Permanent academic staff

Permanent academic staff

All holders of permanent academic posts at Oxford undertake both teaching and research, and all have a formal association with a college. Further information about the collegiate system at Oxford is available.


This is the main academic grade at Oxford, roughly equivalent to an Associate Professorship in the US or a Senior Lectureship at other UK HEIs.

Associate Professors (APs) are appointed for an initial period of up to five years, at the end of which a review takes place with a view to reappointment to the retiring age. This is known as the Initial Period of Office (IPO). APs are divisional appointments, and the division and department work together – and alongside the colleges – in appointing candidates and managing their IPO. Appointments are formally approved by the division, which also issues contracts of employment, and approves the satisfactory completion of the IPO and reappointment to the retirement age.

There are three basic types of Associate Professorship:

1.    Associate Professorships with a Tutorial Fellowship – University: Grade 10a (30S)

  • undertakes (Undergraduate) tutorial teaching for the college as well as departmental teaching
  • receives a salary from the department and from the college
  • the department pays the greater proportion of salary (around 84%).

2.    Associate Professorships with a Tutorial Fellowship – College: Grade 10a (39S)

  • undertakes (Undergraduate) tutorial teaching for the college as well as departmental teaching
  • is not required to undertake tutorial teaching FOR THE COLLEGE OF ASSOCIATION
  • receives a salary from the department and from the college
  • the college pays the greater proportion of salary (around 60%).

3.    Associate Professorships with a Non-Tutorial Fellowship: Grade 10a (36S)

  • undertakes departmental teaching but is not required to undertake tutorial teaching, either because the college does not admit Undergraduates or because there is no Undergraduate teaching in their particular subject
  • receives a salary from the department only.
Detailed information on the recruitment and appointment of Associate Professors is available on Sharepoint (Single Sign-On is required; for access, please contact the Academic Appointments Team).


All Associate Professors are appointed for an initial period of five years. An interim review must be held towards the end of the second year of the appointment at which an assessment of the individual’s performance must be made and considered by the department; timely warnings about unsatisfactory progress should be given where appropriate and remedial action taken if necessary. The individual’s college should be consulted as part of this process. You are encouraged to involve your HR Business Partner as soon as any concerns about performance arise.

The details of the review procedure and the criteria to be satisfied for reappointment to the retiring age are set out in each department’s Notes of Guidance for New Associate ProfessorsAPs must be assessed against the version of the Guidance Notes issued to them by the department on appointment.

In exceptional cases, a Head of Department may make a case to the division for a shorter IPO, either at the appointment stage or at any subsequent point during the IPO. The criteria to be satisfied at the end of a shorter IPO are the same as for a 5-year IPO.

Where the achievements of an AP in the IPO have been affected by maternity leave, sickness absence, a period of special leave, etc., the department and AP should discuss whether it is in the best interests of the AP for a decision on reappointment to be made on the normal timescale or whether the IPO should be extended.

At the start of the final year of the IPO, a full review of performance during the whole period should also be undertaken (this should not be based wholly or even mainly on the initial-stage review). For this purpose, the below process is followed:

  1. 16 months prior to the end of the IPO, the division will write to the individual request that s/he produce a formal report on their IPO.
  2. The department will arrange for one or more academic colleagues personally to witness and report in writing on the teaching competence of the individual.
  3. The department must identify a small number of assessors to consider and make a recommendation on the question of reappointment to the retiring age. The department makes the individual’s report available to the assessors for consideration as part of this process. The assessors may also request further information from the individual beyond that contained in his or her report (e.g. evidence of unpublished work).
  4. References from at least three external and independent referees should be sought. Referees should be sent details of the AP’s research publications together with the relevant extract from the Notes of Guidance.
  5. The assessors should meet with the individual to discuss his or her progress and experience during the IPO, and must also consult with the Senior Tutor at the relevant college.
  6. The Head of Department will arrange for the report of the assessors and all supporting documentation to be considered by the relevant departmental committee.
  7. The department must submit a written report, incorporating the written testimony on teaching competence, for transmission to the Divisional Board along with the individual's report. This report should:
  • be evaluative/qualitative
  • refer explicitly to the definition of research achievement, teaching competence and any other criteria, as set out in the department’s Notes of Guidance for New Associate Professors
  • compare the individual's progress in advanced study or research, and publications, with what might normally be expected from someone in the IPO in the subject area, and for whom reappointment is appropriate
  • contain a report on departmental duties from the Head of Department, where applicable
  • include a specific recommendation about whether the AP has reached an appropriate standard for reappointment to the retiring age.

Evidence of substantial progress in research and of lecturing competence are prerequisites for reappointment to the retiring age. Each department has its own guidelines on what constitutes adequate progress in research to justify reappointment to the retiring age, and these should be made clear to individuals on appointment, to those conducting the initial-stage review, and to review committees/assessors.



This is the most senior academic grade at Oxford, equivalent to full Professor in the US. Professors (also known as 'Chairs') are expected to take an academic leadership role within their department as well as more widely in the University and beyond. They usually concentrate on teaching graduate students but may give undergraduate lectures as well. They are always associated with a college but do not hold a tutorial fellowship, and 100% of their salary is paid by the department. The majority of professorships are statutory, meaning they are established in the University Regulations.

To request a new Statutory Professorship (SP) or refill an existing SP, you will need to complete a Professorial recruitment form and complete a business case. Please contact the Academic Appointments Team for advice on the process and a copy of the forms, and the Divisional Financial Controller for advice on the business case.

Statutory Professors are eligible to apply in the Professorial Distinction Awards exercises which are run periodically (see below).


The Senior Appointments Panel is chaired by the VC, and advises on:

  • the ad hoc conferment of titles of distinction
  • super-scale payments to Associate Professors for recruitment and retention purposes
  • additional payments to substantive Readers* and Professors for retention purposes
  • the creation grading and salaries for senior administrative posts (ALC6) and senior research posts (RSIV) and the appointment of individuals to such posts without advertisement.

Cases to SAP must be submitted via the Division and should include all the information set out in this template SAP case. Full information about the SAP and its procedures is available online.


*Some academic staff hold readership posts at an intermediate level between that of full professor and associate professor. No new appointments are being made to readerships. In addition, some staff hold the title of reader but this title is no longer available for new conferrals.


HR processes relevant to all staff

HR processes for Grades 1-10 Staff, Researchers & Departmental Lecturers

Professional and support staff

Permanent academic staff

Senior research staff

Career development for permanent academic and research staff

Employer Justified Retirement Age (EJRA)

Visiting Professorships

Casual staff

Useful websites

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