Policy University Management Distinguished Professor Policy

Distinguished Professor Policy

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This policy specifies the eligibility criteria for the granting of the title of James Cook University Distinguished Professor.


This policy applies to all University Staff, including JCU Australia, JCU Singapore and JCU Brisbane, involved in the nomination and appointment of James Cook University Distinguished Professor to eligible Professors of exceptional distinction who have made an exceptional scholarly contribution to their field or discipline.


1. Eligibility for Appointment

Eligibility for appointment as a James Cook University Distinguished Professor will be considered with reference to some or all of the following criteria:

1.1 An international reputation for exceptional research and scholarship as exemplified by a demonstration of sustained high level achievement of scholarly publications, performances, creative works, citations, invitations to give keynote addresses, success in obtaining research grants, election to learned academics, honorary degrees, awards and prizes. Evidence that may be presented in support of this can include:

  • publication of books and monographs through publishing houses of high national/international reputation;
  • publication of the results of original research and other scholarly endeavours in refereed journals of high international repute;
  • publication of the results of original research and other scholarly endeavours in conference proceedings that are subject to peer review and published through publishing houses of high national/international reputation;
  • publication of reports commissioned by government agencies and international organisations;
  • successful application for patents and licences based on original research and development;
  • original designs and executed structures or instruments which result in high professional standing;
  • experience in leading successful research teams;
  • ability to attract funds from external peer adjudicated grants agencies;
  • demonstrated record of editorial leadership in the dissemination of knowledge;
  • ability to attract funds for contract research from government agencies, industry and commerce;
  • record of achievement in the transfer and application of the results of research and development to industry and commerce, the professions and wider community;
  • leadership in the generation of collaborative research and development programs with other institutions including universities, government agencies, industry and commerce;
  • publication of advanced textbooks in the candidate's field of expertise through publishing houses of high national/international repute; and
  • reports on high-level consultancies carried out for industrial and commercial firms.

1.2 Professional peer recognition of significant achievements at a state, national and international level exemplified by leadership of learned societies and exceptional contributions to continuing education and peer review. Evidence presented in support of this may include:

  • high category of membership of professional societies and associations;
  • leadership in professional societies and associations as demonstrated by the holding of executive office;
  • membership of nationally and internationally recognised honorific societies;
  • membership of government advisory bodies, committees of inquiry and boards of management;
  • membership of international delegations in the candidate's area of expertise;
  • invitations to serve as a referee or adjudicator by major national and competitive grant awarding or award-granting schemes or organizations;
  • invitations to serve as external examiner in other higher education institutions;
  • invitations to speak at major international conferences;
  • invitations to serve as visiting Professor in other higher education institutions or as visiting academic in government departments and agencies;
  • invitations to edit special issue journals, books;
  • opinion sought by other institutions for their research;
  • chair of a major (international) conference;
  • invitation to serve as external member on high level selection committees; and
  • appointment to an international journal editorial board.

1.3 Demonstrated evidence that the candidate has successfully guided the development of younger colleagues and postgraduate students through supervision, mentoring, monitoring and collaboration.

1.4 Demonstrated research team leadership - fostering the research of other groups and individuals in the college/department/institutes/centres and related disciplines as appropriate.

1.5 Involvement in, and contribution to, activities extending beyond the University, particularly those relating to the candidate's profession or discipline, which reflect favourably on the University; an ability to liaise and communicate effectively with members of the community, and where appropriate, professional and industry bodies in relation to research.

1.6 The title of Distinguished Professor may not be awarded to Adjunct appointments.

2. Terms of Appointment

2.1 Appointment:

James Cook University Distinguished Professors are appointed until their retirement or resignation from the University.

There is no limit on the number of James Cook University Distinguished Professorships which the University may appoint, but the number awarded will reflect the fact that this is a highly prestigious title.

2.2 Withdrawal:

The Vice Chancellor, at their sole discretion, may withdraw the title from any individual. Such withdrawal will be in writing and the reasons for withdrawal are not required. There is no appeal process to such a decision.

Related policy instruments

Distinguished Professor Procedure



Related documents and legislation



NOTE: Printed copies of this policy are uncontrolled, and currency can only be assured at the time of printing.

Approval Details

Policy DomainUniversity Management
Policy Sub-domainHuman Resources

Policy Custodian

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Services and Resources

Approval Authority

Vice Chancellor

Date for next Major Review


Revision History

Version no.

Approval date

Approved by

Implementation date



22-121/10/2022Council06/12/2022Amendments made to Intent, Scope and Definitions (removed) to align with procedure and general policy document format.Deputy University Secretary





Change of Title of Policy

Insertion of Withdrawal of Title clause






Policy updated to take account of restructure of Council Committees and procedures removed






Minor amendment to reflect current organisational structure

Quality, Standards and Policy





Policy review date extended to 31/12/17 on request by Deputy Director HR. Approved by DVC Services and Resources.












Keywordsdistinguished, professor, eminent
Contact personDeputy University Secretary