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Applying for academic promotion: guidance for Heads of Department

Understand your role in the academic promotions process as a Head of Department or Division.

Identifying candidates

You will receive a notification from HR asking you to propose candidates for promotion.

It is expected that you will begin the promotions process within your Department/School by writing to every eligible member of staff and inviting submissions from all who consider they have met the appropriate criteria.

The deadlines provided are for completed applications to be submitted to HR and internal deadlines should be set and circulated within the department.

Consultation on applications for promotion

In order to assess the support for any applications submitted, you are asked to initiate a consultation process with relevant senior staff in the Education and Research job family.

This group should be broadly based and could be constituted by the Department/School's executive committee or a committee of senior professors.

Assessing applications for promotion

Applications should be assessed by reference to the Career Progression in the Education and Research job family framework document.

You are asked to complete the Head of Department/Division promotion application assessment form to provide your statement, information on the outcome from the internal consultation process and suggested referees. This should be submitted to HR along with the application.

For applications to professor, the full application, supporting statement, Head of Department/Division assessment and suggested referees should be submitted for Faculty level assessment to determine if a prima facie cases exists. If supported, the full case should be submitted to HR.

Feedback to candidates on their application

It is your responsibility to keep an applicant informed of the progress of their application within the Department/School, including advising them of the outcome of the consultation process.

Applications which are supported

Where applications are supported, you will be expected to submit the following information to HR:

Routes of promotion Application format Head of Department/Division’s statement* Senior Colleague’s supporting statement References needed**
Promotion to Professor Application form Yes N/A 4
Promotion to Senior Lecturer (teaching and research) Application form Yes Yes 3
Promotion/Translation to Reader Application form Yes Yes 4
Promotion to Senior Lecturer (teaching) Application form Yes Yes 3
Promotion to Senior Research Fellow Application Form Yes Yes 3
Promotion to Lecturer (teaching) Grade 7 to 8 Application form Yes Yes N/A

* This should include a summary of departmental communications, outcome of the consultation process and the details of applications for promotions not supported.

** These referees should not be from the University of Bath, and should normally be full professors, or of professorial standing. 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 the application and work only. External referees should not be relatives, friends, previous line managers, PhD supervisors or frequent collaborators. For promotions to professor, at least one international referee is required. Heads of Department/Division must seek the agreement of suggested referees to provide their comments before they are contacted by HR.

Consideration of applications

For cases considered by Academic Staff Committee (ASC), you (or your nominated Deputy) will be asked to attend the meeting to provide any update on the application and respond to questions.

Once the outcome is known, you will be asked to inform the applicant before they are formally notified in writing.

Principles of research assessment and management

The University has developed a set of principles outlining its approach to research assessment and management, including the responsible use of quantitative indicators. The assessment of academic promotion cases by Academic Staff Committee and its related sub groups will be made in accordance with these principles.

Applications not supported

Where a case is not supported by the Department/School or by ASC, you will be expected to arrange for a Personal Action Plan to be developed.

Useful resources

We encourage you to refer to the academic promotion guide page and related pages and the CPER document to understand more about the process, procedures and criteria for promotion. However, you might also find it helpful to refer to our academic promotion: useful information page to help answer questions you may have on individual topics.


If you have any questions, please contact us.

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