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Impact x2 Qais

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How can we work together to promote better cultural understanding worldwide?

Qais Akbar Omar (GRS’16), a graduate student in the Creative Writing Program, has published a much-praised memoir, A Fort of Nine Towers: An Afghan Family Story. He recalls how the violence and tumult of civil war jolted his family, who, despite losing relatives, their home, and possessions, continued to nurture his wish to attend a university.

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Policy on Fellowship Salary Gap Funding

CAS faculty should consider taking advantage of the many opportunities for research and postdoctoral training support available through foundations, government, nonprofit organizations, universities, and other sources.

Among the most well-known of these are fellowships offered through the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Endowment of the Humanities, the Institute of International Education (Fulbrights), the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, as well as others. Many fellowship opportunities offer salary support that is less than the faculty member’s normal Boston University salary for an equivalent period of time. Organizations that offer these fellowships are under no obligation to match the normal university-based salary of fellowship holders, and neither Boston University nor the College of Arts & Sciences is obligated to provide the salary that would fill the gap for a faculty member who is not undertaking normal teaching and service obligations.

Faculty seeking fellowship opportunities that offer salary support that falls substantially short of their normal salary should apply for these fellowships to coincide with their normal sabbatical eligibility, or seek multiple fellowship opportunities that might be combined together. Faculty may apply to the Dean of CAS for “top-up”salary funding that will fill up to the gap between the fellowship salary and the portion of the full-time equivalent salary the faculty member would earn if fulfilling regular full-time duties under the following limited circumstances:

1. The purpose of the fellowship should be clearly designed to allow the faculty member to make significant advances on an identifiable research project or to develop new skills or new knowledge directly relevant to the faculty member’s research agenda or teaching plans or to engage in course or curriculum development.

2. In the case of fellowships aimed at supporting research, the faculty member should be demonstrably research active and, in particular, the most recent sabbatical or research leave of absence should have resulted in publications or other significant scholarly contributions.

3. Proposals for fellowship salary gap support will have less priority if the faculty member has received salary gap support in the past three years or if the faculty member is in a field in which one can be expected to seek salary support through research grants.

4. Salary gap support will be limited to nationally- or internationally-visible, prestigious and competitive fellowships.

5. Salary gap support is designed to assist faculty in taking up fellowships designed to contribute materially toward their progress in research and teaching. It is not intended to supplement consultancies or temporary jobs for which the primary activity is not manifestly research or development of capacity in research or teaching.

Under normal circumstances, fellowship salary gap support will be limited in the following ways:

1. The sum of regular academic salary, fellowship salary, research grant salary support and fellowship salary gap support cannot total more than the full-time equivalent academic-year base salary.

2. For fellowships taken in conjunction with a sabbatical: Fellowship salary gap support may be sought for the portion of academic-year salary not covered by the sum of full sabbatical salary plus fellowship support.

3. For fellowships not taken in conjunction with a sabbatical:

a. For a fellowship with a stated duration of less than a semester (for example, one month), the College will consider salary gap funding only for the period of the fellowship.

b. For a fellowship with a duration of one semester the College will consider salary gap funding of up to 1/9th of the academic-year base salary.

c. For a fellowship with a duration of one academic or calendar year the College will consider salary gap funding of up to 2/9ths of the academic-year base salary.

4. Fellowship salary gap support larger than the amounts specified here will be considered only in the case of the most nationally- and internationally-prestigious and competitive awards, such as Guggenheims, ACLS’s, NEH’s, and Fulbrights.

Proposals for fellowship salary gap support should be included as part of a proposal for leave of absence or sabbatical, which should be submitted according to standard CAS policies and deadlines. The salary gap proposal should provide full details needed for consideration within the terms of this policy: an explanation of the fellowship, its terms, the goals of taking the fellowship, the financial request, and any other relevant information.

Those accepting CAS salary gap support must agree to return to full-time service for at least one year following the conclusion of the leave period. This is consistent with University policy on paid sabbatical leave.

Updated May 15, 2013