Research and Study Leave

Introduction

Relevant Policies

Research and Study Leaves for Faculty Members

Leave Options

Salary Options and Calculations

Timing, Deferrals, and Banking

Research and Study Leave and Retirement

Report on the Leave

PTR and Research and Study Leave

Research Leave or Study Leave for Librarians

Forms and Templates

Introduction

Research and study leave for Faculty Members is governed by Article 4 of the Memorandum of Agreement.

Research or Study leave for Librarians is governed by the Policies for Librarians.

Relevant Policies

The information in this manual provides guidance on implementing policy but in all instances, the policies are binding and take precedence over the information provided in this manual.

Research and Study Leaves for Faculty Members

Faculty members wishing to apply for research and study leave must submit their request in writing to their Chair, Dean, or Principal by October 31 of the preceding academic year. The recommendation of the Dean or Principal to approve the request should be given to the faculty member and submitted to the Office of the Vice Provost, Faculty and Academic Life no later than December 31. Final confirmation from the Provost's Office will be given by March 31.

Research and Study Leave Proposals

Each request for leave from a faculty member must be accompanied by an appropriate proposal. 

  • Tenure-stream faculty: a statement of research and scholarship that the faculty member proposes to undertake. 
  • Teaching-stream faculty: a statement of the professional development or pedagogical work that the faculty member proposes to undertake.

Approval of the Proposal by the Unit Head

The statement provided by the faculty member should be sufficiently detailed to allow the unit head to assess the feasibility of the project. While it is important to respect the academic freedom of the faculty member in the selection of the topic and the approach taken to the research, the unit head's review should evaluate the project and offer suggestions where necessary for improvement. The Memorandum of Agreement states that leaves shall not be unreasonably denied; thus it is expected that the majority of requests will receive a recommendation for approval. Nonetheless, in circumstances such as where a research proposal is not well formulated, or where the research record of the individual is such that it is possible the project will not be carried out, or not produce a scholarly result, the unit head can consider denying the request. In such cases, a reason for the denial should be given to the faculty member as well as communicated to the Provost's Office for information..

Review and Approval of Research and Study Leave Requests

APSE, Arts & Science, Medicine, OISE, UTM, and UTSC

Using the Request for Leave Form, the above listed divisions will provide to the Provost's Office for approval a list of all faculty members recommended for leave and will provide additional supporting documentation for those cases that do not conform to the policy.

A list of those recommended for leave should be sent by the division head for approval to the Vice-Provost, Faculty and Academic Life no later than December 31. The approval will be given without further provostial review except for those leaves that do not conform to policy. The latter cases should be clearly identified and a detailed explanation of the reason for the recommendation must be provided..

Single-Department Faculties and All Other Units

All other Faculties and Schools must provide full documentation for each leave request to the Provost's Office for approval, submitting a Request for Leave Form and the leave proposal. All documentation should be sent for approval to the Office of the Vice-Provost Faculty and Academic Life no later than December 31.

Leave Options

Research and study leaves are defined as being either 6 months or 12 months in duration. Eligibility for research and study leaves is defined as resulting from an appropriate number of years of "continuous service" at the University. Time spent on leave is not counted when calculating service time. All faculty on an appointment of 50% or greater are entitled to apply for research and study leave.

The following regulations for determining eligibility, duration, and payment during research and study leaves are found in Article 4 of the Memorandum of Agreement.

Option A: 12-Month Leave After 6 Years of Service

  1. For leaves commencing on or after July 1, 2015, a faculty member on an appointment of 50% or greater is entitled to apply for a 12-month research and study leave at 85% of salary after every 6 years of service at the University. Research leave will normally commence on July 1.
  2. For leaves commencing on or after July 1, 2016, a faculty member on an appointment of 50% or greater is entitled to apply for a 12-month research and study leave at 87.5% of salary after every 6 years of service at the University. Research leave will normally commence on July 1.

Splitting of a 12-Month Leave Into Two 6-Month Leaves

Occasionally, the Provost's Office receives requests to split research leaves into two 6-month parts not taken consecutively. The normal way such requests are treated is that the individual's research leave clock does not start to calculate service time toward a next leave until both halves of the current research leave have been completed.

Option B: 6-Month Leave at 100% Salary After 6 Years of Service

As an alternative, each faculty member on an appointment of 50% or greater is entitled to apply for a research and study leave of 6 months at 100% salary after every 6 years of service at the University. Leaves may commence on either July 1 or January 1, subject to the approval of the Unit Head..

Option C: 12-Month Leave at 90% of Salary for the First Leave Following a Successful Tenure Review and Promotion to Associate Professor or a Successful Continuing Status Review and Promotion to Associate Professor, Teaching Stream

Effective July 1, 2013 the compensation level for a 12-month Research and Study Leave will be at 90% of salary for the following faculty only:

  1. For tenured faculty, the first research and study leave following a successful tenure review and promotion to associate professor;
  2. For teaching-stream faculty, the first research and study leave following a successful continuing status review and promotion to associate professor, teaching stream.

See further details and a list of frequently asked questions.

Option D: 6-Month Leave After 3 Years of Service

As an alternative and subsequent to Option A, B, or C, and where the academic unit's teaching program permits, each faculty member on an appointment of 50% or greater is entitled to apply for a research or study leave for a 6-month period (from July 1 to December 31 or January 1 to June 30) after every 3 years of service.

The salary rate for such leaves commencing on or after July 1, 2015 will be 85%.

The salary rate for such leaves commencing on or after July 1, 2016 will be 87.5%.

Salary Options and Calculations

Spreading Base Salary Over 24 Months

Faculty members who elect to take a 12-month research and study leave may request that their salary while on leave and their salary to be earned in the next academic year be spread evenly over 24 months.

That is, for Option A, for leaves commencing on or after July 1, 2015, they will receive 92.5% of their salary during the 12 months they are on leave and 92.5% of salary during the 12 months immediately following their return from leave. For Option A, for leaves commencing on or after July 1, 2016, they will receive 93.75% of their salary during the 12 months they are on leave and 93.75% of salary during the 12 months immediately following their return from leave. For Option C, they will receive 95% of their salary during the 12 months they are on leave and 95% of their salary during the 12 months following their return from leave. Base salary adjustments and benefits will be calculated on regular salary. All such requests must be in writing and approved by the appropriate Unit and/or Division Head.

Calculation of Eligibility for Faculty on Partial Service

Changes to FTE status of faculty may arise from requests to take unpaid leave for personal reasons or to take up release-time arrangements such as research fellowships offered by the granting agencies.

Release From 100% of Normal Teaching Duties

If an award or other circumstance results in a faculty member being released from all normal teaching duties during an academic year, that year will not be counted as a service year but as a leave of absence year. In other words, the research leave "clock" will be stopped for an academic year when 100% release time from teaching is granted with the exception of those holding prestigious fellowships (see below).

Partial Release

Time spent on appointments of less than 100% but greater than 49% is considered when calculating time spent in continuous service to the University; however, salary while on research leave will be prorated to reflect the facts of partial employment during eligible service years.

For example, a faculty member holding a 40% fellowship for 3 years of a 6-year period of service would receive a leave-salary base calculated as follows:

(3 years @ 60% (the reciprocal of the 40% release time award) + 3 years @ 100% = 480%) / 6 years = 80% of relevant salary base.

The result would be that a normal 6-month leave salary of 100% would be discounted to 80% or a normal 12-month leave salary of 85% would be discounted to 68%.

Alternately, an individual has the option of making up time on partial salary (or other equivalent) release by serving an additional amount of time before applying for leave. The formula set out above applies in this instance, but in no case can salary while on research leave exceed normal stipulated rates for a 12-month research leave.

Prestigious Fellowships

Holders of prestigious fellowships are allowed up to 2 years credit towards the time required to be eligible for a research or study leave. Chairs/Deans may wish to discuss with individuals who are applying for prestigious fellowships the appropriate timing of their application and their research and study leave, in order to avoid prolonged absences from the University.

There are two criteria used by the Provost's Office in the definition of a prestigious fellowship as it pertains to counting towards service for leave entitlement: the first is that it is highly competitive and recognized as such; the second is that its monetary value approximates the salary of the faculty member, or at least the equivalent cost of a full-time replacement.

Timing, Deferrals, and Banking

Timing of a First Leave

The timing of the first leave should be agreed at time of hiring. The Office of the Vice Provost Faculty & Academic Life can provide guidance on crediting of any prior service for faculty coming to the University of Toronto from another institution that has a similar research and study leave policy.

Early Consideration of Leaves

From time to time the Provost's Office receives requests for leave earlier than the cycle of 6 years. Requests that are based on the academic opportunities involved will be considered. Time to the next leave will be adjusted accordingly.

(Re-)Setting the Clock

The Research Leave clock is reset at zero once a research leave has been taken except as described below. In the case of a split leave, the individual's research leave clock does not start to calculate service time toward a next leave until both halves of the current research leave have been completed.

Deferring a Leave

Leaves may be deferred for two reasons:

  1. At the request of the Unit Head for academic reasons (e.g., to ensure effective delivery of academic programs)
  2. At the request of the faculty member.

At the Request of the Unit Head

In the past, some units have faced difficulties in meeting the demands of their teaching programs when an abnormally large number of research and study leave requests fall into one year. If the number of leaves impair the unit's ability to deliver programs effectively at the undergraduate or graduate level, the Unit Head may ask faculty to defer their leaves. Individuals who delay their leaves at the request of the Unit Head should receive credit for the year of service and should then be allowed to apply a year earlier for their subsequent leave. A formal request to defer leave should be made during the application cycle for regularly scheduled leaves to allow for planning in the departments. A formal application for the actual leave will then be made by the faculty member during the next year's leave cycle to receive departmental, decanal, and provostial approvals.

At the Request of the Faculty Member

Research leaves taken after 6 years of service may now be deferred for up to 1 year at the request of the faculty member, with credit for the time deferred applied when calculating eligibility for subsequent research leave. A formal request to defer leave should be made during the application cycle for regularly scheduled leaves to allow for planning in the departments. A formal application for the actual leave will then be made by the faculty member during the next year's leave cycle to receive departmental, decanal, and provostial approvals.

Banking of Leaves

Except in the cases cited above, research leave entitlement should not normally be saved up or "banked" toward future leaves. Unit heads should take particular care in planning divisional leaves to ensure that individuals' leaves are deferred for no more than 2 years, including the provision for the elective deferral of leaves. Permission to defer leave for a third consecutive year will be approved by the Provost's Office only in unusual circumstances.

Research and Study Leave and Retirement

When mandatory retirement was abolished in 2006, changes were made concerning the timing of leaves for those approaching their normal retirement date (e.g., at 65).  Further details can be found in the document entitled Research & Study Leave Arrangements in relation to the New Agreement on Retirement Matters

Research and study leave for faculty members continues in accordance with Article 4 and existing policies and procedures. Article 4(c) has been amended to permit the 6-month leave after every 3 years of service at 87.5% to be taken within 7 years of retirement, unless the faculty member has entered the Phased Retirement Program, in which case the leave alternative in Article 4(c) will not be available.

Report on the Leave

At the conclusion of the leave, a report on the research and scholarship undertaken is required. This is an important part of the policy, and it is the responsibility of the Unit Head to ensure that such reports are filed.

PTR and Research and Study Leave

Further details on the assessment of faculty who have been on research and study leave can be found in the section on Academic Salary Administration entitled Staff on Research and Study Leave.

Research Leave or Study Leave for Librarians

All full-time librarians who have received permanent status are eligible to apply for research or study leave. The Chief Librarian will ensure that staffing requirements are adequately met when approving such leave.

According to section 7 of the Policy on Part-Time Librarians, a part-time librarian who holds the third in a series of 3-year part-time appointments, and who for the whole period has held an appointment of 50% or more, shall be eligible to apply for research or study leave for up to 12 months at 50% of the part-time salary.

Study Leave

Study leave involves the registration in a formal program of studies, whether or not it leads to a degree, which will be of mutual benefit to the librarian and the Library. The amount of paid study leave which can be granted depends on the length of continuous service:

  • After 3 years continuous service, a librarian may request a 6-month study leave at 50% of salary
  • After 4 years continuous service, a librarian may request a 8-month study leave at 50% of salary
  • After 5 years continuous service, a librarian may request a 10-month study leave at 50% of salary
  • After 6 years or more of continuous service, a librarian can request a 12-month study leave at 50% of salary

Research Leave

Research leave may be granted when the librarian has demonstrated the potential to benefit from the leave and when the research proposed can be made use of in the librarian's continuing employment with the University.

The leave options available to librarians are as follows:

Option A: 12-Month Leave After 6 Years of Service

  • For leaves commencing on or after July 1, 2015, a librarian on an appointment of 50% or greater is entitled to apply for a 12-month research leave at 85% of salary after every 6 years of service at the University. Research leave will normally commence on July 1.
  • For leaves commencing on or after July 1, 2016, a librarian on an appointment of 50% or greater is entitled to apply for a 12-month research leave at 87.5% of salary after every 6 years of service at the University. Research leave will normally commence on July 1.

Option B: 6-Month Leave at 100% Salary After 6 Years of Service

As an alternative, each librarian on an appointment of 50% or greater is entitled to apply for a research leave of 6 months at 100% salary after every 6 years of service at the University. Leaves may commence on either July 1 or January 1, subject to the approval of the Chief Librarian.

Option C: 12-Month Leave at 90% of Salary for the First Leave Following a Successful Permanent Status Review and Promotion to Librarian III

In addition, effective July 1, 2013 compensation for a 12-month research leave will be at 90% of salary for the following librarians only:

  • For librarians, the first research leave following a successful permanent status review and promotion to Librarian III.

Research leave and study leave entitlements are alternative, not cumulative. 

Requests for Research Leave or Study Leave

Applications for research or study leave are made in writing to the Chief Librarian or department head (with a copy to the Chief Librarian) at least 6 months in advance of the leave. Requests will include a statement of research or studies that the librarian proposes to undertake, and upon return a report of the research and scholarship accomplished will be provided to the Chief Librarian or the department head (with a copy to the Chief Librarian). Recommendations for leave require the approval of the Vice President and Provost.

Salary Options and Calculations

Please see the section on Salary Options and Calculations above.

Research Leave and Retirement

When mandatory retirement was abolished in 2006, changes were made concerning the timing of leaves for those approaching their normal retirement date (e.g., at 65).  Further details can be found in the document entitled Research and Study Leave Arrangements in Relation to the New Agreement on Retirement Matters.

For librarians, research leave will continue in accordance with Paragraph 51 of the Policies for Librarians with the exception that Paragraph 51 will be amended to permit the 6-month leave after every 3 years of service at 87.5% to be taken within 7 years of retirement, unless the librarian has entered the Phased Retirement Program, in which case that leave option in Paragraph 51 will not be available.  

Forms and Templates