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College Research SupportFunding Advice

College research leave funding – deadline is very tight

2 November 2015

Dear All,

Below is the memo from the college with regard to this year’s research leave scheme. I know this will be of pressing interest to many! Even more pressing is the deadline of the 27th of November! 600K has been put aside, so this is well worth applying for. The process means that there will be an internal ranking by the HoS and a small panel before submission. This must be done before the 27th. This means that the internal deadline will be sooner still. I will update staff on this deadline very soon. In the meantime, despite this being a busy time, if you are interested, I suggest you get to work on the application form (which I will send as an email attachment to all staff).




Purpose:                     To issue the call for the institutionally funded Research Leave Fellowship Scheme. The scheme will continue for 2016-17 with the allocation of £600K to be made available. Applications (using the attached proforma) to be submitted electronically with confirmation of support from Head of School for the attention of Sarah Roberts to

Action Required:       Applicants and Heads of School to complete application forms and return to Planning.

Response needed by: Midday, Friday 27 November 2015.

Contact for enquiries: Sarah Roberts, Planning Division, Ext 74549 or email


University Research Leave Fellowship Scheme 2016/17 – Call for Applications



  1. Background
  2. Objectives
  3. Operation of the Scheme
  4. Criteria
  5. Equality and Diversity
  6. Application and Assessment Process
    1. Stage One – School Level
    2. Stage Two – University Level
  7. Post Award

Annex A – Applicant form for Research Leave Fellowship Scheme applicants

Annex B – Optional form for applicants to declare additional factors that they would like the panel to take into consideration

Annex C – Declaration from the submitting Head of School.


University Research Leave Fellowship Scheme 2016/17 – Call for Applications

  1. Background

The establishment of a prestigious institutionally funded Research Leave Fellowship Scheme is outlined as one of the underpinning activities to support the Research, Innovation and Enterprise Way Forward 2012-2017. An institutional Research Fellowship Leave Scheme is expected to enhance the University’s research environment and infrastructure and complement the current University Study Leave Policy. A comprehensive review of the current policy and provision as well as the range of practices within individual Schools is currently being undertaken of which the outcome will reflect in future Research Leave Fellowship Schemes.

Last year’s scheme was widely well received by Heads of Schools and Directors of Research and the number of applications submitted to previous schemes shows the level of demand (with researchers from all three colleges receiving awards). A scheme for funding 2016/17 Research Leave Fellowships has been established and applications are now invited for periods of research leave to be taken in the 2016/17 academic year, with awards being spent by 31 July 2017.

The Research Leave Fellowship scheme will contribute to strengthening the research environment, which is a key ambition of the Research, Innovation & Enterprise Way Forward. The scheme is also aligned with the aim of concentrating our efforts and resources on research excellence with impact, as outlined in the Way Forward.

  1. Objectives of the scheme

The centrally-funded Research Leave Fellowship scheme, with the explicit aim of promoting excellent research, will have the following further objectives and benefits:

  • It will promote and support ambitious research: extended periods of dedicated research time will allow for more complex projects to be undertaken.
  • It will be ambassadorial: the scheme will have built into it the encouragement for the Fellows to promote their research field and discipline beyond Cardiff and to use the opportunity given to develop impact activities that speak to research strengths and clusters within and across schools
  • It is anticipated that staff who are awarded a Research Leave Fellowship will go on to produce high quality outputs and/or impact cases studies in time for the next REF.

3. Operation of the Scheme

  • UEB has approved continuation of the scheme for 2016-17. £600K has been allocated for this scheme, to fund up to 40 awards of £15K each.Funding should be used to cover the cost of replacement teaching, with at least £3K reserved to be used in any way that will best support the delivery of the research objectives, which may include:

o   Travel and subsistence – although there is no expectation that Research Leave; Fellows will necessarily need to travel during the period of leave;

o   Support of a Post-Doctoral Research Assistant;

o   Access to facilities or resources;

(This is not an exhaustive list, nor is it exclusive).

