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Research work conducted by PASS staff

Research work conducted by PASS staff

Applicable to

Professional, Administrative and Support staff on permanent contracts of employment.

Policy details

  1. Principles
    1. The University of Cape Town is a research led institution where the creation of new knowledge is of paramount importance.

    2. The University of Cape Town is also a learning environment where all staff and students are encouraged to learn and grow.

    3. All staff should be encouraged to develop themselves in terms of their current and future position performance. Although research (as defined below) is generally not part of the position description of PASS staff, certain members of the PASS staff group, usually Scientific Officers, may be required to conduct research (as defined below) as part of their position requirements and stated in their annual objectives with clear deliverables.

    4. Professional PASS staff must by definition maintain professional competence, and are individually responsible for doing so.

    5. PASS staff who conduct research are required to seek affiliation (honorary or by formal registration for a higher degree) with an academic department or research unit or group where quality issues, collegial support and the like are provided. If the discipline does not exist at UCT the staff member must seek affiliation with the most cognate faculty.

      In all cases the staff member may be guided and mentored by the most appropriate person irrespective of the position held by that person at UCT (e.g. a staff member wishing to conduct research work in library studies may be affiliated to the most appropriate faculty be it humanities, science, or commerce, but be supervised and / or mentored by an appropriate staff member in the Libraries. This affiliation is a requirement for and channel for claims for funds, resources or leave benefits, for publication of completed research in university research publications, and for quality assurance).

      The research should also be in support of and be in the context of the University's goal of being research led.

  2. Definition of research

    For purposes of this policy the NRF (National Research Foundation) definition of research is used i.e. where research is original investigation undertaken to gain knowledge and/or enhance understanding.

    Research specifically includes:

    • Where the individual, as the conceptual owner of the research, creates and develops the intellectual infrastructure of subjects and disciplines (e.g. through dictionaries, scholarly editions, catalogues and contributions to major research databases);

    • the invention or generation of ideas, images, performances and artefacts where these manifestly embody new or substantially developed insights;

    • building on existing knowledge to produce new or substantially improved materials, devices, products, policies or processes.

    The research work must result in the production of peer reviewed outputs in his/her field such as research papers, reports and conference papers.

    It specifically excludes:

    • routine testing and analysis of materials, components, instruments and processes, as distinct from the development of new analytical techniques.

    • the development of teaching materials and teaching practices that do not embody substantial original enquiry.

    • the process of gathering, processing, comparing, analysing and reporting on existing data or information; or

    • conducting benchmarking exercises; or

    • investigation of practices, methods or tools; or

    • information gathering or investigation for self enlightenment.

  3. Description of research types
    1. Research conducted as a requirement of the staff member's position outputs.

      The requirement for conducting research work, as defined above, must be clearly described in the position description, together with the required outputs of such research work. Reference to the specific research and its associated outputs must be incorporated into the person's performance objectives for the year and duly assessed. The ownership of the resulting intellectual property and copyright is in accordance with the UCT policy on Intellectual property and copyright.

    2. Research which is not part of the staff member's position requirements but is an agreed action item in the staff member's personal development plan.

      Such research work must generally be conducted outside of normal working hours or allocation of time within working hours must be approved and managed by the staff member's line manager and Head of Department. If time is approved, the staff member's operational position requirements must be met and will take precedence over research work.

    3. Research conducted as part of further studies a staff member has elected to embark upon which would usually be closely related and beneficial to the staff member's position performance.

      Such research work must be conducted outside of normal working hours except in exceptional circumstances which must be approved by the Dean or Executive Director. If time is approved, the staff member's operational position requirements must be met and will take precedence over research work.

    4. Research not related to the staff member's position but voluntarily conducted due to personal interest or past academic affiliation.

      Where research work is unrelated to the professional area of the staff member's position at UCT, such research work must be conducted outside agreed hours of work.

  4. Support for research work

    A pre-requisite of a claim for any of the funds, resources or leave benefits outlined below is that a PASS staff member must be affiliated to an academic department or research unit.

    1. Special leave

      PASS staff may make application for special leave with pay to the relevant Executive Director or Dean in order to conduct research work which is a requirement of the position. Thus this benefit applies only to staff who are required to conduct research (as defined) as part of their position requirements and stated in their annual objectives with clear deliverables.

      Such applications must have the support of the individual's direct line manager. The application must include details of the research to be undertaken and expected associated research outputs. Special leave of up to and including 15 working days may be approved by the Dean / Executive Director and the responsible DVC, leave applications of greater than 15 working days must have the support of the Dean / Executive Director and be approved by the responsible DVC. A report must be submitted within one month of return.

      Leave replacement funding will not be allocated from a central fund, but may be awarded from faculty and PASS departmental budgets at the discretion of the Dean or Executive Director / Director.

    2. Funding of travel

      The staff member may apply in the capacity of graduate student, or in the capacity of affiliated researcher for such research support as is available in the faculty concerned.

      Application may be made by the staff member to the Dean or Executive Director / Director to fund travel to local relevant professional conferences from the faculty or departmental budget. Generally conference travel is covered only if the staff member is presenting a paper and the conference is of a scholarly nature.

      In addition application may be made for a URC (University Research Committee) Conference Travel grant in accordance with the policy and the grant's terms of reference. The current rules of the fund apply and applications will be considered on merit and in competition with all UCT researchers' applications.

      1. Funding of page costs

        The staff member may apply in the capacity of graduate student, or in the capacity of affiliated researcher for such research support as is available in the faculty concerned.

        The Dean or Executive Director / Director also has the discretion to pay the page costs from departmental or faculty budgets on condition that the paper is published in peer-reviewed subsidy generating journals or high impact journals.

      2. Access to subsidy funding

        Publication subsidy will by definition accrue to the faculty concerned, as it would for any research student or affiliated researcher.

        The DVC responsible has the authority to decide on the award of funding and its associated allocation. All subsidy funding received remains UCT money and must be managed within UCT's financial principles and controls. Such funding will not be paid out to the individual staff member as salary.

      3. Recognition of research contribution

        Publications in accredited journals by all staff will be acknowledged in the UCT Research report. The onus is on PASS staff members to alert their affiliated department to their publications.

Approved by:
VC Mag (March 2007)
SEC (10 April)
Deans (13 April 2007)

Further action:
PASS forum (10 May 2007), complete
SSMG (10 May 2007), complete
EU (for info)
Senate (via PC05/06)
VCMag (final signoff)

Page last updated: 20 September 2014