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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, teaching, research, referee reports and summative teaching peer review/s 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, demonstration of 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.

(13) It is important to remember that it is the application and not the applicant that is assessed against relevant standards to determine the outcome of the promotion application. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure their application truly reflects their performance and individuality.

(14) 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.

The Application Form

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

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

(17) Applicants are required to use font Arial 10 and adhere to the page, line and word limits established within the form. Promotion Committees will disregard application content which exceeds specified content limitations.

(18) There is no provision for attachments in the application form except for the official University reports and summative peer review. University teaching and research reports, will be provided to applicants in PDF form for review and to inform their academic promotion narrative. The PDF documents will be attached to individual applications for promotion by the Division of People and Culture upon application submission, with a copy of the consolidated application provided to the applicant for their records.

Application Part 1: Details of Applicant

(19) The applicant must complete all sections of ‘Part 1: Details of Applicant’.

(20) It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure their contact details are correct and to advise of any subsequent change following application submission.

(21) 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. A minimum of 10% is required in any one domain and percentages should be assigned in multiples of 10.

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

(23) 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.

(24) 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.

(25) An applicant has the opportunity to provide information regarding any equity or Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) matters that may have underpinned academic achievement relative to opportunity. Explanatory information should indicate how the EEO factor/s identified have impacted the applicant’s academic achievements since their last promotion or appointment to the University.

Application Part 2:  Qualifications and Equivalency

(26) The applicant is required to document tertiary qualifications or demonstrate equivalent accreditation and/or standing. Applicants considering equivalence through accreditation and/or standing should be cognizant of the requirements set out in Clauses 27 to 35 in the Academic Staff Promotion Procedure.

(27) 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.

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

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

Application Part 3: Domains

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

(31) The applicant is required to provide up to five high level headline points per domain summarising how the evidence supporting the case for promotion demonstrates they have already met the standards of academic performance, academic reputation, and academic leadership at the level to which promotion is sought. Applicants are encouraged to consider the number of points per domain in the context of the weighting assigned to each domain in Part 1. Notwithstanding applicants may submit the maximum five headline points per domain.

(32) Refer to The CSU Academic: A Guide to Evidence in Promotion for information on the domains of academic activity and provision of evidence in academic promotion.

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

Application Part 4: Statement of Case for Promotion and Evidence Portfolio

General Information

(34) In Part 4, the applicant is required to articulate a case for promotion supported by evidence, demonstrating impact and contribution across the three domains and commensurate with the academic level sought. 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. Therefore, while the overall application for promotion should show a clear career trajectory, in this section applicants should take care to distinguish achievements since their last promotion or appointment to the University which demonstrate how they have met the required academic performance at the promotion level sought. 

(35) 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.

(36) 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.

(37) 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.

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

Application Part 4 (I): Influencing University, Professional and Community

(39) Achievements cited here should demonstrate to an academic promotion committee how the required academic performance standards have been met. Importantly, applicants should take care to explain the impact and contributions of their achievements. For example, citing membership of a committee or project team is not in itself an achievement. Rather, it would be important to articulate what was achieved during the applicant’s membership, the resulting impact and the applicant’s individual contribution.

Application Part 4 (II): Promotion Learning

(40) Some evidence for this reflective statement of case for promotion may be derived from student feedback on an applicant’s teaching or subject coordination but this should not be an applicant’s sole source of data, especially for roles such as Course Directors and Heads of School, who might supplement with Summative Peer Reviews of Educational Practice.

(41) Part 4 (ii) requires the attachment of a Teaching Report. The report summarises the results of the Subject Experience Surveys for all subjects relevant to the applicant in the period 2015-2019. 

(42) To obtain your subject experience survey data, complete the request form and email it to the Division of Learning and Teaching at by the due date set out in Key Dates on the Academic Promotion webpages. 

(43) The Subject Experience Survey Reports will be emailed to applicants as per Key Dates on the Academic Promotion webpages. If you have any queries in relation to the report content you should notify  by the specified date.  The Division of People and Culture will attach your Report upon submission of your application.

(44) While it is not a mandatory requirement for applicants seeking promotion to have a summative peer review of their teaching practice, applicants are strongly encouraged to do so. Applicants should contact Sub Dean, Academic Development, Denise Wood ( discuss available summative peer review options and arrange a summative peer review by the due date set out in Key Dates on the Academic Promotion webpages.  

(45) Only summative peer review reports will be attached to an application for promotion. 

(46) Summative peer review reports will be attached to applications for promotion by the Division of People and Culture upon application submission.

(47) An applicant may refer to the outcomes from formative peer reviews as additional evidence within their Statement of Case for Promotion, however this evidence would need to be cited and verified by the applicant’s supervisor.

Application Part 4 (III) Creating Knowledge

(48) The statement of case for promotion may include (but is not limited to) evidence of any esteem measures, peer recognition, traditional metrics (such as H-indices and citation counts) and altmetrics. Research impact and contributions may be discipline specific and / or may apply to a wider academic or non-academic audience, as appropriate. Library staff can assist researchers in the use of the citation tools, see CSU Library: Research Impact web page.

(49) Part 4 section III Creating Knowledge, requires the attachment of a Research Data report. The report containing 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 (HERDC); 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.

(50) The research report will be provided to applicants by the Division of People and Culture for review. Check the content of the report and contact Office of Research Services and Graduate Studies regarding any omissions or anomalies. The final report will be attached to your application by the Division of People and Culture upon submission of your application.

(51) 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.

(52) 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.

Applicant comments

(53) The applicant has the option to briefly comment on any relevant issues in relation to the data provided in Part 4 of the application, such as concerns about comparisons to norms (i.e. contextualisation).

(54) 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) by the advised dates so the information can be corrected.

Application Part 5: 2019 Publication List 

(55) Any publications produced in the 2019 calendar year, including work in-press or submitted but not yet accepted should be included in Part 5. 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 6: Standards and Values

(56) Applicants must demonstrate how they currently meet the University standards for academic promotion to the academic level sought,(clauses 20 – 35 of the Academic Staff Promotion Procedure) in each of the three domains through their commitment to the University’s core values.

Application Part 7a: Curriculum Vitae

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

(58) 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.

(59) 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

(60) 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

(61) 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).

(62) 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 

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

Application Part 7b: Publication List (Whole of Career)

(64) A full publication list covering the applicant’s entire career should be included in Part 7b.

(65) Please note that any verified research data which has been provided in the official Academic Promotion Research report need not be reproduced in this section.

(66) 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 8a: Nomination of Supervisor

(67) The applicant must nominate the number of supervisors and their names. If an applicant’s position officially reports to an Executive Dean, the selection of an alternate supervisor for the purpose of academic promotion must be approved by the Executive Dean.

(68) 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 8b: Supervisor Statement

(69) Part 8b must be completed by the applicant's supervisor, in accordance with Part D of the Academic Staff Promotion Procedure.

(70) 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 9: Applicant Comments

(71) Part 9 provides the applicant with the option to make comments in response to the supervisor's statement.