Policy Academic Governance Academic Promotion Procedure

Academic Promotion Procedure

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This procedure provides detailed guidance for eligible staff members to apply for Academic Promotion in accordance with the Academic Promotion Policy.


This procedure applies to academic and doctoral qualified staff members who are covered by the James Cook University Enterprise Agreement (the Agreement) and who meet the eligibility requirements for academic promotion.


Except as otherwise specified in this procedure or the Academic Promotion Policy, the meaning of terms used are as per the Policy Glossary.


1. Pre-application

a. Prior to making an application for promotion, the immediately prior performance and development plan (PDP) should incorporate evidence of an intention to apply and the associated approval by the applicant’s supervisor.

b. To be eligible for promotion the applicant should have:

i. completed a minimum of two annual PDP cycles or have progressed satisfactorily through the Probation plan, if relevant; and

ii. completed all mandatory training as required by the University at the time of application.

c. Attendance at academic promotion workshops or information sessions is highly recommended to assist with preparation, however it is not compulsory.

d. Review of the Academic Promotion website is highly recommended to assist with preparation.

e. Applicants are encouraged to regularly update their research profiles online including JCU Research Portfolio, ORCID, etc., as well as ensuring evidence of impact and other achievements is accessible and verifiable.

2. Application

a. Applications for promotion must be made via the online Academic Promotion Application Form via the JCU careers website and completed in accordance with the Policy and requirements below pertaining to the relevant level of application

b. Applicants are encouraged to carefully review the application requirements prior to commencing the collection of their supporting evidence and the completion of the online application form.

c. Application Requirements:

Part A Individual Information

  • This information is provided in lieu of a current CV.
  • The Individual Information y provides key information from the applicant’s recent academic career. It should focus on the applicant’s current employment noting significant awards, grants and key impactful activities since last promotion or commencement at JCU. This is to be linked to pre-existing data.

Equity Consideration (Relative to Opportunity)

  • This portion of the application should not exceed 300 words.
  • This section allows presentation of any factors that may have affected the applicant’s career profile, and volume of output that they provide, in the assessment of the application.

Part B Case for Promotion

  • This section provides the impact statement (citing core evidence) supporting the application. This will be made up of the following statements:
    • Summary Impact Statement (maximum 500 words);
    • Case for Promotion Statement that provides the opportunity to make specific narrative regarding the impact of the outputs and achievements since last promotion (or appointment) and how it will be further enabled through academic promotion (maximum 2000 words); and
    • Career Vision Statement (maximum 500 words).
  • The Case for Promotion should be an impact focused narrative on the reasons for the application, with a particular focus on the applicant’s key achievements in any relevant domain of academic activity (and consistent with workload) since their last promotion or appointment. It is especially important that the applicant provide verifiable evidence to support any claims made and to explain what made the contribution distinctive, impactful and in line with the University’s strategy and values rather than simply listing outcomes (e.g. publications and grants). Evidence can include weblinks to external or internal information sources (i.e. publication repositories, newspaper articles etc.).
  • Supplementary evidence may be included or linked via a URL or Sharepoint site, up to a maximum of five pages. Such evidence may include any relevant supporting documents to support the Case for Promotion that are not readily available online.

3. Endorsement

a. Applicants are strongly encouraged to seek advice from their relevant Line Manager (Academic Head/College Dean/Director) prior to commencing an application for promotion, expressing their intention to apply.

b. Once completed, the application must be submitted via the online portal by the deadline as prescribed in the Academic Promotion Schedule.

c. Academic Head or equivalent manager will review and verify applications via the online portal by the deadline as prescribed in the Academic Promotion Schedule.

d. Verified applications are reviewed via the online portal by the College Dean (or Director if relevant) by the date prescribed in the Academic Promotion Schedule for endorsement.

e. The applicant will be notified if the application is not being supported by the Dean/Director.

f. Where an employee believes their application will not be endorsed by the Dean/Director they may write to the DVC Academy in confidence, seeking exemption from the relevant section of the application form citing their particular circumstances.  The DVC Academy may provide endorsement for the application to be forwarded directly to HR without the relevant section completed.

