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Academic Staff Promotion Guidelines - Applicants

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) The purpose of these Guidelines is to provide assistance to academic staff who are preparing an application for promotion.

(2) These Guidelines apply to academic staff of Charles Sturt University (the University) who hold a fixed-term or continuing appointment in a full-time or fractional capacity at level A, B, C, or D.

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Section 2 - Glossary

(3) Refer to the Academic Staff Promotion Policy for the glossary.

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Section 3 - Policy

(4) Refer to the Academic Staff Promotion Policy.

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Section 4 - Procedures

(5) Refer to the Academic Staff Promotion Procedure.

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Section 5 - Guidelines


(6) It is important that promotion is seen as one aspect of career development. An application for promotion should be prepared well in advance. Two years prior to lodging an application, an applicant should have commenced discussions with colleagues and advised their supervisor of their intention during their employee Development and review scheme meetings. This will allow sufficient time for mentoring and support in crafting the narrative to provide a better understanding of what is required in putting a case forward for promotion. An applicant must be prepared to be ruthless in making changes as the application progresses.

(7) Applicants are to read the Academic Staff Promotion Policy and Academic Staff Promotion Procedure in conjunction with these Guidelines.

(8) There is no set formula for success in promotion. Committees judge each application on its merits, weighing up the mix of achievements and evidence each applicant puts forward and the coherent case each applicant makes based on this evidence.

(9) Applications will be assessed on an all-of-career basis, looking for a career trajectory but with a strong emphasis on the achievements at the level currently held.

(10) In completing the Academic Staff Promotion Application, applicants are to provide commentary and context for evidence provided. This evidence together with the supervisor statement and teaching, research and referee reports should assist the committee with understanding and assessing the relative importance of the achievements and capacity of the applicant in their work function and in their disciplinary context.

(11) Applicants to Levels D or E, where appropriate, must show that their contributions demonstrate national or international significance, beyond the University context.

(12) Applicants should identify other people to read their application for clarity, impact and repetition. These selected colleagues may know the applicant's work. Consideration may also be given to choosing a colleague from another discipline area to ensure that the application is suitable to be read by a wide audience. It should be borne in mind that committee members may be drawn from a wide range of different disciplines, and some members may be external to the University.

The Application Form

(13) The case for promotion must be easy to follow and use clear sign-posting, including headings.

(14) Chances of success are limited if applications are poorly constructed, punctuated and/or written or content is repetitious.

(15) Applicants are expected to adhere to the page and word limits established within the form. Where page and/or word limits are exceeded the application may be returned to you for further editing/refinement.

(16) There is no provision for attachments in the application form except for the University research report and teaching related data which must be attached as a PDF document.

Application Part 1: Details of Applicant

(17) The applicant must complete all sections of Part 1: Details of Applicant. Specifically, the applicant must:

  1. provide personal information requested, including work function and academic promotion history;
  2. identify the promotion level sought;
  3. identify the domain percentages forming the basis of the case for promotion; and
  4. complete basic information on the application form, identifying the applicant and assigning percentages to the different domains of academic work.

(18) An applicant has the opportunity to provide information regarding any equity or Equal Employment Opportunity matters that may have underpinned academic achievement relative to opportunity.

(19) Assigned domain percentages need not duplicate but should align with the percentages used in any relevant workload allocation model. They should conform to the limits set by the relevant classification standard for the type of appointment held by the applicant.

(20) In assigning percentages, applicants should take care to realistically consider their areas of strength.

(21) Rather than defining in precise terms the meaning of each domain, the alternative approach of providing dimensionality and context to the domains has been adopted. These dimensions refer to the scope of activity that might be undertaken by participants in each of the three domains (Refer to The CSU Academic: A Guide to Evidence in Promotion). With the exception of leadership and professional development, which must be addressed by all applicants as appropriate to the level of promotion sought, an applicant is not required to address each and every dimension. The CSU Academic: A Guide to Evidence in Promotion provides a framework for bringing together scope of activity, sphere of influence and source of evidence in each domain but is not intended as a checklist.

(22) In the promotion process applicants must address academic performance, academic reputation, and academic leadership relevant to the level sought (refer to clauses 18 to 25 in the Academic Staff Promotion Procedure) and supported by appropriate evidence both quantitative and qualitative. Applicants must demonstrate a balance between numbers and narrative.

