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Author Topic: Time off From Job for Research  (Read 7046 times)
Posts: 240

« on: April 15, 2012, 3:40:48 pm »

Excuse the green sounding question.  When one is hired to a TT position, say with a 3/3 courseload and research expectations (in Literature), how do you take time off to do research besides the summer?  Even if you don't have a grant, can you do so and is it common? 

In my current (very large R1) university, where I am finishing up, many professors leave for a year or more to do work elsewhere, and many do so without outside grants or funding (just on their salaries).

Is this time off from teaching anything to mention in job negotiations?

Thank you.
Distinguished Senior Member
Posts: 3,287

« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2012, 4:11:04 pm »

If your professors are leaving for a year with no grants (but with salary), they are likely on sabbatical.  Although it varies, at many universities, after five or six years, professors earn the opportunity to take a research sabbatical, usually for up to a year.  Commonly, universities will pay for 6 months of sabbatical at full salary, or 12 months at half salary.  Some universities will also give a mini-sabbatical for assistant professors after two or three years to help them catch up with research. As for the newly hired,  at times, they will be given a lighter teaching load the first year so that they can ramp up their research.  It's also nice if the department chair works to protect the newly hired from too much service before tenure so that they can concentrate on teaching and research.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2012, 4:11:24 pm by johnr » Logged
And... we're off!
Distinguished Senior Member
Posts: 1,821

« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2012, 3:16:04 pm »

First, you'll need to make time during the school year to do research.  A 3/3 load really isn't that bad (though not all 3/3 loads are created equal).  But you should be able to make time for research while also teaching (may not so much the first semester but it is possible).

As johnr mentioned, some universities will allow pre-tenure sabbaticals.  I think my last university did, but you were on half-salary for the semester you were on the pre-tenure sabbatical. That university was either 3/3 or 4/4 depending on the department you were in.  For some people, that's worth it. Maybe you can negotiate something better.  I think this kind of thing is going to be much more common at research-intensive schools that schools with 3/3 loads.

Think about what you can do to make your normal semesters work more efficiently so you can make time for research.  That would include things like teaching multiple sections of the same class instead of 3 different preps.

I like to think of the student as a mischievous badger.
Posts: 216

« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2012, 11:52:09 pm »

This is spelled out in the faculty handbook of each institution. When you are on the job market, you should read through those as part of your research into the universities or colleges. But as johnr said, what you are referring to is a sabbatical. Nearly every institution offers them, sometimes automatic and sometimes competitive. Most also permit unpaid research leaves if you have a grant.
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