Procedures

Promotion of Academic Staff - Procedure

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1.0    Purpose and Scope

The University of Queensland (UQ or the University) is committed to ensuring that a robust career and performance development approach exists for academic staff which provides a foundation for the achievement of academic excellence.

This procedure provides a practical context to the processes, key controls and responsibilities with regard to academic promotion which is underpinned by the principles as outlined in the Confirmation and Promotions (Academic Staff) Policy.

1.1    Scope

This procedure applies to all academic staff applying for promotion across all academic levels and categories, conjoint staff and academic secondees where UQ is lead employer, and health professional academic title holders (non-clinical pathway).

2.0    Key Controls

2.1    Impact of changes to the Criteria for Academic Performance  

Due to the introduction of changes to the Criteria for Academic Performance Policy  on 7 October 2021, a transitionary approach will be implemented to determine which Criteria will be used for assessment in Promotion processes. For the purpose of this procedure, the previous Criteria for Academic Performance will be referred to as the ‘legacy criteria’.

  1. Academic staff applying for promotion in 2022
    In 2022, the promotion process will continue to use the legacy criteria, process and forms to ensure applicants who may have commenced their applications for 2022 are not unduly disadvantaged.

  2. Academic staff applying for promotion in 2023
    From 2023, the promotion process will use the current Criteria for Academic Performance and updated performance documentation.

2.2    Eligibility to apply for Promotion

Eligible staff at Level A may apply for promotion to Level B at any time throughout the year. Level A applicants may only apply once for promotion per calendar year.

Staff may submit an application for promotion to Level C, D or E two years from one of the following:

  1. the date of appointment to their current level; or

  2. the application date of their last promotion application, whether successful or unsuccessful.

Fixed-term staff are eligible to apply for promotion provided their employment contract extends (or is expected to extend) beyond the date on which the promotion takes effect.

2.3    Readiness

While the decision to apply for promotion rests entirely with the applicant, applicants are required to discuss their readiness to apply for promotion with their Academic Supervisor and Head/Director.

The Criteria for Academic Performance is the principal document used to assess readiness for promotion. Applicants must be able to demonstrate that they have reached the required standards for the academic level to which they seek promotion. In some instances, recognition of trajectory, based on available evidence, may be appropriate.

Promotion is dependent on demonstrated ability and achievement since the applicant's appointment to their current position and level. Secondary evidence supporting promotion may be derived from work undertaken during earlier career stages that has underpinned the achievement of the relevant standard for promotion.

2.4    Particular Circumstances

2.4.1    Promotion to any Academic Level

An eligible academic may only apply for promotion to the next academic level.

However, in rare and exceptional circumstances, the Committee may determine that an applicant has demonstrated that they have met the criteria for the academic level above the level applied for, to such an extent, that promotion to the next academic level may be offered. If an applicant would prefer to be promoted to the academic level applied for, they should indicate this to the Chair.

2.4.2    Early Application

Permission to apply for promotion prior to the eligibility dates may only be approved by the relevant Committee Chair in exceptional circumstances. The staff member must apply in writing to the Head and outline the exceptional circumstances that apply. The Head (or equivalent) must support the request in writing.

In circumstances where the staff member was unsuccessful in their application for promotion in the previous year, the staff member’s application must demonstrate a substantial and significant change to warrant re-consideration by the Committee.

In exceptional circumstances and with permission of the Committee Chair, out-of-cycle promotion applications to level C-E can be considered by the Committee, where an appropriate case is provided in writing from the Head of the applicant’s Organisational Unit.

2.4.3    Fellowship Award Recipients

Where a staff member is awarded a high standing fellowship at a higher level than their substantive position, the staff member may apply for promotion in the next promotion round following the Fellowship commencement date.  Where promoted, the promotion will apply to the substantive appointment. In evaluating the strength of the case presented by a Fellowship award recipient, members of the relevant promotions Committee will also need to consider the applicant's achievements relative to their substantive role.

With the exception of Australian Research Council (ARC) and National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Fellowships (which are high-standing), the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) will be responsible for determining whether a Fellowship meets the definition of high-standing. Requests to consider whether a Fellowship is high-standing are made in writing to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation), ensuring all relevant and associated information is provided to enable an informed decision. 

