Research and Study Leave Application Procedures


All members of academic staff having the status of senior tutor, lecturer or above and who do not have this policy included as a schedule to their employment agreement.


To detail the responsibilities and procedures around applying for and undertaking research and study (R&S) leave.


The application process involves the following responsibilities for individuals and committees:

Staff members

1.    Staff members are expected to:

  • make themselves aware of the Academic Collective Agreement (CA) provisions around R&S leave
  • check eligibility for R&S leave with Human Resources (HR) if necessary
  • discuss application with academic head and, if the staff member wishes, an FSC member
  • prepare an application consistent with the requirements of the Academic CA using the “application for research and study leave form” including a copy of the previous (if any) leave report

Note - The application form is available on the intranet

Human resources

2.    HR will:

  • call for applications to be filed with the respective academic head
  • provide eligibility advice simultaneously to the applicant and academic head
  • confirm eligibility to apply for leave sought for the FSC
  • keep records of R&S leave taken and grants-in-aid given
  • provide advice on the R&S leave application process

Academic head

3.    The academic head will:

  • counsel and advise staff members in applications for R&S leave
  • complete the academic head section of the application form
  • forward all applications to the faculty office irrespective of whether or not the academic head supports the application
  • advise the FSC in its evaluation of the worthiness of the application
  • plan ahead the academic and budgetary needs of the department taking account of approved and anticipated approvals of R&S leave

Note - where the academic head is also the dean, the dean will nominate another person to act in the role of the academic head for the purposes of the policy

Financial provision

4.    It is the responsibility of the Vice-Chancellor and the dean to ensure that there is sufficient financial provision made in departmental or faculty budgets to cover approved R&S leave and grants-in-aid

5.    The dean must ensure that the faculty retains budgetary provision for normal levels of condensed leave in each year

Applying for leave

Long leave, short leave

6.    In April each year eligible staff members will be invited to apply through their academic head for long leave or short leave starting in semester 2 of next year or semester 1 of the following year

7.    In May, the FSC will consider short and long leave applications for leave starting semester 2 of the next year, or semester 1 of the following year

8.    Late applications for semester 1 of the next year may be considered, particularly from a staff member in their initial term prior to continuation

9.    Other late applications will not normally be considered, and then only at the discretion of the FSC

Condensed leave

10. The FSC will meet to consider and approve applications for condensed leave, which will normally be for a period of more than four weeks

11. A grant-in-aid may be recommended by the FSC

12. Periods of condensed leave are normally deducted from the period of any subsequent short or long leave granted by the FSC in accordance with the Collective Agreement (CA)

Note: the CA includes a “leave of absence” provision to cover short periods of leave for research and other purposes

Conference leave

13. The academic head may approve applications for conference leave of up to two weeks

14. No grant-in-aid will be provided


15. Payment of a grant-in-aid is intended to partly cover actual costs incurred by the staff member, including part time staff who have been granted R&S leave, under the terms of “financial assistance” in section 5 in the Academic CA



Type of leave


Academic staff in general

Long leave


Lecturers taking their first leave

Long leave


Academic staff in general

Short leave


Lecturers and senior tutors up to and including ST7 taking their first leave

Short leave


Less than six weeks overseas

16.    Staff members who spend up to six weeks overseas within a period of R&S leave may claim actual and reasonable expenses up to the maximum allowance for which the staff member is eligible

17.    Such staff members will need to provide receipts or make travel and accommodation arrangements through the University to claim this partial or full grant-in-aid

More than six weeks overseas

18.    Staff members who spend longer than six weeks overseas may claim the entire grant-in-aid providing their actual and reasonable cost exceed the full grant-in-aid

Leave within New Zealand

19.    Staff members who take R&S leave entirely within New Zealand and incur travel and accommodation costs may claim actual and reasonable costs up to a maximum of 50% of the grant-in-aid, based on receipts for actual expenses

Part time staff

20.    Normally the amount of grant-in-aid is pro-rated according to the percentage of part time, however a case may be considered according to the circumstances

Condensed leave

21.    Staff applying for condensed leave may also be eligible for a grant-in-aid

22.    Any grant-in-aid provided under this provision will be subtracted from any grant-in-aid provided for short or long leave granted in the current leave period

Payment process

23.    The staff member is to provide a final itinerary to the academic head which conforms with the approved leave programme, at least six weeks prior to departure

24.    The academic head or dean will arrange payment of any grant-in-aid by finance

25.     A payment will then be made to the staff member


26.     A grant-in-aid is normally refundable if the staff member does not serve two years after returning from R&S leave

27.     A staff member may be recommended for R&S leave under the terms of the 3.2.1 of the R&S leave provisions of the Academic CA

28.     If through special circumstances R&S leave was approved during the initial term and the staff member’s employment is then not subsequently continued under the continuation policy, any grant-in-aid will not be refundable


29.     Summary reports of the decisions of each FSC will be provided to the Vice-Chancellor, the Staff Advisory Committee and University Academic Staffing Committee (UASC)

30.     The reports will include analysis of numbers applied and numbers granted R&S leave in each faculty based on gender and academic grade

Leave report

31.     Staff members who take up R&S leave must supply a leave report to their academic head within three months of returning from leave (refer attached exerpt from Academic CA)


32.     Leave reports are intended to:

  • amply describe the leave taken
  • share information about the teaching and research aspects of the leave
  • identify the University and other establishments visited
  • report how far the objectives outlined in the original application were fulfilled
  • audit the University’s investment in salary and grant-in-aid

33.     The report should avoid discussion of extraneous matters, and be written on the basis that it will be a public document

34.     Reports are normally about three-four pages, in the format and covering the requirements outlined in the Academic CA

Note: where approved leave has had to be modified by reason of extended illness or other unanticipated reason, a confidential memorandum should be attached to the leave report explaining the circumstances. Such memos will only be considered by the FSC and not forwarded to Senate or Council.

Endorsement and administration

35.     The academic head will consider whether the report meets the purposes outlined above

36.     Where the head is satisfied that the report meets these purposes, the academic head will endorse the leave report and forward it to the faculty office

37.     In other cases, the academic head may require changes by the staff member

38.     The faculty office will provide a report to the FSC for its information

39.     The FSC may provide advice to the dean

40.     The dean will endorse the report or, if necessary, refer it back to the academic head

41.     When the report has the signed endorsement of the dean and academic head, the faculty office will forward the report to faculty HR. HR will provide copies of each report to the Senate, Council and UASC, and forward a copy for the staff member's personal file

42.     Inadequate reports may be taken into account in the granting of future R&S leave

43.     Leave reports must be attached to subsequent applications for R&S leave

Changes of leave arrangements

44.     Any new itinerary must be checked by the academic head against the approved leave application before the grant-in-aid may be uplifted

45.     The academic head may approve minor changes in approved leave

46.     The faculty dean must approve all other changes

47.     All changes must be advised to HR

Effective date for future eligibility

48.     Where a staff member is eligible for R&S leave and the FSC intends to approve the R&S leave but the needs of the University are such that the start and/or end date sought by the staff member conflicts with other needs of the University, then the following protocols  apply to the date from which future eligibility is reckoned:

  • The dean may approve the date of eligibility to apply for R&S leave in future to count from the “end date of the application” providing that the “end date of the application” is less than 12 months prior to the “actual date of the leave taken”


49.     Where a staff member has concerns that the application may not have been given appropriate consideration under this policy, he/she is to discuss this first with the academic head

50.     If the staff member remains concerned about specific matters, he/she should then discuss these with the dean

51.     The dean will take such steps as the dean considers appropriate to resolve the concerns of the staff member

52.     If after discussing the matter with the dean, the staff member remains concerned that the decision on the application has been wrong, he/she may lodge a written appeal with the Vice-Chancellor providing such an appeal is lodged within 90 days of the advice of the decision

53.     The Vice-Chancellor may appoint a two-three person committee of senior academic staff to advise the Vice-Chancellor

54.     The committee will discuss the appeal with the staff member (and employee representative, if any)

55.     The committee then will consult with the Vice-Chancellor after which it will decide the appeal

56.     The committee will provide the decision and brief reasons for the decision to the staff member

57.     The decision will be final


Condensed leave is a short period taken for a special purpose such as attendance at an overseas conference

Grant-in-aid is a payment made to a staff member who has been approved research and study leave in order to assist with covering actual incurred costs during the period of leave

Long leave is two consecutive semesters of research and study leave

Research and study leave is relief from teaching and administrative duties for which may be granted to members of academic staff of lecturer or above, so that they can pursue University approved research and study programmes

Short leave is one semester of research and study leave 

Staff member refers to an individual employed by the University on a full or part time basis 

University means the University of Auckland and includes all subsidiaries

Document management and control

Content manager: Associate Director, HR Advisory

Owner: Director, Human Resources 

Approved by: Vice-Chancellor

Date approved: 01 August 2015                  

Review date: 01 August 2018