Making Academic Excellence Easier to Understand and Attain

People First Promise: We will create opportunities to build the capability of our staff.

Reward and advancement for academic staff is achieved through the annual Promotions Scheme which provides a route for academic promotion to Senior Lecturer, Reader and Professor. The procedures used by the University for promotion are intended to be open, fair and equitable.

This section sets out the principles underpinning the scheme, the process and the criteria required to successfully progress your career.

The Academic Promotions Scheme 2019 is Now Closed.

Academic Promotions

  • Principles of the Scheme

    We are 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 feedback on performance and by ensuring that opportunities are provided to acquire experience appropriate to support applications for promotion.

    Routes to Promotion

    The University recognises two main routes to promotion: Research and Education and Education only.

    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.

  • Criteria and Eligibility for Promotion

    Criteria

    Applicants must show clearly and unambiguously how they:

    1. Exceed the School’s academic standards for their current grade, or where outstanding performance in one domain can compensate for lower levels of performance in another domain (School’s academic standards are available from the Head of School).
    2. Meet the essential criteria (shown in bold in each Profile) for the Academic Profile for which they are applying.

    Evidence of meeting the non-essential criteria will strengthen the case.

    Academic standards are being revised in relation to their definition and application. The types of evidence listed in the profiles are exemplars of activities in which applicants may be involved. They are not a checklist nor are they exhaustive; applicants may present other types of evidence to show how they meet the criteria.

    Applications will continue to be evaluated holistically, with overall contributions across the four domains of education, research, leadership and impact being taken into account. Compensation across and within domains will continue to be applied e.g. outstanding performance in one domain can compensate for lower levels of performance in another domain.

    Colleagues considering applying for Promotion should ensure they receive clear advice and support from their Head of School on the areas, if any, in which they need to demonstrate greater levels of competence, in order to be seen as ready for promotion. A written report should be made by the Head of School which sets out the areas for personal growth and development which is also followed up through normal University processes such as Appraisal.

    It is also essential that applicants provide information in relation to teaching evaluations to demonstrate the quality of their teaching and an example of this can be found in the Academic CV User Guide (Teaching Duties section). Other supporting evidence can include reports of external examiners, peer assessment and module review as appropriate. Please note that failure to provide full TEQ scores will result in the application not being considered.

    Unfortunately, we can only consider work relating to applicants’ performance up to the closing date. Work not yet in the public domain may however be considered, if full details of publications are provided along with evidence from the publisher of acceptance of the final manuscript and date of publication. This information must be available at the closing date of the Scheme.

    Eligibility

    Colleagues are encouraged to apply for promotion, with the approval of their Head of School, when they have demonstrated the required progress on performance standards, as set out in their Head of School report.

    Applications for promotion shall be rendered void where an individual resigns from the University during the promotions exercise.

  • Applicant Process

    Step 1

    Colleagues should seek advice and guidance from their Head of School before submitting an application for promotion. This should also be discussed as part of any ongoing appraisals, or performance feedback.

    Step 2

    Colleagues are strongly encouraged to attend one of the Academic Promotions Clinics offered to eligible staff prior to submitting an application. These clinics are delivered prior to the closing date of the Scheme and eligible applicants will be notified of the relevant dates.

    Step 3

    Applicants must show clearly and unambiguously in the Applicant Statement and Academic CV how they exceed the School’s academic standards for their current grade (or where outstanding performance in one domain can compensate for lower levels of performance in another domain) and meet the Academic Profile for which they are applying. Both completed documents must be submitted.

    Key Points

    Where the opportunity for teaching or research/scholarly activity is limited by reason of circumstance or the mission of the applicant’s unit, the Committee will expect evidence of an appropriately higher profile in other areas. If the award of a prestigious research or teaching fellowship limits the opportunity to contribute to all areas of work, then the Committee will expect evidence of an appropriately higher profile in the area of the award.

    Applicants are asked to include a clear summary of personal growth and achievements since their appointment, previous promotion, or application. They should also draw attention to any personal circumstances that have impacted on their performance and complete Section 1 in the Applicant Statement. This statement should make reference to the relevant issue(s), make specific reference to the criteria for promotion that have been impacted and also provide evidence of this impact wherever possible. Specific issues that might have an impact on the application could include: absences for maternity, paternity, parental or adoption leave and arrangements on return to work following these periods; part-time or other flexible working arrangements; periods of absence or flexible working arrangements or limitations arising from a disability, ill-health or injury; career breaks; personal, family, or other non-academic circumstances that have restricted or delayed the applicant’s professional career; and secondments and previous employment.

    The effective date for promotion is 1st August 2019. Promoted staff will be expected to assume leadership roles within their Schools appropriate to their new grade at the earliest opportunity following the effective date of their promotion.

