a Although staff recruitment and management is primarily a Human Resources function, it also involves Principal Investigators, Departmental Administrators and the Research Services Faculty teams.

This section includes information on all aspects of HR that a funder could wish to comment on or be involved with. Information on HR management (e.g. appraisal, jury service, flexible working, probation) is available on the HR website.

Funder-related aspects include:

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The academic department completes the Request to Recruit and Advertise form and sends the form with other supporting documentation to the Human Resources (HR) team. HR will forward the Request to Recruit and Advertise form to the Research Services Faculty teams for approval of funding. When the form has been approved by the Faculty Research Services teams, HR will obtain a quote from the advertisement agency. HR will inform the academic department of the quote who in return will raise a Purchase Order through Imperial College’s purchasing system, iProcurement.

Guidance notes of the online ordering and payment of advertisement costs

Eligibility to work in the UK

All prospective employees must provide evidence of their eligibility to work in the UK before they start employment.

Appropriate supporting documents of eligibility to work in the UK

Maternity/paternity/adoption leave

The Principal Investigator (PI) should inform the funder and the Faculty Research Services team if anyone employed on a research project is taking maternity, paternity or adoption leave. Depending on the funder’s policy, the Net* salary costs of pay during maternity, paternity or adoption leave, will either be paid from a central HR account, or will remain charged to the project. (*Net cost is the amount paid to the individual less the amount for Statutory Maternity/Paternity/Adoption Pay that is recoverable from HMRC.) If funders do not reimburse the costs, they may be willing to extend the end date of the project to match the length of the maternity, paternity or adoption leave period. In all cases, the PI should discuss this with Faculty Research Services teams at the earliest opportunity.

Further information on maternity/paternity leave


The Principal Investigator (PI) should inform the funder if anyone employed on the research project is on long-term sick leave. The funder may be willing to put the project in abeyance and re-commence the project when the employee returns.

Guidance on sickness absence

Change of staff

Some funders require the Principal Investigator (PI) to inform them of all staff changes. They may also wish to approve staff changes in advance. The PI should check the funder’s terms and conditions or contact the Faculty Research Services teams for advice.

Examples of staff changes include:

  • Promotion to a new salary grade
  • Spine point increase
  • Employee leaving/advertise for replacement
  • Maternity leave
  • Long-term sickness
  • Sabbatical leave

Health and safety

Health and safety is managed through the academic division or department. However, Principal Investigators, in their role as line managers for staff employed on a research project, need to ensure that work is carried out in a healthy and safe environment.

All new staff members are required to complete the College’s online safety training course Month One Safety Training (MOST)
Employees with a line management function have to complete the Risk Assessment Foundation Training (RAFT)

Information about other safety courses

PhD Students on European Commission Research Projects

For Research and Innovation Actions, Innovation Actions and ERC Grants, applicants can include PhD studentships in their proposals. This is subject to Head of Department approval and compliance with the following EC requirements:

  • Stipends should only be charged to EC projects where such funding was explicitly requested within the application, and was referenced in Annex 1 of the Grant Agreement and subsequently awarded.
  • Students are advised by the PI/Department of the additional funding conditions prior to the studentship offer / acceptance (in particular the requirement to pre-assign any intellectual property and the completion of timesheets).
  • Engagement Letters are completed for each student (using the Engagement Letter for PhD Students on EC Projects [Word]) and appropriately signed prior to the student’s start date. A copy of the fully signed letter should be sent to your Faculty Research Services Team / Joint Research Office and copied to rs.compliance@imperial.ac.uk
  • Students should regularly complete Timesheets (using the standard template) and submit these to their supervisor for approval.
  • Original copies of Engagement Letters and Timesheets should be retained by the Academic Department in line with EC requirements (5 years after receipt of the final payment for H2020) and College policy (financial year plus 6 years) – whichever is the longest.

The ownership and obligations associated w ith the comple tion and management of the Engagement Letter lie with the Academic Department.

Further information can be found in the Research Office Bulletin 2012-2 Special Edition [pdf]