Guidance for Recruiting and Employing Research Staff

  • With an HR Excellence in Research Award, Brookes is committed to providing a stimulating, inclusive, and supportive environment for its research staff.

    This page is primarily designed to provide guidance for those research staff planning to make a grant application that includes bidding for research staff to support the project.  It is vital that you consider their arrangements fully before making the application. If you are successful in your grant award you will then need to recruit, employ and manage your research staff in line with the University’s policies and the Concordat to support the development of Researchers to which the University is fully committed. 

    1. If you are including staff in the grant application, you need to consider the role and grading of staff to be recruited using the Researchers Career Structure for guidance which will ensure that you can include an accurate costing in your application.
    2. The generic Research Job Descriptions can be found here. Your link HR team will also be able to provide further help and support.
    3. Prior to submitting your grant application / funding bid, we highly recommend that you plan a recruitment timeframe especially when a grant has to be used within a defined period.
    4. If you wish to consider a possible international applicant, you must recruit at Grade 8 or above to meet minimum salary levels and you must advertise the post for a minimum of 28 days. In practice you need to allow at least 30 days as it takes up to 48 working hours to go live on jobs.ac.uk. See the immigration guidance pages for more information and/ or speak to the HR recruitment team.
    5. You can only appoint a Grade 8 Research Fellow if the role holder will be undertaking independent research and will be returned in the REF. A PhD at the time of appointment is also essential.
    6. Use the Grade 7/8 Postgraduate Research Assistant job description if the role-holder will not be undertaking independent research.
    7. As per the relocation policy, international non-EU staff appointed for more than 2 years , who are not currently resident in the UK at time of relocation may also apply to the Faculty or Director for up to an additional £3,000 for immigration visa fees for themselves or immediate family members (spouse/ partner and children only). This additional cost will be charged to the Faculty and Directorate and payment is at the discretion of PVC/Dean or Director. Note: this excludes visa health surcharges.

    All researchers must be recruited in accordance with the University's recruitment guidance. As the recruiting manager / principal investigator, you are responsible for ensuring that this guidance is followed.

    Note that you do not need to follow a recruitment and selection process where a researcher is named on an approved grant.

    1. Short-term contracts up to 3 months - please follow the guidance at the appropriate link below.

    Associate Researchers or Student Casuals

    Note: Unless they are a student, all short-term research casuals are given the job title of Associate Researcher, irrespective of which job title and level of JD they are working to.

    Please be aware of any restrictions to the number of hours a students is able to work due to visa restrictions and/or university regulations. These may vary between semester and vacation periods.

    See Tier 4 international student and B6 Research Degree Regulations (PDF) (see 7.6)

    1. Longer-term contract - 3 months plus - Preparing for Advertising
      1. All longer term contracts (3 months plus) will normally be advertised externally unless exceptionally agreed with the link HR Business Partner /HR Manager.
      2. If not already done so create a recruitment timeline that allows sufficient time to recruit the best person for the role and enhances the Brookes employer brand.
      3. Select the appropriate generic Job Description and related Person Specification[1] . Please use one of the generic research JDs which can be found here. All research posts should be based on the generic JD. Please do not use/modify old JDs. The generic JDs detail the general tasks and responsibilities that are expected at that particular grade level. However, there is room for you to personalise the generic JD by adding information under the headings, ‘Outline of Role and Research Project’ and ‘Specific tasks related to this research project’.
      4. The HR recruitment teams will be monitoring research JDs prior to advertising and may return any JD that does not conform to the above. This may delay your recruitment schedule and anticipated start dates.
      5. If you wish to consider a possible international applicant, you must recruit at Grade 8 or above to meet minimum salary levels and you must advertise the post for a minimum of 28 days. In practice you need to allow at least 30 days as it takes up to 48 working hours to go live on jobs.ac.uk. See the immigration guidance pages for more information and/ or speak to the HR recruitment team.
      6. You can only appoint a Grade 8 Research Fellow if the role holder will be undertaking independent research and will be returned in the REF. A PhD at the time of appointment is also essential.
      7. There is now a single Postdoctoral Research Assistant JD which can be used to appoint at either Grade 7 or Grade 8. Use the Grade 7/8 Postgraduate Research Assistant job description if the role-holder will not be undertaking independent research.
      8. Compile your job advert. The HR recruitment team may be able to help you with this - you can also look at similar adverts on jobs.ac.uk.
      9. Bear in mind that some research roles will require the role-holder to hold a DBS certificate before commencing work. More information can be found here.

     

    1. Approval for research posts is the same as for all other posts, even if they are externally funded. The staff request form (the University's recruitment approval form) follows the approval route and is sent to Human Resources with the advert, job description and person specification.
    1. Depending on the local arrangements in your Faculty, you may need to get pre-authorisation to recruit, eg in TDE all recruitment requests have to be submitted to TDE Faculty Executive Group meeting before raising a staff request. Please check with your Head of Department.
    1. Raise a staff request - a number of colleagues in each Faculty are able to raise staff requests - check with the Faculty Executive office or equivalent. You will need to submit the following documents with your staff request: Job description, Person Specification and Job advert.

    You can find further recruitment information and guidance here, including:

    • You will need to ensure that research staff employed in connection with the project/research are properly managed, including managing their performance and development through their probation and beyond (setting objectives and monitoring progress).
    • See the Resources for managers for further information and guidance.
    • Visit the Research and Research Support pages for further information in developing your research staff.
    • Your link HR Business Partner or HR link Manager are also able to guide or assist you with any HR-related matters.
    • Both the individual and the line manager will be notified by HR when a funded research contract is nearing its end date.
    • You should meet with the individual before the end of the contract to confirm that their contract will end (or otherwise) and to discuss the possibility of being redeployed to another job within the University in line with the redeployment policy if eligible. The individual may involve a union representative, friend or work colleague in this matter if they wish. The outcome of the meeting will be confirmed in writing to the individual by their line manager. Information on current vacancies can be found here.
    • If new/additional funding is available, there is an option to extend a fixed-term contract.
    • If there is no funding available, the contract will end on the termination date due to redundancy. A redundancy payment will be due to researchers with more than two years continuous service. HR will confirm details of any payment in the leaving letter.

    Reimbursement of visa fees?


    Relocation expenses?


    How long does it take to get a visa?


    Who can help me raise the staff request form?