Sabbatical Research Leave

Sabbatical Research Leave

Sabbatical Research Leave is now administered via each College Sabbatical Research Leave Committee and overseen by the University Sabbatical Research Leave Committee. 

Revisions have been made to the policy and paperwork following an integration of the interim arrangements which were in place for over the last few years.

For queries contact Angela O' Donovan -Manager, HR Strategy & Organisation Development, ext. 3882

Sabbatical Research Leave Policy

INTRODUCTION

University College Cork acknowledges the important role that research leave plays in supporting opportunities to pursue research interests and scholarship and considers such leave to be a form of staff enhancement and development that enables longer periods of focused study and research than would normally be available during the academic year.

Assessment of applications for Sabbatical Research Leave has been devolved to the relevant College Sabbatical Research Leave Committee, which operates under the overall University Sabbatical Research Leave Policy.

 

DEFINITION

Research leave is defined as a form of leave to undertake research or other appropriate study related to an individual’s academic or professional field. Such leave may be granted to a member of staff to engage in activity which will enhance his or her research standing and in turn the University’s standing.

Research leave is granted for a specified period but not exceeding twelve months at any one time. Academic staff may apply for research leave with full salary, or for partial salary or leave without pay, as appropriate, where the host institution will provide funding to cover some or all salary costs.

 

POLICY

The overall Sabbatical Research Leave Policy is overseen by the University Sabbatical Research Leave Committee, and applications are assessed by the College Sabbatical Research Leave Committee.

The University Sabbatical Research Leave Committee reports to Academic Council. The Chair of the Committee is appointed by the President and members are appointed by Academic Council for a three year period. This Committee is charged with overall responsibility for the development, implementation, review and monitoring of the University Sabbatical Research Leave Policy. The role of the University Sabbatical Research Committee is to:

  • Develop, implement and review policy in the area of sabbatical research leave under the direction of Academic Council
  • Set guidelines under which the College Sabbatical Research Leave Committees will operate
  • Set University criteria and policy for sabbatical research leave application
  • Advise Heads of College on University standards relating to research leave
  • Monitor the implementation of the Policy
  • Ensure equity of application and standards under the Policy within UCC
  • Receive regular reports from each College regarding applications and approvals
  • Provide annual reports to Academic Council
  • Act as Appeals Committee  

Each College should establish a Sabbatical Research Leave Committee, accountable to the University Sabbatical Research Leave Committee regarding procedural issues on research leave. The Chair of each Committee is the Head of College or senior academic nominee, and members are appointed by the College Council for a three year period. Local responsibility for the application of the University Sabbatical Research Leave Policy lies with the College Sabbatical Research Leave Committee. Recommendations to the President on research leave applications are made by the relevant College Sabbatical Research Leave Committee, operating within policy guidelines.

The role of each College Sabbatical Research Leave Committee is to:

  • Operate within the guidelines set down in the University Sabbatical Research Leave Policy
  • Submit its discipline-specific criteria to the University Sabbatical Research Leave Committee
  • Develop discipline-specific practices, as appropriate
  • Advise Heads of Schools\Departments\Units regarding procedures and criteria relating to Sabbatical Research Leave Policy
  • Provide regular reports to the University Sabbatical Research Leave Committee
  • Consider all eligible applications for research leave against set criteria
  • Seek further clarification/information, where necessary for decision making
  • Make recommendations to the President in relation to each individual application
  • Record decisions taken on each application and the rationale for such decisions
  • Ensure cost-neutrality of Policy locally
  • Ensure appropriate arrangements have been put in place in the School/Department/Unit to cover the teaching and administrative duties of staff member for whom leave is approved
  • Monitor multiple applications for any one School/Department/Unit for the same time period
  • Review Sabbatical Research Leave reports received from staff and seek further information, as necessary
  • The Committee will receive administrative support from the HR Business Partner

 

CRITERIA

The Sabbatical Research Leave Committee within each College is assigned the responsibility of evaluating each application on its own merits, taking into account cases where prioritisation is required. General University criteria for decision-making will include:

(i)        clear evidence of the value and benefit of the proposed research to the applicant’s professional goals, the strategic goals for both the School/Department/Unit and the College and, in turn, the University goals;

(ii)      clear evidence of the quality and consistency of the applicant’s research outputs and scholarly achievements over his/her career, as well as contribution to teaching;

(iii)     successful research outputs from previous research leave;

(iv)    appropriate discipline-specific criteria.

