University of Southern California USC

ASHSS Early Sabbatical

Guidelines and Application

The Advancing Scholarship in the Humanities and Social Sciences (ASHSS) sabbatical program, an initiative of the Office of the Provost, supports our most productive faculty at critical moments during the research or creative process so that they are enabled to produce high-caliber work sooner.

All USC full-time faculty at full professor or associate professor rank in the arts, humanities, and humanistic social sciences, both tenured and non-tenure-track, are eligible to apply. Visiting faculty are ineligible. Faculty must have accrued a minimum of 6 semesters since their last sabbatical or, for non-tenure-track faculty, have served a minimum of 3 uninterrupted years of full-time service. The ASHSS sabbatical is one semester at full pay. Once the ASHSS sabbatical is taken, the sabbatical accrual clock begins anew. The Provost’s Office will provide the applicant’s dean with an appropriate amount to cover teaching replacement costs.


The deadline for submitting applications with the department chair’s signature to the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs is Monday, December 2, 2013, at 5:00 p.m. The Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs will then forward the application to the applicant’s dean.

Eligibility and Conditions

  • Recipients of an ASHSS research or creative grant or Zumberge Award in 2010-2011 or later are ineligible for this year’s competition.
  • All sabbatical requirements and rules apply, except as modified by this memo. See the Faculty Handbook.
  • At the end of the ASHSS sabbatical, the faculty member must submit a 1-2 page summary of the work accomplished during the sabbatical and progress toward the goals outlined in the application. Faculty must submit the report to be eligible for future consideration for any ASHSS support.
  • Any publication or creative endeavor arising from work supported by the fund should acknowledge the Office of the Provost and Advancing Scholarship in the Humanities and Social Sciences grant program at the University of Southern California. For scholarly projects, copies of publications should be submitted to the Office of the Vice Provost Faculty Affairs. For creative projects, copies of the finished work, where feasible, and any resulting publicity materials, press clippings, or reviews should be submitted to the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs.

Application Materials

Materials to be included in the proposal include the following:

  1. Application Cover Sheet
  2. Proposal Narrative (2-page maximum)
    1. Describe the project.
    2. Provide a justification for the ASHSS sabbatical that answers “Why do you need a sabbatical now?”
    3. No other ancillary text, appendices, etc. will be accepted. All substantive description of the project (including tables, graphics, etc.) must be contained in the proposal itself.
    4. For non-tenure track-applicants only: In accordance with section 4-C (2) in the Faculty Handbook, explain how the proposed “research or other scholarly activity [is] consistent with [your] faculty profile”.
  3. Condensed Curriculum-Vitae (2-page maximum)
  4. For Artists or for Creative Work Only (all items below are optional):
    1. An artist’s statement that provides the context for understanding the importance of your work in your field
    2. Links to relevant online material
    3. Documentation of your work
  5. Leave Request Form, complete with your department chair’s signature. The Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs will seek your dean’s signature.
  6. Signature
    1. By submitting a signed proposal, applicants indicate their agreement to comply with the terms and conditions of the ASHSS sabbatical program as well as all other applicable USC policies.
    2. Applicants must secure the signatures of their department chairs before submitting the proposal to the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs.
    3. The Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs will then request the applicant’s dean to review the application to ensure that the applicant’s school can support the faculty member. Additionally, in the case of applications from non-tenure-track faculty, the dean will be asked to affirm that the proposed research project or scholarly activity aligns with the faculty member’s profile.
    4. If the dean approves the proposal, it will be entered into the pool of ASHSS sabbatical applications. Dean’s approval indicates acknowledgement that any costs not covered by the Provost’s Office’s funding will be the school’s responsibility.

Applications may be submitted via email to with the subject line “2013-14 ASHSS Sabbatical” or mailed or hand-delivered to:

Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs
ASHSS Sabbatical
3551 Trousdale Parkway – ADM 204
Los Angeles, California 90089-4019

Proposal Evaluations

Applications are evaluated by a multidisciplinary faculty panel and approved by the Provost. Because of limited resources, not all proposals can be funded. To the extent possible, sabbaticals will be distributed across academic units.

In reviewing ASHSS sabbatical requests, faculty panels consider:

  • The merits of the proposed project outlined in the narrative
  • The likelihood and feasibility that the proposed project will be completed in the time requested for the sabbatical
  • The urgency of the sabbatical
  • The past accomplishments and future promise of the applicant
  • The relevance of the proposal to the faculty member’s work at USC

The reviewers particularly are interested in understanding why the sabbatical is critical at this moment in the scholarly or creative process. The strongest applications will make a compelling case for how the ASHSS sabbatical will either propel a new project or spur a project’s completion. The most successful proposals will articulate the work for a broad interdisciplinary audience and will provide the context for understanding the importance and impact of the proposed project.

Reviewers also consider the project’s external funding streams: whether the project already has obtained, is positioned to obtain, or was submitted to obtain external funding from additional sources appropriate and relevant to the applicant’s discipline – including fellowships, foundation and philanthropic grants, federal funding, and private sector support.

Questions can be directed to

Lydia Lee
Assistant Provost for Faculty Affairs
Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs
ADM 204 MC 4019
Phone: (213) 740-6799

  • For more information:

    Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs
    Bovard Administration Building 204
    3551 Trousdale Parkway
    Los Angeles, CA 90089-4019
    Phone: 213-740-6715