Alternatives to employment

Whilst it is the policy of the University that staff in grades 8 and above will retire at the EJRA in support of the Aims outlined in that policy, the University is aware that many staff have completed long service with the organisation and may wish to retain connections to the University community. Equally, the University values the experience and knowledge of older staff as well as the contribution those nearing retirement have made and could continue to make to its work and community.

As the EJRA Committee approves applications for employment extensions only in exceptional circumstances, staff nearing retirement may wish to consider a number of alternatives to employment as a means to retaining involvement with the University. The following section summarises the main alternatives available. For further information as to whether an alternative may be appropriate, please consult your departmental HR team and/or HR Business Partner.

Faculty/Department membership and Emeritus status

Many departments, faculties and colleges provide a means for academic and research staff to maintain an association with them. In particular:

  • University Emeritus status: University regulations (Council Regulations 3 of 2004) stipulate which staff shall hold the title of Professor Emeritus or Reader Emeritus. Please see here for further details.
  • Faculty/Department membership: Some departments welcome an ongoing association with retired staff through departmental membership. This arrangement often includes access to the department, mentoring/supervising opportunities with students, and access to departmental events. Please consult your Departmental Administrator or equivalent for further information.

College Emeritus status

If you are a member of a College, you may be eligible for Emeritus status. Please consult your Head of House or Senior Tutor for further information.

Honorary Research Agreement

If a member of academic or research staff wishes to continue their research in a department, they may wish to consider becoming an Honorary Researcher. Honorary Researchers are engaged on a strictly voluntary, non-employed and non-stipendiary basis. Further information, including a template agreement and associated guidance, is available here. 

Visitor status

Academic and research staff may be eligible for Visitor Status in their department or faculty. Further information is available here


If there is a need, it may be relevant for a member of staff to be engaged by the University on a consultancy basis. A consultancy arrangement is only suitable in specific circumstances. If such an arrangement is being considered, please consult the HMRC Employment Service Status Tool to determine suitability. Further information, including the HMRC tool, can be found here

Casual teaching and casual work

If there is a need, the University engages casual teachers on contracts for services for periods of up to a year. For short-term projects of up to 12 weeks, a casual working arrangement, which gives ‘worker’ rather than ‘employee’ status, might be agreed. Further details are available here


Many departments and faculties welcome volunteers. The University encourages volunteering as a means to add value to core activities and to promote public engagement, but not as a replacement for paid staff. For further information, please contact your department or faculty, and see further guidance here