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Human Resources



This procedure has been introduced for use in exceptional circumstances, to provide a route whereby a retired academic can act as the Principal Investigator (PI) on a grant.



A VRA application can be made by:

  • University officers who hold an existing grant or grants as Principal Investigator (PI) that extends beyond their retirement date.
  • University officers who wish to apply for a new grant or grants, that if awarded will extend beyond their retirement date.


Appropriate circumstances for a VRA

There are a number of different circumstances where a VRA may be appropriate.  These may include (please note that this list is not exhaustive):

  • A retired individual may be the only person who can attract the funding to the department;
  • To enable a line of research and a research team to be maintained or a grant completed;
  • To enable for succession planning and its implementation;
  • It may not be appropriate or possible to recruit a successor;
  • An application for extension beyond retirement age has not being granted;
  • To provide an appropriate status for funders whilst awaiting the Central Approval Committee meeting cycle to consider an application to work beyond retirement.

Each application will require the department and the school to justify why this procedure is being followed in preference to other routes (e.g. recruitment of new staff).

As part of pre-retirement discussions with academic officers nearing the institutional retirement age exploratory discussions should take place to determine whether a VRA is appropriate for the individual and for the Department.

On becoming aware that an individual wishes to apply for a VRA the Head of Department should contact their School HRBM who will support the Institution throughout the process.


Submission of applications

There is no fixed timetable for VRA applications, applications may be submitted for consideration throughout the year.

VRA applications may be submitted and receive approval on an ‘in principle’ basis prior to an application for being made for a specific grant.  In this situation the applicant should indicate in the application form the area of research, award value that they intend to seek and the anticipated funder (See Application form Section B question 17).