Funding organisation British Academy, United Kingdom
Funding period 2017-2019
Principal investigator Heike Jöns
  Research universities in the United States had superseded those in Germany as global centers of science and scholarship by 1945. In addition to wider geopolitical, economic and socio-cultural shifts, their main competitive advantages have been identified as corporate autonomy, non-professional education as their primary goal and the institutionalization of research sabbaticals. This research aims to create new knowledge about the nature of the US research university by examining the origins, development and changing geographies of research sabbaticals in two of these evolving hegemonic US institutions.

Based on archival research at Harvard University (est. 1636), where regular research leaves were institutionalized for the first time in 1880, and the University of California (est. 1868), the first public US university that introduced sabbatical leave, this research will investigate how the creation of regular research sabbaticals emerged and contributed to making US research universities central nodes in global knowledge networks between 1870 and 1960.