Applicants should provide details of their research activity in support of their application, including a list of publications over the previous five years, along with information relating to research funds obtained and any research achievements/awards. It should also include grants held, etc.  Where appropriate and relevant, the applicant should indicate how the proposed research would contribute to the research plan of the School/Department/Unit, the College and the University. Research proposals should enhance an individual’s research standing and, in turn, the University's standing.

ELIGIBILITY

All members of academic staff who are contractually obliged to undertake research will have the right to apply for research leave. Part-time academic staff are eligible to apply on a pro-rata basis. Research leave is not guaranteed, and decisions are made in accordance with criteria established by the University Sabbatical Research Leave Committee.

Eligibility to apply for research leave is based on length of service, as follows:

  • Periods of 3 - 6 months research leave require three years of continuous service since commencement of employment in UCC or return from previous period of leave.
  • Periods in excess of 6 months and up to 12 months research leave require six years of continuous service since commencement of employment in UCC or return from previous period of leave.

Under exceptional circumstances, where a staff member has worked for an extended period of time without leave, the qualifying period may be varied, as determined by the College Sabbatical Research Leave Committee.

Any period of unpaid leave of absence will not count towards qualifying period of service i.e. leave taken under this Policy is not considered to be reckonable service for future leave applications.

PROCEDURE

Applications for Research Leave should be submitted by the staff member to his/her Head of School\Department\Unit for endorsement, and include the following information:

  • Purpose of leave
  • Proposed location
  • Intended outcomes
  • Record of previous leave and outcome, including copy of completed report to Committee
  • Record of publication and achievement in research, teaching and contribution to date

The Head of School\Department\Unit completes his/her section of the form, providing comment on the application, together with detailed information regarding the arrangements that will be made in the School/Department/Unit to carry out the work of the member of staff in an effective manner during his/her absence. The application is then forwarded for consideration by the Sabbatical Research Leave Committee for that College.

Prioritisation by the Head of School\Department\Unit may be required by the College Sabbatical Research Committee where multiple applications are received from the same unit for the same time period.

CONDITIONS AND GUIDELINES

The University is committed to providing high quality teaching for its students. Consequently, approval of any application for research leave will be contingent on suitable arrangements being made by the Head of School\Department\Unit for the efficient and effective delivery of teaching and examining activities relating to the period of proposed leave.  Absence on sabbatical leave must not adversely affect student workload or module choice.   The individual applying for leave also agrees to the conditions laid down in the regulations and such further conditions as may be laid down by the University Sabbatical Leave Committee on behalf of the President before the leave will be granted.

Staff are encouraged to spend research leave away from the University in order to benefit from the opportunities of working at other institutions. However, it is recognised that it will not always be possible for all or part of a period of research leave to be spent away from the University.  Apart from exceptional circumstances which are subject to the approval of the Head of College in collaboration with the University Space Sub-Committee, the staff member will be required to vacate his or her office during the period of research leave but may use the University facilities, especially the library.

The granting of a period of research leave can have no cost implications for the University. Where a cost is incurred in the replacement of a staff member, either fully or partially, such payment will be deducted by the University from the staff member’s salary. Any balance remaining will be paid to the staff memberless any other earnings (e.g. stipend paid by a host institution) and will be subject to normal tax arrangements.

If in receipt of a full salary from the host institution the staff member will be required to apply for un-paid leave.  If the staff member is in receipt of a partial salary the resulting salary from UCC will be agreed between the relevant Head of College and the Bursar within the principles outlined in this policy.

