Waterloo offers faculty in the professorial ranks a few options for sabbaticals, including a six-month pre-tenure sabbatical. You have a right to your sabbatical, but you have to apply. Your dean’s decision will take into account the timing of your sabbatical and those of your colleagues.

Your benefits and pension contributions continue during your sabbatical.

How sabbatical credits work

You are eligible to apply for a regular sabbatical after six years, full-time, in the professorial ranks (including 12 terms of teaching). You can either take 12 months at 85% of your salary, or six months at 100% of your salary.

  • Alternatively, you can apply for an “early” sabbatical after three years. This is a six-month sabbatical at 85% of your salary.

  • New probationary faculty are eligible for a pre-tenure sabbatical after three years. This is a six-month sabbatical at full pay.

You can defer your sabbatical and continue accruing sabbatical credit for up to three years. You can then use this credit to top up your salary on a one-year sabbatical. For example, an additional 22 months' credit will bring your salary up to 100% during a 12-month leave.

  • Alternatively, you can apply this additional credit to a future sabbatical. You can carry forward unused credit for three years.

Here's a summary of the service required and salary options for all four types of sabbaticals:

  Regular 6 months Regular 12 months Early 6 months Pre-tenure 6 months
Years of service required 6 6 3 3
Salary paid 100% 85% 85% 100%
Eligible for salary top-up from extra service credit* n/a Yes No n/a
Eligible for salary top-up from extra admin credit** n/a Yes Yes n/a

*See the Sabbatical Salary Enhancement Table (PDF) for details.
**You get admin credit at the level of chair, associate dean, or higher. 

The Sabbatical Salary Enhancement Table (PDF) shows how service and/or admin credit accumulates to top up the salary you receive during your sabbatical. Note that only admin credit is eligible for topping up an early sabbatical, which is not clear in the table.

Where to find information

Key resources

If you’re planning to travel

Who to talk to

  • Your chair/director, about the timing and impact on your teaching load – do this well in advance!

  • The administrative assistant to your chair and/or the faculty relations/administrative officer for your Faculty, about the process, your salary, and other details.

  • The Office of Research, about funding opportunities.

  • Waterloo International, about travel and making connections with other institutions.

  • FAUW, if you are turned down.

FAUW's advice

  • Both FAUW and the UW Administration highly encourage you to take your pre-tenure sabbatical leave. It exists to allow you time to prepare your tenure application, and your sabbatical credits won't do you any good post-tenure if you're not still here!

  • Read the notes at the end of section three in Policy 3 for some good tips. For instance, it might make sense for you to apply for research grants in lieu of salary, which can provide tax savings during your sabbatical.

  • Don’t use your sabbatical to fill needs that could be filled by other kinds of leaves to which you are entitled (e.g. caregiver or medical leave).

  • Don’t plan your sabbatical for a time when you know you will have added caregiver or other responsibilities that are likely to take over your time.

  • Talk to FAUW and/or Occupational Health about extending or deferring your sabbatical if something comes up that prevents you from using your sabbatical as it is intended.