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

It is vital to go through a recruitment process with an open mind: considering the criteria you really require for the longer term will help you find the best candidate. Not doing so may result in protracted management difficulties.

Legislative requirements mean that it may be difficult to get a candidate into post rapidly, so try to plan ahead and seek local advice within your department early on.

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

The key steps in a sound selection and recruitment process are outlined here. Note that some of these steps need to be taken by you, and others will be taken by administrators. Practices and structures vary across the University: use this guidance to find out who is responsible for what in your environment.

Sound selection and recruitment requires you to:

  1. define the role's contribution to the research project (it is recognised that this may change, for example as the project matures), and use this definition as the basis for an advertisement for the post. Ensure that an appropriate job title is used and that you know which pre-employment checks will be necessary for the post. Guidance concerning job titles and pre-employment checks is available online. To understand how pre-employment checks are handled in your department, consult your departmental administrator or equivalent;
  2. consider which methods you will use during selection, how these will help you to assess each applicant's potential for the role, and which selection criteria you will use to assess each application;
  3. co-operate with procedures to advertise the position through the Recruitment Administration System. To understand how recruitment procedures operate in your department, consult your departmental administrator or equivalent;
  4. conduct interviews and complete any other selection tests;
  5. select the preferred candidate, on the basis of an objective assessment against the selection criteria;
  6. use University guidance on determining salary (see online recruitment guidance), unless the funder or fellowship scheme applies a different pay scale. Contact your departmental administrator, or equivalent, to discuss and agree salary;
  7. ensure the following:
    1. the researcher is sent a conditional offer letter (a template is available online);
    2. the researcher's details and the offer made to him/her are supplied to the relevant member of support staff, who will record these details in CHRIS (the HR and Payroll system) and who will return the completed staff appointment form to the Recruitment Administration team with the required supporting documentation;
    3. the researcher has either a fixed-term contract or an open-ended contract (guidance on the use of appropriate contracts is provided online);
    4. an induction programme is devised, covering the first few weeks of employment (guidance and checklists are available online);
    5. an appropriate probationary period is set, in accordance with University guidance (available online).

To understand how this stage of the recruitment process works in your department, contact your departmental administrator or equivalent.