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Special Studies Leave Procedures

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Section 1 - Purpose and Scope

(1) These procedures are intended to give effect to the uniform implementation of the Special Studies Leave Policy .

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Section 2 - Procedures

Applying for Special Studies Leave

(2) Employees should discuss their plans for Special Studies Leave (SSL) with their Head of Work Unit, as soon as possible, preferably the year before they plan to apply.

(3) When completing their application, it is important that employees review the goals identified in their 3 Year Work Activity Profile and their PMDR and demonstrate a clear link between these goals, SCU's strategic goals and their proposed program of study.

(4) In completing the Expected Outcomes section of the application, tangible benefits to the individual and to the University, such as the publication of journal articles, are to be included. Where outcomes include journal articles, indicate the journal for which the publication(s) will be targeted and the expected timing of submission to the journal. Where a future grant application may be identified as an outcome, the proposed funding provider should be nominated together with the expected date of application.

(5) Employees are required to provide the following documents with their SSL Application Form:

  1. their Academic Staff Portfolio;
  2. the dates of the employee's previous 3 PMDRs;
  3. previous SSL report, including supervisor's comments, if applicable; and
  4. any other relevant documentation.

(6) After the employee has completed sections A - C, the application and attachments is referred to the Head of Work Unit. They will complete Section D and provide the following feedback:

  1. the academic merit of the application;
  2. the timing of the proposed study leave and if required, seek adjustments to the proposed study leave to ensure teaching, research and administration requirements are met; and
  3. if they are unable to recommend the application.

(7) The Head of Work Unit may request the employee strengthen their application and/or adjust the timing of the proposed program of study.

(8) Before submitting their application, employees are to consult with the relevant Executive Member and note the date of the consultation on their application form in Section E.

(9) Where a number of employees from the one work unit have applied for SSL for the same period, the Head of Work Unit, in consultation with the relevant Executive Member, ranks the applications based on the perceived benefits to the employee, the work unit and the University. Rankings may be reviewed by the Special Studies Leave Panel in determining their decision to recommend or otherwise, SSL.

(10) After considering the recommendations of the Special Studies Leave Committee, the Vice Chancellor will make a final determination concerning the application. The employee will be informed of the outcome of their application.

Taking Special Studies Leave

(11) After receiving advice that SSL has been approved, the employee may commence planning for their leave. Employees are to book their own travel.

(12) Finalised travel itineraries are to be referred to HR Services with a completed Special Studies Leave Information indicating leave details, travel details and financial assistance requested.

(13) Completed documents are to be received in HR Services prior to the employee commencing SSL. If salary payment in advance is required, documents should be received in HR Services at least four weeks before the leave commences.

(14) Employees are required to keep a record of their activities during periods of SSL that clearly demonstrates when they were engaged with University work and when they were on personal leave.

Completing Special Studies Leave Reports

(15) Employees are required to submit SSL reports within two months of returning from SSL. The completed report is referred to the employee's Supervisor.

(16) The financial report must be submitted to the relevant Executive Member within 2 months of return from SSL.

(17) Failure to lodge SSL reports will impact the employee's eligibility for future SSL.

(18) All records relating to SSL will be placed on an employee's personnel file in HR Services.