Research Leave

Purpose

The University of Missouri Collected Rules and Regulation (CRR) 340.070 stipulates the following for Research Leaves:

Tenured, tenure-track, and full-time, ranked non-tenure track research faculty members with established scholarly, artistic or research records are eligible to apply for a research leave. A research leave may be taken for a period of time up to a full year. If a faculty member receives an external fellowship or grant support for a research leave, the University may supplement such support to provide full regular salary; if such external support is not received, the University may provide full regular salary. Additional travel funds and leave related expenses may be provided as deemed appropriate.

“Research Leave” provides faculty the opportunity to pursue activities away from Campus that are critical to the success of their research. This often involves activities outside of Missouri, and therefore requires time away from regular teaching duties (from a semester to a whole academic year). During this time, faculty are able to dedicate themselves to the scholarly and/or creative activities that will result in outcomes that are important for an AAU institution, namely: extramural grants, high-quality publications, exhibitions, doctoral and post-doctoral education, among others.

Procedures

Application by Faculty

  • A short description of the project (1-2 pages) and how much research leave time is being requested (the leave time requested must align to the amount of time needed to be away from campus for the research activities); a rationale for the need for and timing of research leave; and the associated anticipated outcomes that will result from research leave, including extramural grants, high-quality publications, exhibitions, doctoral and post-doctoral education, among others that will advance the mission of MU.
  • For the approval of research leave, there must be evidence that the faculty member has applied for external funding to support the research activity (including salary and benefits). If this application has been approved, please include that documentation. If external funding has not been secured, then evidence that the faculty member has received financial support for conducting this research from internal funding (e.g., Research Council, Tier 1 and Tier 2 awards) or other funding must be included.

Approval by Chair & Dean

All research leave requests must be approved by the faculty’s department chair and college Dean. The chair will certify that the teaching and other service needs of the department will be met during the research leave of the faculty. Granting of research leaves is a privilege and not a right and will be approved only for deserving cases. Department chair will be asked to avoid multiple faculty that are granted leaves during the same period. The Colleges may use whatever processes (i.e. college committee, etc.) they establish or have in place for evaluating the applications. 

Supplemental Financial Support to Departments

If the department and college are able to support the teaching or clinical replacements for faculty who they have approved for research leave, then these approved applications should be sent directly to the Provost’s Office. If the departments and college are unable to support the teaching or clinical replacements for faculty who they have approved for research leave, then these approved applications should be sent, along with the justification for need of supplemental financial support, to the Office of Research and Economic Development (ORED).

Documentation to ORED of need for supplemental financial support:  Departments who request supplemental support through ORED to cover teaching support, must document that they lack sufficient funds in their unused, unrestricted reserves to support the leave of the faculty member.  If unrestricted reserve funds are available but have been encumbered, the department must provide an explanation of how these funds are being used.  The Dean of the college must approve the request for support.

An ORED committee will review applications for supplemental support (e.g., $6,000 per course replacement). If supplemental support is offered, ORED will forward the application to the Provost’s Office. If ORED is unable to provide supplemental funds, the application will be returned to the Dean’s Office. The amount of supplemental funds available will vary by year and may not be sufficient to cover all requests. Hence, supplemental funds will be distributed on a first come, first-served basis.

Timing

In order to allow for departments and colleges to prepare for any necessary teaching replacements, final decisions on Research Leaves should be made at least 8 months in advance of the requested leave.

Post-Research Leave Process

Each faculty member that completes a Research Leave will provide a written report of accomplishments during the research leave on March 15th or September 15th, whichever occurs after the return to teaching. An ORED committee will evaluate the outcomes and determine the effectiveness of achieving the proposed objectives. Inadequate progress may result in ineligibility of the faculty for future research leave considerations. 

Posted March 9, 2021