- 1 Policy Statement
- 2 Procedures
- 2.1 Eligibility
- 2.2 Purpose and Categories of ADOSP
- 2.3 Location
- 2.4 Duration
- 2.5 Leave accruals
- 2.6 Financial assistance
- 2.7 Insurance
- 2.8 WorkCover
- 2.9 Salary and outside earnings
- 2.10 How to Apply
- 2.11 Faculty ADOSP Committee criteria for recommending applications
- 2.12 University ADOSP Committee
- 2.13 Appeals
- 2.14 Additional duties
- 2.15 Variations to ADOSP program
- 2.16 Service on return
- 2.17 Report on ADOSP
- 2.18 Departure from regulations
- 3 Other Policy Information
An Academic Development and Outside Studies Program (ADOSP) provides a period of paid leave for sustained research, scholarly activity or professional experience. As an additional benefit it may also help academic employees establish or renew links with colleagues in appropriate fields outside the University for the purpose of enhancing their own research and/or teaching within the University. It is also expected that ADOSP will produce indirect and/or direct benefits to the University. ADOSP aims to maintain and improve professional and vocational knowledge and skills. It is not an intention of this policy to provide an avenue for academic employees to undertake paid employment elsewhere. ADOSP is a privilege and is not granted as a right.
(Approved by Council August 1997)
All continuing and fixed term academic employees, inclusive of academic employees within Faculties and non-Faculty academic areas, will be eligible to apply for an initial period of ADOSP which can be taken after a minimum qualifying period of three (3) years continuous* academic employment (excluding casual appointments). A minimum period of three (3) years will normally intervene between periods of ADOSP.
* During a period of employment, continuity of service is not broken through absence from work (including illness or injury) on paid or unpaid leave approved by the University. Where fixed term employees have a break between contracts, continuity of service is not broken when the break is not more than three (3) months.
Continuing and fixed term academic employees serving a probationary period will not be eligible to take ADOSP until confirmation of employment is received from the Executive Director, Human Resources at the conclusion of the probation period.
Eligibility to apply will be deemed to begin from the date of commencement of continuous academic service to the University (excluding casual appointments), or from the end of the last period of the employee's ADOSP of 3 months or more, whichever date is the more recent.
The eligible duration of an ADOSP is calculated at the rate of one (1) month for each six (6) months of service. An eligible employee who has served for a minimum of three (3) years may be granted up to a maximum of six (6) months ADOSP.
Credit towards future ADOSP will not accrue during periods of ADOSP or leave without pay with the exception of periods of approved unpaid parental leave.
There may be instances where, for organisational reasons, a prior approved ADOSP application may have been deferred which may lessen the three (3) year rule between ADOSP applications to no less than two (2) years.
The University will recognise continuous academic full-time and fractional prior service with other Australian universities up to a total of 12 months for ADOSP purposes provided that:
not more than three (3) months has lapsed between cessation of employment with the prior institution and this University; and
the period between cessation with the prior institution and this University will not be taken into account in determining the service period.
ADOSP will not normally be granted during the first two (2) years following appointment to the University.*
* An application by the employee for recognition of prior service must be supported with a statement from the previous employer detailing the period of prior service, the position/s held and the ADOSP leave credit balance available to the employee at the time of termination.
Employees will be paid during the period of leave at the same average fractional rate as served during the qualifying period.
A fractional employee may apply to proportionally decrease the amount of leave time and simultaneously increase the fraction at which they are paid during the ADOSP period provided that the total salary does not exceed the budgeted amount. For example, a 0.5 fractional employee may apply to undertake an ADOSP program at a full-time rate of pay for 3 months instead of a 0.5 fractional rate for 6 months with the approval of the relevant delegate.
Note that employees accessing financial, workload or other forms of assistance from the University through other schemes which may be in operation at the time, will not normally be entitled to access ADOSP simultaneously.
Research, teaching, scholarship and professional experience aligned with the University's and relevant Faculty/Department objectives constitute the principal purpose of this leave.
The continuation of research higher-degree studies may be accepted as an additional purpose of leave, but only if at least two of the following conditions are fulfilled:
the research degree program is closely related to the employee's research or scholarly activities expected by the University*; and/or
there is a specific benefit accruing to the Faculty or University through the undertaking of the degree program; and/or
the continuation will lead to rapid completion of the degree program.
* Decisions about participation in research degree programs will normally emerge from the setting of goals in the performance review process or other staff development discussions.
