HRF Overview


The Humanities Research Fellowship (HRF) supports faculty at critical junctures in their career by enabling awardees to take a one to two semester sabbatical with full pay before they have accrued sufficient sabbatical credits to do so otherwise. The fellowships are designed to allow faculty members in the arts, humanities, and humanistic social sciences, regardless of their departmental home, to accelerate the time to sabbatical at full pay.

In addition to minimum eligibility requirements, which are outlined below, preference will be given to those planning to complete or make significant progress on a major scholarly project central to promotion.


Eligible faculty members will be members of the Academic Senate on the Professor track, including Assistant, Associate, and Full Professor.

Research Areas

While faculty members from any unit on campus may apply, the HRF program is intended to support only those faculty members whose projects are clearly humanistic (including studies in language and literature, both modern and classical; critical theory; jurisprudence; philosophy; archeology; musicology; the history, criticism, and theory of art; cultural studies; digital humanities; and those areas of the social sciences that have humanistic content and/or employ humanistic methods, including interdisciplinary departments like African American Studies, Ethnic Studies, and Gender and Women’s Studies). The program also supports faculty working in the creative arts (including architects, painters, sculptors, composers, musicians, writers, poets, filmmakers, choreographers, directors, new media artists, and others working in creative fields).

Minimum Accrual of Sabbatical Credits at the Time of Leave

In order to be considered for an HRF award, by the time of the proposed leave applicants must have accrued a least the minimum sabbatical credits as follows:

Applications for a sabbatical supplement for one semester (Fall 2024 or Spring 2025)

Assistant Professors: five sabbatical credits (entitling you to a semester of sabbatical leave at 56% of your salary)

Associate Professors: six sabbatical credits (entitling you to one semester of sabbatical leave at 67% of your salary)

Full Professors: seven sabbatical credits (entitling you to one semester of sabbatical leave at 78% of your salary)

Applications for a sabbatical supplement for two semesters (Fall 2024 and Spring 2025)

Assistant Professors: eight sabbatical credits (entitling you to two semesters of sabbatical leave at 44% of your salary)

Associate Professors: ten sabbatical credits (entitling you to two semesters of sabbatical leave at 56% of your salary)

Full Professors: eleven sabbatical credits (entitling you to two semesters of sabbatical leave at 61% of your salary)

Applicants bringing a greater number of total sabbatical credits will, in most instances, be prioritized over those with fewer credits.

Program Policies and Priorities

Because this program is designed to accelerate the time to sabbatical, applicants are expected to use all accrued sabbatical credits in conjunction with the HRF award.

HRF awards are for salary supplementation only; funding for travel and other research expenses are not available through the HRF program. 

As noted above, priority will be granted to applicants at a critical stage in their careers and to those for whom an HRF would make a significant difference to the completion or advancement of a major project, which could not be accomplished otherwise. 

Priority will be given to applicants who have not received a grant from the HRF Program within the last five years and to those where an HRF-funded leave would make a significant difference to the completion of the project.

An HRF award does not include permission to take a sabbatical. Recipients must still apply through normal procedures for permission to take sabbatical leave. All sabbatical policies also will be observed including the requirement of a return to service equal to the length of the sabbatical.  Those who do not return to service will be expected to reimburse the University for their sabbatical salary and benefits and for any funding for salary and benefits provided by an HRF award.

Recipients of a Humanities Research Fellowship who learn they will receive salary support from another source should notify immediately the Dean of the Division of Arts and Humanities.  In circumstances where the external award and sabbatical credits do not cover a full year’s salary, a recipient may be permitted to retain a portion of the HRF award.  In no case may total salary compensation from an HRF and another source exceed a faculty member’s regular academic year salary.  


The completed application must be submitted by 5pm PST October 16, 2023. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

The Department Chair (or a designate selected by the Dean in cases where current Chairs have applied) will be provided with the applications from their respective department in order to identify any special circumstances that might be pertinent in the HRF selection process that is not directly apparent in the application.

The Chair’s input for each application must be returned to Aimee Chang (akchang@berkeley.edy) no later than November 3, 2023