  • The period of Research leave will be a minimum of 6 months and a maximum of 12 months, to be taken within the time frame of 01 August 2016 – 01 September 2017. Funding from the awards must be spent by 31 July 2017.
  • Since schools need to be able to programme and time such leave without it having a detrimental impact on the smooth running of the School, Heads of School are charged with the responsibility of selecting those that they are able to support and thus ‘sign off’. Schools are expected to establish a small panel to consider submissions against the Scheme criteria (see 4.1 and 4.2 below) and to ensure they can support applications in terms of releasing those staff from other duties and the imperative to maintain teaching quality.
  • Schools submitting a number of candidates are asked to rank them. In assessing and ranking applications, and in particular in the application of the secondary criteria for the scheme (see 4.2 below), the School panel will need to take account of the contractual status of the applicant and/or any circumstances declared by the applicant that may have had an effect on an individual’s research track record to date to ensure that any absences for criteria outlined in 5.4 below do not adversely affect the candidate’s ranking.
  • Applications submitted by Schools will be considered by a small group, chaired by a nominated Dean of Research, deputising for the Pro Vice Chancellor for Research, Innovation and Enterprise. This panel will assess applications against the Scheme criteria. The additional information provided by candidates will not be circulated with the applications but will be held confidentially and will be available for the Chair to refer to in the meeting should that be necessary.
  1. Criteria for the Scheme

To be eligible for consideration:

  • Research leave will normally be granted to applicants who have been employed at Cardiff University for a minimum of 5 years.
  • Applicants must be contractually eligible for submission to the next REF (ie: on a Teaching and Research career pathway, or an independent researcher on a Research-Only contract);
  • Applicants may be employed on a full-time, part-time or job-sharing basis;

Applications to the fund must be submitted and endorsed by Schools who will need to ensure they can support the absence of the individual and ensure that the quality of teaching will not be compromised by an award.

  • Staff who have previously received School funding for a period of Research leave are still entitled to apply for funding under this scheme.

Eligible applications will be assessed on the basis of the following criteria:

4.1  Primary Criteria:

  • Research Excellence – the quality of the research idea;
  • The plan of work for the period, including plans for the publication of outputs, generating research income, collaboration and wider impact
  • Research Excellence – the quality of the research idea;
  • Alignment with the College & School’s research strategy
  • The plans for the use of the allocated funding

4.2 Secondary Criteria: 

  • As an indicator of the individual’s capacity to undertake the research, the panel may take account of the individual’s research record to date. However, in doing so they will need to take into account contractual status and any other relevant declared factors that have had an effect on the candidate’s research performance.
  • The extent to which individuals have explored alternative or additional sources of funding.
  • The length of time since the individual’s last period of research leave
  1. Equality and Diversity

5.1  Cardiff University is committed to promoting equality in all of its practices and activities. The University celebrates diversity and recognises that the different backgrounds, experiences, views, beliefs and cultures that individuals bring to the institution enhance the working environment and reputation of the University. The procedures used by the University in respect of the Research Leave Fellowship Scheme are intended to be open, fair and equitable.

5.2  Should any applicants require reasonable adjustment costs to accommodate disability, please contact Sarah Roberts in Planning ( or 029 2087 4549) to discuss. This will be treated in confidence and will not affect the outcome of your application.

5.3  This Scheme is equally open to full-time, part-time, and job-sharing staff. In assessing cases, the School Panel will take into account the contractual arrangements (full-time, part-time or job-share of the candidate’s employment), and other relevant factors (see section 5.4 below) in applying the scheme criteria to approve and rank applicants for consideration by the University panel. More specifically, in considering the secondary criteria (section 4.2 above), account will be taken of any personal, familial or other non-academic circumstances that may have restricted or delayed the development of an applicant’s research performance to date. Taking into account all the relevant factors, decisions on whether or not to support an application and put it forward to the University panel, will be based on the extent to which the application meets the quality criteria for the Scheme, and the ability of the School to support the period of research leave and the imperative to maintain teaching quality.

