Academic promotion to Senior Lecturer, Associate Professor and Professor (and equivalent research positions) procedure


To outline procedures to govern the operation of the annual academic promotion round.


All RMIT Academic staff currently appointed at Lecturer/Research Fellow, Senior Lecturer/Senior Research Fellow and Associate Professor/Principal Research Fellow level including academic staff employed primarily for research, who meet the prescribed eligibility requirements:

  • Continuing or fixed term academic staff member
  • 12 months continuous service prior to 1 June of the year of the application
  • Meet the skill base and formal qualifications requirements
  • Applying for promotion to the level immediately above substantive level.

Applicants would normally be meeting the ‘expected performance’ levels for their current level of appointment, outlined in Academic Expectations and Development (PDF 77KB, 8p).


Vocational Education, teaching only staff and Professional staff cannot be promoted to an academic position through this process.

Academic staff at Associate Lecturer level eligible for promotion to Lecturer/Research Fellow should refer to the Promotion of academic staff from level A to Level B procedure (unresolved).

Procedure steps and actions:



1. Nomination of College Administrators


2. Communication to academic staff about the annual round

  • Policy and Procedures
  • Timelines
  • Information sessions
  • Academic promotion website
  • Information for applicants

Prepared by Human Resources for DVC Education

3. Applicant to discuss their eligibility and intent to apply for promotion with HoS/Dean/Supervisor/HoC. Applicant must provide sufficient evidence to HoS/Dean/Supervisor/HoC to enable them to confirm eligibility.

Academic staff should indicate their anticipated timeline for next applying for promotion via the online performance workplan, and highlight the support and development required and medium-long term career aspirations. Workplanning discussions, performance objectives and development planning should be guided by the Academic Expectations and Development document.


4. HoS/Dean/Supervisor/HoC (as the relevant PVC/President (or nominee) to confirm applicant’s eligibility, by approving the applicant’s Intent to Apply.

Relevant PVC/President (or nominee) approval of Intent to Apply must be obtained if:

  • applicant is a research-only applicant (the relevant PVC/President (or nominee)) must be provided with a copy of their approved research-only position description to assist their decision), or
  • applicant does not have a PhD at the time of submitting the Intent to Apply (the applicant must present the relevant PVC/President (or nominee) with a case for equivalent accreditation and standing to assist the PVC’s decision), or
  • applicant unsuccessfully applied for promotion in the previous year (the applicant must present sufficient evidence that panel feedback has been addressed and substantial progress has been made since last application, to assist the relevant PVC/President (or nominee)’s decision to endorse).

Applicant must ensure that their Intent to Apply form is signed and submitted no later than the designated deadline. Instructions on how and when to submit the Intent to Apply form will be provided to applicants. Late Intents to Apply will only be accepted with the endorsement of the relevant PVC/President (or nominee)).

Applicants applying for promotion to Associate Professor/Principal Research Fellow and Professor may submit notification of up to four external persons whom they do not wish to assess their application (optional) using the “request not to assess” section of the Intent to Apply form. Notification must contain justification.

If the HoS/Dean/PVC/President (or nominee) does not confirm eligibility, and applicant wishes to dispute this decision, the applicant may follow the appeals procedure.



5. HoS/Dean/HoC to identify potential external assessors for promotions to Associate Professor/Principal Research Fellow (one external expert and one external Professor or Associate Professor) and Professor (one external expert and one external Professor), and seek PVC approval.

HoS/Dean/HoC to contact endorsed external assessor to invite and seek agreement on their involvement.

HoS/Dean, PVC, President (or nominee), College Administrators

6. On behalf of the applicants, and based on the list of intents to apply received:

  • Research Master reports will be sought from Research and Innovation.
  • Teaching data will be sought from the Survey Services Centre.

Reports and data are sent to the applicant to review and update as necessary, and submit as part of their application.

