Guidance for Staff on Promotion to Senior Lecturer
Applications must provide evidence by using the pro-forma Evidence for Progression and Promotion. Standard CVs will not be accepted by the Academic Progression Committee.
1. Foreword from Vice-Chancellor
"Commitment to academic excellence"
Durham University is one of the UK's leading Universities with a strong commitment to the highest international levels of excellence in research and education. As a Senior Lecturer your primary academic role is within your Department, and you have very considerable freedom to enable you to undertake research at the international forefront. This also places obligations on you to take personal responsibility for developing your role, and to show excellence in leadership in working with your students, your academic colleagues and the professional support services. You are also expected to engage with students and academic colleagues outside your immediate discipline through membership of a College Senior Common Room.
Durham University has the highest expectations of all its academic staff at every stage of their career, as individuals and as part of an educational community of staff and students. Your colleagues expect every individual to make a sustained contribution at the highest level to research and education, and to the University community as a whole.
To be promoted to Senior Lecturer we therefore expect you to provide evidence which demonstrates your experience and abilities as a teacher and independence in your research, with forward thinking plans and research questions which ensure your research outputs and outcomes will be recognised internationally leading and which show that your teaching and supervision are underpinned by a reflective approach to enhancing the learning experience of your students.
Professor Chris Higgins
Vice-Chancellor and Warden
The number of staff promoted to Senior Lectureships in any one year is not subject to any quota but is determined in the light of the quality and quantity of applications.
Promotion to Senior Lecturer is an acknowledgement that a Lecturer has published at 4* level and has the potential to continue to do so (see paragraph 7, Research).
Submissions for promotion are considered by the University's Academic Progression Committee. Promotions are normally determined in the following order:
(a) Senior Lectureships
(b) Readerships, and then
You are expected to have a full and balanced academic load commensurate with your leadership role as a Senior Lecturer, and this is likely to require you to teach subjects within your discipline but which are not central to your personal research. You are also expected to play a full role within your Department, undertaking service to the Department/University when requested to do so by your Head of Department.
4. Mentoring and Support
While mentoring may be thought mainly to apply just to those at the start of their careers, it can also prove highly beneficial throughout working life, and particularly following promotion or taking on a new role. You may find it helpful to consider the benefits of different approaches to mentoring by visiting the University's mentoring website at http://www.dur.ac.uk/hr/mentoring/
Heads of Departments, Directors of Research and Directors of Learning & Teaching are regarded as an integral part of the peer review process, and as such they have responsibilities to provide both positive and negative feedback in order to help staff develop their careers. Before submitting a case for promotion, it is advisable to seek and act on advice from these senior staff.
5. Annual Staff Review
You will have an Annual Staff Review (ASR) meeting with a reviewer assigned by your head of department, who has formal responsibility for the conduct of ASRs within your department. Your Head of Department will see your full review report and may wish to discuss it with you.
An integral part of the review is the completion of a Personal Research Plan which you are required to complete as part of your ASR. This has been introduced to enhance and support the strategic planning of research within research groups and Departments, to ensure that individual research trajectories are in line with departmental strategy, and to ensure that the research environment within departments is supportive and responsive to the needs of academic staff. In line with the principles of the ASR process, the focus of the Personal Research Plan is developmental for both individuals and departments.
The ASR meeting with your reviewer will provide an opportunity for you to discuss your role and to highlight any development you require to help you carry out your role. The ASR will also provide you with feedback on your performance and an opportunity to agree priorities for the coming year. The ASR procedure supplements more regular reviews of progress, performance, and support.
If you have concerns about the level of support you require or are receiving, you should raise this straightaway rather than wait for your ASR meeting.
As a Senior Lecturer you may also be asked by your Head of Department to act as an ASR Reviewer of the work and progress of other staff in your Department. This is a serious responsibility which if done well will be of benefit to you as well as the member(s) of staff whose ASR you are tasked to conduct. Reviewers are obliged to undertake training so that they have the necessary skills to conduct annual reviews and you will find details of courses on the University's HR website.
6. Professional development
To be promoted to a Senior Lectureship you must demonstrate engagement with professional development programmes and activities relating to research and learning & teaching. You must also have either successfully completed modules 1 and 2 of the Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PG CAP) and/or applied for Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy.
For information on professional development programmes, see http://www.dur.ac.uk/education/ctlrhe/
Faculty PVCs must approve any exemption to completion of modules 1 and 2 of the PG CAP, for example because appointees have completed an equivalent course at another University. In such cases staff will normally be required to apply for and become Fellows of the HEA.
