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Staff Mobility

Staff mobility allows for both academic and non-academic staff to travel for teaching and training activities at partner institutions. Historically the primary objective of staff mobility was to contribute to the wider internationalisation strategy of Durham University, rather than to support individual research.
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Postgraduate Teaching

Going from Durham

For staff wishing to visit Durham, please scroll down to the "Coming to Durham" section. 

Can I get funding for staff mobility from Durham?

UK universities no longer have access to Erasmus+ funding and the Turing scheme does not permit the funding of staff mobility.  Therefore, any proposed staff mobility will have to be funded by academic departments.  Should the International Office receive any funding that could be used to support staff mobility, it will be advertised openly.

Do I need an agreement in place?

Not necessarily.  Since we will not be funding or reporting staff travel to Erasmus+, from a Durham perspective staff may travel abroad without an agreement in place with a partner.  All staff travel must go via the usual Travel Cover & VIATOR and Travel and Risk Assessment processes (N.B. these are Insurance Service processes, therefore, should staff have questions about Viator, please contact them).

Why may a partner request an agreement is put in place?

European partners (excl. Switzerland and UK) may still access Erasmus+ funding. Therefore, these partners may request a staff exchange agreement is put in place to enable their staff to receive Erasmus+ funding to come to Durham (since their Erasmus+ funding rules requires an agreement to be in place).  Where the University already has a student exchange agreement in place with this partner, amending the agreement to include staff exchange is usually unproblematic.

Will the International Office always support putting an agreement in place?

No.  In cases where there is no likelihood of reciprocity and no wider activity the International Office may decline to establish a staff exchange agreement.  As a minimum to sign a new agreement: the Durham academic Department needs to submit a Partnership Appraisal Form signed by the Head of Department; typically c.8 emails need to be exchange between Durham and the proposed partner as the draft agreement documents will need to be checked by both sets of legal services; finally sign-off by Durham is required from a ‘designated authority’ (e.g. VC, CFO etc).  Therefore, using actual examples:

  • a European university (not a partner) wants to sign an agreement with the sole aim of one of their staff members visiting Durham and the agreement enables them to reclaim the c.€250 flight costs from Erasmus+. In this case, the work required to establish an agreement outweighs the benefits to Durham and may not be supported.
  • an existing European partner wishes to add staff exchange to an existing student exchange agreement.  In this case, amending the existing agreement to include staff mobility is relatively simple and would be supported.
  • Durham and a European university with which we do not have an existing agreement want to develop joint activities (student exchange agreement, collaborative research etc).  A staff exchange agreement would be supported to help facilitate this development.

Why have the above examples all used European partners?

Historically the staff mobility programme was Erasmus+ funded and therefore, only applied to Europe.  Non-European staff mobility was historically not funded.

Coming to Durham

Incoming staff make a valued contribution to the the University. They widen international perspectives, broaden minds and enrich our community. By working together we can tackle some of the largest challenges faced by mankind as well as making small international contributions to our staff and students on campus.

What should I do if I want to come?

You should identify the academic(s) with which you wish to teach/train/research. To do this, please use any internet search function. It is through the academic department (rather than the International Office) that arrangements for any visit will need to be made.

FAQ: will the International Office identify an academic host for me? The best person placed to know what fits your research area is you (rather than a non-academic professional support staff member). Therefore, please make an attempt to find academic hosts yourself. One way to do this is to look at staff lists. Our Academic Departments all have accessible staff lists. Please visit the pages of the Department(s) that most closely your research area. On the yellow banner you will find "About Us" and using the drop down arrow you will be able to select "Staff" or "Our People" (or similar). It is not necessary to ask for the International Office's permission to make direct contact with an academic at Durham.

What are the arrangements that need to be made?

This will depend on the activity you wish to undertake. E.g. there is a huge difference between a day-long visit and gaining access to university IT and research systems to conduct collaborative research over a few months. This is why it is necessary for people interested in visiting to reach out to collaborators and interlocuters in Durham's academic Departments.

Who makes these arrangements?

Predominantly this falls to the incoming academic (e.g. to make their own travel arrangements) and host academic Departments (e.g. to enable access to their facilities at Durham). The International Office may assist in further matters and wider consortia / international delegations.

Will Durham pay for me to come?

Some funded opportunities exist. These include things like short-term research fellowships at our research institutes (such as the IAS Fellowships) or seedcorn funding through our Global Networks and Consortia. However, kindly note that:

  • these opportunities are allocated through competitive application processes and
  • the majority of visits to Durham are paid for by the sending university rather than Durham.

Will an agreement need to be in place?

It depends on what you wish to do. A simple one day visit or social probably does not require an agreement. Anything sharing data probably will.  With some partners in Europe we have staff exchange agreements, which allow the sending university to fund an exchange via Erasmus+. However, please read the 'Will the International Office always support putting an agreement in place?' FAQ above.