JNL Research Group
University of Notre Dame



JNL Work and Vacation Policy


Work and vacation time are rather nebulous in an academic environment, but it is useful for Group Members to have a nominal sense of what is expected of them as well as what they can expect from other Group Members. This Policy discusses these expectations, as well as establishes guidelines on the nominal number of work hours (per week) and nominal number of holidays and vacation days (per year).


Regarding work and vacation, the guidelines below should be followed by Members of the Group:

  1. For the purposes of this Policy, "work" includes time spent on classes, seminars, research, individual research and group meetings, various duties (librarian, video taping seminars, etc.), and helping each other (interacting at a whiteboard, editing each other's papers, critiquing each other's presentations, email discussions, etc.), either at UND or elsewhere.
  2. A Group Member has ultimate responsibility and control for his/her own work schedule, but s/he is encouraged to work regular hours each week and pick those hours to reasonably overlap with those of other Group Members.
  3. Most Group Members are expected to participate in "full-time work", which is defined as follows:
    1. For Staff, this Policy defers to University policies for full-time work. See the UND Human Resources website.
    2. For a Graduate Student or Post-Doc, accomplishing everything required for successful studies often requires more work than a normal 40-hour per week job, and it's definitely more effective when s/he interacts with others. If a Student or Post-Doc finds s/he is not doing much in the area of interactive activities, s/he is most likely missing out on some things that peers in other groups and at other institutions do quite frequently.
    3. For an Undergraduate Student performing research for credit, it is expected that s/he spend around 4 hours per week for each credit hour taken. Otherwise, "full-time" is as decided between the Student and JNL, but in any case cannot exceed 12 hours per week during the Academic Year.
  4. Nominal time off from work can include "Holidays" and "Vacation". "Holidays" nominally include Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, and Easter, or the closest business day to the actual Holiday. "Vacation" nominally includes two weeks (10 business days) to be used in Fall or Spring break or over the Summer. However, because not everyone observes "Holidays" in the same way, for the purposes of this Policy, it makes sense to follow the generic guidelines below:
    1. For Staff, this Policy defers to University policies. See the UND Human Resources website.
    2. A full-time Graduate Student or Post-Doc can take a total of three weeks' (15 business days) combined Holidays and Vacation, however s/he decides to spend them. JNL should be informed of any time off that is not a standard Holiday, as soon as the Group Member has planned it.
    3. For Undergraduate Students, Holidays and Vacation are defined according to the Academic Calendar.
    4. Any time off must be spent during a given Academic Calendar year (roughly August 15 to August 14), and any unused time off does not carry over into the following year.
    5. If a Group Member takes more time off than allowed by this Policy in a given year, s/he must notify JNL as far ahead of time as possible, e.g., the beginning of the semester or Summer that s/he expects to exceed the nominal limit. JNL will discuss with the Group Member the need for exceeding the limit, and will most likely reduce any applicable pay accordingly. From an administrative standpoint, it is easiest to reduce pay in whole weeks and to do that over the Summer months, if possible.
    6. Naturally, if a Group Member decides to take an extended leave of absence from the University, e.g., to pursue an internship or for personal or family emergencies, then his/her time off may be pro-rated to the time spent at UND during that year. For example, if a Graduate Student expects to spend nine months at UND and three months at an internship, then his/her time off would be pro-rated to two weeks (10 business) days.
  5. This Policy is for the most part based on the honor system, and as such JNL will not directly monitor any Member for compliance. That said, each Member is expected to regularly interact with JNL and the Group as best s/he can, in person (e.g., face to face, group meetings, telecon, webcam, etc...) or in written form (e.g., email or postal letter to an individual, group, or list). At JNL's discretion, he may request a meeting with any Group Member to discuss his/her past work hours and progress.


  • Draft: JNL, June 2, 2006
  • Update: JNL, with input from Michael Dickens, June 9, 2006
  • Update: JNL, with input from Michael Dickens, July 28, 2006


J. Nicholas Laneman
Last modified: 02/19/09
Valid HTML 4.01!