Terms and Conditions of RCS Fellowships
As set out in the regulations and conditions for the award, applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application in July each year and will be asked to notify the College indicating their acceptance of the award and their start and completion date, within one month of receipt of the letter.
Period of support
Fellowships will normally be held for one year, with the start date being within 6 months of the date of award. Whenever possible, the fellowship year should be held during a year’s leave of absence from a recognised basic or higher surgical training scheme, so that the applicant has a known position to which to return afterwards. Fellowships are not renewable and must be undertaken in the UK.
The fellowship provides a salary for the research fellow, within the salary scales, by means of a fixed-term contract of employment arranged with the host centre. The College will honour any increments and pay awards made during the period of the fellowship. Some additional financial support is available for attendance at approved scientific meetings and a Research Training Support Grant (RTSG) of up to £3,000 pa.
Salaries are assessed in accordance with the standard practice of the host centre: they are normally within the NHS salary scale. They will not exceed the maximum of these scales. For fellows on NHS scales it should be assumed that NHS procedures regarding grading and assimilation will be followed, the scale points are merely being used to give annual incrementation on a date in line with the fellow's previous appointment or the starting date of the award. London allowance is payable where applicable. The host centre should be responsible for sending invoices quarterly in arrears.
Research training support grant
A contribution of up to £3,000 pa towards the research costs associated with the fellowship may be awarded at the discretion of the College. This will be paid on receipt of an invoice quarterly in arrears along with the salary invoice. Supervisors should complete and sign the enclosed form detailing the expenditure, to the Research Department and a letter of approval will be returned as soon as possible.
Claims for reimbursement
Claims for reimbursement of salary and RTSG should be made quarterly in arrears and should be certificated by the finance officer (or other appropriate official) of the centre, and should be sent to the Finance Department of the College. This should be submitted without delay after the end of the period covered by the claim.
Attendance at scientific meetings
If a fellow's supervisor considers attendance at a particular scientific meeting to be essential, consideration will be given to the payment of travelling and subsistence expenses up to a maximum of £500. In the case of meetings, priority will be given to fellows who are personally presenting a paper. For meetings held overseas, the provision of support can be considered if a paper is being presented; such support cannot be provided more than once during the tenure of the award. Requests for the payment of such expenses should be made well in advance of the date of the meeting to be attended, giving full details of the actual costs, and funds available from other sources; they should be accompanied by a supporting letter from the supervisor outlining the relevance of the meeting to the fellow's work. Payment will take the form of reimbursement to the host centre or fellow after the meeting.
Details of funding in connection with the project, from other external bodies either prior to or subsequent to the College award must be stated in writing to the RCS Research Board not later than six weeks of its being known.
Conditions for application
Applications and research fellowship awards are made on the understanding that the host centre, the supervisor and the applicant agree to accept the regulations and conditions relating to the scheme and any amendments issued during the course of the award.
The College is keen to engage more proactively in surgical trials and during the year, the research fellow may be asked to participate, for example, by recruiting patients to such trials.
Contractual status of Fellows
An award under these regulations will normally be administered through a fixed-term contract of employment between the fellow and the host centre, for the period of the award. The emoluments provided under the fellowship are chargeable to income tax under Schedule E (PAYE) and Class 1 National Insurance contributions will be payable in accordance with the Social Security Act 1973.
Where fellows are to be admitted to the superannuation scheme appropriate to employees of the host centre, the full cost to the employer of superannuation provision will be reimbursed by the College. The College accepts no responsibility for claims under the Employment Protection (Consolidation) Act 1978 and/or any subsequent employment legislation, nor will it indemnify the host centre against claims for compensation or against other claims for which the centre may be liable as an employer.
Each research fellow will be expected to attend one of the biannual College Diplomates Day ceremonies.
Research Methods Course
Each research fellow will be expected to attend the two day research methods course run, and paid for, by the College.
Other awards and emoluments
Fellowships are awarded for full-time training and the College’s approval must be sought before any other work is carried out within normal working hours. It will generally be necessary to make a reduction in salary corresponding to any additional income so derived. Fellows must notify the College of any earnings from such work and of any honoraria or awards received. This does not apply to remuneration received from up to six hours a week, spent on teaching, NHS clinical sessions or demonstrating, on agreement with the supervisor. Payment from these may be retained in full if this is in accordance with the host centre's conditions.
It will be a condition of any award that research fellows do not engage in private practice for personal gain.
Fellows must take holidays in accordance with the conditions of service of the host centre up to a maximum of six weeks during a complete year. The date and duration of any holiday proposed beyond this period should be reported to the College.
Sick leave and maternity cover
Fellows will be subject to the normal conditions of service of the host centre so far as sick leave is concerned, but the Research Board Secretary should be notified if a fellow is likely to be away through illness for more than a month. Fellows will be subject to the normal conditions of service of the host centre for maternity cover. The College should be notified in writing if maternity leave is required. At its discretion, the College may agree to extend the research period by six months but will make no supplementary financial payments over and above that originally agreed.
Honorary clinical contracts
Fellows who undertake, as part of their research programme, work concerned with the care of patients are reminded that they should be in possession of an honorary clinical contract from the appropriate health authority. Responsibility for seeking such a contract will lie with the head of the department in which the Fellow is working. Should any difficulties be encountered, the College should be informed.
Medical defence cover
It is the responsibility of each fellow to ensure that s/he holds adequate cover with a professional defence organisation for any activities undertaken which are not covered by NHS indemnity arrangements or by an additional provision which may be made by the host centre. The cost of any such cover will not be met by the College.
Change of project or supervisor
Any changes in a fellow's training programme or supervisor from those originally approved by the College will require the College's prior consent.
Interim, and final report and subsequent post
Fellows are required to submit a report on a form which will be supplied at six month’s and one year of their period of research on the work undertaken and to inform the College of the appointment s/he proposes to undertake on the conclusion of the award. Fellows are also required to fill in the Evaluation Questionnaire which will normally be sent to them within six months of the completion of their research period. Fellows are encouraged to take this opportunity of putting forward any comments they may have on the scheme
The preliminary findings and results of a fellow's work may be published in the usual way at the discretion of the supervisor or head of department. The College must be acknowledged as the source of funds in any publication dealing with the work carried out during the tenure of a Fellowship. Publications and papers should be forwarded to the Research Department.
From time to time the research fellow may be requested to make presentations on behalf of the College at fundraising and open evenings. The research fellow should make a claim for expenses to the Research Department on the appropriate claim form.
The College is concerned to promote the transfer of research discoveries, ideas and techniques to industry and to those who deliver health care. Supervisors should therefore keep under continuous review the question of whether the work has potential industrial application, taking appropriate action in accordance with the protection and exploitation of research findings.
Supervisors are reminded that any form of ‘disclosure’ whether in journals or at learned society meetings, may prejudice subsequent filing of a patent application. If a fellow has a successful outcome to any patent application, based on College funded work, the College wishes its contribution to be acknowledged.