Application Part 2:  Qualifications and Equivalency

(23) In Part 2, the applicant is required to document tertiary qualifications or demonstrate equivalent accreditation and/or standing.

(24) Examples of evidence that are appropriate to demonstrate equivalent standing may include (but are not limited to) the following:

  1. teaching experience;
  2. experience in research and scholarship;
  3. experience outside tertiary education in industry, business or government employment;
  4. creative achievement;
  5. granting of accolades or awards indicative of professional reputation;
  6. professional contributions, including professional qualifications and/or further education;
  7. training and professional development;
  8. technical achievement; and
  9. leadership in local, state or national advisory bodies and/or community organisations relevant to the discipline.

(25) Evidence provided to support a case for promotion must be of a different nature and impact from the evidence used to substantiate equivalent standing.

(26) Applicants are required to provide details of Special Studies Program (SSP) or any other relevant activities.

Application Part 3: Domains

(27) Part 3 provides the committee with a high level overview of the applicant's case for promotion.

(28) The applicant is required to provide up to five high level headline points per domain to summarise how the evidence supporting the case for promotion (articulated in Part 4 of the application form) demonstrates the applicant has already met the standards of academic performance, academic reputation, and academic leadership at the level to which promotion is sought. It is suggested applicants consider the weightings they have assigned to each domain when considering the number of headline points to be included. Notwithstanding, an applicant may use the maximum five headline points available across all domains should they wish to do so.

(29) It is important to be succinct; each headline point is limited to one sentence only.

Application Part 4: Statement of Case for Promotion

(30) In Part 4, the applicant is required to articulate a case for promotion. It is important to note that while the overall case for promotion should demonstrate a clear trajectory, applicants should take care to focus on achievements since their past promotion, which demonstrate how they have met the required academic performance at the level promotion is sought. These achievements must be linked to the evidence (Part 5) that supports their significance.

Application Part 5 (I): Evidence Portfolio

(31) Part 5 requires the applicant to provide a reflective statement evidencing the applicant's impact and contribution across the three domains.

(32) The applicant should report on their whole career, taking care to distinguish/highlight achievements primarily since their last promotion or appointment to their current level. The Academic Staff Promotion Committee, whilst taking into account an applicant's whole career, will prioritise applicant's achievements primarily since their last promotion or appointment to their current level.

(33) A range of evidence can be used to support applications for promotion. Applicants should consult The CSU Academic: A Guide to Evidence in Promotion. Provided as a tool to assist applicants, it maps evidence and standards against the three domains and the levels of appointment (Levels A to E), giving examples of the types of evidence that can be used to demonstrate that the appropriate standard has been met.

(34) The CSU Academic: A Guide to Evidence in Promotion is not a prescriptive checklist of what must be done to be promoted but rather an indicative guide to activities that an academic could usefully reflect upon. The examples provided illustrate the type of evidence that may be included. The examples are not definitive or exhaustive of all tasks in academic employment, which are both diverse and multi-skilled, involving an overlap of duties between levels. There is no expectation that an individual staff member will make contributions in all of the areas listed within the Guide.

(35) Some activities could be considered under different domains; the applicant needs to make a decision in terms of the best presentation of their case but evidence can only be used once.

(36) Clear evidence/documentation must be provided to support every claim that is presented in the application.

Application Part 5 (II): Promoting Learning

(37) To obtain your student survey data, complete the request form on the Human Resource Policy and Procedures webpage and email it to the Division of Learning and Teaching at The Division of Learning and Teaching will send the resulting Charles Sturt University student survey report to you for review and attachment to your application. The request form may be downloaded from the Human Resource Policy and Procedures webpage. The report will provide five years of data.

(38) Attach peer reviews of educational practice that you may have undertaken. These might include reviews through the CSU formal Peer Review for Promotion process; faculty peer reviews or Teaching Dynamics reports. However, please note that in future years these latter two will be phased out for promotion purposes because their function is primarily formative not summative. For further information visit: Division of Learning and Teaching webpage.

Application Part 5 (III) Creating Knowledge

(39) Part 5 section III Creating Knowledge, requires the attachment of a CSU Research Data report provided to applicants by the Division of Human Resources. The report containing CSU research information comprises the following sections:

  1. Applications: Applications for research funding during the reporting period;
  2. Active Research Grants: All research projects that were active at any stage during the reporting period;
  3. HERDC Income: All research income received that was eligible for inclusion in the Higher Education Research Data Collection; and
  4. Research Outputs: All research outputs that have been previously assessed as eligible for inclusion in either the Higher Education Research Data Collection (HERDC) or the CSU Research Output collection (ROC) process and creative works awarded points internally.

