Academic Leave Guidelines for Clinicians

Table of Contents

  1. Purpose
  2. Section 1: Eligibility Conditions
  4. Section 2.2: DEFERRED LEAVE
  5. Section 2.3: RESTRICTIONS
  6. Section 2.4: OTHER BENEFITS
  7. Section 2.5: PROCEDURES


An academic leave is intended to provide a full time academic  (FTA) with an opportunity to do one or more of the following:

  1. to engage in scholarly activities related to the profession in relation to any of the Faculty of Medicine’s career path;
  2. to gain professional or practical expertise in a field or area related to the FTA professional responsibilities;
  3. to undertake training or other relevant activities for the purpose of enabling the FTA to take on new duties.

Section 1: Eligibility Conditions

  1. The following conditions must be met for a FTA to be eligible for academic leave:

    1. The FTA clinician must be FTA of an academic payment plan for a minimum of seven (7) years, or meet departmental and/or divisional practice plan guidelines;
    2. The FTA must have submitted a detailed description of the work plan to be carried out during the leave. This project must, upon evaluation, be accepted by the Department Chair;
    3. be relevant to their area of expertise and bring value-add to their clinical department.

Section 2.1: Duration and Remuneration

  1. Compensation is, for the most part, the responsibility of the department and/or divisional payment plan and to a small degree, the Faculty of Medicine. During an academic leave, the financial support from the Faculty of Medicine to the clinical departments (stipend pool, research support, etc.) will continue unchanged.

    The duration of the leave will be in accordance with the University policy on academic leave as stipulated in the collective agreement between the University and APUO. *

Section 2.2: Deferred Leave

  1. When a FTA applies or notifies the Department Chair that s/he intends to apply for an academic leave, the Chair may impose a deferral when there are valid administrative reasons for such a deferral. The Chair may defer consideration of the FTA's application until the administrative reasons no longer exist.

Section 2.3: Restrictions

  1. Failure to return from leave. Following an academic leave, it is understood that a faculty member is expected to return to service at the university for a period at least equal to the length of the leave. Failure to do so might be considered unprofessional behaviour that could potentially lead to sanctions. For example, a faculty member funded by the department who fails to return from academic leave may be obligated to refund the entire salary received while on leave, or, in the case an individual returns to service at the university for a period less than that of the academic leave, the refund requirement will be reduced at the chair’s discretion and in proportion to the length of the time returned.

    In the case where a faculty member is unable to return to the university and fails to meet his/her professional obligations due to illness or other such circumstances, the Chair will decide upon an appropriate course of action at his/her discretion.

Section 2.4: Other Benefits

  1. Vacation. Will be in accordance with departmental/divisional policy and shall not interfere with the academic objectives of the leave.

  2. Contributions. During an academic leave, the FTA shall continue their contributions to the various insurance plans and payment plan as per the payment plan agreement of the clinical department.

  3. Rights and privileges. While on academic leave, a FTA shall have all the rights and privileges which s/he would have if s/he were not on academic leave. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the FTA:

    • shall have the right to be notified of, and to attend, meetings of his/her department and faculty, it being understood that email notice shall be sufficient notice of any event on campus of which the FTA is entitled to be notified of during the academic leave;
    • shall be entitled to vote at meetings of his/her department and faculty, subject to the relevant by-laws and it being understood that s/he shall be able to vote only in person or by sending his/her vote by email directly to the Chair.
  4. Sick leave. Though a FTA is not normally eligible for sick leave and academic leave simultaneously, s/he may be considered eligible for sick leave benefits if major medical circumstances (such as an accident, or prolonged hospitalization) occur which may jeopardize the physical or mental capacity of the FTA to carry out the project for which the academic leave was granted. Under such circumstances, a FTA shall discuss the situation with the Department Chair and the Vice Dean of Professional affairs to decide whether the FTA's academic leave is to be suspended and replaced by a sick leave.

Section 2.5: Procedures

  1. To be granted an academic leave, the FTA must submit an official application to the Department Chair six (6) months before the departmental budget is set.

  2. The application must be accompanied by the FTA's up-to-date curriculum vitae and a report on the FTA's most recent academic leave and its consequences, as well as any other information which the FTA wishes to have considered during the examination of the application. In the application, the FTA shall:

    • indicate the starting date, the end date and duration of the leave;
    • give a detailed description of the work s/he plans to carry out during the leave and specify the place(s) where s/he intends to do it;
    • provide written confirmation from Clinical Unit Director or Division Head that the clinical impact resulting from the academic leave will be appropriately managed.
  3. After approval at the departmental level, the Chair shall submit the request to the Clinical Teaching Personnel Committee (CTPC) for acknowledgement.

  4. In the event of a disagreement between the Chair of the department and the applicant, then the individual can request a review by the CTPC.

  5. It is up to the FTA to submit a new application for an academic leave if a previous application was refused.

    2.5.5 Changes. If the FTA, prior to three (3) calendar months before the commencement of the academic leave, becomes aware of any fundamental change(s) to his/her project, s/he shall promptly notify the Chair thereof. The Chair or delegate may, but need not, require a reassessment of the project, but only for the purpose of determining whether the project, as modified, still meets the criteria set out in section 1.

    The Chair or delegate may consult the Vice Dean of Professional Affairs prior to making any such reassessment but s/he shall in any event advise the FTA of her/his reassessment, if any, within fifteen (15) working days of her/him being notified of the changes. Where the Chair concludes that the modified project does not meet the criteria, s/he shall promptly provide the FTA with a written statement of the reasons for the reassessment along with any consequences or requirements which flow from the reassessment, it being understood that, although the leave may be withdrawn, such consequences or requirements shall be reasonably directed at the avoidance of postponement or cancellation of the academic leave.

  6. Report. A FTA who has been on academic leave shall submit to the Chair, within thirty (30) days following the official date of return to the University, a written report of activities during the leave and a summary of how the knowledge and skills gained on leave will be utilized going forward. This report may be considered at the next annual review in the light of section 1.


* As per the current collective agreement, a minimum of 4 years of service is required before an academic leave is granted, and one year of service entitles to 0.125 years of leave.

Committee Date
Faculty Advisory Board January 31, 2012
Faculty Council April 25, 2012
Executive Committee of the Senate August 27, 2012 (12:M05:23)

Modified by the Faculty November 26, 2013