Researchers are significant participants in and essential contributors to the University's success in research.

The short-term, external funding of research projects imposes many constraints. Within these constraints, it is University policy to offer as much security of employment as possible. The University complies with the provisions of the Fixed-term Employees (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2002. These regulations require that staff with fixed-term contracts should not be treated less favourably than comparable staff who have open-ended (permanent) contracts. The Regulations also provide that after four years a fixed-term contract that has been renewed is to be treated as open-ended, unless there was an objective justification for its fixed-term nature at the time of its last renewal.

The University's policy on fixed-term contracts is that fixed-term contracts should be used only where they can be objectively justified, for example where the purpose of the appointment is to undertake a specific project within a specific timeframe or to provide for the appointment of a replacement during a period of leave. An appointment will normally be offered for the duration of a research project, provided that the researcher has satisfactorily completed the probationary period of the appointment and the researcher's skills are appropriate for the duration of the project. In accordance with University policy, the initial term of appointment should normally be limited to a period of not more than five years.

It will normally be the case that a researcher whose employment is extended or renewed will be transferred to an open-ended contract. This contract may include a funding clause relating to the duration of funding which has been secured to extend/renew the contract.

Detailed guidance on the use of appropriate contracts is available from the Human Resources Division.