Sabbatical Leave

Guidelines for sabbatical leaves

Tenured faculty and librarians are periodically eligible to apply for paid or partially paid sabbatical leaves for the purpose of providing sustained time without teaching or service responsibilities so they may pursue scholarly research and creative activity that would be difficult or impossible to do without the leave period.

These opportunities for enrichment benefit both the faculty member and the university, provided they meet the goals of the sabbatical leave program.

When an eligible faculty member applies for a sabbatical leave, the application is evaluated for its merit, appropriateness, and feasibility. Eligibility to apply for a sabbatical leave does not equate to a right to take one. Appropriate sabbatical projects are focused on research or creative activity, rather than teaching or service activities. Additionally, department and school/college resources or schedules must be able to accommodate the particular timing of the proposed leave.

Campus and university policies governing sabbatical leaves include:


A faculty member is eligible for one sabbatical leave during each period of seven years of full-time service in faculty rank (including time on sabbatical leave), following the completion of the first six years of full-time service as a faculty member at Indiana University.

If you have questions about your current or future eligibility for a sabbatical leave, contact the Office of Academic Personnel Policies and Services at or 812-855-2026.

Terms of leave

A faculty member who is eligible for a sabbatical leave may apply for the leave in the academic year prior to the planned leave.

Sabbatical leaves may be taken for one of the following:

  • One semester, during which the faculty member is entitled to his or her full salary
  • The full academic year, during which the faculty member is entitled to half of his or her salary

Application process

If you are a faculty member who would like to take a leave and are eligible for a sabbatical leave based on accumulating sufficient years of full-time service, you must complete and submit the Application for Sabbatical Leave in the academic year prior to the proposed leave period.

The application is routed through successive levels of administrative review and approval—including the department, the school or college dean, the campus Committee on Sabbatical Leaves of Absence, and the vice provost for faculty and academic affairs.

The application must be accompanied by a statement from the department chairperson evaluating the proposed project and explaining scheduling adjustments that can be made within the department.

In addition to the hard copy of the application, you must also email a copy of your application to so we can add your application to our database.

Application for Sabbatical Leave

Application timeline

To ensure there is sufficient time to efficiently process sabbatical leave applications, we have developed the following timeline:

  1. Inform your departmental chairperson or dean by September 15 of your intention to apply for leave during the subsequent academic year.
  2. Submit your completed (paper) application to your chairperson by October 1.
  3. Also submit an electronic copy of your application by email to by October 1, so that your application may be incorporated into our database.
  4. Chairpersons will act on the application, including appending the statement of evaluation, and forward it to the dean’s office by October 15.
  5. Deans will forward a copy with the dean’s recommendation to the vice provost for faculty and academic affairs by November 15.
  6. Assuming the above deadlines have been met, the Committee on Sabbatical Leaves of Absence and the vice provost for faculty and academic affairs will complete their reviews and notify applicants of the outcome in February.

Common questions about sabbatical leave

Alternative accessible formats of the PDF documents on this page can be obtained by contacting VPFAA at