SABBATICAL LEAVE PROGRAMME
Up to four months
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.
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.
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
Detailed information on application
procedures is provided in
Administrative Instruction ST/
AI/2011/1 and information circular
Staff members are requested to submit the below documents through their respective Head of Department or Office or Chief Mission Support to the Office of Human Resources Management.
- Completed application form;
- A proposal of no more than four pages describing the research or study project. The proposal should include: Title, field, and rationale of the research or study project; Outline of the topic(s) to be covered; Relationship of the research or study project to the work of the individual and the Organization; Usefulness of the expected outcome and its practical implications for the Organization; Research and study activities; Methodology; Schedule of the research or study with an indication of any preparatory work already accomplished;
- A written endorsement by the Head of Department or Office or Chief Mission Support;
- Two signed letters of recommendation;
- Correspondence on potential acceptance from the proposed sabbatical institution.
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.
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
Please submit your application to:
For more information:
Contact Kushal Ramyad
1- 917 367 2678
Frequently asked questions about sabbatical leave programme
Eligibility for application
- Is Special Leave Without Pay (SLWOP) 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.
- I am a staff member under General Service category. Am I eligible to take the sabbatical leave programme?
Yes. The sabbatical leave programme is open to all staff members who meet the eligibility requirements.
Selection of institution
- Is there a limitation on the institution or organization with which I plan to carry out my sabbatical project?
No. 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.
- 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.
Sabbatical leave travel
- Which office will pay for my travel related to sabbatical leave?
Normally, OHRM covers the cost of travel related to sabbatical leave. If the successful participants come from missions, the missions will cover the cost of travel related to sabbatical leave.
- Which office will process my travel related to sabbatical leave?
Regardless of funding source, the Executive Office of the Department of Management (DM) will process request for travel related to sabbatical leave.
- How do I get my tickets?
The tickets are issued by the American Express Travel Agency in New York. Participants will do self-ticketing only upon approval by the Executive Office of DM.
- 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.
Once arrived in the Institution of research
- Do I need to be in contact with my office or OHRM during my sabbatical leave?
While it is not necessary for a staff member on Sabbatical leave to be in regular contact with their parent Office/Department or OHRM during the period of Sabbatical, each staff member preparing to depart on Sabbatical must make their presence and situation known to the local UN Secretariat office or, if no UN Secretariat Office exists nearby, with the nearest UNDP office, through TRIP and request security clearance before proceeding on sabbatical leave This will also ensure the UN DO can contact and advise you in the event of emergency/evacuations situations.
After completion of sabbatical leave
- When do I have to submit my report?
Reports have to be submitted to OHRM within 6 months of completion of the sabbatical leave.
- How do I make travel claim?
You will need to fill in the F10. Form after completion of your sabbatical leave and submit the F10. together with all original documents (e.g. tickets, boarding passes etc.) to the office that issued your Travel Authorization. If you are in New York, it is the EO/DM. If you are at other duty stations, you should contact your local Personnel or Administrative Offices.
Please click the links below to access past Programme Participants' Reports: