Policy on Outside Work (Academic Staff)


Policy on Outside Work (Academic Staff)

All members of staff may take:

This policy applies to members of the academic staff of the University and forms part of their contract of employment. All members of the academic staff undertake a combination of teaching, research, enterprise and administration, as set out in their contract of employment, as required by, and to the satisfaction of, their Head of School/Department. Members of the academic staff are in addition encouraged to undertake other activities, related to teaching, research and enterprise (some of which will in any event normally amount to core academic activity). However they should not allow these other activities to interfere with the basic responsibilities of their posts. These activities may include the following:

Normal expectation of the role

 1. . Presenting academic papers outside the University

 2.  Giving lectures and seminars outside the University

 3.  External examining

 4.  Editing academic journals or a book series

 5.  Reviewing books

 6.  Refereeing academic articles

(Back to top)

Additional academic activity

 7,  Acting as a QAA reviewer or a member of an RAE panel

 8.  Acting as a member of a research council

 9.  Acting on the board of a research charity

10.  Serving on a research committee of a government department

11.  Acting on QUANGOs or similar bodies

12.  Sitting on the governing body of another educational institution

13.  Serving a learned or professional association

14.  Acting as an expert witness in civil or criminal proceedings

15.  Writing popularising books within the relevant discipline

16.  Writing text books in the relevant discipline

17.  Providing information and interviews to the media on topics within the discipline

18.  Writing and presenting a television or radio series

19.  Writing regular articles for newspapers or magazines

(Back to top)

Further activity

20.  Holding executive directorships

21.  Holding non-executive directorships

22.  Working for a spin-out company (one based on the University’s intellectual property), in which the member of staff may hold shares

23.  Undertaking external consultancy

24.  Undertaking private clinical medical work

(Back to top)

There are three central principles limiting outside work: it must not impair the quality of the member of staff’s work; it must not bring the University into disrepute; and it must not put the University at financial risk. If any such related activities are taking or are likely to take a substantial amount of time, such that they are likely to conflict with basic academic duties, or are likely to involve a conflict of interest with the University, the member of staff must notify the appropriate senior manager and seek permission to undertake them.

Whom to notify if you seek permission to undertake outside work 
Role  Approver
Academic staff working in a School/Department  Head of School
 Head of School  Dean
 Dean  Pro Vice-Chancellor
 Pro Vice-Chancellor  Deputy Vice-Chancellor
 Deputy Vice-Chancellor  Vice-Chancellor
 Vice-Chancellor  Chair of Council

In addition, members of staff must similarly notify and ask permission to undertake any activities in the five categories 20 to 24 inclusive, above.

Such permission must not be unreasonably withheld. Reasons for withholding permission1 might be that:

(Back to top)

Executive directorships are likely to pose particular problems, because of the time that will be involved and possible conflicts of interest.

Permission may be given subject to fulfilment of certain conditions. Such conditions might include one or more of the following:

Where permission is granted it is a requirement that the member of staff make a formal declaration of outside work against their staff record in MyERP.  This information will be reported annually to the Dean and Head of School.

If the member of staff is dissatisfied with refusal of permission, or with any conditions imposed on permission, he or she may appeal. Appeals will lie from a decision of a head of department to the dean, and from a dean to the Vice-Chancellor. Thereafter there will remain the right to bring an appeal to Council. At each stage, written reasons for upholding or refusing the appeal must be given.

Where work in categories 18 to 24 inclusive, as listed above, is not undertaken through the University, the member of staff should be careful that he or she does not inappropriately hold himself or herself out as the agent or representative of the University, nor as doing the work in the course of his or her employment with the University. In particular, without permission from the head of department, dean or Vice-Chancellor, for such work the member of staff should not normally use a University email account, the University’s headed notepaper or the University’s address.

Advice on spin-out companies and outside consultancy is available from the Office of Research and Enterprise Development, the Insurance Officer and the Finance Office.

(Back to top) 

1 Subject to reasonable consideration being given to the difficulty of altering any arrangements currently in place.