Academic permanency and promotion

Pathway to Permanency guidance

This process applies to academic and research staff with permanent contracts at Grade 9 or below. It is a structured process which in most cases takes 3 years, although early application for permanency is possible. Please note that for staff on their Pathway to Permanency periods in academic years 2019/20 and 2020/21, an additional, optional year is available, in order to counteract any difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Professors, Readers, Senior Lecturers and Senior Research Fellows are not subject to a Pathway to Permanency period, unless otherwise stated in their contracts.

This process involves structured support, and each new Pathway to Permanency Academic staff member will be assigned an Academic Advisor from their department to assist with the process and to provide advice and support during this period, up to the point when an application for permanency is made to the University’s Academic Staffing Committee, before the end of the three-year period.

Academic promotion guidance

Decisions about academic promotion are made by Academic Staffing Committee.

Those seeking to apply for promotion will need to complete the application form below, and this will be accompanied by the completed departmental report form. For applications to Grade 10 roles or higher, external assessor reports will also be required. Details of this requirement are given in the Annual Review Procedures.

Promotion is possible for academic staff either appointed to a contract with academic permanency or those staff who have successfully completed their Pathway to Permanency period. It may be possible to be considered for both permanency and promotion in the same academic year, where significant and sustained contribution at the higher level can be demonstrated.

There is a career ladder structure for the three academic pathways (ASE, ASER, ASR), with expectations and typical requirements set out in the published criteria. Applications may be made once in each academic year to the next grade up in the career structure, or for Senior Lecturers and Senior Research Fellows, to the role of Reader.

Grade  Pathway 1 (ASER)  Pathway 2 (ASE)  Pathway 3 (ASR) 
G11 Professor (R) Professor Professor (R)
G10

Reader

Senior Lecturer (R)

Senior Lecturer

Reader

Senior Research Fellow

G9 Lecturer (R) Lecturer Research Fellow
G8 N/A Lecturer Senior Research Officer
G7 N/A Lecturer Research Officer

There is no requirement for there to be a vacancy at the level being applied for, nor are there any restrictions on the numbers of people applying or being awarded promotions in any year.

Procedures and forms from 2020-21

Please note that the Probation and Promotion Criteria for Academic Staff document is in the process of being revised following decisions taken at Senate. The following decisions were made about changes to terminology:

  • To change the term Probation to ‘Pathway to Permanency’
  • To change the term ‘Probation Supervisor’ to ‘Academic Adviser’
  • To change the term ‘Probation Agreement’ to ‘Academic Development Agreement’
  • To change the term ‘Probationers’ with ‘Pathway to Permanency Academics’.

In the interim, please continue to use the current Criteria document with reference to the above changes to terminology. The substantive content of the criteria remain unchanged. The Annual Review Procedures are already updated and reflect the new terminology.

You should familiarise yourself with the procedures and criteria before making an application:

The process: permanency

For academic staff who started the Pathway to Permanency process since 1 October 2019, the process of establishing an Academic Agreement, reporting progress to Academic Staffing Committee and eventual application for academic permanency will be managed via an online process managed via Onbase. Support and user guidance is available.

For staff who started their Pathway to Permanency periods prior to 1 October 2019, the long-term record of targets and achievement will be kept on a probation agreement which, when completed, will be submitted to Academic Staffing Committee along with the application form below and also the Departmental Report form, which is completed by the Head of Department or School.

The process: promotion

If you are seeking to apply for promotion you will need to complete the application form below, and this will be accompanied by the completed departmental report form. You will need to demonstrate significant and sustained performance in the areas relevant to your contract type, and at the level you are applying for, with reference to the published criteria. For applications to Grade 10 roles or higher, external assessor reports will also be required. Further details about this requirement are given in the Annual Review Procedures.

When to submit an application

If applying for permanency, you will need to ensure your application is considered at a meeting of ASC before the end of your Pathway to Permanency period. When deciding whether to apply to permanency, please note that as part of the additional support in respect of the COVID-19 pandemic, staff on Pathway to Permanency during academic years 2019/20, 2020/21 and 2021/22 will have an additional year added to their original three-year timescale, the use of which is optional.

Promotion applications are usually considered annually between May and July.

Your application will be reviewed within the department initially so you will need to check the internal deadlines with your Head of Department.

Academic Staffing Committee timetable 2022-2023

Academic staffing committee meeting date  Agenda Deadline for applications to Executive Dean*  Deadline for applications to committee secretary 
10 November 2022  - Permanency applications (for those with pathway end dates up to 28 February 2023);
- Pathway to permanency agreements/interim reports 
13 October 2022  27 October 2022 
16 March 2023  - Permanency applications (for those with pathway end dates up to 30 June 2023)
- Pathway to Permanency agreements/interim reports 
14 February 2023  28 February 2023 
11 May 2023  - Applications for promotion to grades 8 and 9  16 March 2023  31 March 2023 
- Pathway to Permanency agreements / interim reports 12 April 2023
27 April 2023 
14 June 2023  - Applications for promotion to grade 10 Senior Lecturer, Senior Research Fellow, Reader  16 March 2023  31 March 2023 
6 July 2023  - Applications for promotion to grade 11 Professor  16 March 2023  31 March 2023 
- Permanency applications (for those with pathway end dates up to 31 October 2023) ;
- Pathway to Permanency agreements/interim reports 
8 June 2023  22 June 2023 

*Any paper applications should be sent directly to your Executive Dean, copied to the Executive Dean’s PA. Cases on Onbase will be automatically received by Executive Deans once approved and advanced by Heads of Department. For enquiries please email hrer@essex.ac.uk or to the People & Culture Business Partner/Committee Secretary paul.davis@essex.ac.uk

How to apply

Please use these forms to apply for permanency if your Pathway to Permanency period commenced before 1 October 2019. Colleagues starting after that date should submit their cases for permanency via Onbase; this also includes the Head of Department commentary. These forms are also to be used for academic promotion applications during academic year 2022-23.

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Contact us
Paul Davis HR Business Partner (Academic) and Secretary to ASC
Telephone: 01206 874585