Sabbaticals at the NHMRC

The purpose of this guideline is to provide a framework for candidates considering undertaking a sabbatical at the NHMRC, and for NHMRC delegates in their consideration of such applications.

Some universities, and other institutional employers of scientists and academics, provide for paid and unpaid sabbaticals as an employee benefit.  NHMRC welcomes discussion of possible sabbatical projects with interested candidates.

A person wishing to undertake a sabbatical at the NHMRC should first consider the policies and procedures of their home institution in relation to sabbaticals/extended leave, and in particular, their remuneration and insurance coverage.

The NHMRC welcomes sabbatical applications from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander researchers and academics.

Terms and Conditions of Sabbaticals within the NHMRC

Duration

Sabbaticals will vary in duration depending on the applicant’s home institution.  The duration of a sabbatical will be determined by agreement between the applicant and their home institution, and the NHMRC’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), and the relevant Group Head.

Status of People on Sabbatical

A person on sabbatical is not considered to be an official or staff member of the NHMRC.  They will not have supervisory responsibility nor represent the NHMRC in any legal capacity.

Confidentiality and Conflict of Interest

A person on sabbatical at NHMRC is required to sign a confidentiality undertaking and as such is obliged to keep confidential any and all unpublished (non public domain) information made known to him or her by the NHMRC during the course of their sabbatical.  However, publication of research outcomes based on information accessed during the sabbatical project will be possible, provided that this has been agreed to during project discussions prior to the project commencing.  The CEO will have final approval of sabbatical project outcomes for publication in the public domain.

A person on sabbatical at NHMRC should report any potential or perceived conflict of interest arising during their sabbatical to a Group Head. The NHMRC has sole discretion to solve any such conflict of interest as it deems appropriate, including termination of the sabbatical.

Subsequent Employment

People on sabbatical at NHMRC should not have an expectation of employment with the NHMRC during or subsequent to the completion of the sabbatical.

Visas

Any visa requirements are the sole responsibility of the applicant.

Remuneration

A person undertaking a sabbatical at the NHMRC does so as an employee of their home institution and as such the NHMRC does not offer any remuneration or benefits.  Insurance coverage may be provided by Comcover if a person on sabbatical at the NHMRC is not paid by their home institution.  A person wishing to undertake a sabbatical should confirm remuneration and insurance arrangements with their home agency.

Accommodation

Finding accommodation is the responsibility of the person undertaking a sabbatical, however the NHMRC may be able to provide advice and assistance on a case-by-case basis.

Conduct

The NHMRC expects that a person undertaking a sabbatical will act in accordance with the Australian Public Service Code of Conduct. In the case of inappropriate or unprofessional conduct, or serious failure to perform tasks assigned, NHMRC reserves the right to withdraw support for the sabbatical project.

Security Access

The NHMRC requires that a person wishing to undertake a sabbatical at NHMRC satisfy the requirements of an Australian Federal Police National Police Check prior to commencement.

Considerations for assessing sabbatical applications

In addition to the Terms and Conditions listed above, the following criteria should be applied in the consideration of an application for a sabbatical at the NHMRC:

  1. The area of research or development proposed by the applicant, and the NHMRC’s ability to support this proposal;
  2. The applicant’s professional and personal reputation;
  3. The duration of the proposed sabbatical;
  4. Physical resourcing implications, ie workstation, PC, voice services; and
  5. Security access requirements, both physical and informational.

Delegation

The CEO has not delegated the authority to approve requests from applicants seeking to undertake a sabbatical in the NHMRC.  As such, all requests must be sent to the CEO for their attention.