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Research Study Release Policy

Section
Academic
To be read in conjunction with

Research Study Release Application Form

Approval Date
1 June 2020
Approved By
Chief Executive
Next Review
30 November 2022
Responsibility
Deputy Chief Executive: Learning & Teaching Services
Baldrige Criteria
Process management
Purpose

Otago Polytechnic Limited’s (Ltd)s research and study release is release from normal research, teaching, management, and administrative duties which may be granted to professorial, research active, and other eligible senior leadership staff. Eligibility will be included in the staff member’s employment agreement.

Research and study release is an opportunity for an eligible staff member to pursue research interests or other scholarly activities, undertake a programme of strategically relevant formal or informal study/activity, and/or investigate best or innovative practice relevant to their area of responsibility and consistent with their role.

The operational contact people for this policy are:

·        Chief Executive – for Executive Leadership Team members

·        Deputy Chief Executive, Learning and Teaching Services – for members of the Professoriate

·        Director: Research and Postgraduate Studies and – research active academic staff

·        Deputy Chief Executive (relevant Portfolio) – for Directors and Heads of College.

Policy

Eligibility and financial assistance

1. Eligibility for research and study release for any staff member shall be explicitly referenced in the position description or letter of employment offer and detailed in their employment agreement.

2. Staff who may be eligible for research and study release are:

2.1 Deputy Chief Executives

2.2 Directors and Heads of College

2.3 Professors and Associate Professors

2.4 Research active academic staff

3. Unless agreed differently in the staff members letter of offer and employment agreement the quantum of research and study release shall usually be for each three (3) years of service:

3.1 For Associate Professorial sixty (60) calendar days

3.2 For Professorial staff ninety (90) calendar days

3.3 For Executive Leadership Team, Directors and Heads of College, and research active staff, twenty) (20) working days

4. Eligibility for the first period of research and study release is calculated from the date of appointment to a qualifying position.

5. Eligibility for second and subsequent periods of release arise three (3) years after the report on the prior period of release is submitted.

6. Research and study release time cannot be accrued – if not taken within the required time, or an agreed written extended timeframe, it will be forfeited.

7. Periods of special release, with or without pay, shall not be counted towards eligibility for research and study release.

8. Research and study release cannot be cashed up for any reason, such as resignation, retirement, or redundancy.

9. If there is any conflict between any terms of the relevant employment agreement and this policy, then the terms of the employment agreement shall apply.

10. All costs associated with research and study release shall be allocated to the Cost Centre in which the staff member is employed except the following:

10.1 Grants-in-Aid for Professorial and research active staff, which will be costed to the Director Research and Postgraduate Studies budget

10.2 Grants-in-Aid for Deputy Chief Executives which will be costed to the Chief Executive budget

10.3 Grants-in-Aid for senior leadership staff, Directors, and Heads of College, which will be costed to the Deputy Chief Executive: Corporate Services budget.

11.  The responsibility for making adequate budget provision for research and study release rests with the staff member’s Formal Leader. Costs to be considered are:

11.1 Special Responsibility Allowances where a Deputy Chief Executive, Head of College or Director is on release.  Special Responsibility Allowances (SRAs) may apply to any roles required to replace the staff member who is on research and study release

11.2 Replacement teaching staff, at part-time rates

11.3 Other expenses relating to the study release

12. Staff members on approved research and study release may be eligible to receive a Grant-in-Aid to assist with expenses directly related to the research and study release, which may be incurred during the research and study release period unless specified differently in employment agreement.

12.1 Professorial – up to a maximum of $10,000 (GST inclusive)

12.2 Deputy Chief Executives, Directors, Heads of College, Tier 3 staff – up to $5,000 (GST inclusive)

12.3 Research active staff should apply to the contestable research fund

12.4 For research and study release based in the staff member’s usual place of work on a case by case basis, but generally not funded.

13.  A Grant-in-Aid will be by way of direct payment of expenses where possible or by reimbursement of actual costs incurred and not covered by any other grant or external source. Approved financial support is paid to a staff member by Otago Polytechnic Ltd for goods and services purchased by the staff member related to the research and study release on presentation of receipts and/or invoices.

14. Staff on research and study release may not accept a financial grant or salaried post at any other tertiary institution, or engage in private consulting for fees, during the period of their research and study release without prior written approval from the Chief Executive.

15. For research and study release taken overseas, financial assistance from an external organisation within reasonable limits will normally be approved provided that the acceptance of such financial support does not involve duties which:

15.1 Conflict with the approved purpose of the research and study release

15.2 Compromise the ability of the staff member to achieve the intended outputs or outcomes of the period of research and study release.

16. Where a staff member submits a research and study release proposal involving financial assistance , remuneration or consultancy fees, full disclosure is required.

17. A staff member who resigns while on research and study release, or within six (6) months of returning from that research and study release, will be required to refund all, or a portion of, any Grant-in-Aid as determined by a Bond Agreement (forms part of an approved research and study release agreement). Otago Polytechnic Ltd may waive the duty to refund solely at the Chief Executive’s discretion.

