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Academic promotion: useful information

Further information to help answer questions you may have about the academic promotion process.

About this page

If you have a question about academic promotion, this page is a good place to start. Here you'll find key information on academic promotion (although it is not an exhaustive list). If you are unable to find the answer you are looking for or you require more information, please read our academic promotion guide page and/or the Career Progression in the Education & Research Job Family Framework document (CPER).

Applying for promotion

Career paths for promotion

The CPER document contains a flow chart which highlights the different career paths available. If your current role does not feature on the diagram, you can contact the Academic Career Progression Team at to check if you are eligible to apply.

Promotion rounds

Promotion rounds are aligned with Academic Staff Committee (ASC) meetings. When the rounds take place depends on which route you are taking.

Please refer to the following list to see the roles you can apply for and when ASC meets to consider these applications.

Route Rounds
Professor September, November, February, May, June
Reader (translations only) September, November, February, May, June
Reader (promotions) November, May
Senior Lecturer (teaching) November, May
Senior Lecturer (research & teaching) November, May
Senior Research Fellow November, May
Lecturer (grade 7 to grade 8) September, November, February, May, June
Research Associate to Research Fellow September, November, February, May, June

Deadlines for submitting an application

Deadlines for applications and when ASC will meet to consider your application can be found on our promotions deadlines web page.

Please note, the deadlines are for completed cases to be submitted to HR. You should speak with your Head of Department/Division for internal deadlines as there are a number of steps in the process the Department must complete before submitting applications on your behalf.

Application process

Complete the relevant application form (links provided on the relevant promotion route page accessible from our overall academic promotion page) and gather your supporting evidence demonstrating how you meet the criteria. You will need to send it to your Head of Department/Division who will consult with senior colleagues to determine the level of support for your application.

Heads of Department/Divisions will write their assessments for supported applications and include the names of external reviewers, before submitting your completed application to HR.

We encourage you to familiarise yourself with our academic promotion guide pages and the CPER criteria before starting your application.

Assessing your application

Who assesses the case for promotion and makes a decision

Academic Staff Committee (ASC) meet to consider all applications for academic promotion and can decide to either:

  • promote
  • not promote
  • invite candidate for further interview

How the case for promotion will be assessed

ASC consider the strength of applications using the following information:

  • the promotion criteria for that specific route
  • application form
  • supporting evidence
  • supporting statements from internal colleagues
  • Head of Department/Division assessment
  • Dean of Faculty/School assessment
  • views of external referees

Using the HEA Fellowship as evidence

Academic Staff Committee recognise that HEA Fellowship is a formal, UK-benchmarked professional award that requires the applicant to present evidence of their contribution to teaching and supporting learning in higher education. The particular status of Fellowship achieved (Associate Fellow (AFHEA), Fellow (FHEA), Senior Fellow (SFHEA) or Principal Fellow (PFHEA) indicates the breadth and depth of this contribution as specified in the UK Professional Standards Framework for teaching and supporting learning in higher education.

The University of Bath’s promotion criteria have been mapped to the UKPSF such that being an HEA Fellowship holder may be used as direct evidence for some of the teaching elements. Use the HEA Fellowship mapping document to understand which criteria your Fellowship can provide sufficient direct evidence against.

Covid impact

Academic Staff Committee recognise that the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted academic staff and encourage applicants to declare any impact of the Covid-19 pandemic as part of mitigating circumstances within their application form.

External referees

Number of external references required for the case to be considered by ASC

Route Min no. of referees required
Professor 4
Reader (translations only) 4
Reader (promotions) 4
Senior Lecturer (teaching) 3
Senior Lecturer (research & teaching) 3
Senior Research Fellow 3
Lecturer (grade 7 to grade 8) Internal only
Research Associate to Research Fellow Internal only

Choosing an external referee

Suggested external referees should be familiar with the discipline/field of work and should be as independent as possible to ensure they are able to comment on the strength of your application and work only.

External referees should not be relatives, friends, previous line managers, PhD supervisors or frequent collaborators.

