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Academic Career Pathways (Research and Teaching)

This guidance sets out the University’s procedure for the consideration of academic promotion to the academic offices of Associate Professor (Grade 10), Professor (Grade 11 and Grade 12), following approval of the Report of the General Board on arrangements for the implementation of the Academic Career Pathways Scheme (Reporter, 2018-19, 6547, p.562).  It includes the titles set out in the Joint Report of the Council and the General Board on the titles and structure of academic offices (Reporter, 2019-20, 6582, p.419), which have been approved by the Regent House.

It also includes details of the pay progression scheme for Associate Professors (Grade 10) seeking to progress to the higher salary points.

There is no expectation of step-by-step progression through each level of the career pathway: for example, applications to Professorships (Grade 11) and Professorships are accessible to Assistant and Associate Professors at both Grades 9 & 10. 

The table below summaries the pathway options to help applicants determine which career pathway is right for them:

Office Progression to Route
Assistant Professor or Associate Professor (Grade 9) Associate Professor (Grade 10) ACP (USL Progession / Promotion Scheme A)
Assistant Professor or Associate Professor (Grade 9) Professor (Grade 11) or Professor ACP (Promotion)
Associate Professor (Grade 10) Associate Professor (Grade 10) higher spine points ACP (Associate Professor (Grade 10) Pay Progression Scheme B)
Associate Professor (Grade 10) Professor (Grade 11) or Professor ACP (Promotion)
Professor (Grade 11) Professor ACP (Promotion)
Professor Progression through bands 2, 3 and 4 Biennial Professorial Pay Review


Progression from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor (Grade 9) forms part of the University’s Probation process for academic staff (see the University’s Probation Policy and Academic Probation Procedure).

An Assistant Professor is eligible to apply to progress to Associate Professor (Grade 10) or a more senior office while still in probation. In the case of an Assistant Professor applying to progress to Associate Professor (Grade 10) the ACP (Associate Professor Progression/Promotion Scheme A) functions as a promotion scheme.

The case for promotion/progression is assessed in relation to the criteria on the strength of all the evidence contained in the documentation covering the academic’s career (see Assessment Criteria).

In all cases, institutions should ensure that sufficient funding is identified to support applications for promotion and ongoing salary costs.  Queries concerned with funding should be raised with the relevant School Finance Manager in the first instance.

Note: Academics who have chosen to retain their existing title of Lecturer (Grade 9), Senior Lecturer (Grade 10) and Reader (Grade 11) are eligible to apply for progression as set out above.  If their application is successful, their progression will be to the relevant office and title set out above.