Credit: Zsuzsanna Kilian
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Study leave and leave of absence

The University recognises that study leave represents a very significant investment in our academic staff which should be focussed on producing clear value-for-money strategic benefits. Consequently, applicants for study leave will need to show how their plans align with their College’s Research Plans and the University Research Strategy. 

Definitions

Study Leave is leave from normal teaching, research supervision and other duties within the University of staff in the Education and Research job family in order that their time may be devoted exclusively to fulltime research including the preparation of manuscript for publication.

Leave of Absence is leave for visits or secondments to other institutions or organisations at home or abroad for any purpose which it considers suitable and on such terms and conditions as are appropriate.

Applying for Leave

  1. The member of staff should seek endorsement to their proposals from the Director of Research for their discipline and the College's Associate Dean of Research.
  2. The member of staff should then submit a written request for study leave or leave of absence to their College Pro-Vice-Chancellor specifying the requested start/end date and the purpose of the leave (including specified outcomes). The request should be made on the Study Leave Request form PD10.
  3. The member of staff must give their College sufficient notice of their wish to apply for study leave to enable the Pro-Vice-Chancellor to discuss the proposal with senior colleagues and consider how the work of the applicant will be covered whilst they are on study leave.
  4. The College Pro-Vice-Chancellor will consider the application with a view to agreeing whether the request should or should not be supported. The Pro-Vice-Chancellor may approve the application subject to a variation on the start/end date to meet the operational needs of the College.
  5. The Pro-Vice-Chancellor will inform HR Services of the outcome and provide a copy of the original application for retention in the applicant’s HR file.
  6. In the case of a successful application, HR Services will notify the member of staff in writing and specify the terms on which leave has been granted, including the requirement to submit a written report within one month of the end of the period of leave. (See note under Report of Study Leave)
  7. In the event of an application not receiving support, HR Services will notify the member of staff in writing of the decision. The letter will advise the member of staff that they may appeal against the decision and advise them of the procedure for making such an appeal through the appropriate Grievance Procedure.

Remuneration during Study Leave/Leave of Absence

Study leave is normally granted on full pay, although members of staff are encouraged to apply for funding for all or part of the period of leave (with the funding coming to the University so that the individual continues to be paid by the University). Colleges may agree to support an application on condition that part funding is secured. The period of study leave will reckon for pension and continuous employment.

Leave of absence is usually unpaid so no pension contributions will be paid. However members of staff can request to continue to pay their pension contributions for the period of leave and where the University agrees (and this agreement is not usually withheld) then the College will also continue to pay the employer contributions in full. (For more information contact HR Services - humanresources@exeter.ac.uk) The period of leave of absence will reckon for continuous employment but it will not be counted automatically as service for incremental purposes or for the accumulation of annual leave.

Staff on Tier 2 visas

If you are on a tier 2 visa please contact your Human Resources Business Partner as we may need to notify the Home Office of any change in location or pay during your study leave.

Working outside the UK

If you will be working outside the UK during your period of study leave/leave of absence, you should:

  • ensure you have read and understood the University Travel policy
  • complete the online travel form - see main content 
  • give full details on the Study Leave Request form PD10 so that any income tax and national insurance/social security liabilities can be addressed.

Report on use made of Study Leave

In cases of study leave, Human Resources will notify the member of staff that it is a condition of leave that they complete a satisfactory report of their period of leave (form PD15) within one month of the completion of the period of leave. The report, which should be submitted by the member of staff to the relevant person in the College for obtaining approval, must detail:

  • how the leave has fulfilled the aims specified in the application;
  • what output has been produced or will be produced resulting from work during the study leave, including (forthcoming) publications; and
  • what future endeavours may result from the study leave activities.

Once approved the College will send Human Resources a copy of the report and it will be retained on the individual’s personnel file.

If either the College Pro-Vice-Chancellor or the Deputy Vice Chancellor are not satisfied with the report given, then a further report will be requested from the member of staff.

Failure to provide a satisfactory report will result in follow-up action from the College Dean, which could include the use of the disciplinary procedures.