Guide to Contract Research
Essential policy, procedures and contacts
The following information is intended to help you to understand your rights as a member of staff employed on a fixed term contract, as well as containing links to help you to find that next job.
General employment information
General information about employment at the University of Manchester is on StaffNet and includes information for all staff about their employment including:
- Staff benefits
- Pay and pensions
- University pay scales
- Equality and diversity
- HR policies and procedures
- Contracts and leave
- Trade Unions
- Training and development
- Job opportunities
- New staff International staff
Each of the faculties has their own intranet and Human Resources webpages with information about contracts, pay, promotions and other employment information. If you have questions about your contract or your rights as a member of staff contact the EPS Faculty HR office.
Also see the Essential Guide to Contract Research from the from the EducationGuardian - it provides useful advice on all aspects of Fixed Term research work.
Performance & Development Review (PDR)
Each member of staff at the University is expected to undergo an annual Performance & Development Review (PDR). The process is designed to connect individual contribution and career aspirations to the achievement of the University’s strategic vision. It is intended to help individuals reflect constructively, but critically, upon their own performance as well as plan for trainng and development needs and resources.
- See the University Performance & Development Review Procedure - Guidance Notes for Academic and Related Staff.
- See the University Staff Training and Development Policy and Right to Request Training Policy
Fixed Term Regulations
In 2002, the Fixed Term Employees Regulations came into force, and the University functions in accordance with these regulations. You can view the regulations, which set out how workers on fixed term appointments should expect to be treated, on the Directgov website. The regulations state that, unless the employer can objectively justify the continued use of fixed term contracts, the employer must have a scheme in place which limits the amount of time that workers are kept on a succession of fixed-term contracts.
Fixed Term Contracts at Manchester
If you are on a fixed term contract, there are certain things that you might want to check:
- Your contract will probably include a probation period. Ensure that you know when your probation will end and what, if any, tasks have to be completed either by you or your line manager for you to pass probation.
- Your school may offer you a mentor someone who is usually not your line manager or PI who you might go to for advice and support on things like career progression. If you do not have a mentor, you might consider asking someone in your Department, School or Faculty to act as an informal mentor. You can also apply to Manchester Gold Staff - a career mentoring programme managed collaboratively by the MLP Careers & Employability Division and the Staff Training and Development Unit at The University of Manchester.
- Some departments set aside a fixed amount of funds for each researcher and or member of academic staff to attend conferences or undertake development. Check with your line manager whether you have access to such funds and, if so, how you go about applying for them.
All researchers at the University of Manchester
Towards the end of your fixed-term contract at the University of Manchester, you are eligible to add your name to the University of Manchester redeployment register. Some jobs are advertised for redeployees only for a week before being advertised more widely. During that week, staff on the redeployment register and who have relevant skills and experience may apply for these jobs without wider competition. University of Manchester vacancies ‘for redeployees only’ are on the jobs website accessed via StaffNet.
Researchers who have been employed at the University of Manchester for 4 years or more
If you have been employed at the university of Manchester continuously (with some exceptions) for four years or more with at least one renewal of your contract (not necessarily for the same job role), your contract should become open-ended. Because most contract work finishes when the funding runs out, these kinds of open-ended contracts are said to be underpinned by research funding, so staff may still be made redundant when the funding ends. However, when the end of the funding period approaches:
- You can place your name on the redeployment register during the last 3 months before the funding expires (as can all staff on fixed-term contracts);
- If no suitable work can be found, you can remain on redeployment for a further 3 months after the end date of the funding. During this time you will continue to be paid by the University of Manchester.
- If no work has been found, you can keep your name on the redeployment register for a further 3 months unpaid.
- See the University Contracts of Employment Policy and Procedure (which includes Fixed terms).
- See the University Guidance on Staff whose posts are funded from finite sources
- See the University Guidance on Managing Redeployment