18.  Nothing in this policy shall prevent the approval of financial support more than the limits set out where appropriate justification is provided and following consultation with the Chief Executive.

Application Requirements

19. All eligible staff applying for research and study release shall submit a written application refer Research and Study Release Application Form, to the Chief Executive for Executive Leadership Team members, and for other applicants the Director: Research and Postgraduate Studies through the appropriate Formal Leader, by the end of May annually for release the following year. This application must include:

19.1 A copy of the staff member’s last research and study release report (if applicable).

19.2 A detailed description of the staff member’s proposed research and study release programme outlining the academic purpose, benefits to the Polytechnic, expected outcomes including details of proposed research outputs, project activities, itinerary and contact details.

19.3 Proposed coverage, if any, of administrative, teaching, supervision, and/or research obligations while on research and study release.

19.4 A statement on sources of available financial assistance (if applicable), and a request for further financial support based on the proposed parameters of the research and study release programme.

20. Research and study release will generally be taken as a single period, at the earliest feasible time in the year that funds are budgeted. In extraordinary circumstances other timing arrangements may be agreed.

21. Research and study release may be postponed by Otago Polytechnic Ltd for up to one (1) year* in any, or a combination of, the following circumstances:

21.1   Inadequate notice (less than eight (8) months) has been given or other circumstances in which teaching and/or supervision duties cannot be covered by appropriately qualified and experienced staff.

21.2   Where a significant number of staff seek research and study release at the same time such that teaching and supervision are unreasonably disrupted and/or the Contestable Research Fund is unable to budget for financial support for all qualifying staff in that financial year.    

*Note: If an additional delay occurs, following the one (1) year postponement, joint discussion will be entered into and outcomes put in writing.

22. The role of a senior leadership staff member who is on research and study release may be backfilled with an acting leader appointed by their Formal Leader in agreement with the Chief Executive as appropriate.

22.1 To support this, a grant of up to a maximum of $5,000 (GST inclusive), may be made to the area from which the acting leader is drawn. These funds are the cost of replacement or support staffing specifically hired for the period of the research and study release.

23. Staff who take up research and study release must supply their research and study release report to the Chief Executive and their Formal Leader, copied to the Otago Polytechnic Ltd Research Office, within three (3) months of returning from their research and study release. Staff members shall include in their research and study release report a statement of the extent to which the original goals, activities, outcomes, and benefits to the Polytechnic have been achieved relative to those anticipated at the time of application. The research and study release report should also provide evidence of outcomes (e.g. copies of papers submitted to journals and copy of letter of receipt or acceptance by journals).

Note: eligibility for the next period of release does not commence until the report is received.

 

 

Appeals

24. A staff member, who has just cause to believe that they have been disadvantaged by the decision of the Director: Research and Postgraduate Studies, or Deputy Chief Executive (relevant portfolio) to research and study release time or funding granted or declined, may lodge a written appeal with the Chief Executive, setting out the grounds for appeal within (twenty) 20 working days of advice of the decision.

 

Appendix

Otago Polytechnic Professoriate - General Workload Expectations and Employment Terms and Conditions

This document outlines the general workload expectations and employment terms and conditions of all members of the Otago Polytechnic Professoriate. Individual workload allocations must be negotiated and agreed with Discipline Heads on at least an annual basis, and other terms and conditions of employment may be negotiated by individuals with the Chief Executive or Deputy Chief Executive Learning and Teaching Services. This document must also be read alongside relevant Otago Polytechnic policy and procedure to guide applications for leave (including RSL), funding, salary review or other support.

Any questions about the workload expectations or employment terms and conditions outlined below should be directed to the DCE Learning and Teaching Services or the Director People and Culture.

Professor

Associate Professor

Notes

0.4 FTE: 250 hours f-t-f teaching (or equivalent) including academic mentoring or facilitation in Capable NZ or supervision of master's students within other OP Master’s programmes.

0.5 FTE: 350 hours f-t-f teaching (or equivalent) including academic mentoring or facilitation in Capable NZ or supervision of master's students within other OP Master’s programmes.

Does not include preparation time

Academic Mentoring load and allocation to be agreed with HoS

For example, for facilitators working in Capable NZ, the equivalent of 250 TTH would be to facilitate 10 learners to stage completion*.

0.2 FTE institutional leadership role (from central budget)

As agreed with the CE (delegated to Deputy CE Learning and Teaching Services).  This role is centrally funded, and the Professor is accountable to the CE/DCE for agreed outputs.

0.2 FTE departmental leadership (from school / college budget)

An agreed educational/academic leadership role in the College, funded by the College

-          Leading a significant programme

-          Leading a significant function e.g. Quality

-          Leadership of a major curriculum initiative

-          NOT a (further) research leadership role as this is covered in the Research Plan.

 

0.2 FTE Research

0.2 FTE Research

May be taken as agreed with HoC and in line with the Research Plan.

Guidance about expected research outputs is available on Tūhono and from the Research and PG Office.

