Assisted Leave for Higher Degree Study


DATE OF APPROVAL: 6 September 1993

AMENDMENTS: 22 July 1998; Revised 17 January 2020 (Executive Director: People, Talent and Culture).

REFERENCE AUTHORITY: Executive Director: People, Talent and Culture

CROSS REFERENCES: This policy supersedes the previous policy on PhD Scholarships



This policy is designed to encourage academic staff in their pursuit of higher degree studies provided that those studies are consistent with the needs of the University.



Academic staff may apply for leave without pay for a period up to twelve months to study towards a higher degree and may receive assistance set at 0.5 of current salary up to a maximum of 0.5 Level B, Step 4 for the duration of the approved leave. Such leave is termed "Assisted Leave".



  1. In order to be eligible for assisted leave, staff shall:

          1.1 be tenured academic staff or academic staff on a continuing contract for more than three years.

          1.2 have approval from the relevant Executive Dean, Director of Research Institute or Central Unit that the study is relevant to the                  teaching and research needs of the University.

  1. Assisted Leave can only be taken provided there is no outstanding entitlement for Long Service Leave or Annual Leave. Assisted Leave will not normally exceed twelve months except in accordance with Clause 4. Staff may apply to take a combination of a reduction in fraction together with Assisted Leave.
  2. A program review will be conducted by the Executive Dean or Director of Research Institute or Central Unit mid-way through the period of Assisted Leave in order to assess that progress in the study is satisfactory. If the progress is not deemed to be satisfactory, the period of Assisted Leave will be terminated.
  3. A program review by the Executive Dean or Director of Research Institute or Central Unit at the conclusion of the period may allow an extension of the arrangement for up to a further twelve months but the total leave shall not exceed two years. 
  4. The period of Assisted Leave will count as service.
  5. After returning from Assisted Leave, academic staff will be expected to remain in the employment of the University for a further period of one year.

          6.1 If a staff member does not remain in the service of the University for this period, he/she will be required to refund to the                            University of South Australia all monies received from the University in the form of allowance granted in support of the Assisted Leave.

           6.2 The University may take into account extenuating circumstances in administering (6.1) above.


  1. Applications for Assisted Leave shall be considered by the Executive Dean or Director of Research Institute or Central Unit for approval.
  2. Staff granted approval for Assisted Leave may need to make provision for superannuation and should contact the Superannuation Officer for details.

Appendix 1


Combination of reduction in fraction together with assisted leave fraction together with assisted leave

A staff member currently works 1.0 time and is paid Level B, Step 6. 

Requests combination of reduction in fraction and Assisted Leave. 

Reduced to 0.5 fraction (paid 0.5 Level B, Step 6).

Assisted Leave for remaining 0.5 and paid 0.25 Level B Step 4 (maximum assistance).