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Honorary Associations with WMS - Applicant FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions for Applicants

What is an Honorary Associate?

An Honorary Associate with WMS is someone who holds an Honorary Title bestowed by the University of Warwick. He or she will be making a useful contribution to the academic business of WMS, usually through research collaboration, clinical teaching or both.

What benefits do I receive as an Honorary Associate?

You will receive a title at a level suitable to recognise your activity in connection with WMS, a University card and a University email address. You will not receive any payment and you will not be an employee of the University. You will not have any employee rights.

Why is there a new process for Honorary Associates?

A new process was introduced in 2015 for several reasons

  1. To streamline the process for applicants and WMS
  2. To promote communication between Honorary Associates and substantive academic staff at WMS
  3. To ensure consistency in managing all applications for honorary associations
  4. To facilitate the submission of material for website presentation
  5. To facilitate updates to the process

What does the process entail?

The prospective Honorary Associate (the nominee) makes contact with a substantive member of academic staff at WMS who knows of their current or prospective contribution and who agrees to propose him or her.

The nominee completes an online Nominee Information Form ( and submits it together with their up to date CV and a photo.

This information then goes to the proposer who completes an internal form explaining what activities the nominee is expected to undertake in the period of the Honorary Association.

The forms and CV will be reviewed and if approved, WMS will ask the Registrar of the University to confer the appropriate title.

Who can nominate me?

Your proposer needs to be a substantive member of academic staff of Warwick Medical School (i.e. they are an employee of the University).

If you are involved in teaching, this is likely to be the lead for the course or module that you contribute to, for example, if you contribute to a block in Phase I medical student teaching, you could ask the block lead or the Phase lead to propose you. If you contribute to teaching of medical students in the clinical setting in Phase II or III, then the appropriate phase lead may be best placed to propose you.

If you are involved in teaching on, for example, postgraduate taught degrees, then the module leader or course director could propose you. If you participate in research in collaboration with WMS, then your research collaborator can propose you, if he or she is employed by the University.

You can identify prospective collaborators by searching the WMS staff list, which is available at: Most academic staff have linked web pages so you can see their teaching and/or research interests.

Why can’t it be someone with an honorary contract?

WMS has decided that only its substantive staff are able to nominate new Honorary Associates because it needs to retain ownership and control of the process.

I have been employed by the University but now I am leaving and am applying for an Honorary Association so that I can continue in collaboration. Can I just extend my current IT and library/access card?

The University is legally obliged to ensure there is a break of at least 1 month between the end of substantive employment and the beginning of an Honorary Association. Substantive employment and Honorary Associations are treated differently on the HR and IT systems and require complete separation. In order to make the transition as smooth as possible, please apply as early as you can. You may experience some disruption to your access to university buildings and IT. We will try to minimize any disruption but continuous access cannot be guaranteed.

My honorary title is no longer listed as an option. Can I keep the same title?

The list of honorary titles available was streamlined in 2014 and 2017. The titles described on the website are the only honorary titles available. If you have held another Honorary title previously, you will be allocated an honorary title that best aligns with what you are doing now.

I used to be an Honorary Associate Professor but now I have been given a title of Honorary Clinical Teaching Fellow. Why is this?

In 2014 and 2017, the criteria for Honorary Associations were re-evaluated by the University. Since 2014, all renewals have been assessed in line with the new criteria and sometimes a different title has been awarded, in accordance with the best fit to the individual’s current contribution. Since Honorary Associations normally last for a maximum of 3 years, such realignment of titles may continue until 2017. For this reason it is important to ensure that a clear statement of the relevant activities is provided in the renewal application. The honorary titles allocated may also change in accordance with the nature and extent of the continuing association, which may change as time passes.

When can I use my honorary title?

You are able to use your Honorary title as you wish, in any professional context, for the period of your Honorary Association with WMS, as stated in your letter from the Registrar. After this period, unless it is renewed, your association automatically lapses and you must not use the title. Please ensure that you are always using the correct title.

Can I use my honorary title on academic publications?

You are encouraged use your honorary title on academic publications alongside any other affiliations that you may have. This provides evidence of collaboration and is beneficial for both WMS and your other affiliations.

I am a consultant at a local NHS Trust. I teach medical students. Isn’t it automatic for me to have an honorary appointment?

WMS greatly values the contribution of clinical colleagues in teaching medical and other students, however, there are no automatic entitlements to an Honorary Association, or to a specific level of association. If you are teaching medical students, you will have a means of contact with substantive colleagues at WMS who can confirm your activity and may agree to nominate you for an Honorary Association in the normal way.

I do a lot of teaching of junior doctors but not medical students, does this count?

WMS is only able to offer Honorary Associations in connection with its own activities. Since WMS does not directly participate in supervision and training of junior doctors, this is not something that we can consider. This is part of the NHS role of our NHS clinical colleagues.

Who decides which honorary title I am offered?

The honorary title will be decided by the University, dependent upon your current or proposed activity and the nature of your contribution to WMS. It does not depend upon your status in your substantive employment. Your proposer will be able to make a recommendation soyou may wish to discuss this with him or her.

What titles are available?

There are several levels of title available, as well as clinical and non-clinical variants. Please see the Honorary Associations Criteria document.

I have been given a different title to the one I requested?

The title decided upon will depend upon what you do in the academic context. We try to be consistent from one person to the next and to apply standards on a par with the equivalent substantive University titles. If you believe there has been a mistake, please let us know.

Why do I have to send in my photo?

WMS is in the process of setting up a website to document and celebrate Clinical Faculty and Honorary Associates. We plan to place your photograph along with a short summary of your interests from your application form onto the website. This will help enable colleagues to see the expertise available and to make contacts and network for new opportunities and collaborations.

Why are you asking for my professional website address?

