Human Resources

Guidelines for developing a search plan for appointments to Winthrop Professor - Level E

Further information

  • Role of Deans
  • Selection procedures - appointments to Professor - Level E

A search plan is important in the recruitment of all academic staff, but particularly so when recruiting senior academic staff. 

The search plan provides the opportunity for managers and supervisors to develop a tailored attraction and search strategy to broaden the reach and diversity of a targeted pool of applicants.

Search plan

A search plan identifies:

  • specific individuals, especially women, who could be directly approached to apply for the chair in question
  • individuals who, through their eminence in the field or through their networks, could be approached to nominate other appropriate potential applicants
  • specific strategies for the identification of appropriate potential applicants
  • a procedure to report on outcomes of the search plan to the Search and Screen Committee

Process functions

  • A proposed search plan should be submitted to the Search and Screen Committee by the appropriate school for deliberation by the Committee.
  • The Search and Screen Committee finalises the search plan.
  • When the search activities have been completed, the Search and Screen Committee will expect to see evidence of the outcomes of the search. These outcomes could be presented as either a short written report or as a verbal report to the Committee.


Search plans, ideally, should develop from information obtained through ongoing networks and contacts. The following are presented as ideas which may prove helpful – they are not intended to be prescriptive.

  • Professional bodies (associations, boards) may prove useful in identifying eminent academics in a particular field.
  • Study leave, or visits to schools in other universities, should be used to identify possible applicants for positions (not only chairs) at UWA.
  • Use available technology (such as electronic bulletin board) to disseminate information about chair positions.
  • Where possible, use personal approach (telephone) rather than a less personal approach (writing) when targeting individuals.

Vacant Chair funds may be used to employ a fixed-term research assistant to explore the relevant literature to search for possible candidates.