one year at the FTE% they held prior to going on leave. Failure to comply with this agreement shall constitute an obligation on the faculty member’s part to repay the University any remuneration during the period of the leave.

Additional resources: