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NICHD Sabbatical Program

This program provides an opportunity for a limited number of tenured scientists and physicians in the Intramural Program to enhance their professional skills and research programs through independent or collaborative research. The sabbatical would generally be outside NIH at domestic or foreign educational or research institutions however the PI may choose another IC. Sabbaticals at “for profit” companies would be more difficult, subject to IC Ethics Office approval, and should be considered a “training” exercise.

Selection Criteria

Applicants will be considered on the basis of:

  1. Perceived potential for professional growth and career development as a result of program participation.
  2. Scientific merit and/or promise of applicant’s proposal, including the appropriateness of the designated institution or research facility in providing an environment suitable for the proposed study or research.
  3. Scientific accomplishments as assessed by publications and honors including service on grant review groups and editorial boards
  4. The mentoring record of the candidate and the host laboratory

Duration and Funding

Sabbaticals may be as short as 3 months or as long as a year. No Intramural funding will be transferred to the host institution. In most cases, support will include:

  • Salary
  • 50% of the housing per diem based on the location of the institution
  • Allowance for one round‐trip travel
  • Moving of some personal belongings for sabbaticals longer than 6 months

Application Process

The application should include:

  • A cover memo briefly requesting the sabbatical and potential host to the Scientific Director
  • A recommendation letter from the investigator’s supervisor
  • A three to four page proposal that contains:
    • A description of the project to be undertaken and the scope of the work
    • The anticipated gains from the experience and relationship to the individual’s career development
    • A rationale for the selection of the institution and the sponsor
    • A current curriculum vitae and bibliography
    • Details on how the NICHD Laboratory/Section activities will be maintained during the sabbatical period including how the mentoring of junior staff and trainees will be accomplished
    • The approximate dates of departure and return
  • An invitation letter from the host institution

Evaluation Process

Proposals should be submitted at least 6 months (12 months for foreign) before the anticipated initiation of the sabbatical. Recommendations about funding will be made to the Scientific Director by an Evaluation Committee consisting of tenured NICHD Investigators and/or ad hoc Reviewers. Final decisions about approval and all related funding will be made by the Director, Deputy Director, and Scientific Director. A memo of the decision will be returned to the Investigator with a copy to the Administrative Management Branch. A personnel package will be required to submit to Human Resources.

Sabbaticals at foreign institutions must be cleared by various government agencies in addition to DHHS, i.e., Departments of State, Commerce, and Treasury. Additional time should be given for these submissions; the application process should start at least 12 months prior to the onset.

Please note that the sabbatical will not affect the BSC review clock. Exception to this policy must be in writing to the SD, through the IC Director, to the DDIR/OIR.

Reporting Requirements

Each tenured scientist, upon returning from sabbatical, will debrief the Scientific Director regarding the experience. A report regarding the progress of his/her research conducted while on sabbatical will also be required and presented as a scientific presentation at a Program Heads meeting and/or the NICHD BSC.

The page was last updated on Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - 9:36pm