You are expected to undertake research of the highest quality and to publish regularly and have the potential to continue to publish in a sustained fashion, research of the highest international quality in appropriate outputs for your discipline. The emphasis is on ambition of research questions and quality and impact of output. Your research outputs are required to be at least at 2* level with most at 3* and 4* in terms of originality, significance and rigour, and you should demonstrate the potential for continuing to produce the majority of your work at the equivalent of 3* and 4* level (as defined in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise), i.e.
Quality that is world-leading in terms of originality, significance and rigour
Quality that is internationally excellent in terms of originality, significance and rigour but which nonetheless falls short of the highest standards of excellence
Quality that is recognised internationally in terms of originality, significance and rigour
You should make good use of your knowledge of the UK research funding landscape, and have had appropriate success in winning competitive research funding. You should also be making use of the Annual Staff Review process to develop your Personal Research Plan, seeking support and advice as appropriate from your research group and/or Departmental research committee to maximise the benefit to your research career of opportunities available in Durham.
Our expectations of you are therefore that you will:
a. produce an appropriate number of quality research outputs that are recognised internationally in terms of originality, significance and rigour for the REF or other equivalent peer review, with careful planning to maximise research quality and the communication of its outcome and impact;
b. ensure that any publications referred to in your promotion application are uploaded to Durham Research Online (wherever possible) and included in your web profile;
c. contribute significantly towards recruiting and winning funding for postgraduate students, and demonstrate excellence in the supervision of your research students, ensuring successful completion of research degrees within required timescales and ensuring the quality of their wider development and training.
d. demonstrate the ability to win competitive research funding in support of your research, individually and/or collaboratively, on a sustained basis;
e. contribute in a sustained manner to the research life and culture of your Department or School or Institute, for example through collegial behaviour such as participating in research workshops or attracting distinguished academic visitors to your department;
f. lead and manage successfully your research, research projects or programmes, mentoring, supporting and promoting the development of early career researchers and other colleagues, and building up a research group or demonstrate teamworking;
g. contribute more widely to the development of your subject, through a combination of regular presentations to national and international conferences, invitations to give key lectures, membership of peer review panels, or editorial responsibilities relating to major journals or reviewing research papers and applications;
h. engage directly with non academic external organisations or users to transfer your knowledge and expertise for cultural, societal and/or economic benefit and so contribute under the 'impact' heading in REF, and to use the experience you find there to enrich your research agenda;
i. make full use of Research Council and other funding bodies' policies and research funding mechanisms.
You will be expected to set the highest standards in learning and teaching, linking research and education in distinctive and creative ways to provide a unique and stimulating environment for our students to learn and develop their full potential. Your application for promotion must provide empirical evidence of this.
As Senior Lecturer you are expected to have and continue to play a senior leadership role in design, delivery and organisation of learning and teaching within the University. APC recognise leadership will take many forms, but this might include: leading a review of a programme or developing a new undergraduate or postgraduate programme, department-wide quality enhancement intiatives eg introducing new or diverse assessment methods, or improvements to feedback methods, contributing to University, national and international level policy making on learning and teaching or contributions to subject centres.
Our expectations of you are therefore that you will:
a. undertake teaching which is research-led and intellectually challenging to your students at both undergraduate and postgraduate level, including research supervision, helping to contribute to a distinctive student experience which develops and hones employability skills and attributes, such as teamwork, creativity, leadership social responsibility;
b. undertake teaching when required of subjects within your discipline but which are not central to your personal research or research plans;
c. be readily accessible to your students concerning teaching and assessment and if appropriate agree means by which to have regular contact if away from Durham;
d. support, including mentoring where appropriate, and help to develop the highest standards in learning and teaching amongst your academic colleagues;
e. reflect on feedback from your students to improve your teaching, and contribute to curriculum development where practicable;
f. be innovative in learning and teaching, and assessment methods, incorporating available technology where appropriate;
g. undertake examinations work and course assessment as directed by your Head of Department and contribute within your Department to the development and conduct of fair and transparent assessment;
h. provide appropriate feedback, support and guidance to students;
i. demonstrate continuing professional development in academic practice.
j. actively contribute to your discipline and be part of the Durham scholarly community;
9. Good citizenship and conduct
As a senior member of Durham's academic community, you are expected to adhere to the principles of good citizenship, being generous with your help and support to others and collaborating with your academic colleagues in matters relating to research, learning & teaching, and knowledge transfer, and working for the benefit of your department and the University as a whole.
