First Weeks on the Programme

Should I be on ECDP?

The following newly appointed/promoted staff on open-ended contracts at Grades 7 and 8 will been enrolled on to ECDP:

  • Those on the Research & Teaching Track
  • Those on the Teaching, Learning & Scholarship Track
  • Those independent researchers (i.e. with Principal Investigator status, normally Grade 8) appointed on the Research Track without a funding review date.

Newly appointed researchers employed on LKAS and prestigious external fellowships such as Leverhulme, Royal Society, British Academy, British Heart Foundation, Medical Research Council, Cancer Research UK, Wellcome, etc. will not automatically be taken into membership of the Programme however will be assigned a mentor, have access to modules on the ECDP Development Programme and have their PDR objectives reviewed at College level and by the ECDP panel.

How do I enrol on ECDP?

If you meet the criteria for ECDP, you will be automatically enrolled in the programme either at the recruitment stage or when your promotion takes effect.

What happens after I am enrolled on the programme?

You will be issued with a welcome email from the Performance, Pay and Reward Team shortly after beginning your role, which will provide guidance on next steps.

Is there an ECDP induction?

There are formal induction sessions held periodically throughout the year. Information on dates and how to book can be found here.


How do I get a mentor?

When participants initially join the programme, they are assigned an academic mentor by their Head of School/Director of Research Institute, in consultation with the VP/Head of College within ideally the first month of appointment.

How long is mentoring in place for?

All early career development staff entering the ECDP should be provided with a mentor upon entering the Programme. Mentoring is intended to be in place for the full duration of the programme although the individuals taking on the mentoring role may change depending upon development needs.

Initial mentoring relationships will normally be in place for a period of two years. Beyond the initial two year mentoring period, the mentee should have the option to continue this arrangement or discuss the selection of an alternative mentor with their line manager, with endorsement of selected mentor by Head of School / Director of Research Institute (in conjunction with the VP/Head of College).

How often should we meet?

Mentors should meet face to face  (as appropriate) with their mentee 6-8 times per year to provide support and guidance, and to monitor progress. It is intended that mentoring focuses on meaningful interactions on a regular basis throughout the mentoring period.

Can I change my mentor?

A discussion should take place at the end of Year 2 regarding ongoing mentoring arrangements. The mentee should have the option to continue this arrangement or discuss the selection of an alternative mentor with their line manager, with endorsement of selected mentor by Head of School / Director of Research Institute (in conjunction with the VP/Head of College).

If for any reason the initial mentoring arrangement does not work satisfactorily, the line manager and VP/Head of College can decide to allocate a new mentor in consultation with the mentee.

What can we use the mentoring time for?

ECDP mentoring may include a range of activities or experiences as relevant to the mentee’s development needs and is intended to be ‘hands on’. For example, the types of activities ECDP mentoring could include are:

  • providing assistance in the drafting of annual objectives, for example, including guidance on objectives as aligned to promotional criteria based upon the participants progress on the programme
  • sharing tips for success tips in writing grants, providing feedback on draft grant applications, reflecting on unsuccessful grant applications
  • identifying key networks to join, making introductions where possible
  • providing an overview of relevant aspects to R&T activities (e.g. Internationalisation, REF, Impact)

Additional ideas for mentoring can be found within the Mentoring Resource

Objective setting and the PDR process

What is the objective setting process?

You should meet with your line manager shortly after you are appointed to agree draft objectives and the targets for progression towards promotion to Grade 8 or Grade 9. You can view the promotion criteria here.

If you begin in post during the review period, between May and October, Objective setting should be completed using the ECDP Year 1 Form allocated in the PDR tab on CoreHR. Objectives should be set from 1 July until the 30 June of the following year. Objectives should be completed and signed off by yourself and your reviewer by 30th September.

If you begin in post out with the review period, between October and March, an interim objective setting form should be completed using the form allocated in the PDR tab on CoreHR. For those appointed after March objectives should be set from the period of appointment until 30 June the following year. You then will complete your ECDP Year 1 Form during the review period as per the above guidance. Objectives should be set from 1 July until the 30 June of the following year. Objectives should be completed and signed off by yourself and your reviewer by 30th September.

If your line manager is different to your Head of School/Director of Research Institute then your HoS/DRI should also review ahead of the deadline. Your submission will then be subject to College level review which will be coordinated by the PPR team. Finally, the ECDP Panel will then review your submission and may give feedback on these if they consider amendments are required.

How should I take part in the PDR process if I am on ECDP?

The University requires evidence of sustained performance and satisfactory progress towards completion of the ECDP within the required timescale. This evidence will be gathered via annual ECDP submissions which will capture full details of the objectives set at each stage of the programme and will track progress and take account of the outstanding activities and development required to meet the relevant promotion criteria and successful completion of the ECDP within the required timescale.

