Research Institute (RI) Research Fellowship Scheme

This document concerns the RI Research Fellowship Scheme which is funded by Research Institutes and does not include learning and teaching leave, personally funded leave or any other type of leave. For details regarding other types of leave please contact Human Resources.

1. Purpose & Scope

Leave for research purposes is one of the prime resources available to the University and the principal means through which the University invests in the research activities of individual members of staff, in line with the University’s research strategy.

RI Research Fellowships may be granted for the following purposes:-

  1. pursuit of specific and substantive research work, which may require the researcher to spend a considerable amount of time away from the University campus;
  2. the execution of research work which necessitates studying for a particular defined period and which cannot be carried out during the normal vacation periods;
  3. pursuit of specific research work at Keele - the submission should indicate the advantages of study based at the University;
  4. the completion of a book or substantial monograph where a definite timescale can be given and a contract exists with a publisher.

All research at Keele is managed through Research Institutes and only full members will be eligible to apply for RI Research Fellowships as was agreed at Senate in March 2008.

2. Funding

 The granting of Research Institute Fellowships is dependent on the availability of funding.

 3. Duration of RI Research Fellowships

The duration of RI Research Fellowships is normally for a maximum of one semester (shorter periods can be awarded).

Semester periods will typically be:

Semester 1 : mid July to mid January (15 July to 15 January)

Semster 2 : mid January to mid July (15 January to 15 July)

4. Conditions of RI Research Fellowships

The granting of an RI Research Fellowship is made in good faith by the University on the understanding that it will enable the research quality and standing of the University to be enhanced.

Research Fellowships are also granted on the understanding that, if it is known before the period of leave commences that the academic will be leaving the University within one year of completion the Fellowship then permission to take the Research Fellowship will be withdrawn.

Where material circumstances arise before or during the period of the Research Fellowship the University reserves the right to consider whether the Research Fellowship should continue. Members of staff granted RI Research Fellowships are required to notify the University at the earliest opportunity if such a situation arises.

At the end of a RI Research Fellowship, the standard report proforma must be completed (details of outcomes against the proposals in the application form must be provided) and submitted to the appropriate RI Director by the following dates:-

RI Research Fellowships taken in Semester 1 : 28 February

RI Research Fellowships taken in Semester 2 : 31 August.

5. Application Procedure

The complete process is outlined in the flow chart located at the end of the information. Salient points are outlined below:-

5.1 Call for RI Research Fellowships and details of assessment criteria

Research Institute Directors and the Dean are responsible for drawing up assessment criteria and circulating it for consultation within RIs and inviting comments from UCU (July/August).

Information regarding the agreed assessment criteria for applications shall be published / circulated by the Research Institute at the time of the call (November).

Information for members of the Institutes for Humanities and Social Sciences for 2013/14 call

5.2 Panel

The Panel convened to assess applications shall be constituted and operate in accordance with the Research Fellowship Scheme Guidelines for Research Institutes.

5.3 Selection process

The selection process shall be conducted in line with the assessment criteria and the quality of applications received and shall be conducted in adherence with the University’s Equality and Diversity Strategy.

6. Appeals Procedure

Applicants have the right to appeal on grounds of procedural irregularity.

Appeals should be submitted, in writing, within ten working days of the date on the letter indicating the outcome of the research fellowship application to the Research Integrity team, Directorate of Research, Innovation and Engagement, IC2 Building, Keele University, ST5 5NH.

7. Research Project Leave

In some Research Institutes (particularly H&SS) shorter periods of research leave is available for work related to research activity, for example in order to write a grant application, outside the usual arrangements for buy out of teaching.

Research Project Leave should continue in particular instances, and should be managed/resourced by the Research Institute, using their funds. Schools and Research Institutes must carefully discuss the availability of staff applying for such leave.

8. Additional Information

8.1 The University is committed to ensuring that the effect and application of this procedure accords to the commitments set out in its Equality and Diversity Strategy and will monitor this as appropriate

8.2 This Procedure is not contractual and is not intended to be incorporated into individual terms and conditions of employment. It may be subject to review, amendment or withdrawal.

Research Fellowship Scheme Guidelines for RIs

Application Procedure for RI Research Fellowships

RIDs and Dean to draw up assessment criteria and circulate within the RI for consultation and inviting comments from UCU (July/August)


RIDs to invite applications for RI Fellowships (November).  Relevant information regarding the assessment criteria for applications should also be published/circulated by the RI.


Submit applications to RIM (deadline: 31 January) using the RI Research Fellowship Application Form.  Applicants should inform their HOS or programme director(s) that they are applying for an RI Research Fellowship.


RI to convene panel to assess applications (deadline: 21 February).  The panel is responsible for

  • Assessing the quality of the applications
  • Negotiating with relevant HoS/programme director(s) regarding agreement of the application
  • Requesting management information (including applicant's current research buy out) from the RI in readiness for the meeting
  • Considering budget implications
  • Making recommendations for approval/rejection of applications to the Dean.

RI to forward all applications along with recommendations from the panel to the Dean and send copies to
Research Governance Officer, Directorate of Engagement and Partnerships, iC2 Building (deadline: 28 February).


The Dean to liaise with the Research Governance Officer, Directorate of Engagement and Partnerships to regarding pFACT/FEC costings and any other management information which may be required.


The Dean is responsible for making the final decision to approve/reject applications. 

The RI Director is responsible for informing the applicant of the outcome of their application and ensuring that relevant correspondence is provided to Finance, Human Resources and Research Governance Officer, Directorate of Engagement and Partnerships (deadline: 31 March).


The Dean is responsible for ensuring that approved RI Research Fellowships are factored into the Workload Allocation Model (WAM) (deadline: 31 March).


PVC (R&E) is responsible for reporting information concerning approved RI Research Fellowships to Research Committee (May) and Senate (June).


At the end of a Research Fellowship, individuals are responsible for completing and submitting the RI Research Fellowship Report Form to appropriate RI Manager and a copy to the Research Governance Officer, Directorate of Engagement and Partnerships by:-

Research Fellowships undertaken in Semester 1: 28 February
Research Fellowships undertaken in Semester 2: 31 August
RI Managers are responsible for chasing outstanding reports.


RI Directors are responsible for assessing reports against applications and agreed RI plans and for sending a summary report (approved by Dean) to Research Governance Officer, Directorate of Engagement and Partnerships (deadline 30 September).


PVC (R&E) to consolidate the information provided by RIDs and to provide a report to Research Committee (October) and Senate (November).

Further information

If you have any queries, please contact the Research Integrity team on 01782 733371 or email