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Topping-Off Salaries from Fellowships and Grants

The following guidelines are used by the School of Arts and Sciences in topping off salary income received by tenured and tenure-track faculty from fellowships and grants awarded for the scholarly and creative activity during extended full-year sabbaticals or approved leaves of absence. In order to encourage and support the development of the strongest possible faculty of scholar-teachers and artist-teachers, the School will provide:

  • up to a total of $20,000 in salary matching funds (with an upper limit of one-fifth of the recipient’s regular full-year salary) for a single extended sabbatical or leave of absence, but
  • no more than a total of $30,000 in salary matching funds for two leaves (whether a sabbatical leave and a leave of absence, or two leaves of absence) taking place within a seven year period.

Such topping off will be contingent upon the following:

  • Topping off will never result in a recipient receiving more than his or her full, regular salary (when all salary and stipend is considered).
  • Topping off will never occur more than once in between consecutive sabbaticals (not counting the sabbaticals themselves).
  • Receipt of enhanced sabbatical support precludes eligibility for topping off support during the same time period if the enhanced sabbatical support exceeds $20,000.
  • Matching will be based on all salary income received from all external fellowships and grants that are awarded and can be held, contemporaneously or consecutively, during the period of the sabbatical or leave, including any contiguous summers. (Internal funds, such as summer fellowships maybe held in addition to salary monies received from external grants, fellowships, and topping off so long as the appropriate faculty committee allows for this practice.)
  • Recipients will make all reasonable efforts to obtain external funding to cover as much of their salary as possible.
  • Recipients will provide written documentation of all external grants and fellowships to be awarded and received during the period of the leave , including any contiguous summers.
  • Recipients will devote full time to the project(s) for which the leave has been granted, and are not to engage in other remunerated activity during this period without the prior approval of the Dean. Such activity, if approved, will normally result in a reduction of the amount of topping off provided by the School.

Both the chairperson of a recipient’s department and the Dean must provide an initial endorsement of the recipient’s plan for an extended sabbatical or a leave of absence before he or she applies for external sources of support. This endorsement will depend upon the confidence of the chairperson and the Dean that satisfactory arrangements can be made to cover the recipient’s teaching and other responsibilities. If it is not yet clear that such arrangements can be made, final approval will await the availability of more complete information about staffing and other needs. In the meantime, the individual may be allowed to apply for external support, understanding that a leave may not be approved, even if a grant or fellowship is received.

The University will provide full fringe benefits, except the usual contribution to the recipient’s retirement fund, unless the grant or fellowship specifically covers fringe benefits.  In the latter case, the University will also provide the regular retirement benefits on the salary paid by the University to the recipient during the extended sabbatical or leave, which may be less than the individual’s regular full salary. If the grant or fellowship does not cover fringe benefits, the recipient may opt to make retirement contributions on his or her own. (In contrast, those who are on personal leaves of absence that are not funded by grants, fellowships, or the University do not receive any benefits, though they may arrange to pay for benefits on their own.)

Members of the faculty receiving topping off support must repay the University the amount of topping-off compensation (including benefits) if they do not return to the University for a period of at least one year.