Employment of staff

General guidelines

The Wellcome Trust does not act as an employer with respect to personnel funded on a grant, and therefore in all cases where support is provided on the grant for the employment of staff, the organisation undertakes to issue a contract of employment that is in compliance with relevant law and regulations.

The institution must accept full responsibility for the management, monitoring and control of all the research work funded as a result of this grant and all those persons (including employees, students and visiting fellows) employed in or involved with any research funded as a result of this grant.

The institution must ensure that all permanent staff, temporary staff and students employed in or involved with the research receive training appropriate to their duties.

Wellcome expects that the institution will employ fixed-term contract staff in accordance with current legislation. All staff employed as a result of this grant must be recruited in compliance with the institution's requirements and recommendations for good practice in recruitment. We expect an individual's annual leave entitlement to be taken within the period of the grant.

The host institution is responsible, as the employer, for the contracts of employment of the staff concerned, and consequently for any redundancy or other compensatory payments that may be required.

For all Wellcome Fellows, non-research activities such as teaching, clinical work, advisory committees and external consultancies should not occupy, on average, more than eight hours per week (or two programmed activities for those who have finished their higher clinical training). Wellcome Trust-funded research assistants may not spend more than one hour per week on non-research activities.

Wellcome Trust-funded researchers must contact the office before applying to other funding bodies for support, which would be fully or partly concurrent with the Wellcome Trust grant.

All holders of clinical fellowships and all clinically qualified research assistants, whose research requires contact with patients, must hold an honorary clinical contract, for example as a senior house officer, specialist registrar or consultant. All clinicians whose qualifications and experience are appropriate to the specialist registrar grade must contact their regional postgraduate dean to discuss their higher clinical training. Any difficulties in obtaining a clinical contract at the appropriate level must be reported to Wellcome.

Clinicians based primarily overseas, who are sponsored by a UK academic/NHS institution and for whom Wellcome provides salary support, may not be eligible for the NHS Clinical Excellence Award (CEA) scheme. To ensure such individuals are recognised, Wellcome offers its own scheme for those with a level of seniority and experience appropriate for an NHS CEA.

Fellows should contact the Grants Information Desk for more information.

Guidance on costing fellows salaries

The host organisation should calculate the appropriate basic salary for the individual. This should reflect the skills, responsibilities and expertise needed to carry out the role. The total costs of the post should be detailed in the application form.

The total costs requested should include the fellow's basic salary, employer's contributions, incremental progression any locally recognised allowances (eg London allowance), as applicable. Any previous Wellcome Trust enhancement paid to an individual should be excluded.

Figures for Year 1 may include known pay awards that will take place during the first year (or an assumed percentage, equivalent to our current inflation rate of 2.0% where the scheduled pay award has not yet been confirmed).

Inflation for Year 2 onwards, based on our current inflation allowance rates, will be factored into the fellow's salary costs awarded by Wellcome.

Employer's contributions should include any statutory obligations (for example, in the UK, National Insurance contributions), and contributions towards an organisational pension scheme.

Wellcome would not normally expect the basic salary of a Senior Research Fellow in Basic Biomedical Science to exceed £65,000 a year.

Basic salaries for Principal Research Fellowship candidates should normally be in the range £75,000 to £100,000 a year.

Additional justification will be required for salaries which fall outside the costs given above.

For UK/ROI based basic science fellowships, Wellcome will provide the following salary enhancements:

  • New Principal Research Fellows - a Distinction Award of between £20,000 to £50,000 a year based on the individual's standing and performance 

  • Training or junior fellows - a fellowship supplement of £2,500 a year

  • Intermediate fellows - a fellowship supplement of £7,500 a year

  • Senior Research Fellows - a fellowship supplement of £12,500 a year.

Distinction Awards and fellowship supplements are provided at a fixed rate and should not be increased for inflation/cost of living awards.

An appropriate sum for employer's contributions to cover the costs of these distinction awards and fellowship supplements will also be provided.

It is not expected that the salary of current Trust-funded Fellows should be reduced as a result of these new costing procedures.

Inflation and Flexible Funding Allowance will be added by Wellcome.

Employment of fellows

Funds are provided to support the fellow for a specified period of time. The fellow's support may not be extended beyond the specified period if there is an underspend in the post budget (for example, if the fellow is not a member of the UK University Superannuation Scheme).

