George Mason University
George Mason University Mason
George Mason University

Study Leave

Some projects require extended time away from the university. Mason understands the importance of field research, writing, and study.


  • Must be a full-time, tenured faculty with 6 or more years of service at George Mason University at the time of application. Applicants must be tenured at the time of application.
  • Individuals whose rank is prefixed with Affiliate, Adjunct, Research, Visiting, or Term are not eligible
  • 6 years must elapse between successive study leaves.

Any time spent on leave of absence, leave without pay, or time worked at another agency or institution may count towards the 6 years, but only if authorized by the dean of your college/school.
An applicant may apply in year 6 for a study leave in year 7 (with year 1 being the first year back from the completed study leave).

Full-time Administrative Faculty who otherwise meet these criteria are eligible

Conditions of the Award

A faculty member who receives a study leave must agree to remain a full-time employee of the University for at least one academic year after the conclusion of the leave

Study Leave Period

Leave may be taken for one semester at full pay or two semesters at half pay. The leave schedule must be approved by the department chair/academic division director and/or dean. Faculty are encouraged to take two semesters leave at half pay, but are urged to consult with Human Resources regarding possible fringe benefit implications. Leave may be taken during the Fall or Spring semester of the academic year following announcement of the award.

The following items are mandatory in every application:  
✓   Cover Page: Information needed on cover page outlined at the end of this call for proposals.  
✓   Curriculum Vitae: The CV should include accomplishments in research, teaching, and service. (No page limit, however, please note that the file size should not be more than 2.5 Mbytes)  
✓   Project Proposal: The proposal should include up to three pages (1500 words) describing the objectives and products of the study leave. The proposal may include several types of activities such as research, book writing, course and courseware development. (Maximum file size not more than 2.5 Mbytes).  
✓   Study Leave Report (if applicable): Brief report on products and outcomes from previous study leave. (Maximum of 2 pages, subject to file size not more than 2.5 Mbytes)  
✓   Chair or Academic Division Director’s Letter of Support (Not applicable to units without divisions): This letter should explain the importance of the contributions of the applicant. It should also provide sufficient information about the applicant’s publication outlets (or other scholarly activity) so that reviewers outside the discipline can judge the relative importance of the publications or activity (e.g., peer reviewed journal articles, books, conference proceedings, performances, etc). (Maximum of 1 page)  
✓   Institution Permission (if applicable): If the proposed study leave is to be spent in residence at another institution, a letter agreeing to the arrangement from an appropriate official of that institution should also be submitted. For a two semester leave at half pay, if the faculty member will be appointed to a salaried position while in residence at another institution, the amount of salary is limited to one-half of the faculty member’s salary and the appointment must be to a non-tenured temporary position such as Visiting Scholar. For a one semester leave at full pay, no additional salary may be accepted. Any exceptions to this provision must be approved by the faculty member’s dean and must comply with other Mason personnel policies. (Maximum of 1 page)  
Application Process

Applicants must submit all materials listed above to the dean’s office by October 1st of each year. NOTE: Chair’s letters should be sent directly by the chair to the relevant dean’s office to maintain confidentiality.

Each school/college may impose additional, disciplinary specific criteria in the decision process.

Final decisions are made by the Dean of the unit.

Study Leave Review Criteria

Study leave will be awarded on the basis of quality of the proposal and a collective record of high-quality past performance. Strong teaching or service alone do not warrant a study leave by themselves.

Study Leave Report

At the completion of the study leave, faculty must file a report of accomplishments and plans for continuing activities related to the study leave (maximum of 2 pages). This report should be sent by email or by campus mail to the relevant dean and chair or academic program director.