United Kingdom National Experiences

Published: 19/07/2011 | Modified: 17/12/2014, 11:53 am

Contact details of the institution hosting the BHO


British Council

Address: 10 Spring Gardens, London SW1A 2BN
URL web site: www.britishcouncil.org
URL national EURAXESS portal: http://www.britishcouncil.org/new/euraxess/

Bridgehead Organisation

The BHO is hosted by the British Council, the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities.

EURAXESS Services Centres

There are no ESCs in the United Kingdom.

Local Contact Points

There are 21 LoCPs located in universities.

Structure of the national network

The BHO is the British Council which is based in 5 locations throughout the UK: London, Manchester, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Belfast. The majority of staff working on the Euraxess programme are based in London, with one person in Belfast. In the UK we do not have any ESCs, so all general queries come through to the BHO. The LCPs are spread throughout the UK, and deal with queries from their staff/students only.

Full-time equivalent staff:   Number of persons:
BHO: 0,5 BHO: 6
LoCP:  5,25 (0,25 per LoCP) LoCP: 21

Declaration of Commitment (DoC)

All institutions in the network have signed the DoC.

National funding of the EURAXESS Services Network

Within the UK the The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) fund the Euraxess programme. BIS are the department for economic growth. The department invests in skills and education to promote trade, boost innovation and help people to start and grow a business. BIS also protects consumers and reduces the impact of regulation.

BIS is a ministerial department, supported by 48 agencies and public bodies

Target groups of the Bridgehead Organisation

  • researchers
  • local and national authorities
  • research organisations

Target groups of the Local Contact Points

  • researchers within the organisation

Relationship and communication between the BHO, the Steering Group for Human Resources and Mobility for Researchers (SG HRM), the National Contact Points (NCPs) and the Programme Committee

BIS provide funding to the British Council for the running of the Euraxess programme within the UK. The UK Research Office, Vitae and the Research Council UK provide support and advice with regards to researcher positions, and enabling Euraxess to reach a higher number of organisations/researchers.
Furthermore, there are conferences twice a year with the steering committee, and also for the LCP’s so they can network, and find out about any updates in policy etc.

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1. General information

Published: 15/12/2014 | Modified: 15/12/2014, 9:23 pm

Access to social security depends firstly on a person’s nationality and residency status.

  • EU/EEA nationals generally will be eligible to apply for social security benefits (known as ‘public funds’) if they are on a low income while living in the UK.
  • Non-EU/EEA nationals who are on an entry visa or granted leave to remain are not entitled to apply for public funds unless their country has a social security agreement covering specific benefits

2. Foreign employee

Published: 15/12/2014 | Modified: 15/12/2014, 9:25 pm

  • Employees enjoy full social security coverage
  • Researchers with temporary employment contracts with a UK organisation have fewer social security entitlements compared to employees on fixed-term or permanent contracts. They may be classed as employed or self-employed, depending on their individual contract. The length of stay in the UK may also influence benefits entitlement, and whether or not they have already been living and worked in the UK before claiming benefits. Third country citizens must reside legally.

3. Foreign researcher without contract

Published: 15/12/2014 | Modified: 15/12/2014, 9:26 pm

  • Researchers who are coming to live in the UK to do research at a university or research institution and are self-funded, for example through a grant or fellowship, may be eligible to apply for social security benefits depending on their nationality and immigration status.
  • EU/EEA nationals will have access to social security benefits while living in the UK, but generally only if they have worked previously in the UK before claiming for this benefit.
  • Non-EU/EEA nationals who are on an entry visa or granted leave to remain will not be entitled to public funds unless their country has a social security agreement covering a limited number of specific benefits
  • Researchers who are visiting the UK for up to 6 months to give lecturers, attend conferences or meetings, or academics on sabbatical (for up to 1 year), are not entitled to receive social security benefits as they are not considered to be ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK and their entry visas will be issued on the condition that they have ‘no recourse to public funds.
  • Visitors to the UK are entitled to free emergency care at a GP clinic, hospital Accident and Emergency Department, or walk-in centre. For hospital admission and treatment, and routine appointments with a doctor, visitors to the UK must either apply for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) if they are from the EU/EEA, or take out private medical insurance to cover costs including prescription charges.

4. Foreign student

Published: 15/12/2014 | Modified: 15/12/2014, 9:27 pm

  • Ph.D. candidates are not employed.
  • Foreign citizens can claim health coverage after minimum residency period and if studying for longer than 6 months.
  • Students who also take on paid work and pay tax and National Insurance Contributions (NICs) may be entitled to some NICs-related benefits depending on the amount of NICs paid, and the length of time in employment
  • Child benefit may be claimed for citizens from countries with a bilateral social security agreement.

5. Comments on benefits

Published: 15/12/2014 | Modified: 15/12/2014, 9:29 pm

All employed citizens


Health coverage – Yes, after minimum residency period

Statutory Sick Pay – yes

Jobseekers Allowance – Yes if sufficient National Insurance Contribution (NIC) is paid

Employment and Support Allowance – Yes if NICs paid for 2 years

Parental benefit – Yes, if sufficient NICs paid. Women are entitled to Statutory Maternity Pay paid by their employer if they have worked for one employer and paid NICs for at least 26 weeks out of a 66 week test period prior to the baby’s due date. Men are entitled to 2 weeks paid paternity leave and an additional 11 weeks of unpaid paternity leave in the first 5 years of a child’s life.

Retirement pension – Yes, the Basic State Pension (for both employed and self-employed workers) and also the Additional State Pension (for employed workers only) through payment of NICs for a minimum of 1 year.

Housing allowance – Yes, except citizens from outside the EEA

Child benefit – Yes, except citizens from outside the EEA

6. Eager to learn more?

Published: 19/12/2014 | Modified: 09/01/2015, 1:54 pm

If you would like more information then download the complete table from here