Research posts in the Faculty of Law: support, management and development

These notes have been written to reflect Oxford’s Code of Practice for contract researchers. 


Contract research staff are entitled to the same level of support as other members of academic-related staff.  This includes regular supervision and management; the nature and level of the support may be tailored to suit the post and context, and might also be modified as the post-holder progresses, but the support should be planned and clear to the researcher.

Typically, the researcher’s supervisor will be the PI of their project, or their Centre Director, or another person identified at the time of appointment in agreement with the Vice Dean.

At the outset of the appointment, the supervisor should establish with the researcher any training needs and implement an agreed programme of induction.  Supervisors should also seek to meet to discuss work objectives and progress, and set out provision for a clearly defined probationary period (as specified by the post-holder’s contract), along with appropriate review meetings. Supervisors are encouraged to speak with their local HR contact for information and advice.

Research staff should also be appointed a mentor on appointment. Guidance on this can be found on the Faculty and PI/Supervisor Responsibiliites page.

Sources of Information

Supervisors should be aware of the Code of Practice for the Employment and Career Development of research staff.  The Law Faculty is committed to the implementation of this Code of Practice as fully as possible, led by the Vice Dean and supported by the Faculty Personnel Officer (together with centre administrators, where applicable).

Training for supervisors - the University offers a good deal of advice and training for Principal Investigators and supervisors.  It is strongly recommended that PIs undertake some training if their grant involves the appointment of staff at any level.

Information and points of reference – supervisors should also refer to the University Staff Handbooks.  For academic-related staff (grade 6 and above, which includes all contract research staff), see the Academic-Related Staff Handbook.  The Personnel Services website provides a vast amount of policy information, guidance and support.

Research staff will find information about workshops, courses, programmes and other resources on the University page: Learning and Development Opportunities for Research Staff.  Please also visit the Checklist for research staff for guidance on thinking about career development.  

The University has also developed the Concordat Action Plan to Support the Career Development of Researchers. The Action Plan outlines the steps that Oxford is taking as part of the wider Research Culture project. Research staff can explore current activity on the Research Culture webpage. If research staff are interested in a conversation with either the Researcher Hub (within People and Organisational Development) or the Research Strategy and Policy Unit (within Research Services), please email Research Support.

Further information on support for researchers can be found on the University of Oxford's website.