Individuals who are non UK or Irish nationals can apply for a Temporary Worker - Government Authorised Exchange visa if they want to come to the UK for a period of up to 24 months for work experience, an internship or to do training, research or a fellowship through an approved Government Exchange Scheme. A list of approved schemes is available here. The individual will need to have a Certificate of Sponsorship from the UK sponsor and meet any other UK Home Office eligibility requirements.
UK Research and Innovation - Science, Research and Academia Scheme
The UK Research and Innovation (“UKRI”) - Science, Research and Academia Scheme (“the scheme”) is one of the approved Temporary Worker - Government Authorised Exchange Schemes that allows Diamond, as one of 12 organisations endorsed by UKRI, to issue a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS).
UKRI’s endorsement is on behalf of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and enables Diamond to issue Certificates of Sponsorship in support of sponsored researchers seeking to come to Diamond to undertake any one (or more) of the following activities whilst experiencing the wider social and cultural setting of the UK:
The scheme covers a broad spectrum of engagements and is intended to offer significant benefit to the research community by allowing for flexibility.
Sponsored researchers include academics, researchers, scientists, research engineers or other skilled research technology specialists hosted by Diamond in a supernumerary role.
Roles are not advertised and recruited to in the conventional way (although work experience, internships and other placements may be subject to a degree of competition to ensure equality of opportunity). The work undertaken must never amount to what the Home Office terms ‘a genuine vacancy’. In accordance with the Home Office rules, the role must be over and above Diamond’s normal staffing requirements and will not automatically be refilled once the post holder leaves. The researcher does not have to be employed overseas to be eligible for sponsorship under this scheme, and if necessary, it is permitted for Diamond to issue an employment contract to the sponsored researcher, provided the activity does not amount to a genuine vacancy.
Diamond’s primary use of the scheme will be for individuals from higher education institutes and research organisations with which Diamond has a formal collaborative relationship and for projects/work of strategic importance to Diamond where the engagement will result in a benefit to Diamond.
Use of the scheme at Diamond is implemented through a formal application process. Any potential engagement of a sponsored researcher must be applied for formally by a Diamond employee to their Divisional Director, setting out the details of the project/work and the benefits to Diamond and alignment with Diamond’s strategic goals.
Once Diamond issues a Certificate of Sponsorship, the sponsored researcher may apply for a Temporary Worker - Government Authorised Exchange Scheme visa in their country of residence.
The Certificate of Sponsorship application fee will be paid by Diamond. The sponsored researcher is responsible for payment of the immigration health surcharge and visa application fee (payable to the UK Border Agency via their online visa application system) unless otherwise agreed with Diamond. Diamond will make it clear in the Certificate of Sponsorship application that we will certify the sponsored researcher’s maintenance and that they won’t claim public funds during their stay.
The sponsored researcher’s salary/stipend during the project or collaboration must meet the UK’s National Minimum Wage.
Diamond maintains comprehensive records of the scheme and the Certificates of Sponsorship issued under the scheme in order to comply with its obligations to UKRI and the Home Office. The Home Office recognises that the scheme is potentially more open to abuse because of its flexibility and therefore requires careful monitoring.
In order to allow for the necessary processing times (internally and externally), the Diamond Host must contact Research Support at least 2 months in advance of the date they would like the sponsored researcher to start at Diamond. The Diamond Host will be provided with a Project Proposal Form, which will need to be completed and sent to the relevant Diamond Director for approval.
Please note that the scheme is not intended for visiting academics. Visiting academics are commonly undertaking independent research, which will not be under anyone’s supervision, nor will their research directly benefit Diamond. These visitors should be applying under the Standard Visitor Route.
If you require further information or have any questions, please contact Research Support at Diamond.
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