Policy

For full details on this leave type please refer to the special leave policy.

Special Leave [pdf]

Download application form [Word]

Sabbatical leave for academic refreshment is available to academic staff wishing to pursue research interests and scholarships or other activities relating to your primary employment at the College. During sabbatical leave, you won't be committed to College activities and your period of continuous service at the College will be protected during the leave.

If you are working within the Faculty of Natural Sciences, please refer to the specific Sabbatical leave and leave of absence procedure.

Eligibility

  • Sabbatical leave for academic refreshment is available to academic staff:
    • Professors.
    • Readers.
    • Clinical and Non-clinical Senior Lecturers.
    • Clinical and Non-clinical Lecturers.
  • You must have worked at the College for two years of continued service.
  • Sabbatical leave cannot be taken during probation (service is counted towards the qualifying period).

Leave amount

The length of leave is at the College's discretion and based on the below:

  • up to one term after two years of qualifying service.
  • up to two terms after four years of qualifying service.
  • up to a maximum of three terms after six years of qualifying service.

Qualifying periods

  • Qualifying periods will re-start following a period of sabbatical leave.
  • Probation service is counted towards the qualifying period.
  • Any period of ‘Leave of Absence’ will not count towards the qualifying period.

Requesting sabbatical leave for Academic refreshment

Staff guidance

Application form

Complete the Leave of Absence / Sabbatical leave request , stating:

  • the purpose of your leave
  • the activities that you will carry out 
  • the cover of your College duties arranged in your absence, usually arranged in agreement with your colleagues

Send the completed form to your Head of Department who will consider your request before sending to the Faculty Dean, and any other parties if required, for approval.

Approval

If your application is supported by both your Head of Department and the Faculty Dean, the completed form is forwarded to the Staff Hub so that arrangements can be confirmed in writing and the relevant parties are notified of the sabbatical leave. HR will update your absence records on your behalf.

Unsupported applications

If your application is not supported, the details will be submitted to the Director of HR for review in consultation with the Senior College Consul and Vice Provost (Education).

During sabbatical leave

Pay

A period of Sabbatical Leave may be paid, part paid or unpaid. This is at the discretion of the Department / Division. See the Special Leave [pdf] policy for more information.

Annual leave

If your sabbatical leave is paid or part paid, the contractual annual leave entitlement will continue. This is at the discretion of the Department / Division. See the Special Leave [pdf]‌ policy for more information.

Pension

If your sabbatical leave is paid, pension contributions will continue to be paid. This is at the discretion of the Department / Division. See the Special Leave [pdf]‌ policy for more information.

For more information on National insurance contributions, income tax and insurance cover during sabbatical leave, see the Special Leave [pdf]‌ policy.

Heads of Department guidance

The member of staff will forward the completed form to their Head of Department (HoD). In considering applications for Sabbatical Leave, the HoD must ensure that:

  • Reasons for the request are satisfactory
  • Purposes of leave are in the interest of the College
  • Teaching, research and administrative functions of the Department/Division can be satisfactorily discharged and covered
Supported by HoD

Where the HoD supports the application, the form should be forwarded to the Faculty Dean for approval. Where approved by the Faculty Dean, the completed form should be forwarded to [the Staff Hub] so that arrangements can be confirmed in writing, and the relevant parties notified of the Sabbatical Leave. HR will also update the individual’s TeamSeer absence management record accordingly.

Unsupported by HoD

Where the HoD and/or Faculty Dean does not support the application, the details will be submitted to the Director of HR for review, in consultation with the Senior College Consul and Vice Provost (Education).

Further approval - research and clinical staff

Where the applicant’s post is funded, or part-funded, by external monies, the relevant Research Services Team should also be consulted before any final approval is given.

Arrangements must be satisfactory to the Chief Executive of the NHS Trust for clinical staff, and such agreement must be secured by the HoD. Additional duties, such as Wardens of Halls of Residence, must be satisfactorily arranged with the appropriate authorities, for example Residences Manager.

See the Special Leave [pdf]‌ policy for more information on the full procedure for the following during a staff member's sabbatical leave:

  • Pay
  • Annual leave
  • Pension
  • National insurance contributions
  • Income tax 
  • Insurance cover 

Accessible documents

Some of the downloadable documents linked to on this page are not accessible. For accessible versions, please contact hrpolicyandreward@imperial.ac.uk.