skip to content

Online Research Staff Handbook 

The Postdoctoral Affairs Committee (PDAC) within the department represents its postdocs. All postdocs are invited to get involved in this which provides support and resources for Chemistry postdocs. For more information on the committee's work and on being a postdoc within the department, please access the postdoc website

Hours of work

Your hours of work should be agreed between yourself and your supervisor, Principal Investigator or line manager. If you are appointed to work part-time your total hours of work will correspond with the percentage of salary payable.

As a guide, the General Board expects the average full-time working week to be in the region of 37 to 40 hours. Under the Working Time Regulations, 1998, you are not required to work more than 48 hours per week unless you sign an agreement to do so.

The Department does operate a flexible working policy for certain post categories. 

Annual Leave

For academic-related and contract research staff, holiday entitlement runs from October to September. If you start work after the beginning of the leave year your entitlement for that year will be calculated pro rata to the proportion of the leave year remaining.

Holiday entitlement for academic-related and contract research staff is 41 days for those working full-time, based on a five-day working week, and pro-rata for part-time according to days worked. Periods of University closure, other than public holidays will be taken as part of the annual leave. The remaining leave is taken at times that suit both the individual and his or her institution.

You are required to keep a record of your annual leave and can record this on the online leave calendar or use the Leave record Chart

Please note: There is no entitlement to carry over any holiday from one academic year to the next or to receive pay in lieu of holiday not taken.

Public and Bank Holidays

The days of public and bank holidays in England and Wales are:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Good Friday
  • Easter Monday
  • May Day
  • Spring Bank Holiday
  • Late Summer Bank Holiday
  • Christmas Day
  • Boxing Day

With the exception of the public holidays around Easter and Christmas, the Department is open every public holiday as a normal working day.

If you are required to work on a Public Holiday you are entitled to a corresponding period of time off in lieu.


The department has launched a new Mentoring Scheme for contract research staff and research visitors. The scheme has been devised in collaboration with the Department's Post-Doc Affairs Committee (PDAC), is fully supported by the Head of Department and Athena SWAN working group.

Under the new scheme, a ‘pool’ of academic and senior staff mentors have volunteered to mentor CRS across a range of work-related topics and issues including:

  • help with research-related issues: project management/time management
  • help with other work-related issues: people management/conflict resolution
  • career development and progression: values, aspirations, training
  • routes to academic and/or industry careers
  • work-life balance (including “women in science” and related issues)
  • provide motivation, confidence and inspiration
  • Mentors can also specify other work-related areas where they can help. 

Researchers can view the pool of postdoc mentors and contact the person they feel is most appropriate to support their needs.

The revised scheme is not intended to replace any successful mentoring relationships in the earlier system where a PI recommends a suitable mentor. These should continue and research staff can continue to seek a mentor/mentoring advice through their PI.

Staff review and Development for research staff

SRD for research staff can be accessed via the Postdoc webpages.


For contract research staff, the rates of pay during absence due to sickness are:

Employed since 1 January 2004 and subject to agreement of sponsor

Period of unbroken service

Sick leave with pay

At a rate equal to normal pay

At a rate equal to half normal pay

Less than 1 year

8 weeks

8 weeks

1 or more years but less than 3 years

12 weeks

12 weeks

3 or more years but less than 5 years

20 weeks

20 weeks

5 or more years

26 weeks

26 weeks

Employed before 1 January 2004 and subject to agreement of sponsor

Period of unbroken service

Sick leave with pay

Less than 1 year

Month 1


Months 2–4


Month 5–8


1 or more years

Months 1–6


Months 6–12

100%, subject to review

Months 12–14


Months 15–18

50%, subject to review

If you are absent through sickness at the date at which your entitlement to payment would increase, you will not gain the new entitlement until you have returned to work and have worked for a continuous period of one month.

The rate and period for which payment may be made is calculated according to the sick leave which you have taken during the 365 days before the first day of sickness. This means that any sick leave taken during that time will count as part of your sick leave entitlement for the current period of sickness.

If you are frequently absent through sickness or have a single prolonged absence, you may be referred to the University's Occupational Health Service for a medical opinion. You may also be asked to authorise the Director of Human Resources to approach your own doctor for further information about your health. Your Head of Department may also ask you to produce a doctor's statement for all absences however short if there is concern about your level of sickness absence.

Attending Medical Appointments

Attending routine medical appointments is not normally regarded as sickness absence. Members of staff should consult their line manager where such attendance would entail taking time off work.