Through the Erasmus programme the University receives funding to support staff in undertaking training opportunities, offering the chance to share good practice, acquire practical skills and discover new ways of working.
All staff across the collegiate University are eligible to apply, and training may be in the form of job shadowing, observation, attendance at workshops or courses. Staff are able to arrange their own training opportunity by approaching the institution of their choice, or a number of Universities also offer specific staff training events covering a wide range of areas, and full details can be found using the Staff training week search tool. Please note, in general, conferences are not eligible for funding unless there is a training element.
The duration can be between 2 and 7 days, and must take place before the 30 September 2017 in another Higher Education Institution or any other appropriate organisation in an eligible Erasmus country (see Appendix 1 on the right hand side of this page for a list of eligible countries).
Priority is given to members of staff going abroad for the first time.
Grants for staff training are provided as contributions towards subsistence and travel and depend on the country visited, duration and distance travelled. Appendix 1 provides details of the funding available. Any additional costs for the trip must be paid by the staff member.
Supplementary allowances may also be available for staff with special needs.
All Erasmus funding is paid prior to the completion of the staff mobility period.
A host HEI for staff training does not need to have an inter-institutional agreement with the University of Oxford for a placement to take place.
It is the responsibility of the staff member to organise the proposed training period and to approach the proposed host institution/organisation, and a draft proposal must be agreed in advance of submitting an application. An example email to the host institution (Appendix 2) can be found on the right hand side of this page as a guide.
Staff members must have the approval of their line manager before making an application.
Specific grant documentation must be completed before the Erasmus funding is released.
Staff testimonials from 2015-16
In total 15 members of staff from across the collegiate University received Erasmus staff training funding in 2015/16.
This included staff from the Careers Service, Department of Biochemistry, Department of Chemistry, Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, Estates Services, Graduate Admissions and Funding, IT Services, Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Nuffield Department of Medicine, Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences, Oxford Vaccine Group, and the Radcliffe Science Library.
The following testimonials are from staff who took part in a training opportunity;
Jennifer Cane, Nuffield Department of Medicine, Staff training spent at Utrecht University, Netherlands (April 2016)
Myself and my colleague from the Respiratory Medicine Unit visited Utrecht University for four days to learn a technique developed in their lab which will further our own laboratory research. We had initial links with the group as a clinical fellow visited our department from Utrecht recently on a European Respiratory Society fellowship. Learning from him about the on-going laboratory work in the Laboratory for Translational Immunology we identified one technique of particular interest. When we were not busy shadowing and working in the lab we gave two presentations to share our groups work to researchers from the department in Utrecht. This lead to very useful discussions and input, and benefited everyone involved as our research areas are so complementary.
I would definitely recommend people to apply for the Erasmus+ grant. The whole experience was very useful, we have nurtured close working relationships with the group and further we got to enjoy the beautiful city of Utrecht!
Rachel Ruscombe-King, Careers Service, Staff training spent at Central European University, Hungary (June 2016)
I was thankful for the opportunity to travel abroad to make new contacts for internships and learn good practise from colleagues in a similar field. The experience has helped me develop personally by boosting my confidence and having the opportunity to be an ambassador for the University. Through this visit I have also managed to grow the number of internships we now offer to Oxford students in Budapest, so it was a great success.
Holly Turner, Graduate Admissions and Funding, Staff training spent at University of Göttingen, Germany (May 2016)
My staff training week took place in University of Göttingen in Germany. I chose this week as the theme of student services and admissions was closely aligned with my role in Oxford and my interests in Higher Education. The opportunity to spend a week working with colleagues who are passionate about the same area of work was a fantastic opportunity.
During my training week, I attended a number of interactive seminars with key contacts such as the Director of Student Services, the enquiries team and the admissions department, while also delivering my own presentation about the student services work happening at Oxford. This was a great opportunity to step out of my day to day role and discuss my interests in HE with other like-minded individuals. We were able to share best practice and remain in touch.
My week was planned out which meant every minute was useful. I was with a friendly professional group and we also had the opportunity to have a number of lovely dinners and social trips! It was an amazing experience to understand university life in another country and one I would highly recommend.
Tom Heel, Estates Services, Staff training spent at Passivhaus Institute, Darmstadt, Germany (April 2016)
The opportunity to attend the Passivhaus Institute facilitated by the Erasmus funding has added significant value to an ongoing project reviewing the University’s building standards. It was proving extremely difficult to make connections with colleagues in continental European universities tackling the same challenges and the conference enabled me to do this effectively and also to learn about a number of other projects that have the potential inform the way we approach our own in the future. The training has also raised the profile of the opportunity Erasmus offers to staff amongst colleagues in Estates Services.
Dr Pavlina Schmitz, Department of Chemistry, Staff training spent at University of Bonn, Germany (June 2016)
Thanks to my Erasmus+ grant, I spent a very fruitful week at the University of Bonn in Germany. My host was the Head of the Office for Research Dr. Holger Impekoven. I had the chance to work with colleagues specialised in different areas of research support, meet the Erasmus exchange coordinator and attend a H2020 workshop organised by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. I furthermore attended a lecture at the Bonn Centre for University Teaching, which allowed me to expand my professional network. I showcased our similarities by delivering a presentation about Oxford – twin city of Bonn, research support structures at our university and the Department of Chemistry, my current activities and future plans. It triggered a long discussion, which was beneficial to all. I strongly recommend the Erasmus+ programme to anyone interested in professional development as this international experience would add a new dimension to their careers and enrich their personal lives.
Staff testimonials from 2014-15
Julia Hilton, Careers Adviser, Erasmus staff training spent at the University of Barcelona Careers Service (September 2015)
I chose the University of Barcelona (UOB) Careers Service due to the comparable academic nature of the institution and the challenging labour market in Spain. Also, UOB has more than 60,000 students so I knew it would be interesting to understand their service in more detail given the Oxford Careers Service serves a third of this number. It took quite a long time to identify the right member of staff at UOB to initiate a conversation with so I recommend starting the ball rolling as early as possible (especially where English is not the primary language) and use LinkedIn to make connections with the right people.
I spent two and a half days observing student 1:1 appointments, group careers sessions, a department induction session for new students and various members of the department delivered presentations about the different aspects of their work. Only one member of staff spoke English so I made good use of my recent 18 months of Spanish lessons, particularly listening to presentations and observing 1:1 student sessions. I had underestimated the importance of being able to speak the language! At the end I delivered a comparison presentation (in English with a translator luckily) about our services and took lots of questions as they were very interested in what we do differently. I learned lots about building links with faculties, producing consistent marketing materials for workshops and I have some good ideas to introduce here, such as informal tours of our resources whilst students are waiting.
The staff were incredibly welcoming; they took me on a tour of Barcelona and we went out for a great meal together at the end of the experience. Despite it being a short experience I learned so much and felt very much part of their team! I have invited them to visit us at Oxford in return.
Sian Haynes, Office Administrator and Executive PA to Dr Sherwood, International Exchange Week at the University of Helsinki (May 2015)
In May 2015, I attended the International Staff Exchange Week at the University of Helsinki. This week was aimed specifically at administrative staff and focussed on benchmarking and sharing of expertise. Learning about the University of Helsinki and of the Finnish higher education system was a unique and memorable experience, but the most important part of the week for me was the opportunity to share and learn with other delegates. The week brought together nineteen higher education administrators from a number of European partner universities and through both formal leaning and discussion as well as informal social events, the opportunity for benchmarking and reflecting upon and developing our own practice was there in every waking hour. Following this week, I feel that I am a stronger administrator, more aware of my place in both the UK and European higher education systems with an awareness of the differences in practice and similarities in challenges that we are all facing together. I am incredibly grateful to the University of Helsinki for such a well organised and informative week and to the University of Oxford’s Erasmus+ scheme for making it possible for me to attend.
Louise Wright, Office Administrative Manager, International Staff Exchange Week at the University of Helsinki (September 2015)
In September 2015, I was accepted to attend an International Staff Exchange Week (ISEW) at the University of Helsinki. The week focused on Human Resources Development (HRD) and Occupational Well-Being and had 20 participants from all across Europe; most of whom worked in the fields of Occupational Health and Safety or Human Resources in general. The programme included daily seminars and workshops on topics including leadership development, competence development, diversity, and enhancing well-being at work. Each day was held at a different venue of the University which allowed us to see and learn about the history and culture of Helsinki. We were also given a free afternoon and evening to explore the wonderful sites and culinary delights of the city.
I found the programme very relevant to my role and it was interesting to discover what achievements and challenges our HRD colleagues across Europe are facing. Our hosts were well placed to lead this course as Helsinki is a university with a long history, good results and innovation in this field. A particular highlight of the experience was the opportunity to share and discuss ideas with the other participants and have the opportunity to build a network of European colleagues.
The week was superbly organised from the pre-booked accommodation, to the seminars, to the free travel pass we were given for the duration of our stay. If you are nervous about going abroad or worried about foreign languages, the ISEW weeks are a really good option. The HRD staff at Helsinki are incredibly friendly, knowledgeable and generous and they should be proud of hosting such a fantastic staff week.
How to apply
- Applications have now closed for Erasmus Staff training in 2016/17. The next application cycle is due to open in Michaelmas term 2017. The application deadline is not yet confirmed but is likely to be November 2017.
- Applications will be considered by the AAD Learning and Development Panel, and all applicants will be informed of the outcome by the end of December.