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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 - Approval Authority

(2) The Vice Chancellor has the authority to approve special studies leave applications for academic staff in accordance with the provisions of University Policies and Procedures.

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Section 3 - Procedures

Applying for Special Studies Leave

(3) 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.

(4) 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.

(5) 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.

(6) 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.

(7) Employees are required to consult with their supervisor and Head of Work Unit before submitting an application.

(8) After the employee has completed sections A — C, the application and attachments are referred to the Head of Work Unit. Their Head of Work Unit will complete Section D and may ask the employee to strengthen their application and/or adjust the timing of the proposed program of study. They will also 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.

(9) After Section D has been completed, the employee is required to submit their application to HR Services, before the advertised closing date.

(10) 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 SSL panel in determining their decision to recommend or otherwise, SSL.

(11) 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

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

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

(14) 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.

(15) 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

(16) Employees are required to submit a SSL report to their supervisor within two months of returning from SSL which details the work undertaken during their leave. If the report is not provided, the employee will be required to reimburse the financial assistance provided by the University.

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