We have accumulated a number of questions from various UAF colleagues which we thought would be worth sharing so that all of you can access the same information.  We hope you find it helpful.  We are keen to keep updating them so if you have any questions that aren’t covered here, drop us a line and we will add them to this section.


What support is available for me as I go through the UAF Scheme?

We want to ensure that you have access to all of the support that you need to have a positive experience on our UAF Scheme. There are a range of UAF specific support mechanisms such as the bespoke UAF development programme and mentoring arrangements which are designed to support you throughout your first five years and enable you to progress to an Associate Professor role at the end of the Fellowship. More specific/tailored development may also be required on an individual basis and should be discussed with your manager as part of your development plan.

Equally you are part of a sizeable cohort of colleagues on the same Scheme and we encourage you to develop the peer support that you can access through your UAF network. If you have questions, it is more than likely that other UAFs do too or they may have already have an answer or ideas to share with you.

We have set up the UAF webpages to provide you with a central point of access and information about the Scheme or questions which arise as things progress. We will add to these Frequently Asked Questions, for example, as and when colleagues contact us for clarification.

As a member of staff you are also able to access a wide range of benefits and support ranging from our library and sports facilities through to health, wellbeing and childcare benefits.

‘250 Great Minds’ is the largest academic recruitment drive in our University’s history and we want it to be a success. As such, we would really welcome feedback on the development programme or any other aspect of the support we are providing to you. Please get in touch via uafsupport@leeds.ac.uk with any comments or suggestions you have.


Which parts of the UAF development programme do I need to go on?

The UAF development programme has been specifically designed to support you and we therefore recommended that you attend as many sessions as you can. However we do appreciate that some sessions may not be relevant for you due to your circumstances and/or prior experience. If this is the case, please discuss this with your probation advisor to ensure you both feel the programme is aiding your development in the best way possible.


What if I need training or development that is not part of the UAF development programme?

More specific development may be required on an individual basis and if this is the case please discuss this with your manager and/or mentor in the first instance. In addition to any local development, SDDU provide a range of courses to help staff maximise their potential and are always happy to discuss individual development needs. If you feel additional elements to the development programme would benefit the wider cohort please let us know via uafsupport@leeds.ac.uk so we can consider making sessions/provision available to the wider group.


Do I need to do ULTRA (the University of Leeds Teaching and Research Award)?

No. ULTRA has been replaced for UAFs by the UAF development programme.


Will the development programme support me in achieving Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy?

Yes, the programme is designed to help you achieve this. Colleagues are recommended to attend session SE2 in Year 1 of the programme where this is outlined in full. This session will introduce you to the UK Professional Standards Framework for teaching and support of learning in Higher Education, 2011 (UKPSF) and help you to develop a scholarly approach to your student education practice and plan to gain professional recognition as Fellows/Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. As a result of attending the session, you will be able to map your student education experience against the UKPSF and complete an action plan for professional recognition and progression.



I have limited experience in teaching. What support is available to me?

There are a range of optional workshops designed to introduce colleagues to all aspects of learning and teaching at Leeds: The Leeds Curriculum: Introduction to Teaching Workshops and to support colleagues beyond the introductory stage to more advanced learning and teaching approaches. You can access these sessions through the SDDU webpages – they run throughout the year and are open to all academic staff.


How do you know whether the UAFs are receiving a consistent experience across different schools and faculties?

All of our UAFs share a common job description and expectations of achievement. Whilst these can be tailored to reflect different academic disciplines and contexts, the job description and probationary process provide a framework for consistency across all roles.

In addition, all of our cohort wide UAF development activity and communication is coordinated centrally to ensure consistency and the Deans meet regularly to ensure a reasonable degree of consistency across the faculties.

We do actively seek and welcome feedback from you as well so that we can keep a general overview of how the UAF Scheme is developing, your experiences and any issues which require further clarification such as through these FAQs.


Will the expectations set as part of the probationary process take account of my specific circumstances e.g. discipline/external funding?

Yes.   We are delighted to have UAFs located across all nine faculties and are fortunate to have been able to recruit talented individuals from a diverse range of backgrounds in a wide range of disciplines.  The UAF Scheme is flexible enough to ensure the expectations are appropriate for your discipline and individual circumstances. Your probation targets should have been agreed with you early in your employment and should take account of your prior experience, circumstances and academic discipline.

If you are unsure about your probationary expectations or how you are going to address them, support and advice is available from a range of sources including your Head of School, Mentor or HR Manager.


What happens if things don’t go to plan and I don’t meet the expectations at the end of five years?

Most importantly, it is not in anyone’s interest for this to happen and, with regular dialogue and support, we should be able to work with you from an early stage if your circumstances change or things don’t go to plan. The University is investing £100m in the UAF Scheme to develop our academic leaders of the future and increase the profile of research and student education at Leeds and we want you to succeed and excel during your time here.

The UAF Scheme has been designed to provide you with an enabling framework including the two stage probation process, the development programme and the mentoring arrangements which should give you access to the relevant support and highlight any areas where you may require additional support to achieve your objectives as early as possible.

However, the role is designed for you to progress to an Associate Professor role within five years and, if the situation arises whereby you are not in a position to make that transition, we will need to give consideration to the most appropriate next steps. For example, an extension to the five years may be agreed in exceptional circumstances e.g. a prolonged period of absence such as maternity/paternity leave.


Is there enough funding to employ all of the UAFs at the end of the 5 year scheme?

Yes, absolutely. In fact we very much hope that we meet your expectations and you can see your future academic career at Leeds well beyond your fellowship period. Building on the first year of the programme, we are in the process of appointing approximately 80 further UAFs to Leeds in 2016 as part of our intention to recruit ‘250 Great Minds’ by 2017. Our hope is that every single UAF we appoint thrives here at Leeds and becomes an Associate Professor at the end of their Fellowship (or earlier, if appropriate) and then goes on to become one of our future academic leaders.


I have heard a lot about this being a 5 year career development scheme. Does this mean that my contract of employment is fixed term?

No. You are a permanent member of academic staff and have all of the associated rights and entitlements. Five years is the length of the structured UAF career development scheme which is intended to translate in to an Associate Professor level role. We will be keeping your progress under active review and may find that you are ready to make the transition to Associate Professor before the full term of the UAF Scheme has elapsed.