We offer generous salaries and associated benefits to attract, nurture and retain the best people, and provide a fulfilling, supportive working environment.


Salary scales are reviewed annually, normally in August to take account of any relevant Cost of Living Award. Further salary increments within your pay scale are normally awarded from 1 October each year, subject to the completion of six months' service within the salary level and satisfactory performance.

We operate a performance-related salary progression scheme, where sustained exceptional performance can be recognised through the use of the High Performance Zone. One-off recognition payments may also be made to reward outstanding achievements.

We are an accredited Living Wage employer, ensuring that we pay rates set by the Living Wage Foundation, that are above the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage.

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


We operate three superannuation schemes dependent on salary level.

Salary levels 1 to 4

Employees can choose between:

  • Local Government Scheme (LGS)  - members are currently required to contribute between 2.75% and 6.8% of their salary while the University contributes 19.6% of salary, or
  • National Employer Saving Trust (NEST) - a lower cost alternative scheme, where members contribute 5% of their salary (deduction from pay is 4% with tax relief applied, where applicable) while the University contributes 3% of salary.

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

  • Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) - members are currently required to contribute 9.8% of their salary (salary levels 5 to 8), while the University contribute 21.6% of salary. We also operate 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: 25 days
  • Statutory/bank holidays: 8 days
  • Closure Days* to be allocated by the University: 6 days
  • Total leave: 39 days

Salary level 5 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 – the enjoyment of your particular role; 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 wellbeing, our benefits include:

  • 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 (at Shrivenham only);
  • An Occupational Health Service which promotes health at work;
  • A counselling and information service for you and your family;
  • A year-round provision of wellbeing sessions including 1-2-1 mini health checks, mindfulness and resilience training;
  • An informal buddy scheme offering support from staff to staff, for anyone expecting a child, returning to work after having a child, experiencing fertility problems or baby loss, adopting or fostering, and raising older children;
  • A flexible working policy where, when possible, the approach of the University is to agree any flexible working requests, or find a compromise, unless there are valid reasons not to;
  • 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 hotels to sports and leisure activities.

Personal development

We are committed to the ongoing development of our community 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;
  • A University-wide mentoring scheme 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 and Development Review 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 extensive 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);
  • Access to staff networks such as our Step Up network, which supports women across the University with developing their skills, career and confidence in order to mitigate key barriers to gender diversity in the workplace;
  • Payment of your membership fee of one professional body or institution per year, if it is relevant to your role.

Family-friendly schemes

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 policy where, when possible, the approach of the University is to agree any flexible working requests, or find a compromise, unless there are valid reasons not to;
  • 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;

A buddy scheme is in place at Cranfield to offer support to anyone in any of the following situations:

  • Expecting a child;
  • Returning to work from paternity or maternity leave;
  • Raising older children;
  • Adopting or fostering a child, or returning to work after adoption leave;
  • Experiencing baby loss or fertility problems.

The scheme is a flexible and informal arrangement that allows members of staff to select a buddy who has gone through the same/similar experiences as they have and can support them.

Working environment

We have a wide range of facilities/services which help to provide a stimulating working environment:

  • A diverse international community;
  • On-site restaurants and refreshment facilities;
  • Green, open spaces with outdoor 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).

Trade Union representation

Every employee at Cranfield University has the right to belong to or not belong to a trade union. The unions recognised for collective bargaining purposes by the University are:

University and College Union


Unite the Union

Twice a year an information-sharing and consultation forum meeting is held between the University and the recognised unions on strategic matters and major operational issues (those impacting on strategic objectives), that Union members specifically wish to bring to the Vice-Chancellor’s attention.