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2.1    Staff Type - Academic/Research/Professional Services

Terms and conditions of employment vary depending on the staff type and the nature of the duties.  Details of the relevant terms and conditions for each staff type can be accessed via the Recruitment Guidance.  The key types of staff are set out below:


2.1.1    Academic staff

Research and Teaching: Primarily concerned with research and teaching. Academic (Research & Teaching) roles are as follows:

Grade Title for Established Staff Title for Unestablished Staff
Grade 12 Professor N/A
Grade 11 Professor (Grade 11) N/A
Grade 10 University Associate Professor (Grade 10) Associate Professor
Grade 9 (Post-probation) University Associate Professor (Grade 9) Associate Professor (Grade 9) (After 3 years' service)
Grade 9 (Pre-probation) University Assistant Professor Assistant Professor


Teaching and Scholarship: Primarily concerned with the delivery of teaching.  Academic (Teaching & Scholarship) roles are as follows:

Grade Title for Established Staff Title for Unestablished Staff
Grade 12 Professor Teaching Professor
Grade 11 Professor (Grade 11) Teaching Professor (Grade 11)
Grade 10 University Associate Professor (Grade 10) Associate Teaching Professor (Grade 10)
Grade 9 (Post-probation and after a minimum of 2 years' service*) University Associate Professor (Grade 9) Associate Teaching Professor (Grade 9)
Grade 9 University Assistant Professor Assistant Teaching Professor
Grade 8 N/A Senior Teaching Associate
Grades 6 and 7 N/A Teaching Associate

*  Fixed-term academic offices and comparable unestablished posts will be retitled on successful completion of probation, but after the minimum period of service in each case. This means that in cases where the probationary period is less than the minimum period, role holders will retain the existing title and adopt the new title only when they have served that minimum period in that role (which might be following an extension to the period of the original appointment).

Generic role profiles for these roles can be found here.


2.1.2    Research Staff

Research Staff are normally employed in positions funded by external grants to undertake research, working closely with a Principal Investigator (an academic member of staff).  Research roles are shown below and generic role profiles for these roles can be found here.

Grade Title
Grade 12 Director of Research
Grade 11 Prinicipal Research Associate
Grade 9 Senior Research Associate
Grade 7 Research Associate
Grade 5 Research Assistant


2.1.3    Professional Services Staff

Professional Services Staff can be either Academic Related, which encompasses managerial and professional roles, or Assistant staff who normally have administrative, clerical, technical or trades responsibilities.  These roles are graded by a job evaluation process to determine their rate of pay.

2.1.4    Clinical Staff  

Individuals who are paid on clinical pay scales are issued with the appropriate clinical contract by the Clinical School.  

A table summarising the different contractual terms and conditions for each staff type can be found here.

2.2 Established Officers

Specific terms and conditions relating to Established Officers are set out in Statutes and Ordinances and reflect the need for academic freedom for academic staff undertaking independent research. 

All other staff are Unestablished.  


2.3 Recruitment

It is expected that all posts, whether open-ended or fixed-term contracts, full or part –time, in any staff category will be filled using fair and transparent recruitment processes. Prior to advertising, Institutions should ensure that the necessary permissions to recruit have been obtained and, where required, the position has been graded.   Further information can be found with the Recruitment Policy and associated Guidance (including the Diverse Recruitment Framework).

Institutions should use the Recruitment Administration System (RAS) to seek approval and advertise a vacancy. The Web Recruitment System (WRS) should be used to review applications and complete the administration to appoint the successful candidate(s). More information can be found here.

For staff in the Clinical School and the Stem Cell Institute, the recruitment process will be managed/processed by the Clinical School HR Team.

2.4 Working Overseas

The Global Mobility Policy and other associated guidance, such as the Overseas short-stay remote working guidance and the Global Mobility Decision Tree are available on the Global Mobility and Overseas Assignments webpages. These have been designed to provide a framework of good practice for overseas working to ensure that the administrative processes and procedures involved in relocating and employing individuals overseas are clearly set out.  The policy and guidance highlight the key areas that a manager or Institution should consider when reviewing the requirements for overseas working. 

