Human Resources

Academic staff promotion procedures

Further information

Academic staff promotion policy

Academic Portfolio

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If you are preparing an Academic Portfolio and require assistance with the subject matter to include for either promotion, tenure, study leave or PDA purposes, contact Assistant Professor Lucienne Tessens

Applications for promotion are considered by the Academic Promotions Committee, which takes into account all aspects of the application, including service to the University and the wider community.

  1. Preparing an application
  2. Assessors
  3. Professor (Level E) and Senior Principal Research Fellow applications
  4. Accelerated promotion
  5. Fast-track promotion

Preparing an application

Applications for promotion may be submitted at any time during the year through the Head of School and the Dean of Faculty to the Academic Promotions Committee. (In the absence of a staff member or in special circumstances, the Head of School may submit an application of behalf of the staff member).

A Performance Development and Appraisal (PDA) will need to be completed within twelve months prior to lodging a promotion application. Generally, this review requires a minimum rating of ‘meets or exceeds the University’s high expectations’ to proceed with the promotion application. Applications received without an indication that a PDA has taken place will not be accepted.

When assessing applications for promotion the Committee will consider all aspects of the application including service to the University and the wider community.

Applicants who elect to have their application considered primarily in one area, such as Research intensive members of academic staff, are nevertheless expected to provide evidence of a satisfactory level of performance in the areas not nominated. That this level of performance has been met will need to be attested to by the Head of School in his or her supporting letter. Applicants applying for promotion on grounds of 'teaching and research' must document achievements under both headings. All applicants are required to demonstrate a contribution to service.

Applications are to be submitted online. The receipt of applications is subject to monthly deadlines and late submissions will be carried forward to the following meeting. Note that Schools and Faculties also have deadlines to be adhered to the purposes of submitting applications for promotion.

Your application for promotion should not exceed a total of 40 pages.


The Academic Promotions Committee has a policy of using assessors external to UWA, both from within Australia and overseas. The Committee will refer applications to assessors where it is satisfied that a prima facie case for promotion has been established.

Applicants will be asked to nominate assessors who may be consulted in either teaching or research or in both as part of the online submission process. The Head of School will also suggest assessors when completing Form 3.(Comments on applications made by the Head of School and the Dean of Faculty are not sent to assessors).

Applicants may also indicate the names of people who may be selected as assessors whom they believe would provide a biased assessment. Reasons for concern must also be provided. It should be noted, however, that the Committee will make the final decision regarding the choice of assessors.

The role of an assessor is not to act as a referee but, rather, as an expert in the field able to offer the Committee a balanced and confidential assessment of the merits of the particular application according to the stated criteria. Assessors will also provide, if possible, an indication of the applicant's standing in the field. Assessors should be preferably persons of eminence in the discipline who may or may not be known personally to the applicant but who are aware of the applicant's research activities and with whom the applicant has not collaborated or published. While the Committee will use the Head of School's list for guidance, it may take advice from elsewhere when selecting its assessors.

Applicants may wish to consult with the Chair of the Academic Promotions Committee if they have any concerns about the possible choice of assessors by the Head of School, or about any aspect of their application.

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Professor (Level E) and Senior Principal Research Fellow applications

In applications for promotion to Professor (Level E) or Senior Principal Research Fellow, if the Committee considers that a prima facie case for promotion exists following a review of assessors' reports, it may seek the views of a Corresponding Member. The Corresponding Member is a senior academic who may not be in the same area of specialisation as the applicant but who is nevertheless able to provide a broad assessment of the applicant's suitability for promotion to Level E.

If the Committee decides, on the basis of the submitted material, assessors' reports, and the report from the Corresponding Member, that a prima facie case exists for promotion to Professor (Level E) or Senior Principal Research Fellow, it will recommend that the application proceeds for interview with the Vice-Chancellor.

Following the interview with the Senate Promotion Committee, applicants will be invited to meet with the Vice-Chancellor or the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor to discuss the result of the application.

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Accelerated promotion

The Academic Promotions Committee will consider applications where a staff member wishes to apply for accelerated promotion i.e. two levels higher than their current employment.

Applicants need to give a clear explanation in the Personal Statement as to why an accelerated promotion is being sought. The Head of School and Dean are also expected to refer to this request in their supporting comments.

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Fast-track promotion

The University has introduced Fast-Track Promotion to respond rapidly to opportunities to retain high quality staff. The standard process will be used for the majority of academic promotions.

Fast-track promotion procedures may be used when a staff member has applied for a position in another University which is above their current level at UWA, and has received a Letter of Offer.

Where the Head of School sees it as important to retain the staff member, the Head may initiate a PDA and encourage the staff member to apply for promotion.

This means that when time frames are tight, their case for promotion can be considered at the same time as their application to the other institution.

To facilitate the efficient and timely handling of applications for Fast-Track Promotion and to ensure delays do not occur, the following procedures are to be followed:

Applicant is required to provide:

  1. A Letter of Offer including preferred timeframe for the outcome of the application.
  2. An Academic Portfolio
  3. Two nominated assessors, one for teaching, one for research, or in the case of a Research Only application, two for research. Full contact details must be provided.
  1. Written confirmation that the applicant has sighted the comments by the Head of School and Dean of Faculty on Form 2.

Head of School and Dean requirements:

  1. Approval must be sought from the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor to initiate a Fast-Track application for promotion.
  2. Conduct a Performance Development and Appraisal (PDA) with the applicant and provide the outcomes of this review.
  3. Head of School and Dean of Faculty comments should be provided on Form 2 and forwarded to the applicant for confirmation.
  1. The Head of School should complete Form 3. Full contact details of all assessors must be provided.
  2. Prior to submission to the Executive Officer, Academic Promotions Committee, assessors must be contacted and advised that invitations may be forwarded to them to act in this capacity for a Fast-Track promotion application. This will ensure that they are standing by to accept material electronically and are aware of the short timeframe involved. All assessors nominated may not be invited, the final choice remaining with the Chair and members of the Committee.


  • All applications will be acknowledged on receipt.
  • The case for Fast-Track promotion is circulated to the members of the Academic Promotions Committee who will review the case and invite assessors from those names provided by the Head of School.
  • On acceptance of invitations, application material is forwarded to assessors electronically and they are given an indication of the timeframe by which a report will be required.

When all assessors' reports have been received they are circulated by the Executive Officer to the Academic Promotions Committee who will review the case and make its recommendation to the Vice-Chancellor. The Committee will consider whether there is a need for a further review of the application by a Corresponding Member, or an interview process with the Vice-Chancellor. However, these processes may be waived at the discretion of the Vice-Chancellor.

NOTE: It is very important for the Executive Officer to be advised if the timeframe is shortened and the applicant is expected to give the other institution an earlier response than originally anticipated.

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