Fixed term contracts

What your rights are if you are on a fixed-term contract, and what we are doing to help staff on fixed-term contracts (FTCs).

If your FTC is coming to an end

If your FTC is coming to an end, we can make sure you know what your rights and the University’s obligations are. These depend on:

  • the nature of your particular contract
  • when it was signed
  • what clauses it contains
  • whether it has previously been renewed

All of these will affect your legal entitlements.

If you have had two or more fixed-term contracts over four years, the University must convert you to open-ended status without delay.  

To request confirmation of this please use the guidance below:

Step by step guide and template letters to request confirmation of permanence.

It is unlawful to discriminate against fixed term and part time staff regarding access to training, opportunities for promotion, work space etc, as well as other employment rights.

What if I am at risk of redundancy?

SUCU has negotiated a set of new change management policies for all staff, including those on a FTC. These include redundancy and redeployment policies and procedures.

Helping you gain open-ended status

We also meet monthly with the university to discuss fixed-term employees whose contracts are coming to an end. We have already helped over 150 individuals to gain permanent open-ended status.

If you are a researcher on an FTC, there may be other opportunities to secure funding for your post.

Joining a research pool

In some areas in the Faculty of Engineering, there are research pools that staff can join and make use of their transferable skills in other areas of research. More senior researchers may be able to develop and lead on projects.

It also provides scope for career development and it helps to ensure that, in the event of researchers leaving or falling ill, the projects with which they have been involved can continue.

We are campaigning for the wider rollout of these research pools- it is essential that researchers join UCU and actively engage with us in order that their concerns can be highlighted, and suggestions implemented.

If you are interested in joining one of these pools, please contact us at


UCU commentary on the fixed-term regulations