Regulations Governing the Grant of Study Leave, Leave of Absence, and Leave to accept a Research Award
(1) Study Leave
Every Professor, Reader, Associate Professor (or Senior Lecturer) and Assistant Professor (or Lecturer) may be dispensed from discharging the duties of his/her office and granted study leave, subject to the following conditions:
(a) Study leave shall be used for academic purposes.
(b) Study leave shall normally not be granted in the proportion of more than one term in respect of every six terms of service and shall normally not be granted for more than a year, no matter how long the applicant has served. In exceptional circumstances study leave may be granted one term, but only one term, prior to the completion of the qualifying period, but in such a case the term immediately following the period of leave shall count as part of the qualifying period of service.
(c) In calculating the length of qualifying service, any term, terms, or parts of terms, for which the applicant has been granted study leave, leave of absence, or leave to accept a Research Award under these Regulations, shall be deducted from the total period of service. For periods of absence of less than a term, it shall be a matter of discretion whether or not such periods be deducted from the total period of service.
(d) Study leave shall not normally be granted for periods of less than a full term.
(e) Study leave shall not normally be granted to Heads of Departments for periods during their term of office.
(f) Stipend may be deducted in respect of study leave granted in pursuance of section (2) of these Regulations. The amount of stipend deducted shall, so far as possible, be determined so that the member of staff shall not be worse off, nor substantially better off, than if they had not been granted study leave and, in particular, the following will be taken into account:
(i) income from any new sources;
(ii) additional expenses or loss of income arising from new duties.
(2) Leave of Absence
Notwithstanding any dispensations granted in pursuance of section (2) of these Regulations, leave of absence may be granted for academic purposes. Such leave of absence shall normally be without stipend, but stipend need not be withheld if the period of absence requested includes only a short period of absence from the University in term-time.
(3) Leave to Accept a Research Award
Leave to accept a research award may be granted under two categories:
(a) Leave to accept a Personal Research Fellowship
(i) Leave may be granted with stipend to accept an award of a personal research fellowship from a Research Council, Foundation, or other awarding bodies, obtained after a competitive selection process and/or where the award is a mark of academic distinction. Examples of such awards have been:
British Academy Research Fellowships
ESRC Personal Fellowships
(ii) Applications for leave under this category must be made with the support of the Head of Department, and be received by Human Resources not later than the date of the application for the award. The Deputy Vice-Chancellor or nominated Pro-Vice-Chancellor will formally consider the request for leave on notification that an individual’s application for a personal research fellowship has been successful.
(iii) Neither study leave nor leave of absence shall normally be granted in the period immediately before or after the grant of leave to accept a personal research fellowship. There should normally be an interval before or after such leave of at least one term for each year for which the fellowship is held, to a maximum interval of one year. Where the award is for a period of less than one year, the position will be considered by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor or nominated Pro-Vice-Chancellor on the merits of the case.
(b) Leave in order to accept a Research Grant
(i) Leave may be granted with stipend to undertake research associated with the award of a research grant, provided that the grant has been obtained by a competitive process of peer review from one of the following Research Councils or other sponsoring bodies of equivalent recognised status:
Arts and Humanities Research Council
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Economic and Social Research Council
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
European Research Council
Medical Research Council
Natural Environment Research Council
Science and Technology Facilities Council
Cancer Research Campaign
Note: The above is not an exclusive list. However, applications for leave associated with research grants from other awarding bodies require a case to be made by the Head of the Department establishing, to the satisfaction of the Committee, that the body in question has status comparable to that of a Research Council and confirming that its grants are awarded by a competitive process of peer-review (see also (ii) below).
(ii) Applications for leave to accept a research grant must be made with the support of the Head of Department, and be received by Human Resources not later than the date of the application for the grant. The Deputy Vice-Chancellor or nominated Pro-Vice-Chancellor will formally consider the request for leave on notification that an individual’s application for the grant has been successful. However, in cases where an application involving leave is made to a body not listed above, prior approval from the Deputy Vice-Chancellor or nominated Pro-Vice-Chancellor is required before the application for the grant is made.
(iii) Leave to accept a research grant shall not incur costs to the study leave fund in the form of bids from the Head of Department for replacement teaching money. Hence, the Head of the Department must ensure that the application for the grant makes sufficient provision for the full costs of replacement teaching during the period of the leave.
(iv) Leave to accept a research grant shall not normally be granted for periods of less than a full term and not more than one term for each year of a research grant.
Notwithstanding the fact that the University will continue to be responsible for the payment of stipend, both categories of leave to accept a research award shall be treated as leave of absence so far as eligibility for study leave is concerned i.e. only those terms actually taken as leave shall be deducted from the period of service qualifying for study leave.
Leave shall not be granted unless the Deputy Vice-Chancellor or nominated Pro-Vice-Chancellor is satisfied that adequate provision has been or will be made for the performance of the applicant’s duties during the period of leave.
