Skip to navigation | Skip to main content | Skip to footer
Search the University of Manchester siteSearch Menu StaffNet

Academic Returners Policy

15 Sep 2023

Funding available for academics returning from extended leave

Image of a lecturer

As part of our commitment to creating a fair and inclusive working environment for all, the University is proud to launch our Academic Returners Policy which offers funding of up to £8000 for academic colleagues returning from an extended leave period (of 6 months or more). 

We recognise that when colleagues take extended leave it can be challenging to maintain or re-establish academic research and educational scholarship activity when they return to work, which can have a detrimental impact on career progression. 

This policy aims to support academic colleagues (on Teaching and Research and Teaching and Scholarship contracts whereby contractual duties include educational scholarship and research activities). The policy is inclusive of all genders and reasons for taking extended leave (including sickness, maternity, shared parental leave, adoption or a career break).   

The funding can support colleagues to develop and focus on their research and educational scholarship which is likely to have been impacted by the leave, enabling them to maintain their career trajectory and meet their professional goals and aspirations and the goals of the University.  

The available funding consists of: 

• Funding of up to £8,000 to help prioritise research and educational scholarship activity to provide short-term cover (the minimum duration of cover will be 1 semester, 0.5 FTE support, but Faculties can agree a longer period up to 6 months but within the £8,000 funding limit). 

• Within the Faculty of Biology Medicine and Health specific funds for research, scholarship, professional development and career profiling raising activity are additionally available to apply for. The Faculties of Science and Engineering and Humanities have other specific funding support for such activity.  Employees should contact their Line Manager or Head of School to discuss other specific funding opportunities further.

Dr Rachel Cowen, Lead academic of the Academic Returners Policy and University Academic Lead for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (Gender and Sexual Orientation Equality) said: ‘We are delighted to launch the Academic Returners Policy University-wide this September.  We hope this new policy will create long-lasting opportunities for our academic community, enabling colleagues to continue their career advancement, prioritise wellbeing and ensure a smooth transition back to the workplace.’

Quotes from previous applicants 

 ‘Returning to academic and scholarly work after a period of parental leave is extremely daunting. This scheme provides vital time and space for academic thought and writing and has the potential to keep more returning parents in academic careers’.

‘The best thing that has happened to me in the Uni’. 

'Hugely beneficial to me... I have been able to submit one internal and three small external research grants, … and have another larger grant in progress. I’m delighted to say my applications this year have been successful... These are my first wins after two years … they are a huge boost to my confidence and hopefully the longevity of my research career.’

More Information 

To find out more about eligibility and how to apply read the Academic Returners Policy Managers briefing 

To read the full policy visit the Academic Returners Policy.