Human Resources

7. Applicant to complete the promotion application, in which they:

  • Provide a case for promotion where they address the promotion criteria, provide a record of academic achievement, provide their Research Master report and teaching data.
  • Nominate the names of two referees and provide necessary contact details. At least one referee should be external to RMIT.
  • HR will provide the panel members with each applicants workplan rating (both self-rating and manager rating). Applicants will not be required to attach their complete workplan review and current workplan with their application.
  • Strictly adhere to the set page limits outlined in the promotion application template.
  • Research-only staff may apply for promotion against the Research and Scholarship and Leadership criteria with endorsement by the relevant HoS/Dean/HoC and approval by the relevant PVC/President (or nominee).
  • Instructions on how and when to submit the application will be provided to applicants.


8. HoS/Dean/HoC to provide a written report to applicant commenting against the criteria. This report may be developed in consultation with other senior academic members from the applicant’s School or discipline but with sign off from HoS/Dean/HoC.


9. Applicant has the “right of reply” to HoS/Dean comments within five working days of receiving report (one page optional response).

Applicant submits the HoS/Dean report and rejoinder, and instructions on how and when to do this will be provided to applicants.

  • Neither the HoS/Dean report or the rejoinder are provided to external assessors


10 Written reports are sought from applicant-nominated referees and external assessors

College Administrators

11. Information kit developed and briefing held for all promotion panel chairs and panel members.

DVC Academic/relevant President (or nominee) with assistance from Human Resources

12. Promotion panels for applicants applying for promotion to Senior Lecturer/Senior Research Fellow and Associate Professor/Principal Research Fellow to be organised as per prescribed composition.

  • Ensure panel members have been provided with information kit.
  • Provide promotion applications to full panel members
  • Schedule panel meeting to assess applications.
  • Record individual panel member assessments, overall recommendation, and feedback to be provided to unsuccessful applicants.
  • Seek further information from applicants if directed by Chair of Panel prior to the panel meeting.
  • Provide listing of recommended outcomes to Human Resources.

College Administrator with assistance from Human Resources

13. A University-wide promotion panel for all applicants applying to Professor to be organised as per prescribed composition and the process described in point 12.

Human Resources in conjunction with College Administrators

14. Collate a summary of outcomes from all panel meetings for presentation to UAPC meeting.

Human Resources

15. An independent moderator reviews a sample of applications for promotion from Lecturer to Senior Lecturer and Senior Lecturer to Associate Professor (and equivalent research positions), and provides an assessment report to UAPC. One successful and one unsuccessful application from each panel is selected by the Chair of the each relevant panel (for a total of 12) to be provided to the moderator, and those selected should be borderline cases.

Panel chair, Moderator, Human Resources

16. Arrange UAPC meeting for end of process review meeting

  • Invite Chairs of Panels to meeting
  • Table Moderator report
  • Record comments at meeting
  • Prepare final UAPC recommendations to DVCE
  • Collate a statistical summary of recommendations for all applications to for presentation to the VCE

Human Resources

17. DVCE to approve all outcomes and sign letters notifying all applicants of the outcome of their application.

Human Resources to prepare all documentation for DVC Education approval

18. PVC/relevant President (or nominee) and HoS/Dean/HoC/Supervisor to be notified of outcomes in their area

Summary of outcomes to be sent out by Human Resources

19. University community to be advised of successful applications

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education with assistance from Human Resources

20. Applicant’s staff record updated to reflect their promotion. Promotions will be effective on 1 January of the year following the application.

Human Resources

21. Normally within 4 weeks of notification, unsuccessful applicants to meet and be provided with verbal feedback on their application from Chair of panel.

DVC/PVC/President (or nominee)’s office organise a meeting with unsuccessful applicants on behalf of Chair of Panel.

22. For applicants for promotion that are located outside of Australia verbal feedback will be received from the Chair of the panel or their nominee from the relevant campus/location

President (or nominee) of the relevant campus/location

23. Unsuccessful applicants to be provided with written feedback, with a copy to HoS/Dean/HoC/Supervisor

Chair of Panel

24. An unsuccessful applicant may appeal the decision under the academic promotion appeals procedure.


25. HoS/Dean/HoS/Supervisor (or nominee) to meet with successful and unsuccessful applicants to discuss the implications of the promotion outcome for the individual both in workload planning and career development.

HoS/Dean/HoC and Applicant

26. Successful applicants to be given new contracts, position descriptions and develop new workplans.

HoS/Dean/HoC and Applicant

27. Review of the promotion round and report to VCE.


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