Policy University Management Special Studies Program Policy

Special Studies Program Policy

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JCU is committed to providing staff with opportunities to carry out sustained scholarly activity or gain additional professional experience outside JCU, in order to maintain and enhance the quality of its teaching, research and engagement, plus the University’s national and international profile.

The Special Studies Program (SSP) provides eligible academic staff the opportunity to undertake an appropriate program of research or study that is of significance and value to the individual’s personal development and the strategic direction of the University.


This policy applies to academic staff covered by the JCU Enterprise Agreement (the Agreement).  It does not apply to casual academic staff and short-term academic visitors.


Special Studies Program (SSP) – an approved program of study or research normally outside of the University.

Continuous Service – means a period during which the staff member is employed by the University, but does not include any period (an excluded period) that does not count as service.  Unpaid periods of absence that do count as service include a period of stand-down, and a period of absence under community service leave.  Continuous service will cease where a break in service of greater than 90 days occurs between the end of one employment period and the commencement of another.

An excluded period does not break the employee’s continuity of service but does not count towards the length of the employee’s continuous service.

Break in Service – means any period of time where a JCU staff member does not hold a current employment contract (i.e. fixed term or continuing) or is not participating in a casual engagement with JCU.

Applicable Continuous Service – means the period of continuous service calculated from the end date of the staff members previous SSP, or in circumstances where the staff member has not previously participated in SSP is calculated from the date the applicant meets Eligibility.


1.   Principles

1.1   The coordination and management of an individuals’ approved SSP is the responsibility of the academic division where the staff member primarily works.

1.2   The Division may impose a maximum number of participants to the SSP each year, including staffing and budgetary considerations.

1.3   SSP may be undertaken in Australia and/or overseas but would not normally be undertaken at JCU.

2.   Eligibility

2.1   Applicants will:

  • be classified as Associate Lecturer or above; and

  • hold an appointment of at least 0.5 FTE; and

  • have completed at least 36 months of continuous service prior to the start of SSP.

2.2   Approval may be given to an academic staff member holding a fixed-term appointment subject to Eligibility above and provided the SSP ends prior to the end date of the fixed term appointment.

3.   Appeal

3.1   Where a staff member believes they meet both the Eligibility and the criteria (as contained in the SSP Procedure), but their application is not granted, they may appeal the decision.

Related policy instruments

Related policy instruments include but are not limited to the following documents.

Further related instruments can be found at the JCU Human Resources website.



Related documents and legislation



Approval Details

Policy DomainHuman Resources

Policy Custodian

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Services and Resources

Approval Authority

Human Resources Committee

Date for next review

12 August 2020

Revision History


Approval date

Implementation date



NANA21/11/2023Administrative amendment to update reference to JCU Enterprise Agreement to current version.Policy Officer
18-1 28/05/2018Administrative amendment to update reference to JCU Enterprise Agreement.Quality, Standards and Policy




* Updated to align with JCU’s policy framework and the JCU Enterprise Agreement 2013 – 2016

* Refinement of Definitions and ‘Academic Staff’ removed from title

* Alignment of role titles to the University structure

Refer to (3/15) HR minutes for further details

Deputy Director, Human Resources




Policy sponsor and approval authority amended to reflect approved Policy Framework

Quality, Standards and Policy Unit










Special studies program