The sabbatical is a focused time for faculty scholarship or creative exploration in your field. It provides the opportunity for the faculty member to learn, develop or enhance understanding or skills that will improve the applicant’s teaching, scholarly/creative and/or professional competence beyond their significant focus. A successful sabbatical energizes the faculty member and pushes scholarship or creative goals forward in ways that are not possible during a normal semester. To make the most of this time the focus should be on good planning, well in advance of your application. Since this is a scholarly endeavor for which the university is providing salaried support, the faculty member is required to demonstrate in the application planning, preparation, and the potential for a successful outcome.
The goal of the university is for all eligible faculty members to be able to take advantage of this privilege that we, as academicians, share. This document highlights the elements of a well-prepared sabbatical proposal. By offering full transparency into how the college and university sabbatical review committees will read the proposals, we hope to make the application process as straightforward as possible. A well-planned, good idea makes it easier to write a successful proposal.
When you are preparing your proposal, keep the following general guidelines in mind:
The college and university sabbatical review committees wish you success in crafting an excellent sabbatical proposal and will be glad to answer any questions you have.
1. Descriptive Title for the Project (self-explanatory)
2. Goals and Objectives
Applicants occasionally mix together elements of criteria 2, 3, 4 and 5 and the clarity of the proposal has suffered. Criteria 2 is the part of your proposal where you should present the big picture written for a general audience. In writing this section, keep the following points in mind:
3. Background and Significance of Project
This section should provide the relevant background information for a non-specialist to understand your project. We offer the following guidelines:
4. Relevant Preparation
This section should outline and/or demonstrate the planning and preparation that has already been done toward the completion of your sabbatical project. We offer the following guidelines:
5. Project Plan
In this section you will explain how you will actually do the work. This section may include detail relevant for experts in your field, but try to keep the non-specialist reader in mind. A key point is to explain why the scope of this project requires time away from teaching and service responsibilities. Many successful proposals will specifically address the following (as appropriate):
This section is often neglected but it need not be a burden on the applicant. An artificial timeline (e.g., “I will write xx many pages per day”) is not a valuable exercise for the applicant or the reader; however, it is reasonable to assume that various aspects of the project will take different amounts of time. This section should demonstrate that you have thought about how long these activities should take in the context of your field. Use the following guiding ideas:
It can be helpful to the reviewers to include the planned activities of any “bookend” summer semesters in your timeline to demonstrate the long-term planning/preparation for your project.
7. Benefit to one’s own or other units.
In a short paragraph, tie your project into other aspects of your work on campus. A clear relationship between the proposed sabbatical leave and a proposer’s academic unit shall be demonstrated. These connections are often easily made and the applicant need not write extensively here. The connection may be (but is not limited to) one of the following:
a. Curriculum Vitae (not to exceed 5 pages)
Attach a condensed copy of your CV focused on your scholarly or creative accomplishments, especially those most relevant to the nature of the proposed work. If your normal CV exceeds 5 pages, please condense it to this length by eliminating some of the information not relevant to your sabbatical application.
b. Arrangements with people at other institutions
If your project depends on the help of collaborators, is occurring at another institution or location, or involves the use of facilities at another location, you must provide a letter from the parties involved to document any agreement about these arrangements. This letter (or these letters) should:
c. Other supporting documentation
Supporting documents may include:
You are not required to solicit additional letters of support for your proposal. However, if there is some extraordinary circumstance that you feel requires additional supporting letters or documentation it could be included here. This is not a place to attach reprints of papers, scholarly writings or past creative works.
Revised June 2017
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