2.4.4    Externally or Grant funded Research Focused Academics

For an externally or grant funded research focused academic to be considered for promotion, the terms of the research grant funding must permit the promotion.

2.4.5    Change of Academic Category

When an applicant applies for promotion, the Committee will assess the application with regard to the applicant’s current academic category. For example, where the applicant has spent two years as Research Focused, and one year as Teaching & Research (their current category), the assessment will be against the criteria for a Teaching & Research academic.

The Committee may however, in an effort to ensure that an applicant is not disadvantaged by a change in academic category, give consideration to the overall contribution of an applicant since their appointment or promotion to their current academic level.

2.5    Promotion/Probation Relationships

Where a Level A academic is on probation and is successful in gaining promotion to Level B, confirmation of continuing appointment will be considered against the academic criteria for Level B. Confirmation of continuing appointment will be determined by the relevant LCPC in accordance with the standard final review process.

Level B – D staff on probation who make a successful application for promotion, will also be considered by the relevant Committee for early confirmation of continuing appointment, if they have been employed by the University for two years or more at the time of the promotion submission date.

2.6    Application and Timetable

Eligible Staff at Level A may apply for promotion to Level B at any time throughout the year.

For promotion to levels C, D and E, one promotion round will be held each year, with applications being called between 1 April and 30 June. Applications are to be submitted via the online application system. 

2.7    Date of Effect

Promotion to Level B:                the first day of the month following the promotion decision.

Promotion to Level C, D, E:        1 January of the year following successful application.

3.0    Key Process Requirements

3.1    Academic Documentation Submission

The Applicant must ensure that that the following items are completed and submitted as part of their online application:

Item

Level

B-D

Level

E

Case for Promotion (800 words maximum)

Summary of key achievements since appointment/promotion to current level

 

Form A and complete set of at least three most recent semesters of SECaTs (where relevant)

Head/Director Assessment & Recommendation

Case for Promotion to Professor

 

Executive Dean/Director Report

 

3.2    Referees

In circumstances where clarification is needed on a specific aspect of an applicant’s case, referees may be sought at the discretion of the Committee Chair. Referees must be able to attest to the applicant’s contribution and impact and it is expected that referees will be at, or above, the academic level of the applicant.

3.2.1    Conflict of Interest Considerations

If a perceived or potential conflict of interest exists, the referee must declare this to the person seeking the reference.

This may include:

  • being a mentor, relative or friend;

  • having held a grant or published with the person in the preceding five years;

  • having participated in the same research group in the preceding five years;

  • having ongoing and close collaboration links; or

  • being a current member of the relevant Confirmation and Promotions Committee.

A referee must not have an actual  conflict of interest with the applicant.

3.2.2    Adverse Comments

Applicants will have the opportunity to respond to adverse referee comments.

3.3    Committee Interview

The relevant Committee will invite applicants (except promotion to Level B) to a promotion interview.

The applicant may submit a brief update around one week prior to interview on any substantial new achievements since the date of submission.

The interview process provides an opportunity for applicants to present their case for promotion and enables the Committee to seek clarification on any aspects of the application.

3.4    Appeals

An applicant who is unsuccessful in their promotion application may appeal the decision only on procedural grounds.

Prior to appealing, it is expected that unsuccessful applicants will seek feedback on their application and reasons for the decision to not promote.

An appeal must be lodged in writing to the Chief Human Resources Officer at cap@uq.edu.au within 10 days following the feedback meeting with the Committee Chair. In order for an appeal to be upheld, the Provost or Vice-Chancellor as Authorised Officer must be satisfied that the procedural error had a substantial and significant impact on the decision. The decision of the Authorised Officer is final.

4.0    Roles, Responsibilities and Accountabilities

4.1    Local Confirmation and Promotions Committee (LCPC)

The relevant LCPC is responsible for considering promotion applications to Level C and D, within the relevant Faculty and/or Institute.

4.2    Professorial Confirmation and Promotions Committee (PCPC)

The PCPC is responsible for considering Professorial promotion applications and making recommendations to the Vice-Chancellor for approval.

