Flexibility with Academic Contracts (Non-Clinical)

Guidance Notes for Heads of Department


It is the normal expectation in this University that Lecturers are employed to conduct research and to carry out teaching, examining and administrative duties.

Balance of Duties

It is recognised that Heads of Department must retain the necessary flexibility to use fully the range of skills and experience within the department in order to meet departmental needs. It is indeed for this reason that minimum hours are not prescribed for each of the three main areas of activity, as requirements very much depend on particular circumstances and may change fairly regularly. However, care must always be taken when allocating duties not to jeopardise individual staff members' promotion prospects: this is particularly important in the case of new members of staff who may not be aware of the longer term consequences of particular work patterns. Indeed in certain departments, efforts are made to limit the teaching and administrative duties of new Lecturers in order to give their research programmes a strong start.

Temporary reduction or exclusion of research time/duties

There may be times in an individual's career when, for a variety of reasons, they are not actively engaged in research and their duties are temporarily reorganised to increase the teaching and administrative load and thus reduce or exclude research time. Any such arrangement may be agreed only after full and careful discussion with the staff member concerned. Such an agreement should be for a specified period (not more than three years), must include provision for review, and must be agreed in writing by the member of staff and the Head of Department.

If the arrangement involves a reduction in the amount of time available for research, the agreement may be made between the member of staff concerned and the Head of Department using the form of words set out in Model A. The agreement must be copied to the Faculty Pro-Vice-Chancellor and the Department of Human Resources for use in promotion or other reviews.

If the proposal is for a re-arrangement of duties such that it will temporarily exclude research time, this will involve a temporary variation of contract and the Head of Department should write to the Director of Human Resource Management to recommend this. The Head's recommendation should include the details outlined in Model B.

An agreement to reduce or exclude research time may not be made with a new Lecturer or a member of staff with less than five years' service in an academic post without the approval of the Faculty Pro-Vice-Chancellor.

Variations to standard contracts

In exceptional circumstances, the University may offer a non standard/teaching only contract from the outset to meet particular needs approved in advance by the Faculty Pro-Vice-Chancellor and/or related committee.

Also in exceptional circumstances, academic staff already in post may move to non-standard/teaching only contracts, but only by mutual consent and after full discussion of the implications of such a move. For example, this may occur when the staff member is no longer actively involved in research and can therefore no longer fulfil the original contract to conduct research. Such a variation of contract may be made only by the Director of Human Resource Management, following a recommendation by a Head of Department, and may be offered only to a Lecturer or above with at least 10 years' service. Any such variation will be considered as a permanent change to a different contract. It should be noted that a Head of Department is under no obligation to negotiate such a contract.