Research Leave Program

Leaves of absence are granted to enhance the scholarly and teaching capacity of the individual faculty member and to promote the general interest of the College.  Tenured and tenure-track faculty are generally on leave after teaching full-time for five years.  Faculty may opt for semester leaves at shorter intervals, or accelerated split semester leaves with adequate notification to the department and administration. Departmental and College planning shall have top priority in determining any exceptions to the policy of the leave of absence program.  The specific guidelines and policies can be found in the Middlebury Handbook

Department chairs should consider the leave schedule when programming their curriculum.  The dean of the faculty should be consulted if too many leaves are scheduled at the same time.

Faculty scheduled for leave will be invited to an informational meeting in the winter (mid-February) two years prior to the start of their leave.  The leave program, including the grant-seeking requirement, will be reviewed and discussed.  Leave proposals must be submitted in late summer following the meeting.  The proposal may be submitted through an electronic form on the Academic Affairs website.

All proposals for academic leaves are pre-approved by the Trustees, pending submission of an appropriate proposal to the DFDR. Plans for grant-seeking are approved by the DFDR, with guidance from the Grants and Sponsored Programs Office.  

Grant Seeking for Leaves

The Leave Program asks colleagues to seek outside funding in support of their leave proposals. Faculty are encouraged to contact the Grants and Sponsored Programs Office for assistance in finding appropriate outside funding sources for their leave project. 

Grant Policies, Procedures, and other information

Once your grant seeking plan has been reviewed and approved, you will receive a letter from the Dean for Faculty Development and Research that your plan meets the expectations of the College. 

Once you have applied for a grant funding opportunity, please complete the Leave Support Notification Form and send it with confirmation that you applied to the DFDR (  This confirmation can include an email from the agency acknowledging receipt of your proposal, or the front page of the application.

The leave support notification form is available as an electronic form as well.

Grant Administration

Leave Funding

If you have been awarded a grant for a portion of your leave, first notify Jim Ralph, Dean for Faculty Development and Research, and Franci Farnsworth or Nick Brightman in the Grants and Sponsored Programs Office.  Dean Ralph can discuss any implications this may have on your salary and leave plans. 

If you have the option of having the grant paid out through the College, Steve Marino, Manager of Finance, will set up a grant FOAP for accessing the funds. 

To have the salary portion of the grant paid out, you will need to complete a Time & Effort form.  Once it has been completed, send the signed form to Steve.  He will confirm the amount you are requesting and send it on to be set up for payment.

Summer Salary

If your grant contains funding for summer salary, complete a Time & Effort Form.  The form should be completed before the period you will be working on the grant.  Send the signed form to Steve Marino.  He will confirm the amount you are requesting and send it on for Banner setup.

Tips for Faculty going on leave


  • To be sure you receive maximum funding from the College, please send a completed Leave Support Notification Form and e-mail receipt notification for each grant application to the Dean for Faculty Development and Research (available as an electronic form.)
  • Paychecks. If this will be a paid leave, consider enrolling in direct deposit at least two pay periods before the leave begins. This is especially helpful if you plan to leave the country, as your paycheck can be deposited to your bank account in your absence. To sign up for direct deposit, follow the instructions on the Payroll office page.

Health insurance and other benefits:

  • If this will be an unpaid leave with benefits, your coverage with Middlebury College will continue if you make arrangements to pay for your share of the premiums. If your unpaid leave was approved without benefits, you may still qualify to continue some coverage, by paying the FULL premium through COBRA and may be able to convert other benefits to individual coverage.  Please call Human Resources at 443.5465 to discuss your situation.
  • If this will be a paid leave, deductions from your paycheck will continue to cover your portion of the health, dental, and any other insurance programs previously selected by you during the annual open enrollment process. Keep in mind that if you are receiving less than 100% of your salary, your contributions for health insurance are calculated on income, so these may change.
  • To enroll in benefits for the following calendar year, you need to complete open enrollment. This process is now done through the web.  You will receive an email in late October alerting you to the deadline.  A link and information about how to log on will be included. If you do not complete this process, you will lose the opportunity to make changes for the following calendar year, and some benefits may be discontinued. If you have questions about the process, contact Human Resources at 443.5465.
  • If you will be traveling or relocating abroad, consider registering for Emergency Travel Assistance, which is available to all benefit-eligible employees and their dependents. Click the link above to access the information.
  • For any other questions about pay or benefits during your leave, please contact Human Resources at 443.5465.


  • Consult Middlebury's Tax Office website for general information.
  • Consult the publication Tax & financial guide for college teachers and other college personnel, which can be found at the Library, for information regarding your tax status while you are away. Or contact a tax adviser if you have specific questions.
  • Check out the IRS tax guide related to scholarships and fellowships (available at the Library in Government Documents or can be retrieved from the IRS web site [publication 520]).
  • If you are planning to spend your leave abroad and stay out of the country for more than 11 months, you may be exempt from U.S. taxes (foreign earned income exclusion). See information at the IRS web site.

  • You should also consult the Global Operations website at Middlebury. The site is full of valuable information for those living abroad.

If you will be leaving the Middlebury area:

  • Apply for a moving subsidy here.
  • If you want to make your property available for a new faculty member as a rental, please contact Pam Norton in Business Services at 443.5504. She maintains a database listing college housing as well as other local offerings. 
    (Note: if you are leasing from the College, the Business Office must be notified of your intention to sublet ahead of time.)
  • Check out Sabbatical homes on the internet. You can post a free request to find housing at your leave location.
  • If you will relocate for at least three months, you are eligible for the Leave Moving Allowance. To be reimbursed, you should send the receipts with a pink voucher to Lynn Dunton in Academic Affairs. For amounts and guidelines for allowable expenses, see the Leave Moving Policy.
  • You should be aware that if you use the college-provided leave moving allowance for transportation expenses for your immediate family, the funds will be reported to the IRS as income.
  • Middlebury College offers a travel assistance plan to provide coordination and assistance in the event of an emergency while you are away from home, both within the US and abroad.

If you will spend your leave abroad:

    • Consult Middlebury's Tax Office website for information on tax considerations, documentation, and other items
    • Sabbatical homes includes foreign locations.
    • It is probably most convenient for you to have your salary deposited directly into your bank account.
    • If you are leaving the country, please be aware that you may be required to pay out of pocket for medical services obtained there. However, Middlebury College medical insurance does cover services obtained in other countries. If you are covered by our insurance, obtain a bill at the time of service showing:
      • Date of service
      • Type of service
      • Cost
      • Provider name

(This bill does not have to be in English, but you must provide an English translation, and the amounts must be stated in their U.S. dollar equivalents). Submit the bill to Cigna for reimbursement according to the terms of the plan.

Following your Leave

Once you have completed your leave, you will need to submit a report to the dean for faculty research and development by the September 1st following the end of your leave outlining your accomplishments while on leave. The report should be written for a general audience, and need not be more than a few paragraphs long.

According to the College's research leave program guidelines, you must submit this report before becoming eligible for future leaves.

Academic Administration
Old Chapel
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753