SABBATICAL LEAVE PROGRAMME

Each year, selected staff members have the opportunity to pursue research or study projects for a period of up to four months in recognized universities or independent institutions worldwide, including participating research and training centres of the United Nations University and institutions that are members of the Academic Council on the United Nations System. Selected staff members will be placed on special leave with full pay for the period of the sabbatical leave up to four months. Roundtrip travel expenses will be paid for the staff member, as well as a stipend to cover partial living expenses if the institution is not at the duty station.

Target audience

Staff members with five years of service with the United Nations Secretariat who are expected to serve for no less than two years after the completion of the sabbatical leave.

Objectives

The Sabbatical Programme aims to:

  • Provide an opportunity for staff members to bring added value to their contribution to the Organization and to enhance their intellectual growth through the pursuit of research on issues relating to the work of the United Nations
  • Enhance dialogue and build contacts between the United Nations and other organizations and institutions engaged in related work worldwide, as well as to expose United Nations staff members to state-of-the-art research and practices on issues on the international agenda

Application Procedure

Detailed information on application procedures is provided in Administrative Instruction ST/ AI/2011/1 and information circular ST/IC/2014/16.

Staff members are requested to submit the below documents through their respective head of department/office/mission or Director/Chief of Mission Support to the Office of Human Resources Management

The deadline for applicatons is 30 September 2014.

  1. Application form, contained in annex I to ST/IC/2014/16;
  2. Proposal form, contained in annex II to ST/IC/2014/16;
  3. Endorsement form, completed by the head of department/office/mission or Director/Chief of Mission Support responsible for the work of the applicant during the proposed research or study project, contained in annex III to ST/IC/2014/16;
  4. Two to three signed letters of recommendation;
  5. Written correspondence between the applicant and the proposed sabbatical institution concerning potential acceptance;
  6. For candidates whose contracts will expire during the required two-year period following their sabbatical, a letter from their Executive Office or human resources office stating that there is an expectation that the staff member will serve with the Secretariat for at least two years beyond the end of the sabbatical period;

Identifying an Institution

Interested staff members are responsible for identifying the institution or organization in which they propose to carry out their study or research project, for securing their acceptance by that institution for a specified time and for ascertaining the type of support services and facilities that the institution is willing to provide.

Selection Process

The Assistant Secretary-General for Human Resources Management, assisted by a selection committee, shall review the proposals submitted and make a final selection in accordance with the criteria set out in ST/AI/2011/1. All applicants are notified of the results by the end of December every year.

Review of the Proposal

Proposals will be evaluated on the basis of the following criteria:

  • Importance, feasibility and quality of the proposed study
  • Appropriateness of the methodology
  • Suitability of the candidate to undertake the proposed study
  • Expected usefulness of the study for the United Nations

For more information:
Contact Touria ZAHID
sabbatical@un.org
1-212-963-6795

 

Frequently asked questions about sabbatical leave programme

Who is eligible to apply for the sabbatical leave?

Staff members with five years of service with the United Nations Secretariat who are expected to serve for no less than two years after the completion of the sabbatical leave.

I am a staff member under General Service category, am I eligible to apply for the sabbatical leave programme?

Yes. The sabbatical leave programme is open to all staff members who meet the eligibility requirements.

Is Special Leave Without pay exceeding one month counted towards the five years of service with the Secretariat?

No. Staff members shall not accrue service credits towards sick, annual and home leave, salary increment, seniority, termination indemnity and repatriation grant during periods of special leave with partial pay or without pay exceeding one month. Following the same logic, staff members on special leave without pay (SLWOP) for a period exceeding one month should not accrue service credits towards the five-year requirement for eligibility to the sabbatical leave programme.

Can I take the sabbatical leave in parts?

No. The 4 months sabbatical leave has to be taken continuously.

Can I defer my sabbatical leave to the following year?

The sabbatical for this year should be taken during 2015. Under exceptional circumstances, such as exigencies of service or illness, the Office of Human Resources Management may authorize the deferral of sabbatical leave to the following year.

Are weekends and official holidays counted in the 4 months sabbatical leave?

Yes, the sabbatical leave is for 120 days including travel days, weekends and official holidays.

Will my post adjustment change to reflect amounts paid in the country I am travelling to?

No.

What do I need in order to apply for the sabbatical?

  1. Application form, contained in annex I toST/IC/2014/16;
  2. Proposal form, contained in annex II to ST/IC/2014/16;
  3. Endorsement form, contained in annex III to ST/IC/2014/16 completed by the head of department/office/mission or Director/Chief of Mission Support responsible for the work of the applicant during the proposed research or study project;
  4. Two to three signed letters of recommendation;
  5. Written correspondence between the applicant and the proposed sabbatical institution concerning potential acceptance;
  6. For candidates whose contracts will expire during the required two-year period following their sabbatical, a letter from their Executive Office or human resources office stating that there is an expectation that the staff member will serve with the Secretariat for at least two years beyond the end of the sabbatical period;
  7. Application checklist contained in annex VII to ST/IC/2014/16

How do I select my sabbatical institution?

Interested staff members are responsible for identifying the institution or organization in which they propose to carry out their study or research project, for securing their acceptance by that institution for a specified time and for ascertaining the type of support services and facilities that the institution is willing to provide.

In addition to universities and independent institutions worldwide, including participating research and training centres of the United Nations University and institutions that are members of the Academic Council on the United Nations System, research or study projects may also be pursued in other relevant organizations and institutions.

The institution where I want to undertake my sabbatical research or study project is in a different country than my duty station, who will pay for my travel?

Roundtrip travel expenses will be paid for the staff member, as well as a stipend to cover partial living expenses if the institution is not at the duty station.

Will I receive stipend during my sabbatical?

A stipend to cover partial living expenses, in an amount to be determined yearly by the Office of Human Resources Management, shall be paid to staff members during the period of special leave with full pay, provided that the place of study and/or research is beyond commuting distance from the staff member’s station and he/she has actually rented accommodation in the area near the place of study and/or research. Stipend is paid only for the days the Staff members will be travelling. Staff members will be required to submit proof or fund transfer that they used to pay for the accommodations or the stipend will be recovered. The stipend amount for the sabbatical period will be communicated to the participant five days before the day of his/her travel.

I have all the documentation, where do I send my application?

All applications must be sent to sabbatical@un.org.

When is the deadline for this year?

All applications must be received by 30 September 2014 COB.

How are the proposals evaluated?

The Assistant Secretary-General for Human Resources Management, assisted by a selection committee, shall review the proposals submitted and make a final selection in accordance with the criteria set out in ST/AI/2011/1.

Proposals will be evaluated on the basis of the following criteria:

  • Importance, feasibility and quality of the proposed study
  • Appropriateness of the methodology
  • Suitability of the candidate to undertake the proposed study
  • Expected usefulness of the study for the United Nations and to the career development of the candidate

How is the selection panel established?

The selection panel will consist of senior staff members and experts nominated by various Departments/Offices. A Staff Development Officer from OHRM will serve as ex-officio for this selection panel to provide administrative support.

Is the decision of the panel final?

All proposals will be evaluated on the basis of the criteria set out in administrative instruction ST/AI/2011/1. The decision made by the selection panel is final and not subject to appeals.

How long does it take for the selection panel to make a decision?

It normally takes about a month for the selection panel to make a decision, depending on the volume of applications. Each applicant will be informed of the decision of the Selection Committee regardless of the result of the application.

Which office will pay for my travel related to sabbatical leave?

OHRM covers the cost of travel related to sabbatical leave.

Which office will process my travel related to sabbatical leave?

The Executive Office of the Department of Management (DM) will process request for travel related to sabbatical leave.

What should I do if I would like to combine personal travel with my sabbatical leave?

The Financial Authorization issued by the EO/DM only covers the official itinerary. Any personal deviation will have to be dealt with between the staff member and the American Express Travel Agent. Staff member will be responsible for any difference in price due to personal deviation and will receive a waiver form to sign for that purpose before the ticket is issued.

When do I have to submit my report?

Reports must be submitted to OHRM within 6 months of completion of the sabbatical leave.

Please click the links below to access past Programme Participants' Reports:

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014