Staff seeking to undertake ADOSP must apply under the following program categories:
Note that applicants may undertake ADOSP across blended categories of Research Output and Teaching and Learning in an agreed split supported by the Head of Department/School.
An Early Career Academic ADOSP is designed to assist in the development of recently recruited early career academics who wish to develop their skills, knowledge and abilities in learning, teaching and research areas which will assist in ensuring they have a successful and engaged academic career as well providing opportunities to develop strong networking and collaborative relationships. This category of ADOSP may include an agreed blend of research and teaching and learning, and is designed for academic staff with less than six years' accumulated academic experience.
Research Output is a category of ADOSP which enables an academic employee to conduct research and/or scholarship which enhances the Faculty's research performance. The objective is to provide employees with the time and resources to undertake a period of sustained research scholarship which will assist them to conduct or write-up research at a level of quality and productivity that would be otherwise difficult to achieve.
Teaching and Learning ADOSP aims to advance learning and teaching within the University by supporting staff to undertake high profile projects and activities that are of direct strategic benefit to the University in accordance with the University's strategic teaching and learning directions.
The PhD Completion ADOSP category aims to provide academic employees who are close to submission of their PhD thesis with a period of absence from teaching and administrative duties in order to finalise their PhD, particularly where family, community, carer or disability factors have impeded completion.
Whilst not the primary purpose of ADOSP nor a formal category of application, attendance and/or participation at conferences, seminars and meetings of direct relevance to the employee's academic or professional responsibilities within the University are considered a legitimate activity whilst on an approved ADOSP program. The cost of registration fees for such activities will normally be met by funds held within a School/Department/Discipline based Professional Development project in accordance with normal Faculty conference attendance procedures relating to eligibility criteria and funding limitations. Employees seeking to undertake Conference Attendance as part of an ADOSP are required to demonstrate to appropriateness of the conference to the program.
*'Restricted' refers to a category of ADOSP where applicants are considered only against other applicants within that category and not the wider pool across the University. In this instance, criteria for recommendation and approval would differ from the criteria for other categories outlined in 2.11 for example an Early Career Academic applicant would not be required to demonstrate a record of previous performance and would be considered predominantly on the value of the proposed program.
ADOSP may be undertaken either within Australia or overseas. A substantial part of the program is expected to be taken away from the normal place of employment, with the exception of applicants in the PhD Completion category. Staff seeking to undertake ADOSP are required to demonstrate the appropriateness of the location/s.
USQ will not approve an application for an employee to undertake ADOSP in an overseas country which is subject to an official Level 5 warning 'NOT TO TRAVEL' issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (prior to departure).
Where the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has issued an official Level 4 warning to ‘RECONSIDER THE NEED TO TRAVEL' to an overseas location, USQ will not normally approve an application for an employee to undertake ADOSP in this region. However, in exceptional circumstances only, essential travel to such a location may be assessed and approved on a case by case basis by the Vice-Chancellor.
The maximum period of ADOSP will be six (6) months and usual minimum period three (3) months.
ADOSP undertaken in Semester 3 is limited to a maximum of four (4) months (November to February only).
ADOSP generates its own annual leave at the same rate as other service. However, the annual leave accrued during the ADOSP program must be taken by the employee during the period of the ADOSP, except where it would cause substantial hardship and where prior approval to defer the leave has been approved by a relevant delegate.
Other types of leave may be taken immediately before or following ADOSP, however this leave is additional to that indicated above and will be deducted from leave entitlements. This additional leave must be identified in the application for ADOSP and must receive prior approval by a relevant delegate.
Credit for ADOSP not extinguished by the currently awarded ADOSP program will normally accrue as credit to a future ADOSP program.
The University will provide a contribution towards an employee's ADOSP program, but such financial assistance is not expected or intended to cover all the costs incurred.
ADOSP financial assistance will be provided to a maximum of $4,000 per employee. Additionally, for an employee travelling away from their home with a dependent partner and/or children*, a further amount of ADOSP financial assistance of $100 per week for an accompanying dependent partner and $50 per week for each accompanying dependent child (for the actual period of absence from home up to a maximum of 16 weeks) is available, capped at a maximum of $2,400 per ADOSP program. This ADOSP financial assistance will be paid as a taxable allowance through the University's payroll system no sooner than two (2) months and no later than one (1) month prior to the commencement date of the period of ADOSP, with an option for the employee to receive the allowance either as a lump sum or spread across a number of pay periods at their discretion. This allowance may be used towards the costs of transport, accommodation, meals and other expenses incurred as part of the ADOSP.
*A dependent partner/child will be determined in accordance with the Australian Taxation Office definition.
With appropriate approval, employees may also access additional University funds such as internal grant or award funds held in a School/Department/Discipline based Professional Development project, provided they fulfil the terms of the University policy and/or internal grant conditions in the use of such funds.
All payments made in accordance with section 2.6 are subject to taxation and will be reported on the employee's annual payment summary as a separate allowance. Payment is initiated by Human Resources on receipt of a copy of the letter from the Executive Director, Human Resources advising approval of the ADOSP program.
Employees may also access additional external grant funds (eg ARC or similar) held in a School/Department/Discipline/Office of Research and Higher Degrees based Professional Development project, provided they fulfil the terms of the University policy and/or external grant conditions in the use of such funds. The use of these funds may be subject to taxation dependent upon their intended use and associated grant conditions. Employees are advised to refer to Appendix 1 of the ADOSP Application Form to determine whether or not the proposed use of external grant funds may to be subject to taxation.
Employees applying for ADOSP will be required to submit a budget estimating the expected expenditure to be incurred during the period of ADOSP along with justification for the scale of expenditure. All travel arrangements and quotations are to be made directly by the employee. Prior to any travel arrangements being booked, all quotations obtained by employees must be confirmed by the Corporate Travel Office as being reasonable for the travel requested. Conference attendance applications must be supported by a copy of the official conference registration form detailing the cost of the registration.
Employees applying for ADOSP should seek their own professional financial advice in relation to their personal taxation circumstances early in the application process. Employees are responsible for retaining the appropriate documentation to enable them to comply with their personal taxation affairs.
If an employee and partner are both employed by the USQ and are granted ADOSP simultaneously, they will be treated as separate employees for financial assistance.
Approved variations to ADOSP which have an impact on financial assistance will be paid through an additional taxable allowance. Refer to 2.15 for more details on variations.
WorkCover insurance may apply if an employee is injured whilst on ADOSP dependent upon all circumstances of the injury considered by WorkCover upon receipt of a claim.
Employees participating in an approved ADOSP program will receive their substantive salary (excluding any allowances eg Head of Department Allowance). Normal superannuation contributions will be maintained.
Employees intending to undertake outside employment whilst on ADOSP must complete an Outside Employment Application form and receive the prior approval of the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor. Where these additional earnings are substantial, such approval may include provisions for revenue-sharing between the employee and the Faculty / University. In other cases, there may be a requirement that financial assistance for ADOSP will be met from the proceeds of the outside employment with the approval of the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor.
If at any time following the commencement of the approved period of ADOSP, an employee elects to undertake outside employment, the University must be advised and the approval of the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor obtained.
Applications are required in advance and are to be submitted in the equivalent semester of the year preceding the anticipated period of ADOSP (eg applications due in Semester 1 of the current year for ADOSP commencing Semester 1 of the following year).
Applications to undertake ADOSP in Semester 3 (maximum of November to February inclusive), must be submitted in the same period as applications to undertake ADOSP in Semester 2.
Applications for ADOSP will be made on the appropriate Academic Development and Outside Studies Program Application Form. This form must be received in accordance with the published time lines located on the form. The applicant is responsible for providing all information requested on the application form in accordance with this Policy along with any additional information requested.
Applicants must demonstrate how the objectives of the ADOSP program will contribute to and align with the University's strategic objectives.
Applications must contain a clear statement by the Head of School/Department in consultation with the employee regarding the effect on the Faculty/Department's activities and how teaching arrangements, research student supervision and administrative and committee responsibilities will be managed during the proposed period of ADOSP.
Applications must be discussed with the Head of Department/School in the first instance. The Head of Department/School's recommendation will offer an opinion as to the relevance of the program and must indicate the staffing arrangements to cover the applicant's teaching and other commitments. Should the Head of Department/School be applying for ADOSP, the Dean will provide the opinion.
The Head of Department/School will forward applications to the Dean by the nominated closing date for consideration. If the Dean is not satisfied that the work of the Faculty can be carried out in a satisfactory manner in the employee's absence, the Dean will confer with the Head of Department/School for further information prior to recommending to the Faculty ADOSP Committee that the application be declined or deferred. The Dean will also provide applications to the Fraser Coast Provost, Springfield Director and/or appropriate Research Centre Director for review where relevant.