4. Assessment

a. All applications for promotion will be assessed by an appointed panel as prescribed in the Academic Promotions Policy, and assessed against the required criteria as prescribed in the guidelines (Appendix 1).

b. Independent Assessor reports will be obtained for promotion to Academic Levels D (x2) and E (x3).  The Assessors will be nominated by the appropriate Academic Head/Dean/Director and must have sufficient standing in the field to be able to provide authoritative comments on the suitability.

c. The applicant may identify up to two assessors they would not want to be nominated. The University will use this advice in seeking appropriate assessors within the field or discipline.

d. Referee reports are not required for promotion to any levels.

e. Where assessors reports do not fully clarify discipline promotion capabilities the panel may seek to obtain further information or clarification from an additional internal or external discipline or subject matter expert.

f. Where the promotion application is inconclusive and panel are unable to make a recommendation for or against promotion, the Chair may invite the applicant to attend an interview to clarify or elicit further information prior to making a final recommendation. In situations where the panel has not aligned with a College/Centre recommendation, the Dean/Director will be notified and offered the opportunity to speak to the panel.

g. The panel will reach consensus and the Chair will submit the decision to the DVC Academy for levels B to D or to the Vice Chancellor for level E for ratification

5. Outcome and Notification

a. The Chair of the Assessment Panel will notify the applicant of the outcome of their promotion application.

b. Where an application is unsuccessful the Chair of the Panel will provide constructive feedback for a future promotion application.

c. All promotion applicants will be formally notified in writing of the outcome of their application, and where a promotion application is successful the promotion will be effective from the stipulated date.

6. Appeals

a. Where an applicant is not satisfied with a decision and believes they have grounds for an appeal in relation to Procedural Fairness, they may initiate an appeal.

b. The appeal must be lodged in writing with the Director, Human Resources within 20 University working days of the date on the application outcome notification sent by the Chair of the Panel.

c. The applicant appeal statement must explain and identify why the process used by the Assessment Panel was procedurally unfair (namely in breach of the policy) and/or why any conditions contained within the decision are inappropriate and attach relevant documentation that supports this/these explanations.

d. The Director, Human Resources will evaluate appeal applications including the evidence provided to determine whether the appeal will proceed.

e. If the Director, Human Resources deems the appeal to meet the criteria above, the appeal will be referred to an Academic Promotion Appeal Panel comprising of three representatives; one from within Human Resources, a member of Academic Board and one member of Council with Academic expertise.

f. The Academic Board representative will chair the Academic Promotion Appeal Panel.

g. The Appeal Panel will review the end-to-end process and report findings to the Vice Chancellor prior to determination of the final outcome.

h. The Appeal Panel will communicate the outcomes to the Director, Human Resources who will notify the appellant.

i. Appeal Panel decisions are final and there is no further right to appeal.

Related policy instruments

Academic Promotion Policy

JCU Enterprise Agreement

Human Resources Sub-delegations Register

Conflict of Interest Guidelines

WHS-PRO-004 WHS Training and Competency Procedure

Recruitment, Selection and Appointment Policy


Appendix 1 - Minimum Promotional Criteria and Key Elements and Performance Levels


Approval Details

Policy Domain

Academic Governance

Policy Sub-domainAcademic Management

Policy Custodian

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academy

Approval Authority

Academic Board

Date for next Major Review


Revision History


Approval Date

Implementation date



23-2 21/07/2023 21/07/2023 Minor amendments to incorporate use of online portal for Academic Promotion applications. Talent Acquisition Advisor




Major review incorporating amendments to provide a streamlined application process based upon impact narrative.

