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There are three routes to promotion and for each there are four levels above Grades 6 and 7, for which there are separate criteria.

Chart showing the different routes of promotion

Promotion can only be sought through a route consistent with the type of contract an applicant is on. For instance, the criteria for the Academic: teaching route is applicable only to applicants whose contract is focused on teaching and other student-related roles.

The names of both the routes and the levels are, however, irrespective of exact contract titles. Academic: teaching is applicable to anyone whose main duty is teaching and student-related, regardless of whether their contract title is ‘Teaching and Scholarship’, ‘Teaching-Focused’ or some other similar term. Similarly, both for Academic: teaching and Academic: research alternatives to ‘lecturer’ are found, such as ‘(Senior) Teaching/Research Fellow’. For the purpose of promotion, the criteria for ‘(Senior) Lecturer’ apply, but this does not affect the title used.

Four areas of activity are recognised: (i) Research, (ii) Teaching and other student-related activity, (iii) Service and Leadership, and (iv) Knowledge Transfer and External Engagement. Social Responsibility forms part of the criteria for (i), (ii) and (iv), but can also be taken into account in relation to some activity under (iii) if a promotions committee deems the activity relevant.

Which areas of activity are relevant varies between Routes:

Chart on the different promotion routes

For each route, an applicant can choose to include in their case either Service and Leadership or Knowledge Transfer and External Engagement, or both areas of activity. The criteria for each of these areas of activity for each level are based on it being one of the main areas relied on in a case for promotion. If an applicant includes both areas in their case, the promotions committee will take a view on how the criteria met under both headings equate to the requirements for a candidate including only one of the two areas of activity in their case. If an applicant has some activity in an area, but not sufficient for this to be one the main areas included in the case, this activity can be included in the case so that the Promotions Committees can take it into account if they deem it relevant to the case.

One of the principles underpinning the formulation of the promotions criteria is that a successful case can be made on different combinations of depth and breadth. The intention is that for promotion, an applicant will not need to show an equally high level of achievement in each of the areas of activity included in the case, but if not, then compensatory achievement in some other area of activity is required. Similarly, an applicant can show different levels of strength with respect to the criteria within an area of activity, but if there is relative weakness with respect to one criterion, then there should be compensating strength with respect to some other criterion.

All cases for promotion will be assessed in the context of the discipline within which the applicant works.

For information on promotion to MAHSC Honorary Clinical Chair (doc) 


Cases for promotion to Senior Lecturer and above are first assessed by the relevant School Promotions Committee (SPC), which makes a recommendation to the Faculty Promotions Committee (FPC), which has responsibility for making the final decision. Cases for promotion to Grades 6 and 7 are determined entirely by the School Promotions Committee.

A schedule will be published by the Director of Human Resources at the beginning of the academic year, specifying the final date by when Faculty Promotions Committees are required to have completed their consideration of cases. Each Faculty then publishes the schedule to indicate deadlines for Schools to submit cases to Faculty, and each School indicates its own internal deadlines. Follow the link to your Faculty information and guidance.

An applicant wishing to go forward for promotion should submit the following documentation (see general guidance, and for links to more detailed Faculty specific guidance):

• CV
• individual statement(s) covering each activity included in the case
• statement by a senior colleague
• in the case of promotion to Reader and Professor the names of referees (please see Faculty guidance for further information)

The process involves an initial stage at which the applicant receives feedback to help them make their case in the most effective way and is given an opportunity to revise their documentation. This process may take place at Divisional/Departmental or School level. Faculties and Schools provide more detailed information about local processes.

Further information

School Promotion Committee

The School Promotions Committee is chaired by the Head of School (or nominee) and should have the discipline expertise required to assess fairly all cases for promotion submitted to it. The membership should also be such that proactive gender and ethnic diversity representation can be ensured, and all members of SPC are expected to have undertaken an approved training course in equality and diversity. If necessary to assess a case, or to achieve appropriate representation, expertise can be called in from across the university.

HR colleagues are present for the meetings of the SPC to provide advice on policy and procedures.

SPC considers the cases of applicants for promotion to grades 6 and 7 and makes a final decision on these cases.

For promotion to Senior Lecturer and above, SPC agrees a recommendation to FPC for each case:

A: clearly meets the criteria for promotion
B: marginally meets the criteria for promotion
C: marginally fails to meet the criteria for promotion
D: clearly fails to meet the criteria for promotion

Where SPC agrees the recommendation D, the case is not forwarded to FPC, and the applicant receives feedback on what motivated the decision. An applicant whose case has been assessed as D by SPC can decide to make a personal submission directly to FPC.

Cases assessed as A, B or C are forwarded to FPC with a brief statement by the Head of School (or nominee) on each case. Applicants whose case is assessed as C may be provided with feedback, including a discussion of the possibility of withdrawing the application and resubmitting it in a later promotions round when a stronger case can be made.

Faculty Promotions Committee

FPC is chaired by the relevant Vice-President & Dean (or nominee), and its membership includes Vice-Dean for Teaching and Learning, Vice-Dean for Research, two professors, one non-professorial member and one relevant Vice-Dean or Associate Dean from another Faculty.

The FPC has final decision on cases for promotion to Senior Lecturer and above. Where the FPC does not consider an applicant to be promotable, the member of staff will be informed accordingly in writing. The member of staff will be offered the opportunity to attend a meeting along with their Head of School or Head of Division/Department to receive feedback from the Chair of the relevant FPC (or their nominee).

If FPC’s assessment of an applicant is substantially different from that of the relevant SPC, further information can be sought from the School.

HR are present for the meetings of FPC to provide advice on policy and procedures.
They also collate and analyse the data on applications for promotion to each grade and the profile by gender and ethnicity of the cases considered.


Applicants who are unsuccessful at FPC may appeal the decision not to promote them by writing to the Director of Human Resources. The Director of Human Resources will arrange an Appeal Panel which will comprise of the Deputy President and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Chair) and the Vice-President and Deans, though they will not be part of the determination of appeals from their own Faculty. Appeals will only be considered on the grounds of procedural irregularity. Individuals should submit the grounds for their appeal in writing within the deadline provided by the Director of Human Resources, which will generally be six to eight weeks after FPC meets, the exact dates will be published each year. The decision of the Appeal Panel is final. The Chair of the Appeal Panel will be responsible for confirming the outcome of the review to both the individual and the Chair of the relevant FPC.

Applicants for promotion to grades 6 and 7 who are unsuccessful at School level may request a review of the recommendation not to promote them by writing to the Head of Faculty Human Resources who will arrange for the case to be considered by the FPC (or a subset of the FPC). The decision of the FPC will be final.

For information on the process for promotion to MAHSC Honorary Clinical Chair.

Research Staff Promotions FAQs

For further support and guidance please read the Research Staff Promotions FAQs.

Fast track applications

In cases of threatened loss of a key member of staff, where there is clear evidence that the member of staff has received or is likely to receive an offer from another university or organisation, and is considered to be qualified for promotion, the Head of School may ask the FPC, via the Dean, for immediate consideration for promotion.