The standard situation in US research universities is for the university to pay one semester of salary for a year of sabbatical leave, and faculty typically take this sabbatical at another university or research lab, where there is a clear sense of how to fund the sabbatical.

I'm interested to know whether anyone has experience on how to (ethically) fund an industry sabbatical. Specifically:

  • Is it possible to work full time in an industry position? If so, do you get half-pay? Half-hours?
  • What (ethical) obligations do you have to ongoing grants (say from the National Science Foundation) during such a sabbatical year?
  • What (ethical) obligations do you have towards the university that is paying a semester of salary?

1 Answer 1


Every university has a policy for addressing these matters, and it is best that you obtain the specific policy from your own institution -- a general survey of what goes on at other places will likely not be informative to your present situation. Federal funding sometimes can be used to cover the other part of your salary -- but, again, it depends on the funding source and the rules of your institution.

  • (-1) Of course every university has its own policies ... but there is a generally accepted standard, and a forteriori so for NSF grants. Commented Jun 23, 2014 at 14:46
  • 5
    @AriTrachtenberg So, if I give you answers that relate specifically to my own university, how will you use that information? Wouldn't it be easier just having this conversation with your own university so you are clear that you are in compliance with policy?
    – Brian P
    Commented Jun 23, 2014 at 14:53
  • 5
    @AriTrachtenberg, if there are generally accepted standards, please provide them as an answer.
    – Bill Barth
    Commented Jun 23, 2014 at 15:26
  • @BillBarth Do you have evidence that the standards vary significantly from university to university? Commented Jun 23, 2014 at 17:45
  • 6
    @AriTrachtenberg, no, but you have asserted that there are standards, so I was hoping that you could provide them as an answer. I don't think everyone here even knows what these standards are.
    – Bill Barth
    Commented Jun 23, 2014 at 18:13

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