(40) For HERDC Income and Research Outputs, five years of data is provided i.e. the “reporting period” is five calendar years prior to the year the report is produced. The current calendar year cannot be included due to the need for data verification process.

(41) For Application, Active Research Grants and HDR Supervision, five and a half years of data is provided i.e. the ‘reporting period’ is extended to include the current calendar year so that the most up to date information available can be provided.

(42) The applicant has the option to briefly comment on any relevant issues in relation to the data provided in Part 5 of the application, such as concerns about comparisons to norms (i.e. contextualisation).

(43) This option for comment is not an opportunity to correct erroneous information. Where there are any inaccuracies or omissions in supplied information, the applicant should inform the relevant section of the University (with provision of suitable evidence, where appropriate) at least two weeks prior to the advertised date for receipt of the application by the supervisor(s) so the information can be corrected.

Application Part 6: 2018 Publication List 

(44) Any publications produced in the 2018 calendar year, including work in-press or submitted but not yet accepted should be included in Part 8. In the case of work not yet published, it should be included under the relevant heading with its current status (the latter must be verified by the supervisor).

Application Part 7: Standards

(45) Applicants must demonstrate how they currently meet the standards for academic promotion, as specified by the University through (a) their commitment to the University's core values and strategies and (b) their contributions to the domains of influencing university, profession and/or community; promoting learning; and creating knowledge in relation to the minimum standards for academic performance and academic reputation of the level to which promotion is sought.

(46) One approach to setting standards is to define quantitative measures for grant income, publications, student assessments, higher degree supervision, etc., with due allowance for differences in disciplinary expectations. The alternative approach has been adopted by the University in which staff can use an evidence guide to assist in demonstrating that they meet the expected standard for a given level, based on the Minimum Standards for Academic Performance and Academic Reputation as defined in the Academic Staff Promotion Procedure.

Application Part 8a: Curriculum Vitae

(47) Applicants must include a current curriculum vitae in the application form.

(48) Unlike previous sections of the application, the curriculum vitae addresses the applicant's whole career. In the case of professional experience outside the academic environment, applicants should refer particularly to experience that is relevant to promotion.

(49) Whilst the curriculum vitae is free-form, applicants are advised to relate their activities and achievements to the three domains. The curriculum vitae should demonstrate any and all links between these domains.

Domain: Promoting Learning

(50) Applicants should establish their approach and philosophy of learning at undergraduate and post graduate levels (as appropriate), provide examples of how this philosophy is enacted and evidence the impact of their approach.

Domain: Creating Knowledge

(51) In the Creating Knowledge domain, a clear focus should be identified and how this has developed during the applicant's career, including a research strategy for the future. Applicants must create a clear line of sight between the grants they receive and the outcomes of these grants (publications and further grants).

(52) Applicants should not focus on internal University grants as this is not an indication of standing external to the institution, nationally or internationally.

Domain: Influencing University, Profession and Community 

(53) Applicants should include a clear outline of contributions and their impact rather than a list of activities.

Application Part 8b: Publication List (Whole of Career)

(54) A full publication list covering the applicant’s entire career should be included in Part 8b.

(55) Applicants are asked to note that any verified research data which has been provided in the CSU Research Data PDF for attachment to your application does not have to be reproduced in this section.  

(56) For non-research outputs (publications, creative works, commissioned reports, etc) the applicant should contextualise the work (what establishes its importance and its acceptance by the academy or profession etc).

Application Part 9a: Nomination of Supervisor

(57) The applicant must nominate the number of supervisors and their names.

(58) Should there be more than one supervisor, an additional supervisor statement will need to be copied and pasted into the application form if the additional supervisor is not a University Research Centre Director.

Application Part 9b: Supervisor Statement

(59) Part 9b must be completed by the applicant's supervisor, in accordance with Part D of the Academic Staff Promotion Procedure.

(60) The supervisor is required to verify all claims made within the application. Therefore, applicants should ensure documentary evidence to support such claims is available for presentation and verification.

Application Part 10: Applicant Comments

(61) Part 10 provides the applicant with the option to make comments in response to the supervisor's statement.