Research Leave Supplement Program (RLSP)

About this opportunity


IU Bloomington


Jennifer Burns,


Spring Award Cycle Dates: January 1 - April 1 ; Fall Award Cycle Dates: August 1 - October 1

Award cycle:

Funding available:


REQUIREMENT: Research Leave Supplement applications must be submitted through IU's InfoReady system. See link at bottom of page.

Research Leave Supplements are meant to lessen the financial sacrifice for faculty and librarians whose fellowships or other awards provide less than their regular academic salaries. The supplements are available to IU Bloomington tenured and tenure-eligible faculty, research scientists, research center directors, medical sciences faculty, and librarians who receive prestigious, nationally competitive fellowships or research-related awards. 


Prior to submitting an application for a fellowship or research award, faculty must inform their department chair/unit head and school dean or research dean. Research Leave Supplement funding may not be provided if the faculty receive a fellowship or research award without first receiving approval from their department chair/unit head and school dean or research dean prior to submitting the application to the funding agency.

Research leaves, including those combined with a sabbatical leave, must be immediately followed by a period of at least one year on campus carrying out normal teaching and service responsibilities in addition to research.  Research leaves that extend beyond one year in duration will not be approved under normal circumstances. Exceptions need to be approved by the Executive Associate or Research Dean in applicable school or college prior to applying for the research fellowship and/or sabbatical leave. 

Applications for research fellowships involving a reduction in teaching load for the period of the fellowship must be approved by the department chair/unit head prior to the fellowship application, and the restriction on consecutive leaves stated above should be considered at that time.

Fellowship/Research Award Categories:

Faculty are encouraged to apply for fellowships or research awards in the groups below.

Full Research Leave Supplemental Pay funding:

  • Group 1 (FULL RLSP FUNDING): Guggenheim and Carnegie Fellowships

Partial Research Leave Supplemental Pay funding (as funding permits):

  • Group 2: Fulbright Research, NEH, NEA, and resident fellowships at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (Palo Alto), the National Humanities Center (Research Triangle), the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton), the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study Fellowship (Harvard University)
  • Group 3: ACLS, Ford Foundation, Humboldt, Jefferson Science, Mellon, Rockefeller, Rome Prize, Sloan, Spencer
  • Group 4: Fellowships comparable in prestige to those in Group 3.
  • Prestigious unpaid fellowships, combined with a sabbatical leave, will be considered for Research Leave Supplement funding on a case-by-case basis.

Research Awards Not Eligible for Research Leave Supplement Pay:

Fulbright Teaching Grants (however, Fulbright Teaching/Research Grants, i.e. 20% teaching, 80% research, are eligible for RLS funding), grant-supported salaries, ordinary leaves-without-pay, research associateships (i.e. postdocs), visiting positions at other institutions, memberships at research institutions or centers (i.e., not as part of a stipendiary residential fellowship sponsored by a particular research institute, center, or library).

Research Leave Supplemental Pay, Benefits & Funding

A research fellow may receive supplemental pay while on leave.  The amount of the supplemental pay is calculated as follows:

1)  Calculate the financial sacrifice:
  • The applicant must disclose all salaries, fellowship monies, fringe benefits, per diem, etc., available to them during the proposed leave.
  • Funds specified explicitly for research or travel expenses will be excluded from the calculation.
Financial Sacrifice = Research Award recipient's base salary during leave period* - Award Amount

2)  Determine the amount of supplemental pay based on financial sacrifice and the type of award received:
  • Group 1: Guggenheim and Carnegie Fellows who have received departmental/dean approval in advance will be automatically topped up to 100% of the applicant's salary (see below).  In other words, IU will cover 100% of the financial sacrifice for the actual leave period.
  • Groups 2-4: Applications for supplements to fellowships in these groups will be approved as funding permits.  Recipients of Research Fellowships in  Groups 2-4 are eligible to receive supplemental pay equal to the lesser of:
    • Sixy percent (60%) of their base salary during the leave period
    • The amount of the financial sacrifice.
3)  Benefits
  • Insurance - When you are placed on a Leave Without Pay, you will be notified by IU Human Resources regarding your options about continuation of benefits. Benefits will continue unless you direct them otherwise. You may receive an invoice for benefits even if you are receiving research pay through IU. You may work with IU HR directly if you have research pay that covers the cost of benefits. They will then discontinue billing you while you are on a leave without pay.
  • Retirement - IU's contribution to your retirement account will be discontinued during the leave period as this contribution is based upon base salary. Additionally, retirement contributions do not come out of your supplemental pay nor can you make contributions to your IU retirement accounts on an after-tax basis.
  • Specific questions regarding benefits while on a research leave should be directed to UHRS at

Exceptions to Research Leave Supplement Pay and Funding

1)  Leave period does not conform to IU academic year schedule

An exception to the Research Leave Supplemental pay amount and IU Funding proportions for Research leaves can arise when the leave period does not conform to university semester schedules and is more than four weeks short of covering the semester. For example, consider a leave that is awarded for the period of October 1st – December 31st. The recipient’s sacrifice amount is calculated on 3 months of salary, but the leave period does not offer the opportunity for the recipient to teach courses during the semester during which the leave occurs. The recipient’s home department may choose to top-up the research leave supplemental amount to the maximum allowable for the semester. If a department chooses to top-up a leave, that department will fund the difference in research leave supplemental calculated based on the actual leave period versus a research leave supplemental calculation based on the full semester. Upon approval of the Department Chair, and Executive Associate or Research Dean in the applicable school or college, the uncovered portion can be covered by other teaching assignments such as six or eight week course teaching assignments.

  • The exception to this policy will be for Guggenheim recipients whose Research Leave Supplement will be funded up to 60 percent of base salary and topped up to 100 percent by the recipient's school.

Additional Considerations


  • Recipients must agree to reimburse Indiana University in the amount of the Research Leave Supplement should they fail to return to Indiana University for at least one academic year following the research leave.
  • The Research Leave Supplement Program may be combined with a sabbatical leave, so long as total support from all sources does not exceed 100 percent of annual base salary.
  • Research Leave Supplements will not be awarded to individuals in two consecutive years. Total Research Leave Supplements are also restricted to no more than two awards in five years and no more than three awards in ten years. An exception will be made for Guggenheim fellowships; they will not be counted toward these limitations.

Application requirements

Applicants must complete an online application and upload a completed Research Leave Supplement Application form to InfoReady. These application materials will be routed to the applicant's dean's office for approval. *Note: Prior to submitting an application for a fellowship or research award, faculty must inform their department chair/unit head and school dean or research dean.  Research Leave Supplement funding may not be provided if the faculty receive a fellowship or research award without first receiving approval from their department chair/unit head and school dean or research dean prior to submitting the application to the funding agency.

Application components:

  • record of email from the school dean or research dean indicating prior approval to apply for the fellowship or research award
  • letter of support for the RLS from the applicant's department chair/unit head (If the applicant is serving as department chair/unit head, the letter of support for the RLS should come from the school dean or research dean.)
  • completed Research Leave Supplement Application Form
  • copy of the award letter and budget from the funding agency that indicates the amount and duration of the fellowship
  • If the fellowship is not from an agency in list 1, 2, or 3 (above), the application should include jutification from the chair/unit head.

Final Project Report:

Faculty who receive funding through the Research Leave Supplement Program must submit a one-page project report no later than three months following the end of the leave. A progress report should be submitted to Jennifer Burns in IU Research,