Stanford Leaves-in-Service is a pilot program of the Social X-Change, in partnership with the Haas Center for Public Service.
This program is intended to complement and extend existing leave opportunities at Stanford with a primary focus on the exchange of learning and expertise around an identified social problem. We will provide financial and staff resources to identify and support placements for a summer, quarter, or up to a year (4 quarters) in public sector agencies and nonprofit organizations.
Placements are designed to support in-depth, hands-on learning about a social problem and existing approaches to address it, with the potential to help generate new research insights and/or research applications. The ideal placement will enable the exchange of complementary skills and expertise, and should both add value to the hosting organization and help to advance the faculty member’s thinking about his/her own research. Applicants can identify and negotiate their own placement or work with the Social X-Change and Haas Center team to develop an appropriate placement.
Apply for the Leaves-in-Service program by January 7, 2020.
We will provide funding for at least one and up to four quarters of leave. The funding may be used to cover summer salary, ‘top up’ existing earned sabbatical credit, or cover the full costs of taking an otherwise unpaid leave during the academic year (e.g. salary replacement, teaching buy-out, and/or benefits, as needed). We will also cover direct costs, which may include travel, temporary housing, and/or office and field resources.
Our team can help to identify credible and realistic partner organizations for placements when the applicant does not already have a specific placement in mind. In either case, we will review, vet, and work with the potential host organization to ensure they are a good fit for the purposes of the leave program and faculty interests, and will provide ongoing support in preparation and for the duration of the leave to promote positive experiences and outcomes.
PI-eligible Stanford scholars may apply. Leave eligibility will vary across schools and departments and depend on the status of the individual applicant. Generally, leave pathways will fall into one of three categories:
For all circumstances, applicants will need to explore the feasibility and logistics of taking leave within their respective schools/departments, and placements will only be confirmed with the consent of the respective department Chair and school Dean. Interested applicants are encouraged to review the Faculty Handbook section on Sabbaticals and Other Leaves of Absence.
This call for proposals is for placements envisioned to take place during summer quarter 2020 or during the academic year 2020-21.
For questions associated with the Faculty Public Service Leave program, please contact Social X-Change Operations Lead, Leah Hazard.
We expect that applicants will have varying levels of experience with problem-focused research and engagement with external partners and potential host organizations. For those newer to this type of engagement, the placement may serve primarily as a learning exchange, helping to better understand the social problem and different approaches to its resolution, with the host organization benefiting from the faculty member’s scholarly expertise. For those with prior experience, the exchange may serve to advance existing partnerships, with a focus on driving evidence-driven programs or policies. What is most important is that there is a compelling case that the placement is generative, with clear learning opportunities for both applicant and host organization, and the potential to contribute towards progress on a social problem.
Applicants should be able to clearly articulate their intentions and goals for the leave, including:
In addition, competitive applicants will:
We expect to support up to eight faculty members in the first year of the program.
More information about the Leaves-in-Service program will be provided on:
For questions associated with the Leaves-in-Service program, please contact Social X-Change Operations Lead, Leah Hazard.
Outcomes of the leave experience will vary, depending on the specific applicant and placement, but ‘success’ is generally envisioned as the extent to which the leave placement positively contributes towards:
In general, Social X-Change is designed to support faculty in tackling the social problems they are most focused on. Applicants should make a case for the social problem they wish to explore in terms of its importance and relevance to their expertise and research agenda.
This program is available to PI-eligible faculty and researchers across all schools and departments.
The primary objectives of this leave program are to support your learning to develop a better understanding of the context in which your research applies, and the exchange of expertise between you and practitioners. The leave should also help advance scientific insights and the development of your research (e.g. generating new research questions and hypotheses; better understanding causal mechanisms and practical barriers that prevent certain outcomes from materializing; exploring new datasets or developing new survey instruments). However, it is not intended to advance your own research solely for academic purposes. The focus, instead, is on supporting experiences that generate learning and research to advance solutions to social problems.
