Research and Study Leave Approval Procedures


All members of academic staff who have 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 approval of research and study leave 



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

1.    Before applying for leave of any kind members of the academic staff should discuss their plans with the academic head

2.    If they wish advice concerning any aspect of their intended application, they should contact their Human Resources (HR) Manager

3.    All applications for leave should be made on the printed forms available from the staff intranet. Any documents which are relevant should be attached to the application

4.    In applying for leave, members of staff must, in their own interests, supply the fullest possible information to support their case. Academic heads are also expected to supply a detailed statement which sets out their own views as to the merits of the application and the effect that the staff member’s absence will have on teaching in the department. Otherwise the matter may be referred back to the department for further information, and consideration of the application may be unnecessarily delayed

5.    Recommendations on leave matters are in the first instance the responsibility of the academic head

6.    Having examined the application, the Faculty Staffing Committee (FSC) makes a recommendation which is considered by the dean

7.    The dean is responsible for the decision

8.    The staff member may appeal to the Vice-Chancellor in accordance with University policy

9.    Members of staff who wish to make changes to their approved itinerary or programme for research and study (R&S) leave must submit the proposed changes to their academic head, for consideration before the commencement of their leave, or, if necessary, during their leave

Joint appointments

10.    Where a staff member holds a joint appointment between two departments, the advice of both academic heads will be considered

11.    Where the departments are in different faculties the deans will consult with the staff member and determine which FSC will consider the application

Faculty staffing committee (FSC)

12.     This policy will be implemented by an FSC constituted in accordance with the Faculty Staffing Committee HR policy

13.     The FSC will meet to:

  • consider R&S leave applications and provide a recommendation as to approval or otherwise to the dean
  • recommend the amount of any grant-in-aid within the limits set by the University through this policy
  • receive and consider leave reports in terms of the attached excerpt from the academic CA provisions on leave reports
  • determine which items within the leave reports should be bought to the attention of other parts of the University
  • recommend modifications to this policy

14.      A two person subcommittee of the FSC will normally interview each applicant, particularly for long leave and short leave

15.      The FSC will consider each application against the criteria in the academic CA

16.      The academic head will advise the FSC on the merits of the application

17.      The FSC will take into account:

  • the objectives of R&S leave
  • the faculty obligation to students
  • the staff member's record of teaching and research since the last leave
  • the academic merits of the staff members application
  • the staff member's proposed programme
  • the staff member's previous leave report
  • the academic heads views
  • the FSC subcommittees views

18.     Where the chair of the FSC is other than the dean, the FSC will recommend, or decline to recommend, approval of R&S leave to the dean

19.     The dean may attend the FSC and take part in its deliberations

20.     Where the dean chairs the FSC, the FSC will approve or decline R&S leave


21.     Where the chair of the FSC is other than the dean, the dean will approve or decline to approve R&S leave after taking into account the recommendations of the FSC. This responsibility may not be delegated

22.     If the dean’s view is contrary to the FSC view, the dean will discuss the matter with the FSC prior to making a decision

23.     Where the dean chairs the FSC, the dean will implement the decision of the FSC

24.     The dean will advise the staff member in writing of the decision

25.     If the decision is to decline the application, the dean will specify the brief reason for that decision

26.     The dean will complete the FSC decisions R&S leave form and return to the Director of HR immediately after the FSC approves or declines the application

27.     The application and related information will be held by the faculty office until after the staff member returns from R&S leave

28.     All documentation will then be forwarded to HR for filing

Human resources

29.     HR will provide copies of R&S leave reports to senate, the University Academic Staffing Committee (UASC) and to Council, and retain R&S leave reports on file


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