Where an overseas assignment, as governed by the Global Mobility Policy, is agreed, alternative or additional contractual arrangements will be required as confirmed in the Overseas Assignment Agreement or Supplemental Employment Letter.


2.5 Right to Work Checks

Right to Work checks must be carried out for all forms of engagement before any work is undertaken for the University, in the UK. This is to comply with the Immigration & Asylum Act 2006 (as amended by the Immigration Act 2016), which makes it a legal responsibility for employers to ensure that all individuals engaged by the University have the right to work in the UK.  

Where an individual will commence employment for the University whilst overseas, there is no requirement for the University to undertake a UK right to work check,or hold evidence that the individual has the right to work in the UK. This is because UK immigration law only applies where the individual is physically present in the UK.   Should the individual seek to enter and work for the University inside the UK at any time, a right to work check must be undertaken prior to them commencing their work inside the UK.

Where a current staff member is overseas and, where applicable, their UK visa expires whilst overseas, their contract should not be terminated. As above, whilst they are overseas, they are not subject to UK immigration law. However, they will require an applicable work visa in order to return to the UK and recommence work inside the UK. If they are unable to secure another applicable work visa prior to recommencing employment within the UK, termination of contract should be considered, with advice taken from the HR Compliance Team. 

Further guidance on UK right to work can be found here.

If an employee will be working overseas at any point during their employment, Institutions should check that the employee has the appropriate right to work in the overseas location and evidence of their overseas visa/work permit should be retained on the employee’s file.  Further guidance on overseas right to work can be found in the Global Mobility webpages.

2.6 Open-ended Contracts

2.6.1    An open-ended contract is for an indefinite period with no specified end date and is terminable on notice. Where there is a reasonable expectation that a role will be ongoing in nature, this should normally be the standard employment arrangement.

2.6.2    Open-ended contracts can be offered with a variety of working arrangements, including: full-time, part-time, term-time or on a guaranteed minimum hours basis.

2.6.3    Where a fixed-term contract is renewed on an open-ended basis but continues to be funded from external sources, the date the funding is due to end may be set out in writing. The University will keep the staff member updated on the funding position and any subsequent impact on their employment.

2.7 Fixed Term Contracts

2.7.1    It is important to ensure that fixed-term contracts are only used where there is an operational need for such a contractual arrangement, in light of the potential impact on staff engagement and the ability to recruit and retain talent. 

2.7.2    Each decision to use a fixed-term contract should be carefully considered in accordance with the University’s guidance on the use of fixed-term contracts. 

2.7.3    Institutions may use fixed-term contracts for a range of prescribed reasons, for instance to undertake a specific project funded by an external body, provide short-term cover or pending recruitment to a permanent appointment.  These reasons are set out in full in the University’s guidance on the use of fixed term  and open-ended contracts.  

2.7.4    Clinical staff have different contractual arrangements. Their University substantive contract is coterminous with their honorary contract with the respective NHS Trust/Body. This means if their honorary contract is terminated/withdrawn, their University contract terminates without the need for notice.  All clinical staff are paid on the relevant clinical pay scales.

2.7.5    As with open-ended contracts, fixed-term contracts can be offered with a variety of working arrangements, including: full-time, part-time, term-time or a guaranteed minimum hours basis. 

2.7.6    In accordance with the Fixed-Term Employees (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2002, employees on fixed-term contracts should not be treated less favourably, by reason of their fixed-term status, than comparable employees on open-ended contracts unless the difference in treatment can be objectively justified.

2.8 Full-Time and Part-Time Contracts

The University may offer open-ended and fixed-term contracts on a variety of arrangements including full-time, part-time, term-time or on a guaranteed minimum hours basis.


2.8.1    Full-Time contract

Individuals who work full-time i.e., 36.5 hours for assistant staff and 37 hours per week for other staff, all year round will be employed on a full-time contract. The annual salary will be paid in 12 equal instalments. Annual leave entitlements for full-time staff vary depending on staff category.


2.8.2    Part-Time (Fractional) Contract

Individuals who work less than full time, but work all year round, will be employed on a part-time or fractional contract. The “fraction” can be expressed as the number of weekly hours worked or as a percentage of full-time which is often referred to as, for example, 80% or .8 FTE.  Part-time appointments can be advertised or agreed when a member of staff successfully applies for flexible working arrangements.

