How to Get a Paid Sabbatical From Your Job: 10 Short-term Professional Fellowships

Sep 02, 2016

How to get a paid sabbatical

Sabbaticals are not just for professors. We now hear of leaders in the non-profit and private sectors taking sabbaticals of a few weeks to a few months to recover from stress, develop new skills or ponder their career goals. Problem is, very few companies and organizations offer non-executive employees the opportunity to take a sabbatical. Even if a sabbatical is allowed, it is typically at your own expense. However, a paid sabbatical is not out of reach. You may be able to take a sabbatical if 1) you find funding to cover your expenses while you take unpaid leave and 2) you can convince your employer that the time away will be of benefit to both them and you.

You can achieve both of these goals through a funded, short-term professional fellowship. There are a number of fellowships specifically engineered for people to gain invaluable skills training and experiential learning that can be directly applied to your work. Many of them are in exciting international locations, providing opportunities for travel and adventure. Although some responsibilities are expected of fellows, a fellowship can provide a break from the daily office experience that is both refreshing and affordable for you and your employer. Learn more about these fellowship opportunities providing a paid sabbatical for U.S. and international candidates.

Marshall Memorial Fellowship

Created in 1982 to introduce a new generation of European leaders to the United States, the Marshall Memorial Fellowship now prepares leaders from both sides of the Atlantic for transatlantic relations. In addition to 6 months of distance learning, the program provides 24 days of first-hand experience to facilitate knowledge and network development for effective transatlantic engagement. GMF awards 75 Marshall Memorial Fellowships each year to candidates from all sectors, including business, government and civil society. Candidates should have a minimum of 6 years work experience in a leadership position.

Fulbright Specialist Program

Grants are awarded to U.S. professionals and academics in select disciplines to engage in collaborative 2 to 6 week projects at host institutions in over 100 countries worldwide. Fulbright specialists have engaged in projects ranging from designing courses, leading professional and creative workshops, and setting up youth programs. The program is currently seeking U.S. professionals with skills to assist with refugee resettlement in Europe. The fellowship provides international travel costs and a daily stipend.

Kinship Conservation Fellowship

Kinship invests in individuals by selecting the best and the brightest and awarding them a $6,000 stipend and a one month in-residence training program on ways to apply market-based approaches to environmental concerns. The curriculum in Bellingham, Washington is delivered by a faculty of global experts who work closely with each carefully selected cohort of Fellows.

Zhi-Xing China Eisenhower Fellowship

The Zhi-Xing (or “learning and travel”) Fellowship is a fully-funded four-week professional and leadership development program that brings 10 mid-career U.S. leaders to China each fall. The fellowship features intensive cultural immersion, group sessions with Chinese and U.S. experts and two weeks of individually-tailored travel and meetings in four to six Chinese cities around the country. Eisenhower Fellowships seeks a mix of applicants from all professional sectors – public, private and nonprofit – and representing diverse disciplines in the preferred age range of 32 to 45 years old.

Urban Leaders Fellowship

The Urban Leaders Fellowship is a 7 week paid summer fellowship for early- to mid-career professionals who are already leaders in their own right and are looking to accelerate their leadership through fellowship with a focus on policy and practice. Fellows work half-time on high-level policy projects with an elected official and half-time alongside partner organizations in cities across the country. We work in 9 cities: Atlanta, Dallas, Denver, Indianapolis, KCMO, Nashville, New Orleans, Oakland, and Washington, D.C. Fellows receive a base stipend of $2,500. Three deadlines.

Lone Mountain Fellowships

Lone Mountain Fellowships offer a unique opportunity for scholars, journalists, policy-makers, and environmentalists to advance our understanding of the role of markets and property rights in protecting and enhancing environmental resources. Lone Mountain Fellows are resident at the Property and Environment Research Center (PERC) in Bozeman, Montana, for periods ranging from a week to a year, depending on the nature of their projects. Stipends for Lone Mountain Fellows vary with the nature of the work, duration of residence at PERC, and the Fellow’s qualifications.

Ian Axford (New Zealand) Fellowship in Public Policy

Administered by Fulbright New Zealand, these 7-month fellowships in New Zealand are for outstanding mid-career American professionals to research and gain firsthand experience of public policy in New Zealand. Fellows work on projects that are mutually beneficial to the U.S. and New Zealand. The fellowship provides a monthly stipend, roundtrip travel and other benefits. Fellows can receive a stipend of up to NZ $2,500 per month if on full or partial paid leave, or NZ $5,000 per month if unable to obtain paid leave.

Professional Fellows Program

The Professional Fellows Program brings emerging leaders from around the world to the United States for intensive fellowships designed to broaden their professional expertise. Participants spend 4 to 6 weeks in the U.S. where they complete individually tailored fellowships in businesses, government offices, media, non-profit organizations, or business associations. The fellowship covers travel expenses, visa fees, health and accident insurance, a daily stipend and room and board.

Peace Corps Response Program

Peace Corps Response provides opportunities for qualified individuals to undertake short-term, high impact assignments in programs around the world. To be eligible, applicants must be a U.S. citizen and either a returned Peace Corps Volunteer or an experienced professional. You can search current opportunities or search on specific criteria to find opportunities that match your interests.

Rotary Peace Fellowship

In addition to fully funded postgraduate fellowships, the Rotary Peace Fellowship offers a fully funded Professional Development Certificate for professionals working in peace-related fields. The 3-month program in peace and conflict prevention and resolution takes place at Chulalongkorn University in Thailand and incorporates two to three weeks of field study. Individuals take what they learn and immediately begin applying it to their work.

© Victoria Johnson 2016, all rights reserved.