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Termly contribution increment scheme for Unestablished Research staff.

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The 1 January 2019 scheme will open on 22 October 2018 and close on 30 November 2018. Awards will be implemented and communicated in January 2019.

Following this the April 2019 round will open on 4 February 2019 and close on 15 March 2019. Awards will be implemented and communicated in April 2019.


This scheme allows Heads of Institutions to reward research staff on the basis of outstandingly good work achieved by the member of staff in comparison with others of the same grade, for which some additional recompense is appropriate; or on the basis of the need to retain the specialist skills possessed by a particular member of staff who would otherwise be likely to seek a more highly paid appointment elsewhere where a recruitment incentive payment cannot be awarded.

Guiding Principles

Assessment of contribution made should be clearly related to University, School or Faculty/Department objectives and should recognise achievements and reward behaviours and activities likely to contribute to the future success of the University.

Judgements should be based demonstrably on objective evidence and, if appropriate, recognise teamwork.

Managers should ensure that they periodically review the contributions of all of their staff, in order to bring forward for consideration all cases that meet the criteria.

Criteria for assessing contribution must be applied fairly and consistently.

The Career Management Review for Research Staff whilst remaining a separate and independent mechanism for Research Staff development and performance review, could be used to inform the recognition and reward process.

The following more general principles must also be applied through the process in order to achieve fair and proper consideration of proposals:

‘Natural Justice’ is defined as ‘due process of law’ or the ‘requirements of procedural fairness’. There are two principles:

  1. No person may be a judge of his/her own cause
  2. The person must have the opportunity to be ‘heard’ fairly

Accordingly, all persons involved in the procedure and in the consideration of proposals should be fully conversant with the guidance contained in this document. They should undertake their roles in a manner which is scrupulously fair in relation to proposals that have been submitted, whether or not the guidance makes explicit provision for all circumstances.

If any person involved in the preparation, presentation of documentation, or in the consideration of proposals has a personal interest that may affect the impartial consideration of proposals, or be perceived by others to do so, they should declare this to the person overseeing that part of the process. If that is the person who has declared an interest, s/he should be prepared to withdraw from the relevant section of the proceedings, handing over responsibility to another person for that item of business.

With regard to Committees, all members should be aware that:

  • a systematic approach in forming a view of a proposal is desirable
  • the process of evaluation is a collective activity and all decisions should be arrived at collectively. (If a member is unable to be present, he/she may provide a written statement of their view but such written views should be accorded less weight than those expressed in open discussion since written statements provided in absence cannot be challenged in committee)
  • If all members agree immediately on the same overall assessment, this can be accepted without discussion. Differences in individual members' evaluations should be discussed and a consensus reached. Detailed discussion will in most cases lead to collective agreement on the assessment

The University's statement of policy is as follows:

The University of Cambridge is committed in its pursuit of academic excellence to equality of opportunity and to a pro-active and inclusive approach to equality, which supports and encourages all under-represented groups, promotes an inclusive culture, and values diversity.

The University is therefore committed to a policy and practice which require that, for students, admission to the University and progression within undergraduate and graduate studies will be determined only by personal merit and by performance. For staff, entry into employment with the University and progression within employment will be determined only by personal merit and by the application of criteria which are related to the duties and conditions of each particular post and the needs of the institution concerned.

Subject to statutory provisions no applicant for admission as a student, or for a staff appointment, or student, or member of staff, will be treated less favourably than another on the grounds of sex (including gender reassignment), marital or parental status, race, ethnic or national origin, colour, disability, sexual orientation, religion, or age. For students, ability to meet the requirements of the selection criteria for competitive admission and for staff, ability to perform the job, will be the primary consideration.

If any person admitted as a student or appointed as an employee considers that he or she is suffering from unequal treatment on any of the above grounds in his or her admission, appointment, or progression through the University, he or she may make a complaint, which will be dealt with through the agreed procedures for complaints or grievances or the procedures for dealing with bullying and harassment, as appropriate.

The University will take active steps to promote good practice. In particular it will:

  • Promote equality of opportunity

  • Promote good relations between people of different racial groups, between women and men, and between disabled and non-disabled people

  • Have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination on grounds of race, sex, disability, and all other grounds set out in the statement on equal opportunities

  • Subject its policies to continuous assessment in order to examine how they affect all under-represented groups, especially ethnic minority students and staff, women, and disabled students and staff, and to identify whether its policies help to achieve equality of opportunity for all these groups, or whether they have an adverse impact

  • Monitor the recruitment and progress of all students and staff, paying particular attention to the recruitment and progress of ethnic minority students and staff, women, and disabled students and staff

  • Promote an inclusive culture, good practice in teaching, learning, and assessment, and good management practice, through the development of codes of best practice, policies, and training

  • Take positive action wherever possible to support this policy and its aims

  • Publish this policy widely amongst staff and students, together with policy assessments and results of monitoring

The University will meet all statutory obligations under relevant legislation and, where appropriate, anticipate future legal requirements signalled under EU Directives.

Consideration should be given to any special circumstances which may have resulted in a lack of opportunity for any applicant or group of applicants to perform to their full potential, e.g. disability and time away from work because of family responsibilities for bringing up children or caring for relatives or for illness. Initially, the case put forward should be assessed objectively and on the same basis as other applicants before considering whether it would be appropriate to make an allowance. Those making the decision must record whether or not an allowance was made and the reasons behind that decision, as well as indicating the exact nature of any allowance made. Further advice should be sought from the relevant HR Business Manager.

In the case of a member of staff who is known to have a disability, account should be taken of:

  1. the nature of their disability
  2. how they believe it has constrained performance
  3. and, if appropriate, the effectiveness of any adjustments to their workplace or employment arrangements in overcoming these problems

Full details of the University's Disability and Employment policy can be found on the web.

Members of the Committees and University staff involved in the procedure should note that the process of consideration is confidential and that certain documentation in the guidance may not be disclosed to applicants or other persons who are not members of Committees or otherwise appropriately involved in the process.

The University's policy in relation to the Data Protection Act, 1998 is to respect confidentiality of information provided by referees in so far as this is compatible with the requirements of the Act and other relevant legislation.

The Chair of the Human Resources Committee shall have authority, on behalf of the General Board and Council, to make any reasonable change or adjustment to the procedure, interpret aspects of the guidance mentioned in the document where doubt arises as to its meaning, or take other action that may be necessary to ensure the fair and efficient management of this and any subsequent promotions exercise.


All un-established research staff apart from:

  • Researchers who have transferred to the University under TUPE and who have not harmonised to the University's terms and conditions. These individuals will follow the progression applicable to the employer from which they have transferred. Therefore, the previous employer should be consulted on any schemes for recognising outstanding contribution.
  • Clinical researchers: progression for clinical researchers should be in line with the NHS scales where there are no contribution schemes.
  • Researchers will not be eligible to apply for contribution increments in respect of their substantive position whilst on secondment. They may, however, be eligible in respect of their seconded position if they meet the relevant eligibility criteria, but will return to the grade and scale point of their substantive position on completion of the secondment.


Up to 3 contribution increments may be awarded to an individual in any twelve- month period, provided that the value of the individual's basic salary and contribution increments does not exceed the value of the top contribution point of the relevant grade. Retrospective awards may be made for the previous term only.

Financial Matters

For pre FEC (Full Economic Costing) grants arrangements for cash limiting of Research Council grants does not include any contingency provision for contribution increments. Therefore, if any contribution increments are recommended for staff supported from Research Council grants, the cost will have to be met either within the salary provision already available for the grant or by transfer of the required amount from other headings. Funds transferred into the salary heading must carry the appropriate indirect cost charge. This does not apply to FEC grants as they are unaffected by virement for staff costs.


Heads of Institutions are notified in writing by the HR Division each term of due dates for submissions. They will be required to cascade this reminder to all relevant staff within their Institution.

Heads of Institution may send their nominations as an e-mail attachment and may authorise a recognised representative to make nominations in their absence.


  1. Once a term, HR distributes scheme details to Heads of Institutions and provides the deadline for applications for the next termly exercise.
  2. Institutions submit cases for consideration to by completing form HR/37.
  3. The Reward and Employment Relations Team on behalf of the HR Committee agrees outcomes.
  4. Following the closing date for submissions, HR implement awards for the appropriate payroll month. The standard implementation dates for increments awarded are 1 January, 1 April and 1 October.
  5. Institutions and individuals are notified directly in writing by HR whether their application has been successful or not, before pay day in the month of the award.

Reference documents/forms