Leaves

Bridge over Charles RiverSeveral types of leave are available to eligible FAS faculty. FAS faculty can take short term-time absences if necessary. Eligible faculty can also take leaves for research purposes, for family (including parental) or medical reasons, for personal reasons, or for public service. Depending on the type of leave and the circumstances, leaves may be paid or unpaid, and not all faculty are eligible for every kind of leave.

In some cases, extensions of appointment may be available in connection with a leave. 

For more information, please see the table below and Chapter 3 ("Absences, Leaves, and Extensions of Appointment") of the FAS Appointment and Promotion Handbook.

Faculty considering a leave should contact the assistant dean for faculty affairs in their academic division (the Arts and Humanities, the Social Sciences, Science) or in the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. The assistant dean can answer any questions, talk through options, and provide support throughout the process.

TIP: For information on dependent care resources and applying for dependent care funds, please see the "Dependent Care" tab on the "Work/Life & Benefits" page of this website.

Request for Permission to be Absent Form

To request a short-term absence during term time: For an absence of more than one week, or for one week or less where the absence will require some reduction or change in scheduled instruction, faculty should first consult with their Department Chair. When requesting such leaves, it is incumbent on faculty members to consider their academic responsibilities and to ensure that they continue to be met. Before authorizing the absence, the chair should be satisfied that the reason for absence, whether personal or professional, is sufficiently compelling and that all teaching and other departmental responsibilities are appropriately covered. If the absence is for one week or less, no further approval is required. If a period longer than one week is necessary, the faculty member submits to the assistant dean for their division or School the Request for Permission to be Absent form, signed by the chair. Given the nature of such absences, there is no single deadline for submission of requests, but faculty are asked to submit them as early as possible.

For more information on short-term absence during term-time, please see Chapter 3 in the FAS Appointment and Promotion Handbook or consult with the assistant dean for faculty affairs in your division or School.

Application for Sabbatical/Research Leave

To apply for a sabbatical (“sabbatical” is a paid research leave, and the term usually refers to tenured professors), paid research leave, or unpaid research leave: Prior to a sabbatical, paid research leave, or unpaid research leave, a faculty member must submit to the department chair a leave of absence application, which must then be reviewed and approved by the chair. The deadline for eligible faculty to submit such leave requests for AY 2022-2023 is December 3, 2021.  The deadline for department chairs to approve such leave requests for AY 2022-2023 is December 17, 2021. Non-ladder faculty members, with the exception of Professors in Residence and Professors of the Practice, are not eligible for either paid or unpaid research leaves.

For more information on sabbatical leave, and paid and unpaid research leaves, please see Chapter 3 in the FAS Appointment and Promotion Handbook or consult with the assistant dean for faculty affairs in your division or School.

For information on family (including parental), medical and personal leaves (as well as appointment extensions), please see Chapter 3, Section H in the FAS Appointment and Promotion Handbook. This includes leave policies for new parents, effective January 1, 2021, consistent with the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave policy (MAPFML) and Harvard University and FAS policies that are in keeping with MAPFML. You may also contact your assistant dean for faculty affairs with questions or to discuss your options.

The FAS is committed to supporting faculty members who seek to balance the joys and demands of caring for newly born, adopted, or foster-placed children with professional growth and responsibilities as well as any medical issues. We also recognize the research that establishes the benefits of providing leave to mothers and fathers: parent-child bonding, improved outcomes for children, and increased gender equity at home and work.

For information on family (including parental), medical and personal leaves (as well as appointment extensions), please see Chapter 3, Section H in the FAS Appointment and Promotion Handbook. This includes leave policies for new parents, effective January 1, 2021, consistent with the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave policy (MAPFML) and Harvard University and FAS policies that are in keeping with MAPFML. You may also contact your assistant dean for faculty affairs with questions or to discuss your options.