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Newly Hired Assistant Professors

In addition to the research support available to all full-time faculty, the professional travel awards, teaching load reductions, research assistance, SAPLs, clock-stoping, conference travel, and professional development funds are available to newly hired assistant professors.

Professional Travel Awards

Up to $4,000 for travel to professional meetings and conferences over the first 3-years.

Reduced Teaching Load

A one course reduction in year one.

Research Assistance

Grants of $3,000 in research assistance (e.g. lab renovation, scientific equipment) are provided to newly hired assistant professors who were not offered a specific start-up package for research assistance. To apply, submit a one page description of the project and a budget proposal. This award is excluded from the restriction placed upon the 7 year maximum award restriction for minigrants. 

Special Assistant Professor Leave

Following completion of three years of service, and a positive third-year review, eligibile faculty may apply for one semester leave at full salary or one year leave at half-salary. To apply and for more informaiton, see the Special Assistant Professor Leave guidelines.

Note: Faculty members on College-paid leave are expected to return to the College for at least one year when the leave ends. Failure to do so obligates the faculty member to repay the College for the cost of the paid leave, including salary and benefits.


The tenure clock may be stopped (1) for officers who give birth or take leaves for pregnancy or infant care, one year may be waived for each occurrence, up to a maximum of two years; (2) for officers who take a leave for research purposes, whether the leave is for one-half year or more, whether funded or unfunded, one year may be waived. More information is available in the Code of Academic Freedom and Tenure.

Conference Travel

Tenure-track or tenure-eligible assistant professors who have used all of their allotted conference travel funding may submit a minigrant request to the Grants Committee for additional conference travel if the Chair and the Provost agree that attendance at the meeting will enhance the faculty member’s career in a meaningful way.

Professional Development Funds

Tenured and tenure-track faculty may request professional development funds to enroll in courses at Columbia University. Contact Associate Provost Hilary Link for any questions.