If you already have a professional website, such as a university page of your own, or a Linked-In page, we can provide a link to your page on the Clinical Faculty website that is currently under construction. Please do not provide links to informal, personal websites that are not work-related as this would not be relevant to your external profile at WMS.

What sort of contributions are of interest to WMS?

WMS has interests in a wide range of diverse areas across the spectrum from basic molecular science, clinical science, translation, clinical trials, public health, mental health, general practice and community health and wellbeing, medical statistics, evidence synthesis, education and training. We have many collaborators on a national and international stage. Your contribution may take many forms, for example, teaching medical students, undergraduates, postgraduates, or supervising doctoral students, facilitating research, recruiting patients or samples, undertaking measurements, adding clinical expertise or insight and so on. There are many opportunities available. If you think your area is not represented or you don’t know who to contact, please speak to the Head of Clinical Faculty in the first instance. (Geraldine dot hartshorne at warwick dot ac dot uk)

I have submitted my form. How long will it be before I hear the outcome?

We usually expect to have reached a decision within 6 weeks. You will receive a letter from the University. If you would like to check on progress, please contact: Samita Bawa S dot A dot Bawa at warwick dot ac dot uk

If you have not heard anything about your application within 6 weeks, please contact your proposer who will be able to follow up the application internally via our Divisional support staff.

What can I do if I have any complaints or concerns?

You are welcome to raise any concerns with the Head of Clinical Faculty (Professor Geraldine Hartshorne), or the HR Officer who deals with the Honorary Associations (Samita Bawa). If you are still unhappy you may contact the Dean of Warwick Medical School (Professor Sudhesh Kumar).

How long does the Honorary Association last?

An Honorary Association lasts for up to three years, but it can be shorter, for example, if a person is in the UK for a year only or a contribution is envisaged to have been completed in a shorter period.

What happens when it expires?

After the period of the Honorary Association has completed, the Association will automatically expire. However, it can be renewed for further periods of up to three years if there are reasons to do so. For renewal, the contribution made over the most recent period will be reviewed. You and your original nominator (or a new one if he or she is no longer available) will be asked to provide details of your activities in this regard. Input may also be sought from relevant others, such as th e educationalleads at NHS Trusts. We are also working on a system to alert Honorary Associates when their association is approaching its expiry date.

There isn’t a form for renewing my Honorary Association?

To request renewal of your Honorary Association, you should complete the Nominee Information Form, found at:, selecting “Renewal of existing association” from the drop down menu at the top of the form.

Why does my NHS Trust have to sign this off? [Clinical Honorary Titles only]

Historically, lack of close joint working between the NHS and Higher Education Institutions caused a number of problems for individuals and organisations, since their honorary and substantive roles were not integrated in a meaningful way. The Follett report (see made recommendations to alleviate these problems. As a result, NHS Trusts (usually the Medical Director) need to formally sign off additional activities, such as Honorary Associations, that individuals may undertake in connection with their work. For NHS employees at Honorary Associate Clinical Professor, this needs to incorporate a joint appraisal.

If you currently work in an NHS clinical role, please contact your clinical line manager or Clinical Director to discuss your application. You will be asked to name this person on your nominee form. It would also be courteous to contact the Medical Director to let him or her know that you are applying. Alternatively your line manager or Clinical Director may brief the Medical Director on your behalf.

During the application process, the Medical School will contact the Trust to seek confirmation of support. An email from the Medical Director is sufficient, a ‘wet ink’ signature is not required.

I am not employed by the NHS (or at all). Does this matter?

For the University’s purposes, it does not matter whether you are employed by the NHS, another organization, are retired or self-employed.

If you are employed by an organisation other than the NHS, it would be appropriate for your employer to be made aware of any application to become an Honorary Associate at WMS because, depending on what you do, it may have some bearing upon your work for them. This is your responsibility.

I want to apply for an Honorary Professorship. How do I do this?

The process of applying for an Honorary Professorship is separate from WMS’s Honorary Association process. Honorary Professorships are conferred by the University. The forms for nominating an Honorary Professor are only available internally to University staff.

To become an Honorary Professor, you will need to meet the same standards of academic achievement as that of a substantive Professor at the university, as well as demonstrate the reason why the University might wish to provide you with an Honorary Professorship. This is challenging, particularly alongside a substantive role elsewhere, and you are advised to seek advice and an informal opinion based upon your up to date academic CV. You may wish to contact the Head of Clinical Faculty in the first instance, however, given the highly specialist nature of many topics, further opinions may be needed from experts elsewhere in the University or beyond.

Why are you asking for my teaching qualifications?

Universities will soon be judged upon their teaching performance by the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF). TEF requires Universities to provide details of the teaching qualifications of all people who may teach its students. Since Honorary Associates are sometimes extensively involved in teaching, particularly for MBChB students, it is important that our teachers are properly qualified for the task and that we can document this. For this reason, we need to collect information systematically about teaching qualifications for all substantive staff and honorary associates. Please use the relevant section of the Nominee Information Form to let us know of any relevant teaching qualifications or courses that you have attended.

What are my responsibilities to the University?

We hope you will enjoy and benefit from your Honorary Association with WMS, and that it will be mutually fulfilling, offering new opportunities for networking and research, teaching or other related activity. You are requested to work collaboratively with WMS colleagues and to inform us if anything causes you problems. We ask you to hold the name of the University in good repute. We also ask that you let us know if anything occurs that might materially affect your continuing in the role. An example might be, for example, if you were under investigation by or ceased to be registered by the General Medical Council. Or, for example, if you moved away or were no longer able to undertake the planned collaborations.

Any other questions?

If you have any other questions, please send them to Professor Geraldine Hartshorne, Head of Clinical Faculty, and we will provide you with an answer.