Starting-up time for new UTOs: implementation guidance for Departments and Faculties

What is ‘starting-up time’ for probationer UTOs?

‘Starting-up time’ is a period at the beginning of a new UTO's appointment which is kept free from teaching or administrative duties and during which a new appointee may:

  • prepare teaching;
  • meet the head of institution or equivalent to discuss responsibilities and duties;
  • make necessary practical arrangements, such as set up an office and/or laboratory, arrange computing support etc;
  • participate in core events of PHEP (Pathways in Higher Education Practice)

Following University-wide consultation, the General Board has approved the implementation of starting-up time for UTOs with probationary appointments from the beginning of the academical year 2006–07.

For the majority of new UTOs, whose appointments coincide with the beginning of the academical year, this will mean that contracts begin on 1 September, rather than 1 October. Where a new UTO is appointed from another date, the Faculty or Department should negotiate a start-date that allows a similar period of starting-up time, as is compatible with local requirements and commitments.

Implementing starting-up time: practicalities

Start-dates, advertisement and costs

Most, though not all, appointments to University Lectureships are currently dated from 1 October. In these cases, implementing starting-up time will mean:

  • advertising a start-date of 1 September;
  • stating in the advertisement that the first month will be given to starting-up time.

The University recognises that a number of UTO appointments begin at other stages in the year. In these instances, Faculties and Departments should negotiate start-dates to allow for a similar period of starting-up time, subject, of course, to the constraints of practicality.

‘Starting-up time’ involves bringing forward the dates of contracts by one month, and it is recognised that this will lead to some additional costs:

  • Where appointments are fixed term or unestablished, any additional cost may be mitigated by bringing the end date of the contract forward by one month.
  • As the retirement date for holders of established offices is stipulated in Statute D 1, (11), it will not be possible bring forward retirement dates.

HR Business Managers and Advisers can provide further guidance relating to terms of employment.

Appointments to established University Lectureships

New UTO appointed to a vacant established University Lectureship

The Department or Faculty should:

  • make arrangements for starting-up time when applying for permission to fill a vacated office
  • use form CHRIS/1

New UTOs starting-up time overlaps with current post-holder's occupancy of established University Lectureship

The Department or Faculty should:

  • apply for permission to create and fill a new centrally funded office, using form RMCPE.
  • The previous centrally funded office will be suppressed when vacated. Faculties and Departments will not need to take action to suppress vacated offices.

Appointments to unestablished University Lectureships

The creation of unestablished University Lectureships is authorised by the Department or Faculty at the time that the appointment is made on form CHRIS/1, and need not involve RMC.

RMC guidance is that the Faculty or Department must ensure that sufficient funds are available to maintain the appointment:

  • until its expiry of tenure and
  • regardless as to whether the original funding source ceases to be available for whatever reason.

Accommodation for new UTOs during starting-up time

Departmental or Faculty accommodation

Departments and Faculties will negotiate with new appointees what accommodation, if any, will be available during starting-up time.

College accommodation

If the incoming UTO has accepted a College Fellowship, the Departments or Faculty

  • should notify the College of his or her period of starting-up time. It is particularly important to do so where the new appointee will have accommodation in a College.

If the College is unable to provide permanent accommodation during starting-up time, it may be possible for the College to provide provisional accommodation.

If this is not possible, the Faculty or Department will wish to arrange accommodation for the new appointee for the period of starting-up time.

Starting-up time and PHEP (Pathways in Higher Education Practice)

New UTOs with probationary appointments are now required to participate in core elements of PHEP (Pathways in Higher Education Practice):

  • the Seminar for Newly Appointed Teaching Officers;
  • an individual and confidential meeting with one of PHEP's Development Consultants to discuss teaching and working in Cambridge.

For the majority of new UTOs, whose starting-up time will fall during September, it will be possible to attend the Seminar during this period. The Seminar is repeated during the Easter Vacation, for those not able to attend in September.

Regardless of the start-dates of their contracts, all new UTOs with probationary appointments may:

  • arrange PHEP individual meetings at their convenience;
  • attend voluntary PHEP events that are organised throughout the year;
  • access PHEP's online resources.

Please contact the PHEP Development Consultant, Dr Anna Gannon (tel. (7)65697, email ), for further information.