You will be expected to be a member of a College Senior Common Room and actively promote the academic ethos of the Durham College community. You may also wish to act as a College Tutor.
As a Senior Lecturer you are expected to undertake effectively and efficiently administrative tasks that are assigned to you by your head or department or School, as well as participate in the governance of the University by putting your name forward to serve on appropriate senior University committees. You are also expected to support and collaborate appropriately with professional colleagues, making an active contribution to an inclusive community in which diversity is embraced and celebrated.
In every respect you will be an ambassador for Durham University and through your work and conduct you will be expected to enhance Durham's national and international reputation, adhering to the University values and being aware of, and contributing to, the University Strategy.
With this in mind, it is important that you note that certain non-collegial types of conduct are extremely damaging to the good order, performance and morale of a Department, School, Faculty and the University as a whole, and are unacceptable. Examples of good citizenship and conduct are:
- active engagement with colleagues and accepting delegated responsibilities;
- ready co-operation with legitimate requests;
- creating good working relationships with colleagues and others;
- acceptance of legitimate criticism of conduct or job performance;
- fulfilling commitments; being punctual, notifying sickness absence in good time to avoid disruption to the teaching timetable;
- adherence to the University's policies on equality and diversity and promoting good campus relations and health and safety;
- respect for colleagues at all levels and avoidance of verbal aggression;
- contributing positively to meetings or training events;
- maintaining confidentiality.
Behaviour not in keeping with the above principles of collegiality may provide a valid reason for disciplinary action, which may include termination of contract. You are expected to be knowledgeable about University policies which relate to your work and relationships with staff and students and to conduct yourself appropriately.
10. Formal Promotion procedure
The normal promotion route from Lecturer to Senior Lecturer is through a recommendation from your Head of Department (with support from the Directors of Research and Learning and Teaching) to the Academic Progression Committee on the basis of agreed factors which apply to standard and fixed-term University- and outside-funded staff.
Promotion is dependent upon individual performance and is determined by fair, transparent and objective criteria referenced to the University's general role evaluation methodology. The number to be promoted to Senior Lecturer in any one year is not subject to any quota but is determined in the light of the quality and quantity of applications as well as broader financial considerations. It is individual excellence which is taken into account. Academic Progression Committee approves academic promotions on behalf of Senate and Council.
If you wish, you may also submit your own case directly to the Secretary to Academic Progression Committee (the University's HR Director). You should note that if you choose this approach, the Committee will seek the views of your Head of Department on your submission, and he/she will be asked to consult other senior members of your department, in particular the Directors of Research and of Learning & Teaching, as well as your ASR reviewer.
To be promoted to Senior Lecturer, the University must be satisfied that you have fulfilled all the expectations and requirements of a Lecturer as set out in paragraphs 6, 7, 8 and 9 of this guidance, i.e.
- to have clearly demonstrated independence and originality in your research programme, and
- to have the potential to continue to produce research with outputs and outcomes recognised as at the international forefront in terms of quantity and quality, and to have shown leadership in research and research planning, and
- to have delivered teaching which is research-led, intellectually challenging and recognised as high quality, and
- to have shown leadership in learning and teaching.
Candidates who are re-submitting a case for promotion must also demonstrate that they have acted on feedback from the Committee.
The case for promotion is submitted by your Head of Department and, if appropriate, your Head of House.
The submission from your Head of Department should include:-
- your completed Evidence for Progression and Promotion pro-forma;
- a statement of the quality of your research and teaching;
- consistent with the evidence, a clear recommendation.
To help your Head of Department prepare his/her submission, you are expected to provide
- a detailed account of your work in the pro-forma set out in Evidence for Progression and Promotion. (Note: This should include statistical data from Module Evaluation Questionnaires (MEQs).)
- specifically, details of your future research and learning & teaching plans.
- the name and contact details of one referee from another university.
Any publications referred to in your promotion application must be uploaded to Durham Research Online (wherever possible) and included in your web profile.
Your Head of Department will also be asked to provide the names of two referees to provide an assessment.
Before submitting the case your Head of Department has to consult members of your department as appropriate. It will be for the Head of Department concerned to select the "appropriate" members in each case, but in all cases he/she is expected to consult your ASR reviewer. You should let your Head of Department know if there are particular members of staff whom you think it is important to consult. Your Head of Department's submission will also be signed by your Department's Directors of Research and of Learning & Teaching.
Faculty PVCs are full members of the Academic Progression Committee, and following the meeting of the Committee, it is the responsibility of Faculty PVCs to provide detailed feedback to candidates as a form of academic mentoring.
Revised March 2013