Georgetown University Research Leave (GURL)

The Georgetown University Research Leave (GURL) Program provides one semester of leave for tenure line faculty to conduct research or scholarship, or to work on a project in the creative arts.

Award features

  • GURLs provide one semester of leave, free of all teaching and service obligations, to tenure line faculty at any rank – Assistant, Associate, or Full Professor
  • Awards are made in the Fall semester, to be taken in the Fall or Spring of the following academic year.
  • GURLs can be used to “top off” externally-funded fellowships:
    • Certain external fellowships are eligible for automatic supplemental funding as so-called External Fellowship Leave (EFL).
    • Faculty wishing to apply for or accept an external fellowship that does not qualify for EFL should apply for a GURL to be taken in the same semester.


  • All tenure line faculty of the Main Campus, with the exception of those in the McDonough School of Business, are eligible to apply.
  • GURLs can be used in conjunction with external fellowships that are not on the approved External Fellowship Leave list.  In this case:
    • the faculty member must apply for and be granted a GURL before accepting the external fellowship;
    • if awarded, the GURL would cover any shortfall in salary paid by the external fellowship.
  • A GURL is a period of research leave, and as such is subject to the 3-in-4 rule: that is, a maximum of three semesters of research leave can be taken in any four-year period of counted service.

Selection Criteria

Subject to satisfying the eligibility criteria above, selection of proposals will be based on the following criteria:

  • Quality: applicants should explain in broadly accessible language the contribution their proposed research or scholarship will make to the literature or repertoire, and any future work to which it will lead.
  • Feasibility: applicants should present a clear and detailed plan for how the research/scholarship will be executed.
  • Credentials: applicants should explain how their track record, or in the case of junior faculty, their promise of future achievements, supports the notion that the proposed work will be successful


Applications consist of a project narrative of up to 1,000 words and a current CV. The narrative will address the issues of quality and feasibility outlined above, and include a description of the nature of the proposed research and its central hypothesis, the site, methodology, data, collaborations, and other inputs into the work, and the expected outcomes in terms of publications, other products, grant applications, performances, seminars, etc.

If it is proposed to use a GURL to top off an external fellowship that does not automatically qualify for External Fellowship Leave, the narrative should include information about the fellowship (including the name of the granting institution, the amount of support provided, and timing/duration).  Any supporting documentation, including a link to the sponsor’s website and notice of award (if available) should also be included.  (Note that in order to apply to an external sponsor for the fellowship itself, an application must be submitted through GU-PASS by clicking on the “New External Grant Request” button and following the directions there.)

Applications should be submitted via GU-PASS. Chairs and other reviewers will be invited to review applications for approval.

The GU-PASS application window will open August 25, and the deadline is September 30, 2021.

Financial process

A GURL recipient will receive full pay and benefits as normal. When at all possible, the external fellowship funds should be paid directly to the university, and the faculty member will see no change in the way that salary and benefits are received.  In exceptional circumstances only should the external fellowship be paid directly to the faculty member, in which case the balance would be received through the normal payroll process.

The semester will count as a semester of service towards sabbatical credit.  Units that need course coverage as a result of the faculty member being on leave should work with their school-level Senior Business Manager and the Provost’s Finance and Business Office in the budget planning process.


Recipients should submit a 200-word description of the activities that were conducted while on leave by May 31 or January 31 immediately following the semester in which it is taken, with links to electronic copies of any materials – publications, working papers, reports, etc. – produced as a result.

Faculty members who do not submit a deliverable as required will be ineligible for future internal grants.