Policy domain has been changed from Human Resources to Academic Management (approved by Council 1/23)

Chair, Academic Board




Administrative corrections to broken links.

Quality, Standards and Policy Officer




Minor amendment to clarify timeframes for promotion to ensure flexibility to address unforeseen circumstances (re COVID)

Manager, Talent




Amendments to Clause 6 to reflect delegation changed from Vice Chancellor to Provost – in line with HR Delegations Register

Quality, Standards and Policy Officer




  • Amendments: Section 5.3 addition of new clause (b)
  • Clause 6 (a) amended

Recruitment Officer, Human Resources

16-1 (4.0)



  • Revised Format
  • Removed all URL’s in the document
  • Inserted section at section 12 dedicated to all the   URL’s in the document
  • Removed all referrals to Enterprise Agreement 2013 –   2016 and replaced with current Enterprise Agreement
  • Removed Learning & Teaching, Research and   scholarship, service and engagement and professional consultancy activities   from Definitions and placed into a Table of Performance Levels and Elements   in section 3 - Criteria
  • Removed elements of Satisfactory, Superior,   Outstanding and International Eminence from Definitions and placed into a   Table of Performance Levels and Elements in section 3 – Criteria
  • Inserted new Minimal Promotional Criteria Table
  • Inserted new Table of Elements and Performances   Levels
  • Section 4.2 d.    Changed paragraph to: The Student Management System is considered the   primary source of information for HDR enrolment.  The Graduate Research School has the most   up to date information about their HDR students so that the records can be   kept up to date
  • Section4.4 b. changed paragraph to: The Panel may   seek confidential reports from one or more assessors external to the   University, if it the Chair deems it appropriate

Recruitment Officer, Human Resources




  • Inserted cover/title page
  • Inserted contents page and   added  a scope
  • Changed title of Teaching Focused   to Teaching Specialist in the Minimum Promotional Criteria table
  • Section 4 – inserted new line:

It is the responsibility of the College Dean or Director (for Research Institute staff) and the Deputy Vice Chancellor to provide constructive feedback on the application in the appropriate section of the application form. Any applications received without comment will be sent back for a comment to be made.

  • Section 5 – inserted two new   lines:

Applicants are reminded that if they believe there is other evidence which supports the application; such evidence may be included for consideration by the Panel in a pdf document no larger than 20 pages.

Applications must be collated into one pdf document, including all supporting documentation, before final submission to the Academic Promotion Coordinator.

  • Section 7 – corrected the error   about the panel composition for promotion to level E
  • Section 8 – inserted new line:
  • The Chair of the Panel will communicate with the Dean   and/or DVC where the Selection Panel decide to either approve or deny   promotion against the recommendation of the Dean and/or DVC.
  • Fixed broken URL’s in the document

Recruitment Officer, Human Resources


  • Removed any reference to year
  • Added the title of Chief Research   Officer to 6.3 Promotion to Level E
  • Removed “one observer member   elected….” from 7.1 Promotion to Academic Level E
  • Inserted titles at each level in   section 6 Referee and Assessors
  • Changed all occurrences of  Director, HRM to Director, Human Resources
  • Changed all occurrences of HRM to   Human Resources
  • Section 9 – changed to say formal   notification will be given effective 1 January for successful promotions –   removing the need for an employment contract.
  • Section 4 - removed “Discipline   Head” and replaced with “Head of Academic Group”

Changed the referee procedure to make it the responsibility of the applicant to seek and ensure referee reports are provided within the timeframe and format prescribed in the Academic Promotion Schedule.

Recruitment Officer, Human Resources; Deputy Director, Human Resources


Establishment of procedure to support the Academic Promotion Policy 27/06/2014

Acting Director, Human Resources; DVC Global Strategy and Engagement; Dean, College of Healthcare Sciences; Vicki Herrod.


Academic, promotion, advancement, performance, review, guidelines, process, procedure.

Contact person

Chair, Academic Board