Information to note:
This scheme was suspended in March 2020 due to the CV-19 pandemic. The world-wide constraints of movement and travel, closure or partial closure of many Universities and work-from-home for most of us precluded the scheme from delivering its intended benefits. To maximise the benefits of the scheme and to ensure an alignment with internal and external developments suspension of the scheme has been extended until the 2021/22 academic year.

The Sabbatical Committee will carry out an exercise to develop a revised set of criteria for evaluation of future proposals to ensure alignment of sabbatical leave with renewed University strategies and evolving external environment. More information will be made available once the revised criteria is agreed. |

What sabbatical leave is

Sabbatical leave is a continuous period of release from normal academic duties in order to advance the pursuit of scholarship and research or teaching in the University, leading to the development of individual members of staff, and to the production of outputs of significant benefit to the University.

Sabbatical leave could include:

  • building on established academic networks
  • developing a research fellow application
  • building new relationships off campus
  • developing a major area of research
  • translating fundamental research into societal impact

An element of assessment of the proposal will be the alignment of the proposed sabbatical with the strategy for the Faculty/School/Institute and this should be discussed with the HoD.

Sabbatical leave will normally run for a period of six months, either from 1 February to 31 July or from 1 August to 31 January, or exceptionally over 12 months.

Success rates

During the 2018/19 academic year, 14 applications were considered by the Sabbatical Committee. Ten applications were funded.

The average success rate since October 2011 is 71%.

Up to 25 awards of 6-month leave periods are available each academic year.


Academic staff (lecturers, senior lecturers, readers, professors) who are on permanent contracts and have three years of continuous service, at the sabbatical's start date, are eligible to apply. The qualifying period should normally begin after the completion of probation.

Entitlement to sabbatical leave is not automatic, but is based on the merits of the proposal and the strategic needs of the Department and University.

If you wish to apply for sabbatical leave at the University of Bath Institute for Policy Research (IPR), please complete the University of Bath application form for sabbatical leave, which includes a separate section for sabbatical leave at the IPR.

Application process

There are two application rounds each year.

Round 1 of 2019/20 applications

The deadline for Round 1 of 2019/20 applications is Monday 18 November 2019.

Round 2 of 2019/20 applications

The deadline for Round 2 2019/20 applications is Friday 28 February 2020.

Note: The Committee accepts applications for any round regardless of the sabbatical's start date.