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Promotions Procedures


Academic, Research and Teaching Fellows Promotions

Introduction Academic Staff Promotions Research Staff Promotions Teaching Fellows Promotions Senior Promotions Process


An introduction from the President and Provost

Promotion is the principal means by which UCL recognises and rewards the outstanding achievements of non-professorial academic colleagues. The thresholds for promotion at UCL are high, and widely recognised as such. It is entirely right that we should impose exacting standards. Promotion is not an entitlement. It is also important that our procedures are transparent and fair, ensuring equality of opportunity through a rigorous process of peer review, and consistent measures of academic excellence across the whole of UCL.

Heads of Department (HoD) have a central role in advising candidates on promotion issues. In consultation where necessary with the Dean, HoDs are best placed to advise potential candidates on the prospects of success and the appropriate time to apply. The applications are assessed by the four school based committees, whose recommendations are considered at the main UCL Academic Promotions Committee.

There are no pre-ordained quotas for promotion at UCL, excellence is the primary criterion. We are willing to recognise real talent and reward it early. We consider promotions through an annual promotions cycle, in order to ensure comparability of excellence across the whole of UCL.  

Professor Michael Arthur


1 Introduction  
2 Departmental and Faculty selection and submission  
3 Direct route cases  
4 Personal circumstances  
5 Teaching achievements and a teaching portfolio  

1          Introduction
This document defines the procedures for promotion to academic, research and teaching grades. The criteria and procedure apply to both clinical and non-clinical academic, teaching and research roles as well as Language Tutor roles.

2          Departmental and Faculty selection and submission
Every Head of Department1 should consider whether or not it would be appropriate to convene a yearly review panel consisting of senior members of the department to ensure that all staff are considered and assessed as to whether or not they should be put forward for promotion that year. Any such review panel should not use criteria more or less stringent than those of the Academic Promotions Committee itself. Cases for promotion will be considered on merit and not on the availability of funding.

3          Direct route cases (self-proposals)

Every member of the academic, research and teaching staff has the right to propose him or herself for promotion. The procedure will be the same as that for departmentally proposed candidates except that the self-proposed candidate will deal directly with the Faculty Dean.

The Head of Department will have no direct role in such an application but will be informed by the Dean that a direct route application has been made. The Dean will consult with whomever he/she considers appropriate when preparing the case for presentation to the School Committee.

4       Personal circumstances

Candidates are encouraged to indicate any personal circumstances that may have affected their output. A range of personal circumstances can be taken into account, some examples are as follows:

If candidates have any personal circumstances which they consider to have had an impact on their output, these should be detailed with their application such as in the CV. Invitations for example to supervise students or give talks which could not be taken up, should also be clearly listed under the relevant section in the CV.

Whilst the various committees may take account of a reduced quantity of output, quality must be maintained.  Evidence of a candidate's work trajectory is important.

5       Teaching achievements and a teaching portfolio

It is expected that the detailed evidence of teaching achievement is held in a teaching portfolio. It is expected that academic/teaching staff will have maintained such a continuous portfolio throughout their careers. It does not require a large burden of work and is an important component of any case for promotion.  Documentation of this kind will, in any case, normally be required to inform your appraisal discussion.

Further guidance can be found in Presenting a case based on teaching achievement

1The Head of Department (HoD) is a generic UCL title for those who report directly to the Faculty Deans and includes Divisional and Institute Directors for the School of Life and Medical Sciences(SLMS) and Pro-Directors in the Institute of Education (IoE).