The College Sabbatical Research Leave Committee makes a recommendation to the President on each application. (Note: In accordance with Statutes, the President has delegated Heads of College the power to grant sabbatical research leave, under the policies of the University, to staff within each College. Therefore, the College Sabbatical Research Leave Committee makes a recommendation to the Head of College on each application and the Head of College must sign any approved letters to applicants. The Chair of the College Sabbatical Research Committee will sign unapproved letters.) 

Following  approval of proposed recommendations, full details of the financial aspects of the arrangement should then be submitted to the Finance Officer on the prescribed form available from the Finance Office.

The staff member will submit a written report through their Head of School\Department\Unit to the College Sabbatical Research Leave Committee within six months of completion of leave. This report will provide details of how the objectives set out in the original leave proposal have been met, with comments on special difficulties or opportunities encountered, together with any important research directions identified.

Guidelines for College Sabbatical Research Committees

1.         Calls of Application

The College Sabbatical Research Leave Committee shall normally issue a call for sabbatical research leave applications twice a year, on a date to be determined. The College Sabbatical Research Leave Committee is requested to copy the Chair of the University Sabbatical Research Leave Committee and the Department of Human Resources on their call.*

Each College is requested to monitor leave in order to ensure that there is sufficient time to plan the operational needs of the School\Department in advance of any sabbatical leave being taken.

2.         Eligibility

Eligibility refers to eligibility to apply for leave of absence for sabbatical research leave and such eligibility should be determined based on length of service as set out in the Sabbatical Research Leave Policy. 

Eligibility of each applicant should be checked via liaison with the relevant HR Business Partner. Only applications submitted by those eligible to apply under the Sabbatical Research Leave Policy should be considered by the College Sabbatical Leave Committee.

Academic staff who have recently been granted leave of absence funded by, for example, Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) or the Irish Research Council (IRC) are eligible to apply for sabbatical research leave.   The sabbatical research leave applicant should inform the relevant funding body of their intended period of leave and check the status of their funding in light of being granted leave.

Applicants who are engaged in the Probation and\or Establishment process at the time of application are not eligible to apply for leave.

The prescribed periods for research leave should not normally exceed twelve months or be less than three months in duration.

3.         Notification of Sick Leave on Sabbatical Research Leave

In circumstances where a staff member falls ill during a period of granted sabbatical research leave, s/he should formally notify the relevant College Sabbatical Research Leave Committee and provide relevant medical certification before the end of the period of leave.   The College Sabbatical Research Committee will decide on the duration of research leave to be recouped by the staff member, if any, in consideration of any future application for sabbatical research leave or where all relevant parties agree to the extension of the current sabbatical research leave period. 

4.         Notifications

In accordance with Statutes, the President has delegated Heads of College the power to grant sabbatical research leave, under the policies of the University, to staff within each College. Therefore, the College Sabbatical Research Leave Committee makes a recommendation to the Head of College on each application and the Head of College must sign all letters approving an application for sabbatical leave. The Chair of the College Sabbatical Research Committee will sign letters to unsuccessful applicants.

Following the Head of College’s approval of proposed recommendations, full details of the financial aspects of the arrangement should then be submitted to the Finance Officer on the prescribed form available from the Finance Office at http://www.ucc.ie/en/media/support/financeoffice/formspoliciesprocedures/formbank/Sabbatical_Leave_of_Absence_Form_January2014-1.2.pdf

When sabbatical research leave is granted the College Sabbatical Research Leave Committee is required to ensure that the official letter of approval is copied to the following parties:

  • Finance Officer
  • Payroll Office
  • Human Resources
  • College HR Business Partner
  • Office of Media & Communications
  • Pensions Administration
  • Buildings & Estates
  • Head of School/ Department
  • Head of College

 

5.         Use of Office Space

Apart from exceptional circumstances which are subject to the approval of the Head of College in collaboration with the University Space Sub-Committee, the university will normally require the member of staff to vacate his or her office during the period of research leave but recognises that the member of staff may use the university facilities, especially the library.