PI-eligible faculty, researchers, and educators may apply fo the program. Please consult with your department or school if you are unclear about your status.
For all circumstances, applicants will need to explore the feasibility and logistics of taking leave within their respective schools/departments, and placements will only be confirmed with the consent of the respective department Chair and school Dean. Applicants should consult the Faculty Handbook section on Sabbaticals and Other Leaves of Absence for more information.
No, it is not required have and apply sabbatical credits. However, applicants that propose to use earned sabbatical credit to cover some portion of the proposed leave will be especially competitive in the process.
Social X-Change is offering resources for one and up to four quarters of leave support, depending on the need requested by the applicant, to be taken between the summer 2020 and summer 2021 quarters.
Specific funding amounts will vary depending on circumstances and need, but all awardees are eligible to receive funding support, as needed, to cover (but not exceed) any salary and benefit gaps corresponding with the duration of the leave, as well as direct costs up (e.g. travel, temporary housing, office/field resources).
The Social X-Change and Haas Center team will support the search for host organizations, as needed. For all awardees – those with and without pre-identified partners – the Social X-Change and Haas Center team will support outreach, vetting, and navigation of logistics with the potential host organization (HR, legal compliance, etc.), as well as preparation strategies and tools to promote the best possible experiences and outcomes for faculty and practitioners.
No. You may already have a specific organization in mind, or you can request support for identifying and engaging with an organization that is most likely to be the best fit for your leave purposes.
Applicants that are selected for the leave program will meet with the Social X-Change team to discuss the goals of the placement and map out key areas of support with a plan of action for tracking progress. All participants will be expected to have regular check-ins on progress (frequency depends on length of leave) and provide an end-of-term report, narrating the high-level activities and outcomes of the leave, including how it contributed toward the progress of the host organization, the applicants’ own research objectives, and both short-term and anticipated longer-term public outcome benefits.
In the spring, President Tessier-Lavigne announced the core elements of the university’s new strategic plan. This includes a commitment to launch the Stanford Social X-Change, a university-wide initiative enabling teams of Stanford scholars to work with the public, social, and private sectors to address social problems using human creativity, rigorous evidence, and innovative technology. Its mission is to catalyze problem-focused research and training on a diversity of social problems with the goal of achieving broad public impact. The Leaves-in-Service program is a pilot program of the Social X-Change, in partnership with the Haas Center for Public Service.
The Stanford Social X-Change enables teams of Stanford scholars to work with the public, social, and private sectors to tackle social problems using human creativity, rigorous evidence, and innovative technology. We advance this mission by supporting rigorous, problem-focused research and learning opportunities across a diversity of social problems with the goal of achieving broad public impact.
We define a “social problem” as a challenge that: has collective, rather than solely individual, implications; affects a large number of people; has a number of complex and interrelated causes; reflects a failure of markets, governments, and other institutions; and cannot be understood or solved without an understanding of the human behaviors, institutions, and systems involved.
Our focus is on addressing concrete, social problems through research that leverages theoretical advances and methodological innovations to drive the discovery and testing of practical, evidence-based solutions. This often requires an iterative mix of problem exploration, design of possible solutions, evaluation of the effects of attempted solutions, and considerations of scaling-up solutions.
Our approach is rooted in partnership. Through our programs, we seek to spur and strengthen the process of learning, exchange, and co-creation between researchers and practitioners to jointly frame problems, develop research and learning agendas, generate and test hypotheses, iterate on intervention strategies, and scale solutions. These partnerships are foundational to the process of leveraging scientific discovery to drive social change.
The Social X-Change does not have a fixed set of problems it is seeking to tackle. Instead, it is designed to be agile, flexible, and responsive to the changing issues in society, the priorities and concerns of the university’s external partners, and the shifting interests of Stanford faculty, staff, and students. Moreover, the Social X-Change does not privilege a particular method. Methods and approaches should match the problem as specified and reflect a shared understanding among researchers and external partners about the kind of research that will prove most valuable to driving new insights towards solving the social problem.