How will I be made aware of the outcome?

Once your form has been fully reviewed at all stages the Performance, Pay and Reward Team will write to you to confirm.

What happens if my ECDP submission is not approved?

If the ECDP Board of Review do not believe your submission contains enough information they will feed this back to the PPR Team who will write to you to advise. You will be given advice on which areas may require review and be asked to resubmit.

Development Programme

What development modules do I need to enrol on?

The Development Programme contains mandatory and optional components which are dependent upon your career track. You must complete the mandatory elements if you are to be considered to have successfully completed the ECDP. 

The programme requires all participants to complete the PgCAP, promotion to Grade 9 is conditional upon successful completion of the PgCAP.

What is my workload model on ECDP?

The recommended teaching reduction for those undertaking PgCAP is 50% in year 1 and 25% year 2 based on the previous academic probation model.

Who is the contact for the PgCAP?

For further information on the PgCAP and details on how to apply please access the Learning Enhancement & Academic Development (LEADS) website.

How do I find out if I can gain a partial/complete exemption from PgCAP?

The LEADS Team makes all decisions regarding partial and complete exception from PgCAP. You can find further information and contact details on the LEADS PgCAP webpage. 

Promotion on ECDP

When can I apply for promotion?

You can apply for promotion when it has been agreed between yourself and your Head of School/Director of Research Institute that you meet the relevant criteria. There is no requirement to wait until your 4th year (for Grade 7 staff) or your 6th year (for Grade 8 staff) if you are ready to apply ahead of this.

How do I apply for promotion?

You can apply for academic promotion through the standard annual process. More information on this process can be found on the Academic Promotions webpages.

What happens if I am promoted?

If you are promoted from Grade 7 to Grade 8 you will remain on ECDP until promotion to Grade 9. If you are promoted from Grade 8 to Grade 9 on the programme then you will be confirmed as having successfully completed ECDP.

What happens if I am not promoted within the designated timescale?

Unsatisfactory progress in the completion of the Programme should be managed at the earliest opportunity through regular performance monitoring and feedback, via the annual PDR process and, where appropriate, the University’s Competency Procedure.

Where an individual is unable to complete ECDP within the specified timescale, the ECDP Board of Review may exceptionally agree to an extension of the timescale for completion of the programme. This is likely to apply in cases where an individual has met the majority of the criteria required for promotion to Grade 9 and is likely to meet the remaining criteria in a period of less than one year. In these circumstances, the extended timescale for completion of the programme will be agreed by the ECDP Board of Review.

Where an extended timescale is unlikely to result in an individual meeting the criteria for Grade 9 or where, following an extended timescale, an individual has not met the criteria for Grade 9, the individual will be removed from the ECDP. In these circumstances, subject to competent performance at Grade 8 and there being a justifiable requirement within the relevant School for a post at Grade 8, the individual will be retained in a Grade 8 post. In circumstances where there is no requirement for a post at this level within the School, every effort will be made to redeploy the individual into another suitable role at an equivalent or lower level in another area.

Where an individual is not performing to the standards required of a Grade 8 role, the University’s Managing & Supporting Performance Policy and Procedure will be initiated.

When will I complete the programme?

Completion of ECDP will be confirmed when you have been promoted to Grade 9.

The ECDP schedule expects that those at Grade 7 will receive formal notification of promotion to Grade 8 within 4 years of first appointment, and those at Grade 8 within a further 6. In both cases this will entail submission to the preceding Promotion round, which will typically fall within 36-40 and 60-64 months of first appointment respectively, excluding allowances for absence. Earlier promotion is of course possible.

General Queries

I have been on maternity leave/long term sick/research leave, do I get an extension?

Where you are absent during the ECDP period for acceptable reasons e.g. extended sick leave, maternity leave and parental leave etc, the University will extend the ECDP period. This decision will be made formally by the relevant Vice-Principal & Head of College in consultation with the Head of School/Director of Research Institute and College Head of HR. The decision will be communicated with the ECDP Board of Review.

In such circumstances, as part of your return-to-work arrangements, a meeting will take place to discuss the rescheduling of the ECDP objectives/targets between yourself and your line manager.

The outcome of the meeting will be reviewed be the ECDP Board of Review who will either agree the outcomes or seek modification of these.

Please note that in cases where you are on research leave or are absent from the University undertaking development explicitly linked to promotion criteria or involved in Knowledge Exchange activities no extensions to the programme will be granted.

What happens if I change my hours (go part time/full time)?

If you reduce your hours then necessary consideration should be given when setting objectives. Similarly, if you increase your hours it would be expected that your objectives should be amended to reflect this change as appropriate.

Who should I contact with a query?

All general queries can be directed to the and the key ECDP contacts can also be found on our webpages