Junior Scholar Leave

Faculty Handbook Information on Leaves of Absence and Sabbaticals

Junior Scholar Leave (JSL) provides tenure-track faculty with one semester of protected time for scholarly and/or creative work before tenure review. There are no teaching or service requirements during this semester, and the faculty member does not need to remain on campus.  Application for JSL is managed entirely within the School or College.  Feel free to contact Julie Sandell if you have questions about eligibility or process that your Dean’s Office cannot answer.  The following text from the Faculty Handbook describes the policy and requirements.

Tenure-track Assistant Professors (or Associate Professors in the Law School) who have undergone a formal mid-tenure review and are deemed to be making good progress towards achieving tenure, are eligible to apply to the dean of the school or college for one semester of paid Junior Scholar Leave to concentrate solely on scholarly and/or creative work in the final years before tenure review. The leave will be granted if, in the dean’s estimation, it is likely to strengthen the candidate’s overall application for tenure at Boston University.

Final Approval Authority

Dean: all standard Junior Scholar Leaves*

*send notification of leaves to the Provost Office

Available Forms


  • Prior Service: the faculty member must have completed at least 6 full semesters of full-time service by the time the requested Junior Scholar Leave would begin.
  • Successful Mid-Tenure Review: the faculty member must have been appointed through the tenure review year following a formal mid-tenure review process in the school or college.
  • Timing: Junior Scholar Leave must be completed prior to September of the academic year in which the tenure decision will be made. The semester chosen for the leave should be mutually agreed upon by the faculty member and his or her chair or dean to maximize utility for the faculty member.
  • Duration: Junior Scholar Leave must be completed in a single semester. It cannot be split between two semesters, or used to provide partial salary support for two semesters.
  • Return: A faculty member who takes a Junior Scholar Leave must agree to return to full-time service for at least one year.

Interaction with other leaves and opportunities to reduce teaching:

  • If a faculty member has been granted a semester or more at full pay with no teaching duties as part of the employment contract, he or she is not eligible to apply for Junior Scholar Leave.
  • A faculty member who has been granted a teaching reduction at full pay as a result of an internal or external grant, contract, fellowship, or career development professorship remains eligible to apply for Junior Scholar Leave.  However, the dean may deny the application if he or she is concerned that an additional semester out of the classroom might prevent the faculty member from demonstrating the teaching excellence required for a positive tenure decision.
  • Prior Childbirth Leave, Medical Leave, or Primary Caregiver Workload Reduction do not prevent a faculty member from applying for Junior Scholar Leave, although such semesters do not accrue towards the 6 full semesters of full-time service required for eligibility to apply for Junior Scholar Leave.
  • Subsequent Sabbaticals: a semester of Junior Scholar Leave does not accrue towards the service requirement for eligibility to apply for a standard sabbatical leave. However, all semesters of full-time service prior to and following Junior Scholar Leave do accrue towards those semesters required for sabbatical eligibility.

Please email PDFs of leave notification to Steve Marois (smarois@bu.edu). You may contact him at 8-4843 with any questions or to check the status of paperwork.