However, it is understood that depending on the field, the eligible pool of independent external colleagues to contact can be limited. If you or your Head of Department/Division is unsure about the level of independence, please contact the Academic Career Progression Team to discuss.

Suggested external referees should be a full professor or of professorial standing if they are not within academia. The Academic Career Progression Team will contact your Head of Department/Division to find out more for any referees suggested where they do not have ‘Professor’ as their title.

Seeking external references

While it is recommended that your Head of Department/Division contacts suggested external referees before submitting your application to check they are available to help, the Academic Career Progression Team within HR are responsible for contacting suggested external referees to formally request a reference.

The views of external colleagues, even if they’re not suggested as a formal referee, should not be sought by anyone outside of HR.

All completed external assessor forms or letters of reference should be sent directly to the Academic Career Progression Team to include with your application for consideration by ASC.

What we send to external referees

Along with a request for assistance, external referees are sent:

  • your application form
  • criteria for the route you are applying for
  • External Assessor Template form

Exceptional circumstances

Application for employees on a part time contract

If you are on a part-time contract, you can still apply for promotion. ASC will take into consideration your FTE (full time equivalent) to make reasonable adjustments when assessing your application.

ASC understand that the quantity may be reduced compared to what is expected from a full time role, but the quality will still be at the same level.

Applying for promotion when on probation

If you are currently on academic probation, you can still apply for promotion. You will need to demonstrate how you meet the specific criteria for promotion.

If you are applying on the basis of either a major or effective contribution in teaching, you must still provide supporting evidence for the last three years to demonstrate you have met the criteria. Please note that any teaching feedback from a previous institution must be accompanied with an explanation of the metrics provided so that ASC can benchmark and determine the standard of teaching in comparison to metrics used at Bath.


When you will start new your role if you are successful

All promotions are effective from the 1st of the month after ASC meet, so for example if ASC meet in May, promotion is effective from 1st June.

You will receive a contract issued by the Academic Career Progression Team confirming this.

How your new salary is decided if you are successful

Route How salary is determined
Promotions to Reader, Senior Lecturer, Senior Research Fellow You will progress to the bottom spine point of grade 9, unless you were already in an exceptional contribution point, in which case you will be uplifted to the spine point above your current point.
Translations to Reader You will remain at grade 9 but will be uplifted to one spine point above your current point. If in an exceptional contribution point within grade 9, approval will be sought by HR from the HR Director to uplift you into a further exceptional contribution point.
Lecturer grade 8 and Research Fellow You will progress to the bottom spine point of grade 8, unless you were already in an exceptional contribution point, in which case you will be uplifted to the spine point above your current point.
Professor Your starting salary will be determined by the higher of (a) the lowest point in the pay scale; (b) a 10% increase in basic pay pegged to the next highest spine point outlined in the professorial remuneration document.

You will receive a contract issued by the Academic Career Progression Team confirming this

Please read our guidance on starting salaries and our University pay and grading structure page to understand more.

If you are unsuccessful: next steps

If you are not supported at the departmental stage (when your Head of Department/Division seeks internal views on the strength of your case), then your Head of Department/Division must inform you. They will provide feedback on your application and help you to develop a Personal Action Plan.

If ASC consider your application and decide you have not yet met the criteria for promotion, your Head of Department/Division will be notified to inform you and following this you will receive a letter formally confirming this decision, the criteria not met and your right of appeal. Your Head of Department/Division should meet with you to develop a Personal Action Plan.

When you can apply again, if you are unsuccessful

There is no time limit to how long you must wait to submit your application again if you were previously unsuccessful. However, you must take into account feedback provided by ASC and determine with you Head of Department/Division if you have successfully addressed this feedback before applying again.

If you have been previously promoted before and are applying to the next level

When considering your case for promotion, ASC will consider your whole career holistically, although there will be a particular focus on new achievements and evidence since the last promotion. ASC are aware that this will also be impacted by the field of work/ subject discipline. Please avoid using the same evidence to justify a further promotion.


If you have any questions, please contact us.

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