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?     

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