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This procedure documents the University’s requirements for Academic Study Leave (ASL).

Responsible Officer: Vice-President (Enterprise)
Implementation Officer: Executive Director, Human Resources Division

First Approved by:
Vice-Chancellor on 29 April 2004

Amendments Approved by:
Vice-Chancellor on 11 October 2012;

Policy Office on 19 August 2014
(new link to the Academic Study Leave Application form);

Academic Study Leave Procedure

This procedure was approved by Vice-Chancellor on 29 April 2004 and incorporates all amendments to 11 October 2012.
This document is pursuant to the Staff Development Policy and includes the following schedule:
Schedule A: Travel Grants

This documents the University’s requirements for Academic Study Leave (ASL).


This applies throughout the University.


Academic Study Leave (ASL): enables academic staff members to pursue research and/or scholarly work outside the University. This may be for the purpose of collaborating with other leading scholars, researchers or professionals at other institutions or organisations, for fieldwork or internationally-related research. The research or scholarly work undertaken during the ASL should support a stream of activity as part of a research plan and provide value to the University and the academic staff member. The ASL application must include evidence of a research plan and how the proposed research/scholarly activities will contribute to this plan.

1All members of Academic Staff are eligible for ASL (subject to meeting the criteria outlined at 2). This includes academic staff employed within Institutes who are not members of Faculties. Where the guidelines below refer to Faculties, Pro Vice-Chancellors - Faculty (PVCs) and Heads of School (HoS), an appropriate Institute equivalent should be used: for example, Institute Director, Heads of Centres/Units within the Institute. Institutes should formulate and publish details of their ASL committee so that potential applicants can discuss their applications with members of the committee (in a similar fashion as Faculty members discuss with HoS).
2Academic staff are eligible to apply for ASL provided the staff member:
a)has been employed by the University in a Teaching and Research role for more than three years by the date on which the ASL commences, and
b)is not on probation by the date on which the ASL commences, and
c)has a minimum of two years remaining on their contract from the date on which they plan to return from ASL, where they have a fixed-term contract appointment, and
d)Will have a balance of less than 30 days Recreation Leave (or will submit plans as part of their Application for ASL to reduce the balance of Recreation Leave to 30 days or less within a six month period) at the time of taking ASL.
3A member of staff who has been absent from the University on approved ASL (excluding periods of conference leave) must serve a minimum period of three years from the return to work after ASL before being eligible to commence a further period of ASL.
4A staff member must remain employed at the University for a period of 12 months following their ASL or will be required to repay the full grant awarded for the ASL taken.
5Applications for ASL will not be considered if the report from the previous ASL was not submitted within the required timeframe.
6Heads of School and Associate Deans will not be eligible for ASL for the duration of their contract but can negotiate ASL between contracts when appropriate. Any ASL approved prior to a new contract being accepted must be deferred.
7Calls for applications are made up to three times a year. Applications must be submitted at least two trimesters prior to the requested time for ASL being taken.
8Staff members will apply for ASL by completing and submitting an Academic Study Leave Application form to their HoS.
9Applicants with a projected Recreation Leave balance of 30 days or more (at the time the ASL is due to commence) will be required to submit a proposal outlining how they intend to reduce their Recreation Leave balance to 30 days or less. The proposal must be submitted with their Academic Study Leave Application form.
10Faculty ASL Committees, each comprising at least four members, including the Pro Vice-Chancellor-Faculty and all HoS within the Faculty, will consider ASL applications and forward recommendations to the University ASL Committee. The University ASL Committee, comprising the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) (DVCR) as Chair and the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Planning and Integrity) (PVC(P&I)), will consider recommendations from Faculty ASL Committees and make decisions on the approval of ASL applications.
11The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) or nominee will advise applicants, their HoS and PVC, in writing, of the University ASL Committee’s decision.
12Where an application has not been approved, the Faculty ASL Committee may offer a staff member the opportunity to submit a revised application. This should be prepared in consultation with the HoS and the Chair of the Faculty ASL Committee. Unsuccessful applicants may obtain reasons for non-approval of a proposed program from the Chair of the Faculty ASL Committee.
13Where a re-submitted application is not approved, the staff member may formally appeal in writing to the DVCR through the University ASL Committee’s Executive Officer. In this regard the DVCR’s decision is final.
14Where a staff member has been unsuccessful in their application that person will not be eligible to re-submit a new application for two trimesters.
Period of Absence and Variations
15ASL will normally involve an absence of no more than two trimesters. Where a staff member uses other forms of paid leave (recreational leave, long service leave) in addition to ASL, the total period of absence will not exceed twelve months.
16Where a staff member wishes to vary the approved ASL, he or she must seek endorsement from the relevant HoS and the Chair of the Faculty ASL Committee.
17Staff members who suffer a serious disruption to their ASL (for example, illness), may apply to the Pro Vice-Chancellor for an extension of time or to make mutually agreeable alternative arrangements, where the operational needs of the School must be taken into account.
18Staff members must seek prior approval from the University ASL Committee to undertake any separate consulting or other outside work activity during a period of ASL, as per the Conflict of Interest Procedure.
Finance and Travel
19Staff with an approved period of ASL may be given an ASL grant to assist with travel and other expenses, excluding meal allowances. Such grants will be received prior to departure of ASL (see Schedule A: Travel Grants)
20The staff member’s salary and superannuation contributions will be maintained and paid in the normal fortnightly pay cycle for the duration of the ASL.
21Staff members must ensure they comply with the Travel procedure particularly in relation to: travel bookings and travel insurance (including augmenting Recreation Leave for leisure travel whilst on ASL).
22Staff members must keep all tax receipts for travel costs and other expenses and may be requested to produce tax receipts on return. Where any part of the ASL grant is unsubstantiated, the University may seek reimbursement from the staff member.
23Any income received by a staff member in connection with a period of ASL which is additional to his or her University salary and ASL grant, may be taken in to consideration when assessing the level of ASL support received.
24Where a staff member's spouse or partner is employed by the University and receives approval for a concurrent period of ASL, the two employees will be treated separately for the purpose of assessing the amount of financial assistance. Dependents will only be considered in respect of one of the applications for assistance.
25Staff members may be eligible for financial assistance for family members in special circumstances. A case for family assistance must be made in the application. Funding for such assistance must be recommended by the Faculty ASL Committee and approved by the University ASL Committee. Where assistance is approved the applicant must be on ASL for a minimum of three months – see Schedule A: Travel Grants.
26Within three months of their return from a period of ASL, staff members must submit a summary report to their Faculty Board and present a seminar to their Faculty on the outcomes of the program.
27The University ASL Committee will provide a report to the Planning and Resources Committee, the Academic Board and Council, by the end of March each year, with statistics on ASL applications, approvals and funding during the preceding year.

Academic Study Leave Allowance form
Academic Study Leave Application form
Academic Study Leave Head of School Report Template
Academic Study Leave Participant Report and Head of School Comments
Academic Study Leave website
Conflict of Interest Procedure
Financial Services Division (Travel) website
Staff Development Policy
Travel Policy
Travel Procedure

Printed copies of this document may not be current. Please refer to The Guide for the most recent version.
Deakin University 2015