Teaching Relief for Learning

Each semester, a selected number of FAS faculty will be eligible for a novel kind of teaching relief: “Teaching Relief for Learning” (TRL). The purpose of a TRL is to allow a faculty member to spend a semester in the classroom on the other side of the desk – as a student. Faculty may take courses related to research and teaching projects, they may use this opportunity to explore new fields or hone new technical skills and knowledge, or they may use the opportunity for pure intellectual exploration.

Faculty are expected to enroll (in a non-credit fashion) in 2-3 courses during their TRL, participating as fully as possible in class activities and assignments. Courses may be at the undergraduate or graduate level, and may be in a single department, or across several departments. Agreement of the instructor must be secured.

The TRL provides relief from teaching responsibilities, without loss of salary or benefits, for the whole of an academic semester. Any other administrative and departmental responsibilities should be consistent with the purpose of the teaching relief. A semester spent on a TRL counts neither towards nor against accumulated time towards the faculty member’s next leave (where applicable).


Open to:

  • full professors with a primary or fully joint appointment in an FAS department or program, and
  • senior lectors II and senior lecturers with a primary or fully joint full-time multi-year appointment an FAS department or program or the MacMillan Center.

Please note the following details:

  • In departments with asymmetric teaching across semesters, the TRL should be taken in the semester when the faculty member is responsible for teaching the smaller number of courses. (That is: if your teaching expectations across the academic year are 2-1, you should take your TRL in the semester when you are expected to teach 1 course.)
  • Among the courses that the faculty member teaches in their non-TRL semester should be at least one course open to undergraduates.
  • The TRL may not be taken consecutive to any other scheduled leave, whether for a partial or full semester, and whether paid or unpaid. (That is: you may not take a TRL in Fall 2020 if you are (scheduled to be) on paid or unpaid leave in Spring 2020 or Spring 2021; you may not take a TRL in Spring of 2021 if you are scheduled to be on paid or unpaid leave in Fall 2020 or Fall 2021.)
  • A semester spent on TRL does not count as a semester of teaching toward eligibility for triennial leave of absence or other paid leave.

Application Process for 2020-21

  • January 17, 2020: Faculty wishing to be considered for a TRL during the 2020-21 academic year should consult with their department chair and divisional dean no later than January 17, 2020, to determine that teaching relief during that year is compatible with departmental needs.
  • January 222020: Once you have determined eligibility, send a one-paragraph expression of intent by Wednesday, January 22, to sal2.fas@yale.edu. The expression of intent needs only to explain the semester you propose to take the teaching relief and the general topic that you hope to study.
  • January 31, 2020: Faculty who wish to be considered for a 2020-21 TRL should submit a brief (one-page) statement of interest, which should include a provisional menu of proposed classes, to this link by Friday, January 31, 2020
  • February 2020: The FAS Dean’s office will work iteratively with faculty members who have submitted applications for a TRL to ascertain feasibility for 2020-21.
  • March 2, 2020: Decisions for 2020-21 will be announced by March 2, 2020, to allow adequate time for planning.