SOAS University of London

Human Resources

Academic Promotion Procedure

  1. Promotion Criteria
  2. Formatting and Completion
  3. Personal Circumstances
  4. Personal Statement
  5. Teaching
    1. Guidance on Teaching Evidence
    2. Teaching Evidence
  6. Research
    1. Principal Publications
    2. Co-authored Publications
    3. Publications List
    4. Non-standard research outputs
    5. Presentations
    6. Supervision
    7. Grant Income
  7. Knowledge Transfer and Enterprise Activity
    1. Knowledge and Academic Leadership 

1.Promotion Criteria

Candidates will be expected to have successfully performed the duties outlined in their current job description (Lecturer/Senior Lecturer/Reader).  For the purposes of promotion, candidates will be assessed by reference to their scholarly and other contribution to the School as evidenced in the Academic Performance Framework by three performance criteria:

  • Teaching & learning (HEA accreditation at the appropriate level of the role is a requirement for all promotion applications)
  • Research & enterprise
  • Administration, management & outreach

Senior Lecturer
Promotion to Senior Lecturer will be on the basis of excellence in at least two of the above three performance criteria, as well as satisfactory performance in the third.

Promotion to Reader will be on the basis of standing and promise in the relevant subject or profession as established by excellence in at least two of the above three performance criteria, as well as satisfactory performance in the third.

Promotion to Professor will be on the basis of international standing in the relevant subject or profession as established by outstanding contributions to at least two of the above three performance criteria, as well as excellent performance in the third.

Formatting and Completion

Please complete all relevant sections of the application form. The form should be completed electronically using Arial, font size 11, and submitted to your Head of Department by the advertised deadline.

It is the responsibility of each candidate to ensure that all paperwork provided by them is complete and compliant. Supplementary materials are not required and will not be provided to the promotions panels.

The Panel will only make its assessment on the strength of the evidence presented and cannot take into account what they know of the candidate through other means.

Incomplete or non-compliant applications will be disqualified from consideration in that year’s promotions round.

Applications cannot be modified after the application deadline.

Applications should be as succinct as possible and not exceed 14 sides of A4, excluding the list of publications. Applications that do not conform to the required format will not be accepted for submission.

Personal Circumstances

In order that consideration can be given to all relevant factors, candidates are encouraged to indicate any individual circumstances that they feel may have seriously affected their output. Specific details do not have to be described (e.g. it is not necessary to describe a disability). A range of personal circumstances can be taken into account.

Some examples are as follows:

  • Absences due to maternity, adoption, parental or carers leave
  • Periods of part-time working
  • Breaks in employment due to non-consecutive fixed term contracts
  • Disability, including temporary incapacity that lasts for more than six months
  • Absence due to ill-health or injury
  • Absences for more than six consecutive months (i.e. career breaks)
  • Special leave of absence on secondment to other organisations

This is not an exhaustive list. If candidates have any personal circumstances which they consider to have had an impact on their output these should be detailed in the Academic Promotions Individual Circumstances Form. You will be required to provide evidence to support the application.

Personal Statement

The candidate's personal statement should indicate how they meet the criteria for promotion by citing actual evidence to demonstrate impact and performance to date.

This may involve cross-reference to their CV and Application Form where appropriate, but must not exceed 500 words. Reference quotes or comparisons to other individuals should not be included.


Guidance on teaching evidence

Teaching evidence should be submitted as a portfolio and include evidence grouped under the three headings outlined below. The portfolio must contain a statement reflecting on professional values, which underpin your teaching practice. Applicants may find it useful to consider the HEA UK Professional Standards Framework (

Teaching evidence may vary considerably from teacher to teacher and discipline to discipline but should be presented under the following headings:

Contributions to teaching and learning

Within these categories, there are many possible forms of evidence to attest to the excellence of teaching performance, and academics will no doubt be creative in providing them. The emphasis throughout should be on quality.

A claim to performance at each level in the Academic Performance Framework should be supported by reliable evidence.

The teaching portfolio should be viewed as an opportunity to illustrate, through various kinds of evidence, your approach to teaching and learning. Numerical and written evidence may be included but all evidence should be embedded within a narrative explaining why it is relevant to your application. In its entirety, the portfolio should be between 1500-3000 words.

Candidates who have achieved senior or principal fellowship of the Higher Education Academy do not need to submit a portfolio and instead should provide evidence of the level and date of award.

The portfolio should:

Be provided electronically,
Contain evidence of the sphere of impact in teaching and learning, including the impact of activity related to teaching delivery, student experience, pedagogy and professional development (as detailed in the Academic Performance Framework) suitable to the level of promotion applied for. You should provide evidence of teaching / student feedback to support your application.
Be between 1500-3000 words
Include an indication of the likely future direction of their teaching and pedagogy.

The following is a list of examples within each of the above categories. It is completely open- ended, non-prescriptive and unprioritised. It is given solely to stimulate creativity in providing evidence of achievement in teaching.

Teaching Evidence

1. Contributions to teaching and learning

1.1 Brief introduction to teaching, including:

  • Details of modules taught (students numbers, levels etc, evidence that supports your contribution.)
  • Description of materials used
  • Description of widening participation or other teaching outreach activity.