The relevant Dean will convene the Faculty ADOSP Committee* within the time period specified on the "Application to Undertake Academic Development and Outside Studies Program" form to consider all applications, including those the Dean has recommended be declined or deferred.
*Note that in instances where applications for ADOSP are received from non-Faculty academic areas such as DeC, CAIK, Open Access College and LTSU and the department is not able to meet the normal minimum panel requirements below, a Faculty ADOSP Committee will be nominated by the employee to consider the application, with the membership supplemented by the Director (or equivalent) from the relevant area. Should the Director from one of these non-Faculty academic areas apply for ADOSP, the person to whom the applicant directly reports will replace them on the ADOSP Committee to determine the merit of the application.
The Faculty ADOSP Committee will be chaired by the Dean or nominated representative with a minimum of two members elected by and from the academic employees. At least one of the elected members must be female except where the Faculty/Department has fewer than four (4) female academic employees. The Dean may also elect to supplement the minimum committee requirements with employees appointed by the Dean, providing equal representation of ‘elected' Faculty members and ‘appointed' members is maintained. Should a member of the Faculty ADOSP Committee be amongst the applicants for ADOSP, they will abstain.
The Faculty ADOSP Committee will forward their recommendations, including those recommended to be declined or deferred, along with documented rationale for these, to the University ADOSP Committee (refer to 2.12) via the Dean and Executive Director, Human Resources (for checking of entitlements and financial details) for approval or otherwise.
Before recommending an ADOSP application, the Faculty ADOSP Committee must be satisfied that the following criteria are met, where applicable to the category of application:
the planned specific outcomes of the ADOSP will enhance the contributions of the employee in one or more of the following:
teaching performance and leadership;
research and scholarship (or other professional creative activity); and
the planned program is relevant to the objectives of the University, Faculty or discipline and to the research, teaching, scholarly activity and professional experience of the applicant.
applicants who have already completed periods of ADOSP have a demonstrated record of performance commensurate with the position description for the level of appointment with regard to teaching, research and scholarship (or other professional creative activities); the ADOSP Committee will also take into account the demonstrated outcomes of previous ADOSP programs.
applicants seeking their first ADOSP show considerable promise in terms of the position description for their appointment.
estimated budgets are reasonable, do not exceed the maximum ADOSP financial assistance limit and availability of any additional funds, and are allocated effectively and equitably.
the proposed program justifies the period requested and the proposed timelines are reasonable to achieve the identified outcomes.
outcomes are clearly demonstrable and quantifiable.
the application meets University ADOSP policy and faculty/department considerations, including the availability of budgeted funds.
Faculty ADOSP Committees will need to take account of the following in determining whether conference attendance is a legitimate ADOSP activity:
the professional standing of the employee;
the national or international standing of the conference;
whether the attendance of the employee at the conference has been sought by the conference organisers;
evidence that the employee will take an active part in the conference (eg speaker, conference organiser); and
value of the participation to the employee's activity in the various areas of academic achievement and relevance to the department/faculty's goals and objectives.
The University ADOSP Committee will have the following membership:
Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Chair) (or nominee)
The Chair from each Faculty ADOSP Committee (or nominee)
Executive Director, Human Resources (or nominee) as Executive Officer
The University ADOSP Committee is responsible for reviewing all the recommendations of the Faculty ADOSP Committee and providing either:
conditional approval with specified conditions (in which case applications, with additional information requested by the University Committee, must be returned to the Dean for subsequent approval);
an opportunity to revise and resubmit (in which case applications, with additional information requested by the University Committee, must be resubmitted to the University Committee for consideration and approval or otherwise); or
refusal of application.
The University ADOSP Committee will also consider applications recommended by the Faculty ADOSP Committees to be declined or deferred to ensure due process, consider equity issues and confirm the justification to support the decline or deferral. The University ADOSP Committee may or may not concur with the Faculty recommendation. In instances where the University Committee does not concur with a Faculty recommendation to decline or defer an application, the application will be returned to the Faculty ADOSP Committee for reconsideration and further advice.
Following approval or otherwise by the University ADOSP Committee, the Executive Director, Human Resources will advise the applicant and Faculty of the decision in writing. The Dean is responsible for ensuring applicants receive feedback about the reasons for an unsuccessful or revised application following the decision of the University ADOSP Committee.
Where an application is declined by the University ADOSP Committee, it may be submitted for consideration with the next round of ADOSP applications inclusive of any revisions based on feedback about the reasons for the unsuccessful application. Where an application is declined for a second time the Chair of the University ADOSP Committee will refer the matter to the Executive Director, Human Resources for review of the decision and conferral with the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor.
