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Clarification by Tri-Agency on Sabbatical Leaves/Continuation of Eligibility

The Office of Research Services has received the following information which we are forwarding to our e-mail list members:

The Tri-Agencies would like to acknowledge the concerns expressed by Canadian Association of Research Administration members over its Sabbatical/Research Leave policy. In response, the Agencies have issued the following clarification:

As a general rule, the Agencies accept sabbatical/research leave (paid or unpaid) up to one year.  


As stated in the administrative matters section of the Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide (Guide), Agencies do not require notice of sabbatical/research leave of one year or less in duration.  In addition, the rule also indicates that there must be a one year period between two sabbatical/research leaves.  This only applies when the first leave is for one year or longer.

As indicated in the Guide, the Agencies will consider terminating grants when the grantee is away on a sabbatical/research leave (paid or unpaid) for more than one year.   In these cases, the grantee and/or the institution must inform the applicable Agency as soon as possible. However, should a grantee still be actively involved in the research which the grant is supporting, the grantee and/or institution is encouraged to provide this information when informing the appropriate Agency.   The Agency will assess on a case by case basis to determine if the grant will be terminated.  


Over the next few months, the Agencies will work together to ensure that the policy requirements reflect the underlying principles that the Agencies share. This will involve consultations with members of the CARA community.  Any resulting policy amendments will be communicated with the annual review of the Guide.


Thank you.


Pierre Côté, CPA, CA


Manager, Financial Operations / Finance and Administration

Canadian Institutes of Health Research / Government of Canada

pierre.cote@cihr-irsc.gc.ca / Tel: 613-941-1090 / Cell: 819-210-1457


Gestionnaire, Opérations Financières / Finance et Administration

Instituts de recherche en santé du Canada / Gouvernement du Canada

pierre.cote@cihr-irsc.gc.ca / Tel: 613-941-1090 / Cell: 819-210-1457



Rita G. Carrière


Senior Advisor, Financial Policies and Compliance                                                                                                  

Conseillère principale en politiques financières et conformité

Finance and Awards Administration – NSERC- SSHRC

Finance et Administration des octrois – CRSNG - CRSH

T: 613 992-5596

E C rita.carriere@nserc-crsng.gc.ca