Internal Sabbatical

The School of Medicine is pleased to announce exciting new opportunities for faculty development by introducing an Internal Sabbatical Program.

This program is intended to encourage and facilitate collaborative research as well as promote team science. The program is also intended to provide an avenue for faculty who wish to reorient their emphasis to medical or graduate education.

There is abundant expertise in a wide variety of areas within both the clinical departments and basic science departments, but these intellectual resources may not be exploited optimally for the benefit of faculty. As faculty seek to diversify their portfolios and/or participate in team-oriented projects, it is important to facilitate collaborative efforts and promote career development across the School of Medicine.

This document does not address informal collaborations that already exist. However, at the discretion of department chairs or center directors such collaborations could be enhanced via relief from some teaching responsibilities or administrative duties.

The program is explicitly designed to promote new collaborations and specifically to help research-oriented faculty to refresh or reorient their research programs or redirect their efforts to medical or graduate education via brief, intensive in-house sabbatical leaves. For external sabbatical leaves, the usual requirements and process remain in place.

Several possible scenarios are outlined below.

  1. Faculty who have productive research programs but wish to expand their focus, perhaps to a translationally relevant topic, should identify a “sponsor/collaborator” and develop a plan to spend significant time, three months to a year, in the sponsor’s laboratory. The plan should outline expected outcomes, new publications and grant proposals, etc.

  2. Research-oriented faculty who wish to develop collaboration or form a team with another laboratory should identify a “sponsor” and, as above, develop a plan which articulates goals and expected outcomes. Chairs, center directors or vice deans may assist in identifying potential collaborators and synergies, if the faculty member wishes.

  3. Some faculty members may wish to reorient their activity toward medical or graduate education or scholarship in medical or graduate education. In such cases, the faculty member should develop an explicit plan that outlines goals and potential positive outcomes. Such plans require approval by the vice dean for medical education or the associate dean for graduate education.

In sum, the school will be as flexible as possible in encouraging faculty to take advantage of opportunities to enhance their careers. It is anticipated that these opportunities will benefit not only the faculty member, but also the participating departments/divisions/centers.

It is anticipated that internal sabbaticals will not incur additional costs by the School of Medicine and that any required financial support or other adjustments, e.g., relief from teaching responsibilities, will be assumed by the participating departments or centers.

Faculty who are paid in full or in part by Case Western Reserve are eligible to apply for internal sabbaticals. Although the premise is that brief periods of 100 percent effort are preferable, less than 100 percent effort may be requested. However, for dually employed faculty, the percent effort cannot exceed the percent effort that is currently supported by the medical school.

Applications for internal sabbaticals will be accepted on a rolling basis and should contain the following items:

  1. A detailed plan, not to exceed two pages, for the in-house sabbatical describing goals, potential outcomes, duration, and how the work will continue in the years beyond the sabbatical.

  2. A NIH biosketch (four-page maximum) of the applicant and the collaborator/sponsor, including publications and funding history.

  3. Letters from both department chairs or center directors (for interdepartmental sabbaticals) or a single letter (for intra-departmental sabbaticals) which indicate approval of the arrangement and assure that any relief of responsibilities will be covered without additional cost to the School of Medicine. In addition, a detailed description of financial arrangements, if any, is required.

Once a complete package is assembled, it should be electronically transmitted to the vice dean for faculty development and diversity, the associate dean for faculty affairs and human resources, and either the vice dean for research or the vice dean for medical education. In this way, the School of Medicine will keep track of these activities and evaluate their effectiveness.