    Promotion involving a substantive grade change will result in financial advancement except for Clinical Academics whose promotion will result in a change in title.

    Equality

    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 are set out above under key points. 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.

    References

    For promotion to Professor or Professor (Education), applicants will be required to:

    1. Provide the names and addresses (this must include the email address) of two external referees capable of commenting on their academic profile. In order to assess the international reputation of an applicant it would normally be expected that one referee should be from outside UK institutions. However it is recognised that this may not be appropriate for all disciplines.
    2. Normally no more than one of the applicant’s collaborative researchers may be named as a referee.
    3. Applicants must secure permission for the provision of reports from referees and confirmation that they will be able to do so by Thursday 28 February 2019. Applicants should note that, due to the timeline of the Scheme, it is not feasible for references to be available at the School Promotions Committee stage. References will be made available to Faculty, Central and Review Committees as they are received.
    4. Referees drawn from outside UK Institutions must indicate their precise rank i.e. Assistant, Associate or full Professor. For non-academic institutions a clear description of their status must be provided.
    5. Heads of School are required to nominate two further external referees with relevant subject expertise and inform the applicant of those nominated. Heads of School must secure permission for the provision of reports from referees and confirmation that they will be able to do so by Thursday 28 February 2019.

    Review Process

    At this stage, if an unsuccessful applicant considers a procedural defect exists or can offer some other substantive reason, he/she may submit a request for a review. This request should be made, in writing, by Monday 20 May 2019 at 4.00 pm to the Director of Human Resources and should set out in detail the specific and substantive reasons for a review.

    The Director of Human Resources will ensure the matter is brought before the Central Promotions Review Committee. Information which was not provided in the original application will not be considered and it is the responsibility, therefore, of every member of staff to ensure that their original submission is complete.

  • Head of School Process

    Step 1

    Head of School to meet with all potential applicants for promotion, particularly targeting those who demonstrate potential to succeed, having also discussed it at appraisal. There should be a written record of all feedback provided to the employee in relation to the specific areas they need to address in order to be seen as ready for promotion.

    Step 2

    In order to allow sufficient time for references to be received, Heads of School are required to provide information on referees at this stage for Professor and Professor (Education) applications. Referees must be able to provide a reference by Thursday 28 February 2019.

    Step 3

    Convene and chair School Promotion Committee in accordance with Committee Constitution Guidelines.

    Step 4

    Complete and submit Head of School report and signed minutes of School Promotions Committee.

    Step 5

    Attend Faculty Promotions Committee to make a verbal presentation on each application.

    Step 6

    Provide verbal feedback to all applicants, followed up in writing. Feedback must include clear guidance to the member of staff regarding the specific actions necessary to increase their readiness for promotion, and should also be incorporated into the Head of School report for that employee, for reference in future promotions exercises.

    Key Points

    The School Promotion Committee will include Director(s) of Research and Director(s) of Education, senior colleagues in the relevant School and one Head and one Professor from other cognate School(s) as nominated by the relevant Faculty PVC and where appropriate, other senior colleagues from their own School selected on account of their subject expertise. In exceptional cases the Head of School may also need to include persons from other schools to ensure that the composition of the group complies with the requirements of the University’s Equality and Diversity Policy.

    Take minutes of the meeting and ensure they are signed by those consulted. Any lack of consensus at the meeting must be explicitly stated in the minute of the meeting.

    The Head of School report should provide an evaluative overview of the candidate’s case for promotion referring to the School’s academic standards and the academic profile. The report should also include a critical analysis of the application’s strengths and weaknesses, including evidence of where the applicant has successfully responded to the development areas the Head of School has provided for them to be considered ready for promotion. Any relevant subject-specific knowledge and context should also be included here.

    The Head of School’s report must confirm the factual accuracy of the application and that there has been consistent treatment. The report must indicate clearly in each specific area(s) in which the applicant meets or does not meet the required level.

    The report must also detail the impact on the applicant’s academic profile which may be considered to have been due to personal circumstances (Section 3 of the Head of School Report). Whilst all staff are expected to meet the University’s quality criteria, a reduction in the quantity will be considered in light of individual circumstances assessed 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 and arrangements on return to work following these periods; part-time or other flexible working arrangements; periods of absence or flexible working arrangements or limitations arising from a disability, ill-health or injury; career breaks; personal, family, or other non-academic circumstances that have restricted or delayed the applicant’s professional career; and secondments and previous employment.