25 Days  Annual  leave**  

25 Days  Annual  leave**  

To be (re)confirmed by Professoriate member at the time of revising employment agreement with CEO delegated authority DCE LTS

 

In line with the appointment as a senior position within the institution.

 

** noting that, as with all senior staff, time is managed by the individual. In combination with the reduced teaching load, and allocated time for leadership and research within the workload, the remaining time may be deployed for designated professorial activity at the discretion of the (Associate) Professor

At least 10% salary increment on promotion to Professor and access to the top of the relevant grade based on salary review.

At least 10% salary increment on promotion to Associate Professor and access to the top of the relevant grade based on salary review.

Appointed at an appropriate point on the salary range. Includes a 2% salary increase and the equivalent of 8% increase due to change in conditions around discretionary leave. 

If the prof/assoc. prof chooses to retain DL instead of SRL then there would be a 2% increase in salary.

10 days’ PD

10 days’ PD

May be used to conduct research, attend conferences, complete training, support professional recognition etc.

 

Can be combined with other leave in agreement with HoC and according to research plan.

Professorial Research and Development budget of $15,000 p.a. to cover conference attendance and/or research support

An agreed annual Research Plan to be provided with quality assured outputs.

 

At least one quality assured output p.a. on average and two non-quality assured.

 

Research to include high-level contributions to the research environment, such as leading community research project or responsible for organising a major conference.

 

The Research Plan to include a demonstrable active leadership contribution to the development of research in the home College.

An agreed annual Research Plan to be provided with quality assured outputs, including research leadership in the College.

 

At least one quality assured output p.a. on average and one non-quality assured and contribution.

 

Professorial Research and Development budget of $10,000 p.a. to cover conference attendance and/or research support.

This Research and Development fund is personal to the individual and may not be transferred to any other staff member.

For example, it may be used to contribute to achieving a collaborative quality assured research output with co-researchers, if approved by the DCE.

If unused, this budget does not accumulate nor can be cashed up, unless in exceptional circumstances as agreed by the DCE and CE based on a clearly articulated research plan.  

The funds should be fully committed or depleted before Professors and Associate Professors are granted access to other contestable funds.

All of the above is dealt with in the Professorial Research Plan that is to be presented and agreed at the beginning of the year, with confirmation of outputs provided when achieved.

Research and Study release time on application every three years, in accordance with OP’s Research and Study Release Policy at the time of application – 90 days with associated funding as per policy (up to $10,000).

Research and Study release time on application every three years, in accordance with OP’s Research and Study Release Policy at the time of application – 60 days with associated funding as per policy (up to $10,000).

The second and subsequent allocations of Research and Study Release accrue from the date that the report on the prior Research and Study Release is provided.

 

 

Indicative workload allocation for the Otago Polytechnic Professoriate

Professor

Associate Professor

Notes

TTH: 250 or 0.4 FTE

TTH: 350 or 0.5 FTE

As agreed with HoS

*Academic Mentoring for MPP is to completion (one-year programme) and DPP to completion of stage for three-year programme.

 

0.2 Leadership

0.2 Leadership

As agreed with Discipline Head and included in planned activity.

 

0.2 Research

0.2 Research

As per Professorial Research Plan – mapped against expectations

 

0.2 other activity

0.1 other activity

As agreed with Discipline Head, and may include additional research time (as per the agreed research plan), community service, service to industry, and/or contract work agreed with the HoC and DCE.  

 

Workload

Total teaching hours allocation (TTH), research and study time for the Professoriate are configured in a different way than for other teaching staff as follows: -

 

With the 0.2 FTE allocation for leadership, 0.2 for research and the reduction in TTH, there is acknowledgement of shift in role and provision of time for professorial activities.

 

  • Reduced TTH means that there is time for teaching, research and leadership on a weekly basis
    • All allocations are proportional. E.g. 0.2 of 1.0FTE = 0.2, 0.2 of 0.6FTE = 0.12 FTE
    • Annual leave remains the same, as does PD leave (it is not lost), these are also proportional to your role. PD funding is also retained as this is budgeted within your College.
    • Where the full FTE is less than 0.8, agreement will be reached with the HoC and CEO delegate regarding research and leadership, according to the needs of the College and home School.
  • These terms and conditions could be varied by agreement, e.g. in the absence of a clear and useful leadership role the teaching hours might go up, and if performance expectations for research and/or leadership were not met then teaching hours would be increased
  • For Associate Professors and Professors who hold other substantive leadership roles their terms and conditions are as per that leadership role, not as above
  • The workload levels will be introduced for the 2020 academic year.

Professorial funds

  • Professorial funds are drawn each year, and if unspent are to be returned.

Research and Study Release

  • In the year of Research and Study Release (R&SR), funds are awarded as a contribution to the identified cost of the R&SR.

The second and subsequent allocations of R &S R accrue from the date that the report on the prior Release is provided. Therefore, if the Release is delayed by the professoriate member for a year and the report is a year late then the second batch of Release will not be until year eight.

 

References
Signature

Approved by:
Dr. Megan Gibbons
Chief Executive
01/06/2020