Departments must confirm the days and hours to be worked by the employee when agreeing the contract.  The annual salary is paid over 12 monthly instalments.  

Employees on part-time contracts have access to the same employment benefits and entitlements (pro-rata where appropriate) as employees on other employment contracts e.g. sick pay, family leave.  Annual leave entitlement is dependent on staff type and will be calculated on a pro-rata basis for part-time employees.


2.8.3    Term-Time Contract

A Term-Time only contract is where an individual works for less than a full working year i.e., less than 52.25 weeks and their work is normally linked to periods relating to University or school terms.  Term-time contracts can be advertised or agreed when a member of staff applies for flexible working arrangements.

Salary is averaged over the year and paid in 12 equal monthly instalments, regardless of the weeks/months that the individual works. Individuals on term-time contracts have access to the same employment benefits and entitlements, (pro-rata where appropriate), as employees on other contracts e.g. sick pay, family leave.

For those individuals working the equivalent of the University of Cambridge term i.e. 26 weeks, they are not generally permitted to take holiday during term-time.  Holiday must normally be taken outside the period they work, e.g. outside term time. If an individual is on a school’s term-time contract i.e. 36 weeks, then they can normally take holiday during term time. 

Term-time holiday entitlement is normally calculated in days.  Where leave can be taken, this can be converted to hours for ease of administration by the Department / Institution.


2.8.4 Zero Hours Contracts

These employment contracts will only be used in very limited circumstances as generally they do not fulfil the key principles set out in the Workforce Policy.  For the avoidance of doubt, there is never any intention to establish any form of exclusivity arrangements in such contracts and employees on a zero hours contract are able to decline work which is offered and also to work for other employers without the need to seek permission of the University. 

Zero-hours employees are entitled to the same rights and entitlements terms as other members of staff, pro rata based on the hours worked.   

In all cases, the use of such contracts must have approval from the HR Division.

2.8.5 Guaranteed Minimum Hours Contract

A Guaranteed Minimum Hours Contract (GMHC) is where an employee is guaranteed a stated minimum number of hours of work in a defined period (the Guaranteed Hours period).  This type of contract is not applicable to staff paid on clinical pay scales. 

The University may offer a GMHC where there is a minimum level of guaranteed and regular work required, but there is also a need for additional flexibility.   The contract will specify the minimum number of hours to be worked, above which, hours may vary depending on the availability of work at any given period.  This has an element of certainty and stability for employees, with additional flexibility where there is the possibility of additional hours.   

Employing staff on a GMHC provides an opportunity for institutions to plan their resources, based on the minimum number of contracted hours to be worked over a year, or the length of the contract (if shorter) but also enables some flexibility under the same contractual agreement.

Where it has been identified that a Guaranteed Minimum Hours contract fits an institution’s requirements, the following key principles must be adhered to.


Key Principles:

  • The University determines which roles can be offered on a GMHC basis and are only available for academic teaching & scholarship roles.
  • A GMHC can currently only be offered on an open-ended or fixed-term basis.
  • The number of hours offered for each GMHC can vary.
  • There must be a minimum number of hours which should not be below one hour. 
  • If an individual is working more than the equivalent of one day every week, a standard part-time contract should be considered.
  • Employees must be paid for the number of hours stated in their contract, regardless of whether work is provided to fulfil these hours. 
  • Contracts will be stated as hours over a year or the length of the contract, whichever is shorter.
  • The line manager will provide the individual with a schedule of hours to be worked over each year or length of the contract, whichever is shorter.  A copy of this schedule must be forwarded to HR at the start of the contract with the appointment documents and on an annual basis thereafter. The contract start date should be at the beginning of the schedule of hours to be worked.
  • Employees on GMHC’s have access to the same employment benefits and entitlements, (pro-rata as appropriate), as employees on other employment contracts e.g. sick pay, annual leave and family leave.  
  • Employees on GMHC’s are subject to the same management procedures as any other employee with regard to probationary periods, capability, performance management etc.


Further details about the process and payment mechanism for employing individuals on a Guaranteed Minimum Hours contract can be found here.