5.4  Candidates are therefore invited to provide, if appropriate, information on:-

  • absences for maternity, paternity, parental or adoption leave and arrangements on return to work following these periods;
  • part-time or other flexible working arrangements
  • periods of absence or flexible working arrangements or limitations on speed of working arising from a disability, ill-health or injury;
  • career breaks
  • personal, familial, or other non-academic circumstances that have restricted or delayed the applicant’s professional career.

5.5  Any information provided will be held confidentially and used strictly for the purposes of administering and assessing applications at a School level.

  1. Application & Assessment Process

Stage One – School level

6.1  Heads of School (or nominee) will ensure that eligible staff within the School are aware of the internal deadline and process for the submission of applications.

6.2  Applicants should submit their applications in Word format using the form at Annex A, Annex B and Annex C, according to their local arrangements as advised via their Head of School (or nominee);

6.3  Heads of School will establish a small internal panel for the assessment of applications.

6.4  Heads of School should ensure that any information provided concerning relevant factors should be held confidentially and used strictly for the purposes of assessing the application received.

6.5  The School panel will assess each application against the criteria for the Scheme, and the ability of the School to support an individual’s absence from normal duties. Consequently, their decisions to support and rank applications for submission to the University panel must be based on:

  • the extent to which they meet the quality criteria for the scheme – where the secondary criteria apply (see paragraph 4.2) the panel should take account of any relevant factors including contractual status and/or those declared by the individual;
  • the extent to which the School can accommodate the individual’s absence from normal duties; and in particular
  • confirmation that teaching quality will not be compromised.

6.6  Having assessed and ranked applications, Heads of School should submit the following in Word format to by midday, Friday, 27 November 2015 using the form at Annex C:

  • Applications (Annex A) from those applicants they wish to endorse;
  • Declared circumstances (Annex B) from those applicants they wish to endorse;
  • a ranking of applications (Annex C), noting where declared circumstances were taken into account;
  • a list of applicants whose applications were not supported (for the purposes of E&D monitoring);
  • confirmation that in supporting these applications they can manage the absence, that teaching quality will not be compromised and that their recommendations are equitable and transparent in relation to the allocation of research time.

6.7  Heads of School should ensure that within 5 working days of the School panel meeting they feed back to individuals whether or not their application has been supported and submitted to the University panel for consideration.

Stage Two – University Level

6.8  The University panel will meet in January to consider all applications forwarded by the schools.

6.9 The University Panel will be chaired by Professor Rick Delbridge, University Research Dean for Research Innovation & Enterprise and comprised of Research Deans and suitable representatives. The University panel will judge and confirm the outcome of the applications.

6.10        Assuming that applications forwarded by Schools can be supported, the panel will assess each application against the criteria for the Scheme. Their decisions to award funding should be based on:

  • the extent to which the applications meet the quality criteria for the Scheme; where the secondary criteria apply the panel will note that individual circumstances apply and if necessary the Chair will consider the detail submitted by the applicant. Otherwise this information will be held confidentially by the secretariat and destroyed after the meeting.
  • Where the number of applications exceeds the value of the fund, the panel will rank applications (taking account of the School’s rankings) and fund as many applications that meet the quality criteria for the Scheme, as can be supported within the available funding.

6.11        The panel secretariat will confirm the outcome of the applications with Schools and individual applicants within 5 working days of the panel meeting.

  1. Post award

Schools will be required to submit a post-award report detailing the extent to which the individual applicant has completed the plan of work and delivered the objectives as agreed. Furthermore monitoring will be undertaken as part of preparations for the next REF in order to evaluate the extent to which this scheme contributes to that submission.

Any queries regarding the Research Leave Fellowship Scheme should be addressed to: Sarah Roberts, Planning Division, or Extn: 74549.


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