Academic Promotions General Principles




Queen’s University is committed to becoming a world class international University that supports outstanding students and staff, working in world class facilities, conducting leading-edge education and research focused on the needs of society. 

The Academic Promotions Scheme is designed to recognise and reward outstanding performance of academic staff that supports the delivery of the University’s Vision across all areas of the academic profile.

The Academic Promotions Scheme seeks to promote, encourage and reward staff who demonstrate excellence, leadership and innovation in their area of expertise, building partnerships and networks locally, nationally and internationally.

The University undertakes to foster the aspiration of staff to achieve promotion by developing them through regular appraisal and by ensuring that opportunities are provided to acquire experience appropriate to support applications for promotion.


Equality and Diversity

In accordance with the University’s Equality and Diversity Policy, the University is committed to the promotion of equality of opportunity and to creating and sustaining an environment that values and celebrates the diversity of its staff.  The procedures used by the University for Promotion are intended to be open, fair, equitable and based on merit.

This Scheme applies equally to full-time and part-time staff.  The University recognises that there may be individual circumstances which have impacted on an individual’s performance as judged against the promotion criteria. Each Committee will give due consideration to any of the above individual circumstances when making their evaluation of an individual promotion application.  Whilst all staff are required to meet the University’s quality criteria, a reduction in the quantity will be considered in light of individual circumstances assessed on an appropriate basis having regard to the quality of outcomes and the nature and duration of the absence. 

Specific issues that might have an impact on the application could include:

-       absences for maternity, paternity, parental or adoption leave;
-       part-time working;
-       periods of absence  arising from ill-health or injury;
-       career breaks;
-       personal, family, or other non-academic circumstances that have impacted on work for a sustained period;
-       secondments and previous employment.

Applicants must outline clearly in their Applicant Statement the impact of those particular factors on their performance. 

Each case will be considered on its own merit and without precedent, as any single equality issue could impact individuals in a variety of ways depending on their particular circumstances.

The University recognises that females are under-represented at Professor and Readership grade and therefore aims to encourage female academics to apply for promotion.

The process will be treated in the strictest confidence and outcomes will be provided to all applicants as soon as possible following the Central Promotions Committee.

There are no financial constraints or quotas for the numbers promoted in any given exercise.


Routes to Promotion

The University recognises two main routes to promotion:

  • Research and Education
  • Education only


Image showing routes to promotion


Promotion based on Research and Education

Staff seeking promotion to Senior Lecturer, Reader or Professor must make the strongest possible case based on the relevant academic profile and their School’s academic standards.

Promotion based primarily on Education

The University recognises that some academic staff may make their greatest professional contribution as educators.  Staff seeking promotion to Senior Lecturer (Education) and Professor (Education) must make the case based on the relevant academic profile and their School’s academic standards.


Associated Information