4.3    Vice-Chancellor

The Vice-Chancellor (or nominee) is required to:

  • Determine the outcome of promotion applications, on recommendation from the PCPC.

  • Consider and determine appeals (Level E).

4.4    Provost

The Provost (or nominee) is required to:

  • Chair the Professorial Confirmation and Promotions Committee.

  • Present recommendations for promotion to the Vice-Chancellor.

  • Advise Executive Deans/Institute Directors of outcomes for their respective areas.

  • Ensure all applicants are notified of promotion outcomes in writing at the same time.

  • Provide constructive and developmental feedback to applicants as appropriate.

  • Consider and determine appeals (Level A – D).

4.5    Executive Dean

The Executive Dean is required to:

  • Chair the relevant Local Confirmation and Promotions Committee (LCPC).

  • Assess whether any conflict of interest may exist between themselves and an applicant for promotion. If so, discuss the conflict with the Provost, and if so directed, remove themselves from any involvement in the applicant’s application for promotion.

  • Determine the outcome of a promotion application, on recommendation from the Head/Director, and advise the applicant (Level B).

  • Provide constructive and developmental feedback to applicants as appropriate (Level B – D).

  • Complete the Executive Dean/Institute Director Report for staff applying for promotion to Professor (Level E).

  • Determine alternative arrangements for applications within a School/Centre, where a Head/Director is applying for promotion in the same round (Level E).

  • Attend PCPC meetings where invited (Level E).

4.6    Institute Director

The Institute Director is required to:

  • Determine the outcome of a promotion application, on recommendation from the supervisor, and advise the applicant (Level B within their Institute).

  • Complete the Executive Dean/Institute Director Report for staff applying for promotion to Professor (Level E).

  • Provide all necessary documentation to the applicant within reasonable timeframes.

  • Seek feedback from the academic supervisor and other relevant staff as appropriate.

  • Provide the Head/Director Assessment and Recommendation report to the applicant at least two weeks from the submission closing date (Level C - E).

  • Formally meet with each promotion applicant to discuss their application and advise on the content of the Head/Director Assessment and Recommendation (Level C – E).

  • Provide input and/or attend Committee deliberations as requested. The Institute Director would be expected to clarify points of fact and provide other relevant information, noting that this information must be consistent with the written report (Level C – E).

  • Meet with applicants to provide constructive and developmental feedback at the request of the Committee Chair (Level C – E).

4.7    Head of School

The Head of School is required to:

  • Provide all necessary documentation to the applicant within reasonable timeframes.

  • Seek feedback from the academic supervisor and other relevant staff as appropriate.

  • Provide the Head/Director Assessment and Recommendation report to the applicant at least two weeks from the submission closing date (Level C - E).

  • Formally meet with each promotion applicant to discuss their application and advise on the content of the Head/Director Assessment and Recommendation (Level C – E).

  • Provide input to Committee deliberations as requested. The Head would be expected to clarify points of fact and provide other relevant information, noting that this information must be consistent with the written report (Level C – E).

  • Following the promotions process, meet with applicants to provide constructive and developmental feedback at the request of the Committee Chair (Level B – E).

  • Remove themselves from making recommendations for other applicants applying for promotion to Professor if they also are making an application for promotion to Professor (Level E).

Where an applicant has a joint appointment, the Head/Institute Director of each Organisational Unit should complete the Head/Institute Director Assessment and Recommendation report collaboratively.

4.8    Supervisor

The academic supervisor is required to undertake the Annual Performance and Development process as articulated in the Academic Annual Performance and Development Procedure and provide all necessary documentation to the applicant within reasonable timeframes.

4.9    Academic Staff

Academic staff have a responsibility to:

  • Meet with their Head/Director to discuss readiness to submit an application for promotion (Level B - E).

  • Ensure all required documentation is factually correct and submitted via the online system by the due date.

  • Submit a brief update (optional) up to one week prior to committee interview on any substantial new achievements since submission of the application.

  • Submit a response (optional) to the Committee Secretariat to comments made in the Supervisor, Head/ Institute Director or Executive Dean reports, or adverse referee comments, within 14 days of receipt.

  • Seek assistance if support is required throughout the promotion process.

4.10    Committee Secretariat

The Committee secretariat is responsible for supporting the Committee to undertake its obligations and responsibilities effectively in line with University Policy, Procedure, and associated standards. This includes:

  • Assisting the Committee and applicants where required.

  • Ensuring promotion application outcomes are recorded in Workday and providing outcomes to the University’s Central CAP team.

  • In conjunction with the Committee Chair, ensuring that applicants are advised of outcomes in writing as soon as reasonably practicable.

5.0    Monitoring, Review and Assurance

The Chief Human Resources Officer (or delegated authority) has responsibility for ensuring compliance with this procedure and ensuring it is monitored and reviewed appropriately.

6.0    Definitions, Terms and Acronyms

Academic Category

Teaching and Research (T&R)

Teaching Focused (TF)

Research Focused (RF)

Clinical Academic (CA)

Academic Performance and Development (APD) process

The APD process refers to the annual appraisal and development conversation.

Authorised Officer

The officer authorised to exercise certain HR powers and functions as outlined in the HR Sub-delegations Instrument.

Committee Chair

 

The Faculty Executive Dean for LCPCs or the Provost for the PCPC.

Committee

The Faculty Local Confirmation and Promotions Committee (LCPC); or

The Professorial Confirmation and Promotions Committee (PCPC) for Level E.

Head

Head of School (or equivalent), which for purposes of this process, refers to a Director of a University or Faculty Institute or Centre but not School-level.

High Standing Fellowship

Usually, National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) or Australian Research Council (ARC).

Enterprise Agreement

The University of Queensland Enterprise Agreement 2018 – 2021, or as amended or replaced.

SECaT

 

Student Evaluation of Course and Teacher.

 

Custodians
Chief Human Resources Officer Dr Al Jury

Forms

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Case for Promotion to Professor

Case for Promotion to Professor

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Description: 

Please refer to PPL 5.80.14b Promotion to Professor - Procedures for further details.

Custodians
Chief Human Resources Officer Dr Al Jury
Executive Dean/Director Report for Professorial Promotion – Form

Executive Dean/Director Report for Professorial Promotion – Form

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Description: 

This form must be completed by the Executive Dean/Institute Director for staff applying for Promotion to Professor (Level E).

Please refer to PPL 5.80.14b Promotion to Professor - Procedures (section 8.2) for further details.

Custodians
Chief Human Resources Officer Dr Al Jury
Form D - Head/Director Assessment & Recommendation

Form D - Head/Director Assessment & Recommendation

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Description: 

Head/Director Assessment form - please select relevant Level E form below, as required.

Custodians
Chief Human Resources Officer Dr Al Jury
Form D - Head/Director Assessment & Recommendation - Clinical Academic

Form D - Head/Director Assessment & Recommendation - Clinical Academic

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Description: 

Head/Director Assessment Form for clinical academic staff (please select relevant form for Level A-D below, as required).

Custodians
Chief Human Resources Officer Dr Al Jury
Form D - Head/Director Assessment & Recommendation - Research Focused

Form D - Head/Director Assessment & Recommendation - Research Focused

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Description: 

Head/Director Assessment Form for research focused staff (please select relevant form for Level A-D below, as required).

Custodians
Chief Human Resources Officer Dr Al Jury
Form D - Head/Director Assessment & Recommendation - Teaching & Research

Form D - Head/Director Assessment & Recommendation - Teaching & Research

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Description: 

Head/Director Assessment Form for teaching and reseach staff (please select relevant form for Level A-D below, as required).

Custodians
Chief Human Resources Officer Dr Al Jury
Form D - Head/Director Assessment & Recommendation - Teaching Focused

Form D - Head/Director Assessment & Recommendation - Teaching Focused

Printer-friendly version
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Description: 

Head/Director Assessment form for teaching focused staff (please select relevant form for Level A-D below, as required).

Custodians
Chief Human Resources Officer Dr Al Jury
Custodians
Chief Human Resources Officer Dr Al Jury
Custodians
Chief Human Resources Officer Dr Al Jury