From 1 October 2016 onwards, we’ll no longer supplement budgets for fellows' salaries, overseas allowances and studentship fees at the end of the grant for actual costs incurred, unless the increased costs are due to promotion, career breaks or regrading (eg when a clinician completes their clinical training and is given an Honorary Consultant Contract). Grants awarded from 1 December 2015 onwards will include an inflationary allowance to cover these costs.

For grants awarded before 1 December 2015, we'll consider requests for supplements to cover the actual cost of fellows' salaries, overseas allowances and studentship fees, as long as these requests are submitted before October 2016 to the Grants Adviser handling your grant.

The grant will end once Wellcome's commitment to provide personal support to the fellow has ended.

Research assistants and other staff cannot be employed on the grant beyond this date.

Wellcome should be consulted if any changes to the official grant end date are required.

Funding of students

Non-clinical/basic science students are paid stipends based on Wellcome's own Studentship stipend scale [PDF 8KB].

Clinical students are paid a salary determined by the host organisation.

Inflation and Flexible Funding Allowance will be added by Wellcome.

The studentship is awarded for a specified period of time. We should be consulted if any changes to the official grant end date are required.

Funding and employment of other staff

Applicants should detail the type of salary support required to undertake the research (by grade, experience, etc) and the anticipated cost of each post in the application.

Post-specific salary costs, based on the host institution's own salary scales should be requested. The amounts requested should include the full employment costs of all individuals to be funded on the grant, including basic salary, employer's contributions, incremental progression and any locally recognised allowances (eg London allowance), where applicable.

Staff categories to use when applying for grant support

Description

Postgraduate research assistant

Non-clinical postgraduate researchers

Junior postdoctoral research assistant

Postdoctoral non-clinical researchers with up to 3 years' postdoctoral experience

Senior postdoctoral research assistant

Experienced postdoctoral non-clinical researchers, with 3 or more years' postdoctoral experience

Specialist postdoctoral research assistant

Postdoctoral non-clinical researchers with recognised specialist expertise/experience

Clinical research assistant (please specify) eg medics, dentists, vets, research nurses, clinical psychologists and research physiotherapists

Clinical research staff

Technician

All clinical and non-clinical technical staff, including university technical staff, medical laboratory scientific officers and medical technical officers

Other research staff (please specify) eg social scientists, statisticians, health economists and epidemiologists

Any other research staff not covered above

Other categories, where allowed

 

Replacement lecturer

Staff undertaking teaching, administrative or clinical duties allowing the lead applicant to undertake research

Student

PhD or MSc students associated with a specific Wellcome scheme eg 4 year PhD programme, Investigator Awards

Management/organisational staff (please specify) eg centre administrators

 

Administrative support staff (please specify) eg receptionists, secretaries and data input clerks

 

Laboratory support staff (please specify) eg bottlewashers and cleaners

 

Other support staff (please specify) eg non-research nurses, drivers and fieldworkers

 

Figures for Year 1 may include known pay awards that will take place during the first year (or an assumed 2.0% where the scheduled pay award has not yet been confirmed).

Inflation and Flexible Funding Allowance will be factored into the costing by Wellcome.

Employer's contributions should include any statutory obligations (for example, in the UK, National Insurance contributions), and contributions towards an organisational pension scheme.

Indicative budgets for salary support will be awarded. These funds are not individual-specific, and may be spent on the direct costs of the research at the grantholders' discretion in whatever way is best to deliver the project's objectives.

Virement between indicative budget headings may be made without the prior agreement of Wellcome.

The exact salary to be provided and the length of contract to be issued to staff employed on the grant will be a matter for negotiation between the post holder, the grantholder and the employing institution.

The tenure of staff recruited for work on a grant must be confined strictly to the period of the grant. Wellcome should be consulted if any changes to the official grant end date are required.

Wellcome does not wish to be consulted about the appointment of post holders to unnamed posts or as replacements once an award has been made, unless otherwise specified in the formal letter of award.

Supplementary funding for salary support will only be provided in exceptional circumstances.

For grants that include research leave for the full duration of the award, the replacement lecturer should commence their appointment at the same time as the grant is activated. Except where specified in the formal letter of award, Wellcome will not agree to the replacement lecturer taking up their appointment later than one year after the start date of the grant.

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