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I got a postdoc job offer from a UK university. The job offer only contains the payment scale, which is grade 7, and an annual leave of 25 days, work hours. Nothing about notice to leave or sick leaves or anything.

What should I do?

in the job description, they say that I would do anything that commensurate with the grade of the job. What does this mean?

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  • postdoc position
    – lucy
    Aug 15, 2021 at 19:37
  • What is your question here? Are you asking whether you should accept the offer? Or asking how you might get more information about "notice to leave or sick leave"? Or asking what "anything that commensurate with the grade of the job" means? Please try to reduce this to one question. Aug 15, 2021 at 20:54
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    UCL has the "notice of leaving" and "sick leave" info on its public website. Other universities may have too. In any case, I'd expect the conditions to be very similar across all English universities, due to collective bargaining between UCEA and UCU. Aug 15, 2021 at 20:58
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    Usually there is a document describing standard terms and conditions of employment - look at the HR section of the university website, or ask the HR contact.
    – avid
    Aug 15, 2021 at 23:01
  • I am international so this is strange to me. So I don't understand if it should be mentioned in the job offer or not. I don't understand the point of anything commensurate with the grade of the role, what this means? I also want to know what other elements that should exist in the job offer. Thank you for your reply but I did not find the sick leave or notice of leaving on the website avid Daniel Hatton
    – Lucy
    Aug 16, 2021 at 1:26

2 Answers 2

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You should ask the HR about notice period. Usually, if the postdoc position is for an year at least (or even less than a year), they do have three month notice period in UK. However, this depends on the University.

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The notice period (as well as things like sick pay, pensions, etc) should be in the contract documents which you will need to sign to accept the job (if you haven't received this yet you can ask HR for the contract before accepting the job offer). From my experience in the UK the notice period is often fairly flexible for post-doc positions, but this will largely depend on your supervisor. I had a 3-year post-doc fellowship at a UK university which had a 2-month notice period. It wasn't a problem when I asked to leave before the end of the notice period after being offered a permanent position.

The job description being commensurate with grade means that you will be expected to do work (as a post-doc this is probably mainly research) with the ability/level of responsibility corresponding to the grade. ie a 'graduate research assistant' would be expected to have less research experience/responsibility than a 'Research Fellow' for example (names of the grades can vary from university to university). For example the University of Edinburgh describes Grade 7 (definitions can vary depending on university) as:

Grade 7: Roles at this level may represent the early stages of an academic career before progress to Grade 8, or a clearly defined set of responsibilities within a research or teaching programme, e.g. for part of a research project or teaching programme. There may be a combination of research and teaching, or a specific focus on research or teaching alongside related administrative responsibilities. In addition, post holders may be required to assist in the supervision of postgraduate students. Support in the form of appropriate mentoring will normally be provided and those in teaching roles given the opportunity to undertake at least the first stage in the Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice

Your level of responsibility and who your line manager is (very likely the academic supervisor who hired you) will be in your contract documents. For most post-doc positions which are paid for by a PI grant, you will work on the research corresponding to the grant at the direction of the PI. This could also involve co-supervising PhD students, teaching, and/or administrative tasks. You would need to discuss with your supervisor to know exactly what is expected.

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