    Where the applicant is a Head of School, the report must be submitted by the Faculty PVC on the basis of consultation with all Director(s) of Research and Director(s) of Education, senior colleagues in the relevant School and one Head and one Professor from other cognate School(s) as nominated by the relevant Faculty PVC and where appropriate, other senior colleagues from their own School selected on account of their subject expertise. In exceptional cases the Head of School may also need to include persons from other schools to ensure that the composition of the group complies with the requirements of the University’s Equality and Diversity Policy. A minute of these discussions must be kept by the Faculty PVC and seen by the senior colleagues consulted.

    References

    In the case of applicants for Professor and Professor (Education), the Head of School is responsible for providing the names and addresses (this must include email addresses) of two external referees. They must inform the applicant of those referees they have nominated. In order to assess the international reputation of an applicant it would normally be expected that one referee should be from outside UK institutions. However it is recognised that this may not be appropriate for all disciplines. Normally no more than one of the applicant’s collaborative researchers may be named as a referee.

    Heads of School are required to ensure that the referees they have nominated have given their permission to be contacted and secure confirmation that they will be able to provide a reference by Thursday 28 February 2019. Where possible, Heads of School should start the process of seeking agreement from referees as soon as an application has been made from their School, rather than waiting until the closing date of the Scheme.

    The Referees list must be returned to Human Resources by Friday 8 February 2019 via Queen’s Online.

  • Committee Process

    Step 1

    Faculty Promotions Committees consider applications from their Faculty. Heads of School will attend and be asked to comment on each application from their School to assist the Committee in coming to a recommendation.

    Step 2

    Central Promotions Committee reviews all recommendations, makes final decisions on promotions and writes to applicants to advise them of the outcome. The Chairs of the Faculty Promotions Committees will present their assessments to the Central Committee.

    Step 3

    Central Promotions Review Committee considers each application for review and will advise applicants of the outcome.

    Key Points

    The Promotions Committees will have available, through Queen’s Online:

    1. The applicant’s Academic Curriculum Vitae and Applicant Statement.
    2. Heads of Schools’ report for each applicant.
    3. Minutes of the meeting of the School Committee
    4. Faculty Committees recommendation/Central Promotions decision (where appropriate)
    5. In the case of applications for Professorship and Professor (Education), four references will be provided to the Faculty Committee. The Central and Review Committees may request that the additional two references are called.

    Composition of Faculty Promotions Committees

    • Chair: Faculty Pro-Vice-Chancellor
    • Faculty Deans of Research and Education
    • 1 Dean of Research or Education from outside the Faculty
    • Heads of School from Faculty (normally to include a minimum 50% of the Heads of School on a rotating basis).

    Committees will only consider information in relation to applicants’ performance up until the closing date. Heads of School will be present at the Faculty Committee when the Committee makes its recommendations. They can participate in the discussion but will not take part in the decision-making itself even if they are a member of the Committee. If a Head of School is an applicant the relevant Faculty PVC will comment on the case.

    There should be female representation on all Promotions Committees.

  • Central Committee Process

    Composition of Central Promotion Committee

    • Vice-Chancellor
    • Registrar and Chief Operating Officer
    • Faculty Pro-Vice-Chancellors
    • Lay Senators
    • PVC (Research, Enterprise and Postgraduate Affairs)
    • PVC (Education and Students)

    The role of the Central Promotions Committee is to moderate between the Faculty Promotions Committees to ensure a consistent standard has been applied. The Chairs of the Faculty Promotions Committees will present their assessments, explaining how their decisions were made and highlighting any case where a different decision was made by the Faculty Committee from that recommended by the School or where specific issues have caused difficulty. Final decisions will be taken in the light of evidence provided in internal and external reports. At this stage it may exercise its power to encourage an unsuccessful applicant to apply in the next promotion exercise.

    Where the Central Promotions Committee determines that an applicant best meets a different grade profile it reserves the right to offer promotion to a grade different from that for which application was originally made.

    Those whose applications are unsuccessful will be given an indication in writing of the main areas in which they do not meet the required academic profile and or exceed their School’s academic standards, as detailed in section 2, Criteria and Eligibility for Promotion. The Head of School will provide verbal feedback to each applicant, followed up in writing. Feedback must include clear guidance to the member of staff regarding the specific actions necessary to increase their readiness for promotion. Faculty Pro-Vice-Chancellors should ensure they communicate relevant information from the Central Promotions Committee to Heads of School in order to inform the feedback to the applicant.

    Central Promotions Review Committee

    The Central Promotions Review Committee is comprised of:

    • Pro-Vice Chancellor for Internationalisation and Engagement
    • Member of Professoriate
    • 1 Lay Senator (not previously involved)
    • Director of Human Resources

    The Central Promotions Review Committee will be comprised of individuals not previously involved in the process. The Committee will consider each case, advise applicants of the outcome and its decision is final.

    There should be female representation on all Promotions Committees.

  • ECIT Promotions