6.         Record Keeping & Reporting Arrangements

The College Sabbatical Research Leave Committee is required to keep accurate records which include minutes of all meetings, formal letters of approval/non-approval and any correspondence between applicants and the College Sabbatical Research Leave Committee.

The College Sabbatical Research Leave Committee is required to submit a report to the University Sabbatical Research Committee after the decisions have been made on applications in respect of each call. This report should be sent to the Chair of the USLRC and to the Department of Human Resources.* The USRL Committee agreed that future reports from the Colleges should contain the following information:

  • The name of the Chairperson of the College Committee
  • Meeting dates and members present at the meeting(s)
  • Name of each applicant and School\Department\Discipline affiliation
  • The result of each application (approved or not approved)
  • The duration of research leave approved for each applicant
  • A brief written explanation for any unsuccessful applications
  • Please note that reports on sabbatical leave activity should be received by the Head of School\Department (and be copied to the Chairperson of the College Committee) within three months of a staff member returning to work. Staff members have the option of submitting an additional updated report within a twelve month period of returning to work from Sabbatical Research Leave should they wish to do so.

All books, articles and materials submitted by a staff member in support of his or her application for sabbatical research leave should be returned within a timely manner after the relevant College Sabbatical Research Leave Committee meeting.

 7.  Decision-making

The criteria set out in the Sabbatical Research Leave Policy and any additional approved discipline related criteria shall be used in all decisions being made by the College Sabbatical Research Committee.

  Professor Deirdre Madden, Chair, University Sabbatical Research Leave Committee

  Ms Angela O’Donovan, Department of Human Resource

 

Amended by the University Sabbatical Research Leave Committee April 2015

University Sabbatical Research Leave Committee (USRL)

Chair:                                                  Prof.  Deirdre Madden

Committee Members:                         Mr. Diarmuid Collins

                                                            Prof.  David Kerins

                                                            Prof.  Anita Maguire

                                                            Prof. Andy Wheeler

                                                            Dr. Stiofán Ó Cadhla

                                                            Ms. Angela O’Donovan

                                                            Ms. Katie Dineen

                                                            

College Sabbatical Research Leave Committee Membership

College of Business & Law

  • Chair: Dr. Fidelma White, School of Law
  • Professor Joe Bogue, Department of Food Business & Development
  • Professor Nuala Finnegan, School of Languages, Literatures & Cultures
  • Dr. Aine Ryall, School of Law
  • Professor David Sammon, Dept of Accounting, Finance & Information Systems 
  • Ms Claire Hurley, HR Business Manager

 

College of Science, Engineering & Food Science

  • Chair: Professor Paul Ross, Head of College
  • Dr. Kieran Mulchrone, School of Mathematical Sciences
  • Professor Nabeel Riza, School of Engineering
  • Ms Helen O'Donoghue, HR Business Manager
  • Ms Kate O'Brien, College Manager

 

College of Arts, Celtic Studies & Social Sciences

  • Chair: Professor Chris Williams, Head of College
  • Dr. Eileen O'Rourke, Dept of Geography
  • Dr. Lee Jenkins, School of English
  • Dr. Sabine Kriebel, History of Art
  • Professor Alan Kelly, School of Food & Nutritional Sciences
  • Ms Maeve Doyle, HR Business Manager

 

College of Medicine & Health

  • Chair: Professor Helen Whelton, Head of College
  • Professor Stephen Byrne, School of Pharmacy
  • Professor Stephen Cusack, School of Medicine
  • Professor Ivan Perry, School of Public Health
  • Dr. Christine McCreary, Cork University Dental School & Hospital 
  • Professor Eileen Savage, School of Nursing & Midwifery
  • Professor Jeanne Jackson, School of Clinical Therapies
  • Ms Niamh Healy, HR Business Manager
  • Ms Kathryn Neville, College Manager
  • College Council Nominee: Dr Geraldine Boylan
  • Nominee from another College: Prof John MCarthy

 

Human Resources

Acmhainní Daonna

Ground Floor, Block E, Food Science Building, UCC

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