Information and University policies on appointing & managing staff on your project

Advertising a staff appointment

All adverts to recruit staff must be submitted through Human Resources and follow:

The University recruitment guidance

To advertise a research project funded post HR will require a copy of the award letter confirming funding.

Staff appointments

Before making a staff appointment please ensure:

  • There is sufficient budget available 
  • The appointment is within the project period
  • The post is allowable (within terms and condition of funding)

Managing staff

Research staff employed in connection with your grant should be managed in accordance with HR guidelines.

This includes managing performance and development through the probation, setting objectives and monitoring progress through the annual appraisal system. Managing leave (annual, sickness and parental) and dealing with any other people management issues.

Your College HR Contacts or Local HR will be able to assist you.

College HR contacts

Information can be viewed about the Code of Practice for the Employment of Research Staff

Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers

Managing staff costs and budgets

Your local research office and Research Grants Administrator will be able to assist on supplying staff cost information and monitor spend and apply forecasting to ensure budgets are followed. A number of funders e.g., UKRI require organisations to apply for funding excluding any provision for pay awards, preferring to apply their own inflation scheme. In some cases, this is lower than the University's forecast inflation rate on staff appointments which may result in a budget shortfall. In this situation options need to be checked which may include:

  • Reducing the length of appointment to fit within the available budget
  • Vire (transfer) from another budget within the grant, if allowable by the Funders Terms & Conditions
  • Fund the shortfall from an alternative source.

Parental leave

Managing parental leave on grants

The funder, your local research office and Research Grants Administrator should be informed if anyone directly employed on a research project is taking maternity, paternity or adoption leave. The policy of research funders with regard to covering or increasing funding and extending the duration of the grants for Directly Incurred staff on maternity, paternity and adoption leave varies, so please check the terms and conditions on the award letter and funder website or contact your local Research Office or Research Grants Administrator for further information.      

Below is the position of some of University of Edinburgh's main research funders indicating what will be funded in respect of parental leave:


The research grant will be compensated at the end of the grant to cover any additional net costs that cannot be met within the awarded budget.

An extension of up to 12 months can be requested by a JES Maintenance request or you can appoint a replacement to cover the post. UKRI must be informed in either case.  

Wellcome Trust

The research grant will be supplemented by the value of the additional net cost and grant extended by the period of leave taken.

Please contact Wellcome Trust in advance to advise them of the expected maternity leave period. Your Research Grants Administrator can action this on your behalf.  

European Commission

Parental leave costs – can be covered in most cases at the % which the staff member was employed on the grant prior to leave. This does need to be met within existing budget so if cover for post is required check available budget and if required, please discuss an alternative funding source with your local research office.

Some specific schemes (Marie Curie) do allow a period of suspension and a corresponding extension can be applied to the fellow’s appointment, subject to approval from the Commission.  

Cancer Research UK

Parental leave costs cannot be recovered from CRUK, as such will need to be met by the University.

British Heart Foundation

Parental leave costs cannot be recovered from the BHF, as such will need to be met by the University.

Industry Funding

The contract budget value is fixed so any maternity leave salary expenditure would have to be deducted from the original budget. If your research funder does not supplement the research budget and this expenditure cannot be covered within the grant, please contact your local research office who will be able to give advice on alternative funding.  

Related Links


Information on University Pension scheme


Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Initiatives


Family Friendly Policies