Writing a Compelling Sabbatical Proposal

The following highlights the elements of a well-prepared sabbatical proposal. By offering full transparency into how the proposal will be reviewed, the goal is to make the application process as straightforward as possible. A well-planned, good idea makes it easier to write a successful proposal.

Proposals for sabbatical leave must have a clear conceptual focus. A sabbatical proposal must be explicit about the desired results or outcomes of the project. In particular, a proposal should conform to one or more of the Objectives listed here:

  1. Promise of a significant contribution to a new or existing subject under study or problem undertaken.
  2. Expansion of skills that deepens or extends the applicant’s professional capabilities related to teaching (or for librarians, professional effectiveness), research, or creative activity.
  3. A planned effort to retrain professionally, in a manner appropriate to the applicant’s discipline and the unit’s and university’s needs.

When you prepare your proposal, keep the following general guidelines in mind:

  • Demonstrate that you have planned in advance to reach your sabbatical goals.
  • The proposal should be well written and geared toward a general audience of non-specialists. The faculty members reading your proposal come from a wide variety of disciplines. This is your idea; convey the story and its relevance to a general academic audience. 
  • Be sure to address completely all of the elements of the application in the order listed. (Following directions is an important step in a successful proposal.) 
  • Your proposal should not exceed 10 pages, excluding references and other supporting documents.

All applications for sabbatical leave must be submitted through the electronic system via the sabbatical website. You must select SUBMIT APPLICATION no later than 11:59 p.m. on September 1 to begin the Sabbatical Leave Request review process.

Page last modified June 3, 2019