UCL Human Resources


Academic Careers Framework FAQs

Frequently asked questions on the Academic Career Framework.

What is the purpose of the Academic Career Framework (ACF)?

The ACF brings together typical activities, networks and impact indicators for all academic roles across UCL, whether on the teaching, research or academic career track.  The framework is designed to be used in a number of ways by staff and managers. 

It can be used, for instance, to support career planning and to inform conversations about career trajectories. It can also be used to recognise achievements and will be the basis of all academic promotion assessments.   The criteria focus on personal impact in academic work across four categories - education, research, enterprise/external engagement and citizenship.

Am I expected to carry out every activity listed at the appropriate grade?

No member of staff is expected to carry out every activity in each grade.  Staff on academic contracts will, however, be expected to meet at least the threshold research and education criteria at the current grade (or at the next grade if applying for promotion).  

The ACF is designed to be flexible enough to be applied to every academic, teaching and research role across UCL, however mixed or specialised that role might be. To that end, the criteria are meant to be a representative, rather than comprehensive, list of activities. 

Staff should use it as a reference guide that sets out broad academic expectations at each grade. Staff can use it to help build their own portfolio of evidence and to inform their own career development needs.

Is there now one process for promotions to any academic grade?

No. The ACF contains the criteria for promotion to any level - from grade 7-10. However, in terms of process there continues to be two separate and distinct approaches for promotion to grades 9 and 10 (paragraphs 21-33 of the promotions guidance) and promotion to grades 7 and 8 (paragraphs 34-41 of the promotions guidance).

I was unsuccessful last year, can I reapply?

You can reapply. However, for the application to be successful if will be important to demonstrate how your profile has developed and the extent to which you have addressed feedback from the previous round.

How many referees do I need in the senior promotions process?

The number of referees required is outlined in paragraph 30 of the promotions guidanceBetween the candidate and HoD, 6 referees are required for any grade 10 role and 5 required for any grade 9 role.

When is the deadline for senior promotions applications?

We have recently been informed of an RPS outage from the 8th to 12th of December and are aware this clashes with the senior academic promotions deadline. As many of you will need to use RPS as part of your application we have taken the decision to extend the deadline for applications until 10am on Monday the 18th December.   As a result, the deadline for HoDs to submit details of reviewers has also been pushed back from 22nd December to 10am on Monday the 8th January 2024.

  • The deadline for applicants to submit their applications on the Senior Promotions System is 10am on 18 December 2023. 

Heads of Department: 

  • Submission of Referee Nominations - 5pm on 8 January 2024
  • Supporting Statement submission - 5pm on 12 January 2024