I work for a small charity and one of our employees has been given the opportunity - through one of our partners - to study for a PHD.  The research would take up  4 days per week over 3 years and those 4 days per week would be funded by our partner organisation.       We are happy to accommodate this request as it will mean retaining the employee we hope for 1 day a week over the next 3 years and we will have access to the research findings, which are very relevant to our work.  We can recruit someone to take on the bulk of her existing work.

Other than moving her across to a permanent part time contract and establishing ground rules around where she will work on her one day with our charity - is there anything else we should consider.    Would it be possible to move her to a fixed term contract (she has had a permanent contract with us for 3 years?), should we stipulate that there is no guarantee of there being full time work available at the end of the 3 years (and if so in a side letter???).

Does anyone have experience of funding a PHD or other major study, are there other factors we should consider?     

  • Keith

    | 10475 Posts

    Chartered Fellow

    29 Oct, 2015 17:44

    It's as simple as agreeing a change from full time to one day a week. It's a permanent change and who knows what you or their needs will be in three years time. 

    You may need to be clear (in a side letter) what support or access to data you will give to their research and how they can use any information about you and your clients  


  • Thanks Keith, very useful.     
  • David

    | 20703 Posts

    Chartered Member

    30 Oct, 2015 10:10

    Hi Mary

    I'd be looking into whether or not the PhD studies are dependant on the continued one day a week employment or whether each 'stand alone' 

    Put it another way, is the undertaking of the PhD going to be a separate  formal arrangement to the 0.2 FTE employment with yourselves? Anything can happen, hypothetically, as regards the latter, and you may need to anticipate the effects if any of unexpected changes to the employment upon the PhD arrangements.

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