UCL Human Resources


Conditions of Service for Research, Teaching and Professional Services Staff



1. These terms and conditions apply to all Research, Teaching and Professional Services Staff.

2. Appointments are subject to the current terms and conditions set out in this document, in letters of appointment, and any amendments which are subsequently notified to staff. Members of staff are also expected to observe UCL policies and procedures in the course of their appointment.  

3. Should any variation exist between the terms and conditions set out in the letter of appointment and those set out below, those specified in the letter of appointment or notified amendments to it, will take precedence. 


4. Appointments are subject to the following probation periods:

Grades 1-6 and Marie Curie Trainees: 6 months

Grades 7 – 10 and all Researchers: 9 months

Associate Lecturer (Teaching)/ Lecturer (Teaching): 12 or 24 months, depending on experience

Research Fellows with proleptic academic appointments: 12 or 36 months, depending on experience

Further information can be found in the Induction and Probation Policy

Period of Notice

5. Employees wishing to terminate their contract of employment must give the following notice in writing and addressed to the Head of Department:

Grades 1-6: minimum of 4 weeks

All Researchers and Grade 7 and above:  minimum of 3 months

In addition staff with teaching related responsibilities are required to give such notice that they leave at the end of a term.

The same notice period applies to UCL as the employer, except that in cases of gross misconduct, UCL reserves the right to terminate an appointment without notice in accordance with the current Disciplinary Procedure. 


6. The current salary scale can be found on the HR web pages under Salary Scales.

7. For more information on the pay scales for clinical staff see Clinical Academic Salaries.

8. Salaries will normally be paid on the last working day of each calendar month by bank transfer. Where applicable, deductions are made in respect of national insurance, income tax and pension contributions. 

9. Automatic incremental progression will take place on the 1st August following the completion of the probationary period. In the case of Associate/ Lecturers (Teaching) serving the 24 month probation and Research Fellows serving the 36 month Lecturers' and Research Fellows' Probation Scheme the first increment will be on the 1st August following the completion of 9 calendar month's service. All staff will automatically progress by one increment, within their current grade on 1st August each year until the contribution threshold is reached, unless an increment is withheld as a result of the outcome of the disciplinary or capability procedures agreed with UCL’s trade unions. 

Grading Reviews and Promotions

10. Further information can be found within the current procedure for the grading review of Professional Services Staff posts. 

11. Research Staff have the opportunity to apply for promotion through the Senior Research Promotion Procedures. 12. More information can be found in the Promotion Procedures policy. 

Hours of Work and Overtime

13. Working arrangements are determined by the Head of Department.  Where work involves regular working outside normal office hours, such conditions will be specified in the letter of appointment. 

14. At certain times, overtime working will be needed by UCL.  In such cases, as much warning as practicable will be given but it is unavoidable that some overtime may occur at short notice due to sickness and/or emergencies. 

15. Time worked in addition to the contracted working week by staff in all grades will be compensated by equivalent time off in lieu. However, where this is not practicable for staff in Grades 1 – 6, overtime working may be paid (in arrears) at the following rate after the individual’s full-time contracted working hours have been completed:

  • Additional hours worked, other than bank holidays and closure periods: time and a half 
  • Hours worked on Sundays, Bank Holidays and during closure periods: double time

16. Regular monitoring of overtime usage will be undertaken by UCL. UCL retains the right to terminate overtime worked on a regular basis; as much notice as practicable will be given. 


17. Members of staff will carry out duties as may be determined by their Head of Department and will be responsible to their Head of Department for the performance of those duties. In exceptional circumstances, staff may, following consultation, be transferred from one post to another within UCL.  


18. Professional Services staff on Grades 1 - 6 and MCT are eligible to join the Superannuation Arrangements of the University of London (SAUL), subject to the Scheme's rules and eligibility conditions. Further information about SAUL and the benefits it provides can be found on the SAUL website. 

19. Research staff on Grades 6B - 10, Clinical Research Staff and Professional Services Staff on Grades 7 - 10 are eligible to join the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), subject to the Scheme's rules and eligibility conditions.

20. Participation in SAUL and USS operates under PensionsExchange for all eligible employees. Further information about PensionsExchange is available on the Pensions Website

21. A one-off election upon joining UCL can be made to retain previous membership of the National Health Service Pension Scheme (NHSPS) subject to meeting ALL of the eligibility requirements. Further information about the NHSPS and the benefits it provides can be found on the NHS website. 

Annual Leave

22. The leave year runs from 1 October to 30 September. Staff are entitled to 27 days annual leave per year (pro rata for part-time staff). Annual leave must be approved by the Head of Department and approval is subject to service requirements. In some departments there may be times of year when annual leave cannot be taken due to the nature of the work undertaken and service provided.   

23. In addition, staff are entitled to 8 days public and statutory holidays, and 6 UCL closure days with pay per year. Part-time staff will be entitled to the pro-rata equivalent of these days. 

