Human Resources

Guidelines for the assessment of applications

Academic considerations

The grounds for granting Study Leave or Unpaid Leave of absence is where the Executive Dean in consultation with the Assistant Dean (for subject area) is satisfied that the proposed leave of absence is directly related to the further development of promising research activity or to the high quality of teaching. The nature of the work is a matter for the member of staff concerned provided that it is academically relevant.

The maximum period of Unpaid Leave of absence shall normally be one year; in the case of an application for more than one year a fully argued case shall be presented on the lines of a research grant application to a Research Council or Foundation.

In considering applications for either Study Leave or Unpaid Leave the Executive Dean, in discussion with the Assistant Dean and/or course director of interdisciplinary courses whose teaching programme would be affected by the absence, will need to be satisfied that the staff member has made adequate provision for providing cover for his or her duties in their absence. In no department should more than one-quarter of the teaching hours be covered by postgraduate research students teaching on a part-time basis.

The member of staff applying for either Study Leave or Unpaid Leave needs to apply to their Executive Dean, via the Assistant Dean, in good time before the proposed leave period. Where Study Leave or Unpaid Leave of one term or more is sought, applications should be sent to the Executive Dean, via the Assistant Dean, and at least six months before the first day of term from which the leave is requested, accompanied by an outline of the proposed scheme for the leave, including the purpose, date and duration proposed. The submission should be accompanied by written comments about the application from the Assistant Dean (for subject area) concerned.

When Study Leave or Unpaid Leave has been approved, the Assistant Dean will notify the Academic Registrar of arrangements for the supervision of research students.

Financial arrangements

No applications can be approved until appropriate arrangements are made. These may include the options set out below:

  • External organisations may pay either the member of staff’s salary or replacement teaching costs when he or she is on Unpaid Leave.

  • The Assistant Dean also needs to ensure that proper arrangements have been made for the supervision of postgraduate research students. Departments will either establish joint supervision for all research students, or ensure that students of staff members on Study Leave are provided with an alternative supervisor for the duration. This will not, of course, preclude the continuation of contacts with the existing supervisor if so desired, but it will ensure that students can seek advice and support in their studies.

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The HR team is based on the first floor of Egmont House
Postal address: Human Resources, Birkbeck, University of London, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX