Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The University has agreed that, to relieve pressure on staff in departments and to speed up decision-making in divisions, the operation of the Recruitment Protocol is now devolved to the divisions. The Medical Sciences Division has now suspended the MSD divisional recruitment protocol until 30 September 2024 in the first instance. 

In suspending the protocol, the Division is expecting departments to take responsibility for staffing decisions in the context of both their 23-24 budget and their longer time financial sustainability. The Division will monitor staff expenditure closely during 23-24 and will ask for clear justifications for adverse variances against staff expenditure even if the overall financial bottom-line of the department is unaffected.

The need remains for us all to carefully consider how we can most effectively meet our ongoing and ever-changing staffing needs within agreed departmental budgets and headcount limits. We need to remain conscious of our salary costs in this uncertain time, and we must continue to help ensure that where recruitment is occurring, existing staff coming to the end of a fixed-term contract or whose post is at risk of redundancy are given first priority.

The Division and the University will keep the staffing decisions under review, and may decide in the future to increase the range of circumstances where Divisional approval is required. We are keeping the below guidance in place for information but please note that the Divisional Recruitment Protocol is currently suspended.


The inclusion of a post in the department’s budget is an important component of the planning process. The University’s headcount control mechanism remains in place as before. But there will still be instances where you will need to obtain protocol approval – please see the list below.


The divisional procedures require that departments continue to consider any operational needs that arise with a high level of scrutiny.

The usual requirements still apply for creating and approving Statutory Professorships, Associate Professorships, and RSIV posts. For Statutory Professorships and Associate Professorships, please contact Ingunn Haugen, for RSIV posts, please contact Gillian Morris.

Please note that departments will be asked to account for any future additional staff as part of the budgeting and forecasting processes.


  • New internally-funded professional services, administrative posts, academic and research posts, whether budgeted or otherwise (unless 80% or more externally funded).
  • New DL posts (unless they are backfill for a Fellowship/buyout)
  • Making fixed-term positions permanent or open-ended
  • Extensions to internally-funded fixed-term contracts of over 3 months
  • Transfers of any externally-funded posts to internal funding where the impact is forecast to be more than £20,000 within any financial year*.
  • Posts that are funded by a combination of PI and department funding, and/or the PI funding is from an internal source.
  • Upgrading an internally-funded professional services, research and academic teaching posts to grade 8 or above
  • Larger unbudgeted increases to an individual’s annual entitlement to salary of over £20,000 in total within any financial year.
  • Sickness cover of over 6 months
  • Underwriting or bridging of posts over £20,000 per post within any financial year.

* Please note: the £20k limit applies in any financial year during which the post is filled. If the £20k limit is not reached in the current financial year but will be exceeded in future years, the request does need to come through the DPC.


  • Temporary cover (new and extensions), including contractors, casual workers and TSS* (pre-existing legal requirements and personnel procedures in relation to remuneration, maximum contract length, tax arrangements for contractors etc continue to apply).
  • Temporary cover for family leave such as maternity leave, paternity leave and adoption leave
  • Refilling existing budgeted academic, research, professional services, technical/research support, DL and administrative posts.
  • Apprentice posts.
  • 80% or more externally-funded research posts (unless the request is for a permanent post).
  • 80% or more externally-funded fixed-term admin/tech/support/professional services posts.
  • Extensions to internally-funded contracts of up to 3 months
  • Posts of less than one year’s duration that are fully funded by positive PI balances and where the PI is able to identify to the department’s satisfaction that the funds are originally from an external source.
  • DLs that backfill a Fellowship or buyout.
  • Any change to a post’s FTE that is under £20,000 in total within any financial year.
  • Sickness absence cover of up to 6 months.

* Departments are able to recruit TSS staff for an initial 12 weeks, which can be renewed a further two times, giving a maximum appointment of 36 weeks, as long as there are no other internal priority candidates.

For requests where approval is required from the Divisional Protocol Committee

Please complete the MSD Protocol form and send this, along with supporting information required (organisation chart, SRF costing if applicable) to

The Divisional protocol team will provide a reference number for any requests approved by the Divisional Protocol Committee, for onward referral to the University Reward Team if required.

If you have any questions about a particular case, or you would like to discuss your approach to a complex issue, please do get in touch with Vida Wong or Gillian Morris via