24. No payment will be made in lieu of leave not taken during the leave year and leave may not be carried forward to the next year without the prior agreement of the Head of Department. 

25. Where a member of staff is leaving UCL’s employment, outstanding leave should normally be taken before the termination date. However, where this is not possible, payment may be made in lieu of leave accrued but not taken. 

26. Further information on annual leave can be found within the Annual Leave Policy.  

Leave for Personal and Domestic Reasons, and Family Leave

27. UCL’s policy on leave for personal and domestic reasons, and leave related to ante-natal care, parental leave, paternity/partner’s leave, adoption leave, carer’s leave and time off to visit relative’s abroad can be found within the Leave for Domestic and Personal Reasons Policy


28. Staff who are unable to attend work due to sickness should contact their manager within 30 minutes of the time that they are expected to commence work (or as early in the day as possible if they work a flexible or irregular work pattern). Any departmental arrangements for reporting absence must be followed.

29. Further details of UCL’s current procedures relating to sickness absence can be found in the Sickness Absence Policy

30. Staff following the Sickness Absence Reporting Procedure set out in the Sickness Absence Policy, are entitled to sick leave as follows:


Full Pay

Half Pay

During first 3 months service

2 weeks

2 weeks

3 months service or more but less than 12 months service

9 weeks

9 weeks

12 months service or more but less than 3 years service

13 weeks

13 weeks

3 years service but less than 4 years service

22 weeks

22 weeks

Service of 4 years or more

26 weeks

26 weeks

31. Occupational sick pay1 takes into account the number of days of sickness absence already taken within the previous 12 month period and is determined by length of service on the first day of a period of sickness absence. UCL’s sick pay scheme incorporates the provisions of the SSP Scheme. No combination of payments will exceed normal contractual pay. 


32. For more information see UCL’s Maternity Policy.


33. Further information can be found within UCL’s Grievance Procedure.


34. Research and Professional Services staff should be aware of UCL's Disciplinary Procedure. 

Financial Regulations

35. Compliance with UCL's Financial Regulations is a requirement for all members of staff. Financial Regulations includes UCL's Gifts and Hospitality policy and UCL's Anti-corruption and Bribery policy. A copy of the Financial Regulations is also available from Finance and Business Affairs.

Financial irregularity

36. All staff are required to comply with UCL’s Policy for Investigating and Resolving Allegations of Financial Irregularity which can be found on the UCL Finance website. 

Misconduct in Academic Research

37. UCL is committed to maintaining the integrity and probity of academic research. To this end, UCL considers that the conduct of research and the dissemination of its results must be truthful and fair, and has adopted a procedure for the investigation and resolution of any allegations of misconduct in research.

38. The current procedure can be found on the UCL intranet.

Criminal Convictions

39. All staff are required to disclose criminal convictions acquired during employment at UCL which may be relevant to their position or that related to violence, assault or damage to property.

40. Further information can be found within the DBS Checks and Criminal Convictions Policy

Communication with the media

41. A member of staff contacting the media on a matter closely concerned with UCL or departmental policy should inform their Head of Department before despatch (or the Provost in the case of a Head of Department ), and also UCL’s Media Relations Office. The staff member should state that the views expressed are personal to the author and staff should write from their home address.

42. Staff contacted by the press should observe the following guidelines:

  • Inform the Media Relations Office that contact has been made. The media relations team can advise on handling the media, and may also be aware of the context of an enquiry that an individual may not;
  • Ensure that they identify themselves with UCL and their specific department, according to UCL’s corporate identity guidelines, in all dealings with members of the media

43. The media relations team can advise on all aspects of interacting with the media (www.ucl.ac.uk/media)

Public Interest Disclosure

44. Staff should also make themselves aware of UCL’s Policy on Public Interest Disclosure

Time Off for Public Service Duties

45. Members of staff who hold public office (e.g. as councillor or magistrate) will be granted reasonable time off, in consultation with their Head of Department, in order to undertake certain public duties.

46. Members of staff will be granted paid leave of absence whilst carrying out jury service.

47. Members of staff may be granted paid leave of absence to attend annual camps and similar training in the armed forces of the United Kingdom . The permission of the Head of Department must be obtained before such service is undertaken, and each case will be dealt with on its merits.

Amendments to Terms and Conditions

48. UCL, in consultation with the recognised trade unions, may vary these conditions at any time provided that the amendments are not at variance with any statutory and legal requirements.  UCL may also vary these conditions without consultation, where this is necessary to comply with legal requirements. UCL will notify staff in writing of any amendments.

If participating in PensionsExchange your Occupational Sick pay is based on your 'Reference Salary' i.e. your salary before any pension exchange reduction. This ensures that your Occupational Sick pay is not affected by either participating or not participating in PensionsExchange. For more information about PensionsExchange at UCL see our Pension web pages.

HR Employment Policy
February 2021