(5) Where unpaid leave of absence is granted, the normal expectation is that the body funding the leave, or the alternative employing institution will be responsible for meeting the employer’s share of superannuation contributions. Where this is not possible, the application for leave should make it clear that the University is being asked to continue payment of the employer’s contributions, and a full statement of the financial arrangements to be made during the period of leave should be provided.
(6) A Leave Fund will be established to defray the cost of alternative teaching arrangements arising from study leave granted under these Regulations. The income of the Fund consists of an annual grant made available by the Finance and General Purposes Committee. The cost of replacement teaching arrangements in cases where unpaid leave of absence has been granted will be met from the savings on salaries of the members of staff granted leave, the balance reverting to the University’s general funds. Funds must be spent in the year in which the leave for which the allocation is made is taken.
(7) Each application for leave shall be sent by the member of staff concerned, via the Head of Department, to Human Resources by the deadline published to Heads of Departments. Human Resources shall arrange for it to be considered by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor or nominated Pro-Vice-Chancellor and an Advisory Group consisting of the Faculty Chairs. Applications shall include the following:
(a) a statement of the type of leave requested;
(b) proposed dates of the leave; and
(c) a brief statement of relevant financial details including the stipend of any appointment to be taken up elsewhere.
Applications may be considered that do not meet the published annual deadline for receipt of applications only where special circumstances apply (e.g. a new research award merits a period of time devoted to it in the period previously considered by the Advisory Group).
(8) If an applicant becomes eligible to receive stipend from an outside source after the application has been approved, he/she shall notify the Deputy Vice-Chancellor or nominated Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the changes in his/her circumstances and the Deputy Vice-Chancellor or nominated Pro-Vice-Chancellor may reconsider the decision about the deduction of stipend for the period concerned.
(9) The Head of the Department shall submit all application(s) from the Department to Human Resources, with a statement showing whether or not he/she approves the application and the rationale for each decision - and, if he/she approves, the following;
(i) a statement of how the activities to be undertaken during the leave comply with, and contribute towards, the member of staff’s academic development;
(ii) a brief statement of proposed alternative teaching and administrative arrangements in his/her own Department, and in any other departments where the member of staff is engaged in teaching or administrative duties; and
(iii) if necessary, a request for a grant from the study leave fund for replacement teaching.
(10) As far as possible, each Head of Department should forward all applications from his/her Department relating to a particular year by the published deadline. In considering applications for leave received from a Head of Department, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor or nominated Pro-Vice-Chancellor and the Advisory Group shall take into account the number of staff on all categories of leave from a Department in any one year. The Deputy Vice-Chancellor or nominated Pro-Vice-Chancellor and the Advisory Group will not normally approve applications for leave if, in doing so, the number of terms of leave requested exceeds 20% of the total number of staff-terms available to a Department in the year.
(11) The appropriate application under these Regulations should be made whenever a member of staff wishes to be absent for a period which includes more than a week during a University term. Applications shall be submitted as far in advance of the date of the proposed leave as possible. Applications for short periods of leave of more than one week will normally be dealt with by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor or nominated Pro-Vice-Chancellor. Applications for leave for periods of one week or less will be dealt with by the Head of Department.
(12) In addition to applications submitted under the foregoing Regulations, applications from members of the Library and administrative staff for leave may be considered. Such applications shall be submitted to the Registrar, and will be considered on their merits by the Finance and General Purposes Committee.
(13) An application shall also be submitted in any case where a senior member of research staff (Senior Research Fellow - Level 7, or Principal Research Fellow - Level 8) wishes to be absent from the University for purposes not connected with the research project on which he/she is engaged. This will frequently be in a situation where the member of staff will be relinquishing their University salary to take up a visiting appointment. The application for leave should be submitted via the Head of Department/Director of the Research Centre or Unit, to Human Resources who will arrange for it to be considered by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor or nominated Pro-Vice-Chancellor.
(14) While Teaching Only staff do not accrue entitlement to apply for study leave, individual applications for leave may be considered by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor or nominated Pro-Vice-Chancellor with an Advisory Group consisting of the Faculty Chairs on a case-by-case basis. Leave will not be granted to support the development of a research portfolio. There is no central fund available to cover replacement teaching costs where leave is granted to Teaching Only colleagues.
(15) A register of leave requested and granted under these Regulations will be maintained by Human Resources, and will be available when applications are considered.
(16) An annual report of leave requested and granted under these Regulations will be made to the Academic Resourcing Committee.
(17) It shall be a requirement of all leave granted under these Regulations, except leave granted under the provision of paragraph (12) above, that the member of staff shall submit a report to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor or nominated Pro-Vice-Chancellor, via the Head of Department, within four weeks of the end of the period of absence detailing the use made of the leave. No further requests for Study Leave from a Department will normally be considered where reports are outstanding.