1.2 General contributions

1.2.1 Innovation

  • In curriculum and/or module development, including improvement in teaching and learning in other SOAS departments, or elsewhere in the sector
  • In use of special teaching methods and/or special learning resources
  • Use of technology to support teaching and/or learning
  • Production of teaching materials, e.g. podcasts, YouTube videos, learning packages
  • In assessment and feedback methodology

1.2.2 Self-improvement

  • Involvement in peer observation
  • Record of courses and conferences attended
  • Involvement with teaching support activities
  • Service as a teacher or facilitator in the local community

1.2.3 Teaching and learning research and development

  • Engagement with broader curriculum themes, e.g. internationalization, decolonization, employability, retention etc.,
  • Involvement with local, national or international activity in teaching and learning
  • Research and development publications and conference presentations in the area of teaching
  • Publication of textbooks
  • Solicited authorship of texts or sections of text
  • Editorship or referee for journals in area of teaching

1.2.4 Support and advice

  • Evidence of successful academic advising and pastoral support for students
  • Mentoring students
  • Support and mentorship to colleagues

2. Outcomes

  • Results from formal student evaluation questionnaires, this must specify the student response rate.
  • Evidence of successful Independent Study Projects, Masters dissertation and PhD supervision.
  • Student, alumni and/or client feedback and testimonials
  • Results of student examinations or other assessments
  • Products of student learning (publications, exhibitions, projects, etc.)
  • Student progress (to advanced cognate courses, higher degrees)
  • Retention
  • Inclusivity of outcomes

3. Recognition

  • Successful engagement across the institution in teaching and learning initiatives, such as: inclusive assessment; decolonizing SOAS; retention work; department and School committees etc.
  • Receipt of awards for teaching
  • Professional teaching qualifications achieved
  • Acting as a Visiting Examiner at other institutions
  • Fellowship of, and/or offices of responsibility in, relevant professional bodies
  • Involvement with external quality audit or assessment, such as involvement in HEFCE quality assurance at other institutions.
  • Service as an advisor on teaching and learning in the local community
  • Receipt of grants for aspects of teaching and learning development
  • Accreditation of courses by professional bodies
  • Involvement in relevant national and/or international projects on teaching and learning.


Research, for the purpose of promotion, is defined as the contribution to the advancement of the subject by research and scholarship through the acquisition and synthesis of knowledge and understanding, and resulting in clearly defined research outputs. For the purposes of any promotion the term ‘research’ is understood to mean research outputs of international quality.

Principal Publications

Please use the Academic Promotions Application form to identify which three publications (or other forms of research outputs) you regard as being the principal contributions upon which your promotion application is based.

The promotion procedures require that electronic copies (or two hard copies) of these three publications are provided. Where the publications are in a different format such as music or video content, you should provide a link to video or other online formats.

Work submitted as a principal publication must have been published. As an absolute minimum, publishers’ final proofs would be acceptable, but in this case the candidate must:

  • Provide a letter from the publisher confirming that the proofs of the final version of the document, and the expected publication date (this must be before the first day of Term 2 of the academic year in which the application is made)
  • Provide the final printed version of the publication before the Monday 7th January 2019, or a letter from the publisher confirming that the item is in the public domain.

These rules will be strictly enforced in order to ensure that all candidates for promotion are treated equally.

Co-authored publications

In line with practice in the UK's Research Excellence Framework, co-authored or co-produced publications will be considered on the basis of research quality regardless of the number of contributors, provided that the applicant has made a substantial research contribution to the output.

Publications List

Please ensure that you provide full bibliographic details for all of your publications in order to allow the panel to make a full assessment of your achievement to date. Your publications list should include the following information for all publications:

  • Publication type
  • Publication title
  • Book/journal title (if applicable)
  • Number of pages/pp reference
  • Year of publication
  • Name of publisher
  • ISBN or ISSN

The panel will only consider publications that have been published. As with principal publications, as an absolute minimum publishers’ final proofs are acceptable, but you must also:

  • Provide a letter from the publisher confirming that the proofs of the final version of the document, and the expected publication date (this must be before the first day of Term 2 of the academic year in which the application is made)
  • Provide confirmation of publication before the March School Promotions Panel meeting in the form of a letter from the publisher confirming that the item is in the public domain.
Non-standard Research Outputs

In line with sector practice, you may wish to submit research outputs that are not in the form of publications – these might include exhibitions, websites, datasets, or evidence of outstanding research impact. The key to these non-standard outputs being considered of relevance to promotion is that they should clearly rest on research that you have undertaken, and that there should be evidence that they are internationally-excellent or world-leading in quality, and/or significance and reach.


Please list all of your presentations at conferences or major meetings (not departmental research seminars) in chronological order (most recent first). This information should be listed in order of plenary, keynote or invited. Please also state any other external presentations e.g. to industry.


Supervision of research staff includes the supervision and/or line management of Postdoctoral Fellows, Research Fellows, Research Assistants etc.

Please use the Academic Promotions Application form to give evidence of supervision of research staff.

Details all supervision of research students (specify type of degree e.g. PhD) should be recorded in the Application Promotions Application form, with confirmation of if you are/were the primary supervisor or 2nd/3rd member of the supervisory committee.

Grant Income

Please use the Academic Promotions Application form to list any research funding you have been successfully awarded. You must highlight whether you are/were the principal investigator or co-principal investigator.

Knowledge Transfer and Enterprise Activity

Knowledge Transfer and Enterprise activity is defined as a contribution to society and the economy through the application of knowledge to the benefit of the broader community (i.e. NGOs, business, government and the general public).

Knowledge and Academic Leadership

Please provide evidence of the administration of a faculty, department, and/or centre, programme of study, or research team which facilitates the academic contribution of colleagues and enhances the reputation of the School.

Please note that significant weight is given to important strategic roles candidates have played internally e.g. serving as an effective and influential Head of Department or Regional Centre.

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HR Directorate
[Last updated October 2018]