The University ADOSP Committee will also receive and review all reports on ADOSP (refer to 2.17).
A University ADOSP Appeals Committee will be convened to hear appeals on procedural grounds. This Committee will consist of:
Chair – Chair of Academic Board;
Dean – appointed by the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor from a Faculty other than that of the appellant;
a nominee of the appellant who has not been an applicant for ADOSP in this round;
a member of the Academic Board; and
a staff member from Human Resources will act as Executive Officer to the Appeal Panel.
Consideration will be given to establishing the committee in accordance with the University's requirements for committee composition.
At the discretion of the appellant, an observer may be present from the NTEU or the Staff Equity Unit, however they will not contribute to the formulation of the final decision. The ADOSP Appeals Committee will have access to all relevant documentation.
The Vice-Chancellor may request an employee to carry out duties relevant to the University's activities during the period of ADOSP. When these duties involve an extension of time beyond the period of leave or additional travelling and other expenses, the University will grant special leave additional to ADOSP and reimburse the additional expenditure without prejudice to the employee's other entitlements.
Employees are expected to pursue the approved program. All variations must be reported to the relevant delegate using the Variation to ADOSP Form.
Minor variations which do not have a financial impact and do not change start and end dates for more than two (2) weeks must be reported to the Head of Department/School for approval, with a copy to the Dean and Executive Director, Human Resources.
Major variations such as change of start and end dates of two (2) weeks or more, substitution of a different project for an approved project, substitution of location, changes to financial assistance, cancellation of a portion of a program, additional locations or attendance at extra conferences must be reported to the Dean for approval, with a copy to the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Executive Director, Human Resources. All variations must receive prior approval of the Dean, except for illness or emergencies where advice should be provided to the University as soon as possible following the incident.
Unauthorised variations to or failure to complete an ADOSP program may result in the Vice-Chancellor requiring the employee to refund a proportion of any financial assistance paid to the employee.
Where medically certified periods of leave greater than two (2) weeks interrupt the ADOSP program, the employee may apply to the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor through the Dean, with a copy to the Executive Director, Human Resources, to have the period regarded as leave other than ADOSP with adjustment to the current ADOSP program.
Approvals granted will be subject to a commitment by the employee not to retire, resign (other than on the grounds of ill health) or undertake a continuous period of extended leave in excess of four (4) weeks (with the exception of medically certified personal leave) within a period equal to twice the duration of the approved leave to a maximum of twelve (12) months, following the period of ADOSP. Employees on fixed term appointments must be able to fulfil this requirement prior to the end of their current appointment, or within an approved subsequent fixed term appointment.
In instances where resignation or retirement occurs within the specified periods outlined above the employee may be required to repay to the University on a pro-rata basis the ADOSP financial assistance and up to half the salary paid during the period of ADOSP. The amount repaid will be in proportion to the time served upon return from the period of Academic Development Leave.
An employee must provide a report to the University ADOSP Committee through the Head of Department/School and Dean at the conclusion of the program. The report must be completed using the ADOSP Report Template and indicate the following:
benefit to the University
cost to the University (including salary, on-costs, replacement staff, allowances etc)
acquittal of time (what was done)
how the outcomes identified within the original (or revised where approved) application were achieved and what were the tangible results for USQ (eg publications).
Employees who fail to submit an acceptable report within three (3) months of return will be ineligible to accrue credit towards future ADOSP until a report is received. An employee who fails to submit an acceptable report within six (6) months may at the discretion of the Vice-Chancellor on the recommendation of the Dean be required to refund the amount of financial assistance received. Acceptability of the report is determined by assessing the extent to which the report indicates that the program conformed with the stated objectives.
ADOSP reports will be used in considering the eligibility of the employee for future ADOSP. Employees will not be considered eligible for future periods of ADOSP until an acceptable ADOSP report has been submitted to the University ADOSP Committee.
Any departure from the above regulations may only be made with the approval of the Vice-Chancellor.
Peak Approval Authority:
Related Legislation / guidelines:
Strategic Plan/Goal & Objectives:
Supporting documents, procedures & forms of this policy:
Associated USQ policies:
Next Review Date*:
Expiry Date of Policy*:
Level of Delegation
Vice-Chancellor or Chief Operating Officer
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Scholarship)
Approval of ADOSP
Category 4 Delegate or above
Executive Director, Human Resources
Next Review Date*: