Notices

  • Thursday 15 November 2012
  • NO. 5006
  • VOL. 143

General notices

Gazette publication arrangements

The final Gazettes of Michaelmas term will be published on 22 and 29 November and 6 December. Publication for Hilary term will begin on 10 January. The usual deadline arrangements will apply.

Update on changes at the Bodleian Libraries

An update on the changes taking place at the Bodleian Libraries is available on the Bodleian website.  The update by Bodley's Librarian is available at www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/about/policies, under 'Plans for future development'.

Pocket Diary

Survey

The Oxford University Pocket Diary is published by Oxford University Press at the beginning of every academic year, and the text is prepared partly by OUP and partly by the Gazette editorial team.  We are considering whether it is time to update the content and/or layout of the University information contained in the Pocket Diary to make it more relevant and accessible for those who use it, both in and outside the University. We are concerned that the University sections of the Diary are no longer serving the needs of its readership, and are seeking the opinions of current Diary users.

The survey is online at https://www.survey.bris.ac.uk/oxford/pocketdiary and will remain open until midnight on 7 December. It's a very short survey, and respondents can remain entirely anonymous; most of the questions are optional. We would welcome any feedback Gazette readers would like to give on this subject. 

Oxford Teaching Excellence Awards

The Oxford Teaching Excellence Awards for 2011–12 were presented by Dr Sally Mapstone, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education), at a reception at Rhodes House on 7 November. The awards acknowledge and reward excellence in teaching and in the support of teaching and learning. Winners include academic staff, administrative staff, IT staff and librarians. The full list of awards and winners can be seen online at: www.ox.ac.uk/gazette/teachingawards.

Guidelines for leave for academic staff

1. Approval of applications for leave

All applications for leave from normal academic duties (sabbatical leave, leave to hold research awards, special leave, etc) must be accompanied by a recommendation from the individual’s department or faculty board, as appropriate, and must also be approved by the divisional board which now has the authority to grant leave.

2. Sabbatical leave and dispensation from CUF lecturing obligations

The University’s regulations in respect of sabbatical leave and dispensation from CUF lecturing duties are set out in Council Regulations 4 of 2004. Application forms and advice on individuals’ entitlement may be obtained from:

Humanities – Ms Parsons, Radcliffe Humanities, Radcliffe Observatory Quarter, tel (2)70559, email muriel.parsons@humanities.ox.ac.uk

Social Sciences Divisions and Continuing Education – Ms Phillips, Hayes House, 75 George Street, tel (6)14857, email cate.phillips@socsci.ox.ac.uk

Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences Division – Ms Sutcliffe, 9 Parks Road, tel (2)82588, email sheila.sutcliffe@admin.ox.ac.uk

Medical Sciences Division – Ms Haugen, Medical Sciences Office, John Radcliffe Hospital, tel (553) 21620, email ingunn.haugen@medsci.ox.ac.uk

Completed application forms (signed by the head of department where appropriate) should be returned to the head of the Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences division or the divisional contact shown above, as appropriate, for processing and for faculty board/divisional board approval.  

3. Sabbatical leave in advance of entitlement

In some circumstances individuals may wish to take leave for purposes covered by the sabbatical leave scheme at a time when they do not have sufficient sabbatical entitlement. Such circumstances might include an unrepeatable opportunity to pursue academic interests, or a need to undertake fieldwork for a period exceeding one year. In such cases leave could be granted in whole or in part as sabbatical leave in advance of entitlement if a good academic case could be demonstrated.

4. Applications for leave to hold some public offices

Applications for leave to accept an appointment in the public service of national or international importance are normally granted by the divisional board, provided that:

  • the purpose of the leave can be shown to be compatible with the academic interests of the department or faculty;
  • the department or faculty (and the college in the case of joint appointments) supports the application and is able to cover the individual’s duties including examining and graduate supervision; and
  • it is clear that the individual intends to return to University service after the period of leave.

Applications for leave to hold such offices should be made to the divisional secretary, faculty board secretary or other officer as notified locally.

5. Applications for certain research awards

Applications to national bodies of prestigious and competitive research awards (eg British Academy Research Readerships and Senior Research Fellowships, AHRC Research Leave awards, EPSRC Senior or Advanced Fellowships) are normally granted by the divisional board provided that the department or faculty (and the college in the case of joint appointments) supports the application and that appropriate arrangements can be made to cover the individual’s duties, including examining and graduate supervision, should the application be successful.  

Applications for research awards by members of the Humanities Division must be notified to the appropriate divisional research facilitator at least one month before the funder’s deadline. The research facilitator will provide advice and support for the application, produce a budget and an OG (internal authorisation form required by Research Services) and will liaise with the Humanities Division and Research Services to obtain approval for the application. It is the responsibility of the applicant to obtain in advance the consent of the college (where appropriate) for any research leave application. Consent must be forwarded to the research facilitator and is required by Research Services as part of the internal checking and authorisation process. Note: all applications to outside bodies for research funding must be checked and authorised by Research Services. The AHRC will not accept applications directly from colleges; applications from CUF lecturers to that body can only be submitted via the relevant faculty.

6. Applications for special unpaid leave

Applications for leave other than those outlined above may be considered as applications for special unpaid leave.  Applications may be considered if they meet one or both of the following criteria:

i) providing academic benefit to the University; and/or

ii) providing a career development opportunity for the individual, hence aiding staff retention.

Activities under these criteria might include visiting another institution to study specialised laboratory techniques, taking up a visiting lecturership or visiting professorship at a prestigious department abroad, an extended period of fieldwork, etc.

In all cases, it is essential that the consent of the college (where appropriate) and of the department/faculty board is obtained before an application is made to the divisional board. In considering applications, colleges and departments/faculty boards must be satisfied that the proposed leave fits with their overall plans and objectives, and it must be clear that the individual’s duties for the college and for the department/faculty, including examining and graduate supervision, can be covered satisfactorily. Divisional boards will consider applications both on their own merits and in the context of overall operational needs, and will not approve applications which are prejudicial to the teaching and research of the department/faculty or which are not supported by the applicant’s college.       

Occasionally applications are made for leave to enable an individual to accept a fixed-term appointment in another academic institution (other than routine visiting appointments held during sabbatical leave). In such instances the college and the department/faculty board would need to be satisfied that the application was in line with their overall plans and objectives, as above, and that all operational requirements could be covered satisfactorily, before the application was put to the divisional board. Applicants would normally be expected to give a commitment to return to Oxford after the period of leave. It should be noted that the longer the appointment at the other institution, the less likely it is that leave will be granted.    

Leave will not be granted, except in the most truly exceptional circumstances, to enable an individual to decide whether to accept a permanent post elsewhere.

It is recognised that some offers are made to individuals at short notice. Given the fact that all members of the academic staff have clear obligations to the University and to their college under the terms of their contracts, no such offer should be accepted without the support of the college and the department/faculty and the explicit approval of the divisional board. It is essential, therefore, that any prospect of such an offer is discussed, in confidence, with the college and with the divisional secretary or faculty board secretary at the earliest opportunity so as to avoid delays, and the possibility of refusal, if a firm offer is then made at very short notice.

All applications for special unpaid leave should be made to the divisional secretary, faculty board secretary or other officer as notified locally, who will also be able to advise on the likelihood of success of any application on the University side; the college’s consent in appropriate cases must be obtained before an application is put to the divisional board.

7. Special paid leave

Divisions may, if they wish, with the concurrence of the college in relevant cases, grant additional paid leave outside sabbatical entitlement, funded from their own resources, to enable staff to undertake projects of mutual benefit to the individual and the University. Examples might include asking a member of staff to concentrate for a term wholly on considering revised teaching patterns across a whole subject area; or permitting a member of staff to teach at another university for a term to foster inter-institutional links, possibly as part of an exchange arrangement.

8. Stipendiary arrangements

  • Sabbatical leave and dispensation from CUF lecturing duties: leave will be granted with stipend (although it may be granted without stipend if taken for the purpose of holding a remunerated visiting appointment under 6 above).
  • Leave to hold a public office: leave will be granted without stipend.
  • Leave to hold a research award: the arrangements vary depending on the regulations governing the award, but it is normal for individuals holding such awards to continue to receive their usual University stipend, the awarding body either providing funds to make a replacement appointment or reimbursing the University for the individual’s salary costs.
  • Special leave: leave will normally be granted without stipend, but see 7 above.

9. Implications for future entitlement to sabbatical leave or dispensation from CUF lecturing duties

Special leave does not count as qualifying service for the purposes of calculating future entitlement to sabbatical leave or dispensation from CUF lecturing duties. However, it does not count against an individual’s future entitlement. When special leave has been granted for the purposes of holding a public office or a research award, sabbatical leave is not normally granted in the period immediately preceding or following the period of special leave, although some flexibility may be exercised at the divisional board’s discretion in respect of periods of special leave not exceeding one year, especially in connection with the holding of research awards.

Reports issued by the internal auditors

The following reports issued by the internal auditors were accepted by the Audit and Scrutiny Committee at its meeting on 11 October:

Healthchecks

  • Computer Science
  • Medical Sciences Divisional Office and Doctoral Training Centre
  • Public Affairs Directorate

Focused reviews

  • Clinical Neurosciences
  • Conflict of Interest
  • Estates
  • Experimental Psychology
  • Fixed Assets
  • Primary Care Health Sciences
  • Public Health
  • Ruskin School
  • Subsidiaries
  • VAT

The executive summaries of these reports have now been posted on the intranet at www.admin.ox.ac.uk/councilsec/oxonly/auditrep. The full reports may be consulted by members of Congregation at the University Offices by arrangement with the Senior Assistant Registrar (Assurance), Sally Vine (email: sally.vine@admin.ox.ac.uk, telephone: (2)80179).

St John's

Medieval Vestments

The college intends to open to the public its collection of medieval vestments on Saturday, 24 November, 2–5 pm.  The collection is displayed in the Garden Quadrangle and entrance, free of charge, will be via the Main Lodge.

Visiting Professorships

Medical Sciences

The Medical Sciences Board has conferred the title of Visiting Professor of Neuroradiology on Dr D M Pelz, MD, FRCPC, for a further period of three years from 1 April 2012. 

Graduate Awards and Prizes

This is restricted content: see Graduate Awards and Prizes (login required).

Musical Events

Queen's

The Choir of The Queen's College and The Brook Street Band will perform Dixit Dominus (Handel and A Scarlatti) in Queen's chapel on Saturday, 24 November, at 7.30 pm. Tickets, available from anne.bevan@queens.ox.ac.uk  or Oxford 279125, are: £20, £18 (concessions) and £5 (students).