Working at Cranfield

Finger and thumb holding up an acorn

Our success rests on the knowledge, skills and abilities of our staff, and every individual contribution cannot be over-emphasised. In return, we aim to ensure that the benefits of working here give staff a sense of worth and job satisfaction.

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Salaries are reviewed annually, normally in April. Further increments within the limits of your pay scale are normally awarded from the beginning of October each year, subject to the completion of six months service and satisfactory performance.

We operate a performance-related salary progression scheme, with higher earnings for exceptional performers. One-off recognition payments may also be made to reward outstanding achievements.

Relocation allowances may be offered to eligible staff at the discretion of the recruiting school/department.


We operate three superannuation schemes dependent on salary level.

Salary level 1 to 4

Employees can choose between:

  • Local Government Scheme (LGS)  - members are currently required to contribute between 5.5% to 6.8% of their salary while the University contributes 18.9% of salary, or
  • National Employer Saving Trust (NEST) - a lower cost alternative scheme, where members contribute 1% of their salary while the University contributes 3% of salary.

Salary level 5 and above (and for researchers at level 4)

  • Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) - With effect from 1st April 2016, the University will contribute 18% and the individual will contribute 8% to a hybrid pension scheme. We also offer a Pension Salary Exchange scheme for members of USS.

Both  LGS and USS include the following benefits:

  • a tax free lump sum and index-linked pension on retirement
  • a lump sum death in service benefit and  a spouse/dependent/civil partner’s pension.

NEST is a defined contribution scheme which allows members to build a retirement pot for life.   


We offer generous leave packages, which are pro-rata for part-time or other flexible working arrangements:

Salary level 1 to 4

  • Discretionary leave: 20 days
  • Statutory/Bank holidays: 8 days
  • Closure Days* to be allocated by the University: 6 days
  • Total leave: 34 days

Salary level 5 

  • Discretionary leave: 25 days 
  • Statutory/Bank holidays: 8 days
  • Closure Days* to be allocated by the University: 6 days
  • Total leave: 39 days

Salary 6 and above

  • Discretionary leave: 30 days 
  • Statutory/Bank holidays: 8 days
  • Closure Days* to be allocated by the University: 6 days
  • Total leave: 44 days

*The University allocates six days a year as Closure Days. A proportion of these are allocated to the Christmas break each year and the remaining day(s) are added
to annual leave entitlement. This is pro-rata for full or part-time staff not working a five day week.

We also offer additional holiday leave for long service – one day after three years and a further day after five years.


A feeling of wellbeing at work comes from a number of sources – your particular job; your relationships with other people; recognition of your achievements; progress in your career; your work-life balance, and your physical and mental health.

To help with your general wellbeing, our benefits include:

  • discounted private medical insurance from a number of well-known scheme providers
  • an on-site gym and fitness centre, including fitness classes, squash and tennis courts (for which a small annual fee applies)
  • an outdoor swimming pool and a nine-hole golf course (on the Shrivenham campus only)
  • an Occupational Health Service which promotes health at work
  • a counselling and information service for you and your family
  • an on-site dentist, chiropractor, physiotherapy services and medical centre (on the Cranfield campus)
  • an on-site chapel and mosque/prayer room
  • special interest clubs and societies
  • a diversity policy aimed at ensuring dignity at work for all
  • a range of discounts through working partnerships with other organisations, from insurance schemes to hotels, sports, and leisure activities

Personal development

We are committed to the on-going development of our people since our continued success rests on the knowledge, skills and capabilities of everyone we employ.

Development opportunities include:

  • a full induction programme to aid a smooth transition into your new role and environment
  • mentoring during probationary periods, allowing you to gain guidance, support and advice from more experienced members of staff
  • appropriate professional development opportunities for employees at all stages of their careers
  • a Performance Development Review Scheme empowering you to establish your own targets, manage your own workloads and plan your own personal development, in conjunction with your line manager
  • access to Cranfield’s in-house suite of learning and development programmes
  • the opportunity to gain a Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice, which is accredited by the Higher Education Academy (HEA)
  • management leadership programmes
  • payment of your membership fee of one professional body or institution per year, if it is relevant to your role.

Sabbatical leave is also available at the discretion of your department or School to support your career development.

Working environment

We are pleased to be able to offer our employees a wide range of facilities/services which help to provide a stimulating working environment:

  • A diverse international community
  • A stimulating, knowledge-based environment
  • On-site restaurants and refreshment facilities
  • Green, open spaces with outdoors seating
  • Environmentally friendly policies
  • Free car parking
  • Personal accident insurance, travel and medical insurance, and illness and life insurance while you are on University business
  • Car share scheme (Cranfield campus only)


Family life is often demanding and getting the right work-life balance can be a challenge. We offer several schemes and benefits to help employees achieve this balance, including:

  • enhanced maternity/paternity and adoption schemes
  • a flexible working scheme so that staff with caring responsibilities can balance their personal and professional lives
  • discounts on childcare costs via the Computershare voucher scheme
  • on-site or local nursery provision
  • compassionate leave in cases of bereavement or severe illness in the immediate family
  • school holiday clubs/childcare provision (Cranfield campus only)


We value diversity and recognise that people from different backgrounds can foster a working, learning and teaching environment rich in creativity and innovation, which in turn can help improve our competitive edge. 

For us, the management of diversity goes beyond simply that which is expected by law. It offers the opportunity to attract people from all walks of life and develop our staff and student base to meet our strategic aims.

Through our diversity initiatives we aim to create a culture in which everyone can work and study together harmoniously with dignity and respect and realise their full potential.

To this end, we are signed up to Athena SWAN and are also members of Opportunity Now

The University is committed to fulfilling its legal obligations under the Equality Act 2010 and has a Single Equality Scheme which covers all the protected characteristics in the Act. We also have a wide range of policies and procedures to support all our staff and students.

We have identified key equality objectives for the University that support us in meeting the ‘General duty’ under the Equality Act 2010 to:

  • Eliminate unlawful discrimination/harassment and victimisation
  • Promote equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not share it (the protected characteristics are: age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, marriage and civil partnership)
  • Foster good relations between people who do share a protected characteristic and those who do not.

Further information

Diversity Monitoring Report 2012

Diversity Monitoring Report 2013

Diversity Monitoring Report 2014

Diversity Monitoring Report 2015

Opportunity Now  Athena SWAN Wise campaign

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