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Use generic academic job descriptions and person specifications (academic and research only posts)

Understand how to use generic job descriptions and person specifications and download the templates.

Generic job descriptions and person specifications

Generic job description and person specifications set out the typical duties and selection criteria for a job.  They provide a meaningful description of the nature and scope of a job and the essential duties and responsibilities that are regularly performed and have been evaluated through HERA. 

The aim of using them is to provide a consistent approach across the University, and to save time and effort for departments in preparing new job descriptions.

We have developed generic job descriptions and person specifications for the following jobs:

Academic posts:

  • Lecturer

  • Senior Lecturer

  • Reader

  • Professor

Download the generic job description templates for the academic posts listed above.

Research only posts:

  • Research Assistant

  • Research Associate 

  • Research Fellow 

Download the generic job description templates for the research only posts listed above.

Using generic job descriptions and person specifications

To make best use of these documents, managers need to: 

  • be aware that the job descriptions set out the baseline requirements for the job. Further information to explain the main responsibilities and core attributes can be included but the baseline requirements should not normally be added to or deleted.

  • add information to the job descriptions to provide context for the job and the focus of the job (see Background and Context section on page 1 of the job description)

  • if necessary, elaborate on existing essential criteria in the person specification in order to clarify discipline specific requirements e.g. describing a specific qualification.

  • if appropriate situations add extra desirable criteria to the person specification to assist with shortlisting.

For academic roles, the balance between the 3 elements of teaching, research and administration/management in the job description may change over time depending on the specific needs in time, or due to changing needs in the department.   Individual performance objectives agreed either as part of probation or the SDPR process will help managers to identify which areas within the job description are priority for the job holder.

Making changes to generic job descriptions

Requests for major variations to the generic templates need to be authorised by the Dean of Faculty/School. 

Any request to remove the essential requirement for an individual to hold a PhD or equivalent in PhD level roles needs to be raised with the Deputy Vice-Chancellor for academic posts or Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) for Research-only posts in the first instance. Removing this requirement may have implications for visa purposes should an individual need one so it is advisable to always check with your relevant HR Advisor or HR Administrator before putting in place such a change.