Joint Appointments

Guidelines for staff with joint appointments

Most staff in the School are either full-time or part-time, and the School is their major employer and place of work.  In recent years, a new model of working has evolved where staff have joint appointments with other external institutions or organisations, in the UK or abroad.  

Where a staff member’s major employer is at another external institution/organisation complications can arise around how staff are managed, their workload allocation, their bidding for funding, and general communications.  To ensure a transparent and consistent level of expectation for joint appointments across the School, a set of guiding principles has been developed for such staff, as outlined below.

These guidelines do not apply to joint appointments within the University, however they may serve as a basis for agreeing elements of that joint appointment if necessary.


All staff with joint appointments should: 

  • Have annual reviews;
  • Be included in the work allocation model and participate in Time Allocation Surveys or other University reporting requirements;
  • Spend time each year in Edinburgh to foster links and collaboration and (where required by their Job Description) contribute to teaching and management as agreed with the School; both elements proportionate to the contractual arrangement with the School; and
  • Communicate with the School in a timely manner about any research bids to UK research funders or funders with whom the School has a strong relationship, to ensure coordination within the School.

Costs associated with visiting Edinburgh will be at the expense of the staff member.

The success of the joint position will be reviewed each year and adjustments made as appropriate to ensure alignment with these Guidelines.

By following these principles, the School and the staff will be able to optimise their relationship and achieve the key goal of excellence in research, teaching and impact. 


Requests for joint appointments

In establishing these principles, it is important to note that a request to move from full-time to part-time working and/or to change location will be considered through the University’s Flexible Working Policy.

Flexible Working Policy 

Where the individual is unable to participate in the aspects of the School outlined as part of the guiding principles, or the School does not believe it is practical for the School or staff member to do so, the School may consider it appropriate to review the individual’s Job Description or not approve the request.

A request for joint appointment would normally need to consider the following matters: 

  • A business case showing that the arrangement is beneficial to the University and not just the individual;
  • Arrangements for ensuring appropriate attendance at Edinburgh, including clarity on travel and subsistence expenses and that these would not normally be paid for travel to the normal place of employment in line with current HMRC regulations;
  • Maximum hours of contracted hours at both organisations – the total working hours between both institutions must not breach Working Time Regulations (currently no more than 1.2 FTE between both institutions), and assurances that the individual is not being paid twice for the same work.
  • Agreement on how PhD supervision will be managed, and where PhD students will be enrolled;
  • Agreement on where grants will be held;
  • Agreement on joint (or otherwise) affiliation on academic publications; 
  • Agreement on IP ownership and exploitation arrangements; and
  • How any potential conflicts of interest will be managed.

Approved by Strategy Committee January 2019