Promotions Procedure 2023

Promotions Procedure 2023

Promotions Procedure for Academic Staff

The University has in place procedures for academic staff to apply for promotion depending on their level/grade.

If you are interested in applying for promotion please ensure that you review the appropriate documentation and guidance before submitting your application.

For information on the 2022 promotions exercise click here.

Academic Staff Grades 7 - 9

A promotions exercise is undertaken on an annual basis. 

Welcome to the Academic Promotion Toolkit which includes information and relevant documentation for the new Academic Promotion Policy and Framework of Criteria which apply from the 2023 annual promotions exercise.

Please click on the sections below to see further information about the Policy and Procedure, Framework of Criteria, application process and additional guidance materials.

You will also find information about briefing sessions available to hear more information as well as key timings for the 2023 annual exercise.

Promotion toolkit

Section 1 - The New Promotion Policy and Procedure and Framework of Criteria

Policy and Procedure | Framework

Policy and Procedure

The new Promotion Policy and Procedure replaces the existing Policy and Procedure from the 2023 annual promotion exercise onwards. 

It sets out how the promotions process is managed, including the use of the Framework of Criteria. 

Key aspects of the Policy and Procedure include:

  • A new decision-making process based on Heads of School completing an evaluation (that includes a requirement to consult other senior academic members of staff) and submitting this to a University committee for consideration, along with the application.
  • 2 University Committees considering applications – one considering applications for Lecturer/ Advanced Research Fellow/Senior Lecturer/Senior Research Fellow and one considering applications for Reader and Chair.
  • Membership of the committees will include senior academic representatives, ensuring coverage of the range of disciplines, career tracks and gender and race balance.
  • The opportunity for applicants to disclose individual circumstances – recognising that circumstances (e.g., part time working, health matters, caring responsibilities and particularly during the pandemic) may have impacted on the volume of outputs.  There is the opportunity for staff to disclose this information confidentially.
  • Information about declaring conflicts of interest and how such declarations will be managed. This includes the opportunity for staff to flag a conflict in terms of the membership of the committee considering their application.
  • Involvement of social bias observers on University Committees (which may include a trade union representative taking on this role).
  • Enhanced feedback for staff, both successful and unsuccessful with a focus, for unsuccessful applicants, on what steps can be taken to enhance a future application. 

You can view the Policy/Procedure in the index of Toolkit documents below. 

Framework of Criteria

The new Framework of Criteria enhances the previous criteria used which were the National Academic Role Profiles (NARPs).  The NARPs remain as the main method of role evaluation in the University.  

The Framework of Criteria includes key Pillars relating to different academic activity:

  • Research.
  • Education.
  • Scholarship and/or Professional Practice.
  • Engagement, Innovation and Impact.
  • Clinical Service

For each Pillar, detailed criteria and supporting indicators (examples) are provided across three levels, demonstrating an increase in responsibility.  The supporting indicators are examples and applicants are not required to provide evidence against all of them and may provide other examples not listed.

The Framework sets out the minimum thresholds as well as flexibility for applicants to provide evidence, according to their current academic career track, as well as the level of promotion being sought. 

The Framework also highlights that all applicants must demonstrate baseline evidence of University Citizenship, including contribution to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. 

You can view the Framework of Criteria in the index of Toolkit documents below. 

Section 2 - Information about the Promotion Exercise 2023

You can find out information about the key timings for the 2022/23 exercise below. Please note that the date for receipt of applications is 19 May 2023.


February/March/April 2023

Briefing sessions for staff – Introduction to the new Policy/Procedure and Framework of Criteria. 

Briefing sessions for staff – Preparing an application for promotion. 

February/March/April/May 2023 Period of time for staff to consider and prepare their promotion application.
19 May 2023 Closing date for applications to be submitted to Heads of School.
May/June/July 2023 Heads of School preparing their Head of School evaluation for each application, including consulting senior academic staff to inform this.
Mid/end August 2023 First meetings of the University Promotion Committees.
September/October 2023 Successful and unsuccessful applicants (for applications to Lecturer and Research Fellow) notified and meetings with Heads of School to discuss feedback.

External evaluations sought for applications to Senior Lecturer, Senior Research Fellow, Reader and Chair where the University Committee considers a prima facie case for promotion exists/external evaluations should be sought.

Unsuccessful applicants (for applications to Senior Lecturer, Senior Research Fellow, Reader and Chair) notified and meetings with Heads of School to discuss feedback.

End October/November 2023

Second meetings of University Promotion Committees to consider external evaluations and reach decisions.

All successful and unsuccessful applicants notified. 

Effective date of successful promotions – 1 August 2023.

Section 3 - Additional information and detail of briefing sessions

You can find additional guidance materials, frequently asked questions and information about the briefing sessions being held in February and March 2023.

You can find a copy of the promotion application form and other guidance materials, including frequently asked questions, in the index of Toolkit documents below.

Briefing Sessions

Briefing sessions to introduce the new Policy/Procedure and Framework as well as on how to write a promotion application are available for staff to attend.  Information about the dates available is provided below. Please use the booking system to book a place.

Briefing Session 1 – Introduction to the new Academic Policy/Procedure and Framework of Criteria

  • 20th February: 12:05pm-12:55pm, KCG5, Old Aberdeen
  • 21st February: 11:05am-11:55am, Microsoft Teams
  • 8th March: 1:20pm-2:10pm, Room 402, Suttie Centre - n.b., this session has now been changed to 9th March: 10am-11am, Room 402, Suttie Cente

Below you will find a recording of one of the sesions and copy of the slides 

Slide Pack  

Recording of session

Briefing Session 2 – How to write an academic promotion application

  • 30th March 1:35pm-2:25pm, Microsoft Teams
  • 24th April: 2:05pm-2:55pm, Microsoft Teams
Section 4 – Academic Promotion Toolkit Index of Documents

Academic Staff Grades 5 - 6

Applications can be received at any time in the year. A minimum of 12 months’ service is required and only one application can be made in any rolling 12 month period.


Applications for Research or Teaching staff seeking promotion to Grades 5 and 6 may be submitted at any time in the year, but a minimum of 12 months service is required before staff are eligible for consideration for promotion. The following procedure has been developed to provide further information:

If you are interested in applying for a promotion, it may be beneficial to review the following guidance documents before submitting your application:


If you wish to apply for a promotion, please complete the relevant application form from the list below: