skip to content

For staff


Funds to support career development and reward staff contributions during the pandemic.

The University has today announced two new funds to support staff whose career development has been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is also providing extra funding for contribution rewards for assistant staff in Grades 1-5.

The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stephen Toope, said: “As many of our University colleagues continue to deliver excellent online teaching, carry out their research activities or provide professional support, they are increasingly having to juggle this with home commitments including child-care, home-schooling or care for the vulnerable. The growing demands on people’s time are a source of stress and exhaustion. Some colleagues have had their careers disrupted as a direct result of the pandemic, or have had to take career breaks for caring responsibilities. Even for those who do not face these particular challenges, the sheer fact of continuing uncertainty and isolation is draining. I feel that too.

The University will continue to support its employees through this difficult period and these funds are part of how we are providing that support."

Teaching Support Fund

The University has set aside an initial £300,000 Teaching Support Fund (TSF) to provide colleagues with additional academic resources to support their teaching.

The TSF will supplement departmental budgets to allow affected staff to buy in additional capacity from PhD students, post docs or other temporary staff to assist with current teaching demands.

Such additional capacity might be used to provide teaching cover where an academic is unavailable because of home-schooling or other caring commitments; to facilitate online learning in interactive seminars or workshops; to prepare and upload teaching materials; or to assist with the marking of assessments. These are only some examples. Funding for equipment is beyond the scope of this fund.

Faculties and departments are expected, in the first instance, to fund these needs. The TSF is a supplementary fund that will allows Schools to allocate additional money to institutions unable to cater for such requests.

Career Support Fund

The Career Support Fund (CSF) aims to support University staff whose careers have been adversely affected by the pandemic. It will be accessible to all University employees who can provide evidence that their career has been, or is being, disrupted as a direct result of the pandemic, or who have needed to take a career break for caring responsibilities. The scheme does not apply to staff who are not employed by the University.

Grants may be awarded of up to £10,000 (though typically no more than £5,000) to support award holders with their career development. The CSF eligibility criteria includes those who have taken a three month break due to caring responsibilities within the last five years. The CSF is a short-term fund, limited to the current academic year (2020-2021), and incorporates the University’s Returning Carers Scheme this year. The first round of the CSF will open for applications on 15 February and there will be two further calls in April and June. The total amount in the fund is £750,000. 

Schools and departments have been issued with guidance on the TSF and CSF, and on how they will work.

Promotion and Contribution Reward Schemes

Members of staff will be aware that the University took the difficult decision to suspend all staff promotion and contribution reward schemes for this academic year, with one exception. The University Council will be asked at its next meeting to confirm that all such schemes will run as normal next year, and to review the budgetary implications. Exceptionally, we have continued to run one Contribution Reward Scheme this year as part of our overall package of support measures. This has allowed Assistant staff in grades 1-5 to apply for a single contribution payment. Due to the very high standard of applications, and to the exceptional contribution made by so many members of our assistant staff colleagues over the past year, we have now provided additional funds for this scheme. Successful applicants will be informed of the outcome shortly.


11 February 2021