Northwestern-Argonne Institute Mini-Sabbatical Program

Offered through NAISE, the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, and Argonne National Laboratory, the mini-sabbatical program is designed to strengthen interactions in existing areas of research and to develop new areas of collaboration.

Tenure-track and tenured faculty members will be chosen by application. One- to two-page proposals are required. The Associate Laboratory Director of the division of residence, the Institute, and the Dean’s Office will select the participants.  Selected faculty will be in residence at Argonne with the intent to develop and work on collaborative research projects with scientists and engineers there.  It is important for the faculty to contact Argonne collaborators prior to applying for the mini-sabbatical. This can be initiated by reviewing the Argonne web site ( or discussing potential collaborative research areas with McCormick faculty with existing ties to Argonne.

The Argonne Associate Laboratory Director, the Institute, and the Dean will be notified of the project and must formally agree to the scope and nature of the project undertaken during the mini-sabbatical prior to the mini-sabbatical.  The Division Director’s approval will include a commitment to provide office space and a desk that can be used while the faculty member is resident at Argonne.  Access to laboratory space and research facilities will be provided as needed.

Expectations of Faculty Participants

  • To be at Argonne an average of at least three full days per week during the mini-sabbatical quarter
  • To abide by all training, security, safety, and other requirements of Argonne
  • To submit a short summary of his/her experience, outcomes, and any collaborations that result from the mini-sabbatical within 60 days of its completion. This report will be distributed to the faculty member’s Department Chair and Dean, as well as Argonne.
  • Agreement to become a member of the Northwestern-Argonne Institute of Science and Engineering.

Regarding Compensation and Teaching Responsibilities

  • Participation in the Argonne-Northwestern Mini-Sabbatical Program will have no effect on other leave requests including academic, entrepreneurial, and personal leaves of absence.
  • Funds are not provided for travel or incidental expenses, but the faculty member may use a discretionary account to defray the costs of travel.
  • The faculty member may not earn extra pay from Northwestern University for teaching or other activities during the period of the leave.
  • Faculty are expected to continue in their regular undergraduate and graduate advising responsibility as well as service on committees, unless other arrangements are made with their Department Chair.
  • In the event that the mini-sabbatical occurs during a quarter in which the faculty member is teaching, the faculty member will be released from one quarter of teaching duties, subject to the approval of the School and Department of the faculty member.
  • Funds for adjunct teaching support will be provided to the faculty member’s Department per School policy.

Application Process


  1. Request approval from home department 3 months prior to planned start date at Argonne
  2. Notify NAISE Director of Operations and Outreach, Deneen Bryce, of intent to apply for mini-sabbatical
    1. You will need to provide the following to NAISE (
      1. Completed and approved Joint Unpaid Appointment
      2. Scope of Work Document- Mini-Sabbatical
      3. Letter of support/approval from Argonne sponsoring division/department
      4. Approval by Peter Voorhees, NAISE Center Director
    2. A $0 subcontract award with Argonne is created by the Office of Sponsored Research. This involves InfoEd Routing will obtain department/school/NAISE approvals
  3. Notify your home department research and business administrators that you will be doing a Mini-Sabbatical at Argonne
    1. Your department administrator should track all sources of funding (federal, industry, foundation, etc.) at Northwestern during your appointment to ensure that:
      1. The terms and conditions associated with your sponsored funding are consistent with the terms and conditions in the joint appointment with Argonne. This is especially important if any of your funding is from non-federal/non- NU sources (such as industry, foundations, etc.)
      2. Your Argonne effort is appropriately accounted for in your effort certification