Sabbaticals policy

Version: 11/01/2018


General principles

When evaluating applications for sabbaticals, we will first check if the application is eligible, and then rank the applications before we forward them to the Head of Department, who then forwards them to the School Research Committee.

The sabbatical leave process is described on p.33 of the staff research handbook. (If you didn’t receive it, you can find a copy here:

Eligibility criteria

  • Individuals can apply for a sabbatical after seven years of (non-sabbatical) service, and thus every eight years.[1]
  • Only applications for full year sabbaticals are considered.
  • Applications need to specify a clear project that leads to a referable output (i.e., an impact case study or a 3* or 4* publication).
  • To apply, please use the form provided at
  • Applications must come with careful costing of all teaching covered required, including lecturing and the tutorial seminars, but not third year project supervision.
  • There should be a statement about how the person assuring the teaching cover will be identified.
  • Applications must be costed using the spreadsheet found here:
  • We will not chase up any information: if the application is not complete upon first submission, it will be rejected.

Evaluation criteria

  1. The primary evaluation criterion is the excellence of the project.
  2. When two projects are rated as equally good, but one has already attracted funding for a visit to another institution, priority is given to this project. Please note that we take into account only funding specifically linked to the sabbatical project, but not any other funding the applicant might have.
  3. When a project leading to research outputs and a project leading to an impact case study are rated as equally good, impact case studies will be given priority. This is because we are short on impact case studies.
  4. When two projects leading to research outputs are rated as equally good, priority is given to the project leading to the greater improvement in the research standing of the individual. For example, if Applicant A already has four 4* papers, but Applicant B has only 3* papers and the sabbatical is likely to lead to a 4* output, priority is given to Applicant B. This is because an improvement in Applicant B’s research standing improves our REF output more than another excellent paper by Applicant A. Should this criterion be applied, the application by Applicant A will automatically be reconsidered in the following round of sabbatical applications, where Applicant A will be exempt from this criterion.


[1]The school policy states that individuals can apply for 1/7thof their time of service, but the interpretation is apparently that individuals provide seven years of service, and after this period, they get 1/7thof this period as a sabbatical. We are aware that this is not what you have been told so far, as colleagues got sabbaticals after six rather than seven years of service. While we are pushing back against this policy change, and it mightbe reverted back to what it was, we are bound by the school policy, as our recommendations will just get vetoed at the school level if they don’t follow the school policy.

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