Frequently Asked Questions

External Academic Appointment

  • When is the Policy effective?
    The Policy on External Academic Appointments takes effect from 14 November 2012.
  • Who has to apply for prior approval?
    All full-time staff members of the University with an employment period of one year or more should apply for prior approval for taking up an external academic appointment, such as adjunct, honorary, visiting, part-time, Changjiang / Cheung Kong scholar and similar appointments if the appointment involves any one or more of the following:
    1. there is remuneration, including passage / accommodation /subsistence / living provision, honorarium, salary, or any forms of monetary provisions;
    2. the staff member has to make multiple and/or extensive visits to the appointing institution entailing absence from CityU duty; or
    3. reciprocal arrangements by CityU to the appointing institution, e.g., arranging visits of students and/or scholars to CityU, providing office / living accommodation, research facilities and supervision.
  • Do staff members have to apply for leave for taking up an external academic appointment?
    The applicant must take annual leave or no-pay leave to cover the period of absence from work at CityU.
  • What is the financial arrangement?
    Staff members cannot receive salary through CityU and the appointing institution for the same period of time, i.e. no "double salary" is permitted. Staff members must work with their Head and Dean (or Dean and Line Manager) on a plan for use of the funds to be received.

    All direct and indirect costs incurred as a result of the staff member’s external academic appointment should be fully recovered. Examples of these costs are (not exhaustive):
    • costs of hiring replacement staff to take up teaching, research and/or service responsibility of the staff member during his / her absence;
    • costs of hiring replacement staff to take up the work of serving colleagues who have to absorb the duties of the staff member during his or her absence; and
    • other costs to the home unit or to the University, especially those arising from reciprocal visit arrangements, e.g., costs of office and research facilities, living accommodation costs, honorarium / salary/ allowance department/centre paid to the visiting scholars / students, costs of CityU staff’s time in supervising researchers and/or students sent by the “hosting” institution.
    External Academic Appointments by their nature would have most of the related activities taking place outside CityU. Hence, special approval is hereby granted for waiving university overhead charge and the income sharing requirement after recovery of costs to the University.
  • What will be the arrangement of intellectual property (IP) rights created while engaged in external academic appointments?
    When taking on external academic affiliations, academics remain CityU employees. Consequently, any intellectual property (IP) produced by staff while they are engaged in external academic appointments must clearly indicate the staff’s affiliation with CityU. This includes published articles, consultancy reports, research presentations, artworks, patents, and other, similar forms of IP.
  • What is the approval mechanism?
    External academic appointments are approved in 3 tiers and administered in a similar manner as outside practice. These appointments have to be approved at Department, College/School, and Provost (or above) levels where the impact can be properly assessed. The Head, as the first tier approving party, should evaluate the case in the light of the staff’s overall external engagements, including those already captured under the outside practice and outside work records.

    Application Submitted By Approving Authority
    • Provost, Vice-Presidents and equivalent
    • President
    • Faculty and non-faculty staff in academic units, College/School Offices, and administrative and support units under the Provost's line of management
    • Research support staff in research centres
    • Provost
    • Non-faculty staff in administrative and support units not under the Provost's line of management
    • Vice-President(Administration)
  • How to apply?
    The central online approval system under AIMS is available to facilitate online application and approval. Please click here to apply.
  • Which unit administers the applications of External Academic Appointment?
    The Outside Practice Administrative Unit (OPAU) supports the administration of External Academic Appointment. For enquiries, please contact OPAU at 3442 6244 or by email to

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(Last Updated in December 2013)