Promotion to Readerships


Promotion to a Readership is based on an outstanding contribution to research, scholarship and/or knowledge exchange and will normally reflect progression towards the professorial grade. Candidates are expected to have produced a body of peer-reviewed publications or equivalent high-level outputs that have made a substantial contribution to their field of work and/or professional practice. They will have an externally-recognised national and an emerging international reputation for research and scholarship, and/or knowledge exchange. Candidates are also expected to be able to show evidence of a strong record in teaching, administration and managerial responsibilities at the department, faculty or university level.

Criteria and responsibilities

Promotion to reader: key criteria

  1. Externally-recognised national and an emerging international reputation for research and scholarship, and/or knowledge exchange.
  2. A body of high-quality peer reviewed publications (or equivalent outputs where the knowledge exchange pathway is prioritised) that demonstrate a substantial contribution to the field or work and/or professional practice.
  3. Developing recognition for impact in terms of reach and significance beyond the University.
  4. A clear and sustainable programme of research and/or knowledge exchange work for the next three to five years.
  5. A successful record of securing significant peer-reviewed research funding and/or funding support for outputs leading to knowledge exchange.
  6. A record of good teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate level.
  7. A record of supervising PhD students through to successful completion.
  8. Contributions to innovations in teaching and learning.
  9. Mentoring less experienced staff.
  10. Evidence of contributions to faculty or department functions, e.g. chairing examination committees, subject coordination, postgraduate tutor, or co-ordinating materials for internal and external reviews.

Profile of academic activities and responsibilities for Readers

Research and/or knowledge exchange

  • A recognised national and emerging international reputation in the peer community, through a sustained programme of research and/or knowledge exchange activity.
  • Leading (or being Oxford Brookes lead on) large interdisciplinary/collaborative national or international peer-reviewed funding bids, which develop and sustain research and/or knowledge exchange support in the area of specialism.
  • Initiating and developing collaborations with external bodies such as other educational and research institutions, industry and the commercial sector, NGOs and non-commercial organisations, and professional bodies. 
  • Innovation in linking research, scholarship and knowledge exchange through for example consultancy, contract research, IP-generating and enterprise activities.
  • Contributing to the leadership of department research and/or knowledge exchange strategy. 
  • Publishing research in top quality REF standard peer-reviewed outlets. 
  • Giving invited papers to national and international audiences.
  • Membership of editorial boards of leading journals and other disciplinary bodies. 
  • Providing expert opinion and commentary to external audiences and bodies.


  • Teaching and examining undergraduate and masters level students.
  • Acting as an academic adviser and promoting the enhancement of the student experience.
  • Supervising to successful completion and examining PhD students. 
  • Contributing to the monitoring and enhancement of quality in teaching within the department. 
  • Developing programme and course proposals, shaping and influencing curriculum development and innovations in teaching practice. 
  • Acting as a role model in research, knowledge exchange and teaching through excellent practice and strong collegial commitment. 
  • Mentoring less experienced staff. 
  • Contributing to the development of teams and individuals and providing advice on career development.

Activities relating to departmental/faculty management and administration

  • Contributing to the overall management of the department and contributing to departmental-level strategic planning.

Application procedures

Applications for promotion to Reader, and for subsequent promotion to the higher levels, will be invited annually, normally in semester one, with a closing date in February. Applications should be submitted to the faculty by the published candidate deadline; the Faculty will forward the whole application, including the Faculty's critical appraisal from the PVC/Dean to by the final deadline.  The critical appraisal must be completed on the agreed template.

Applicants are required to provide a CV that specifically addresses the key criteria for Reader. The CV should be accompanied by a covering letter from the applicant summarising the case for promotion.  Additionally, the PVC/Dean of the Faculty should provide a written assessment of the application.

Applicants are asked to suggest the names and contact details of three external referees who should be fully independent and clear authorities in the field of work concerned, and who should not be existing or former colleagues, or peers with whom the candidate has worked closely.

CV Format

Candidates are required to provide:

A full annotated CV, demonstrating how the criteria are met (maximum of 10 pages long in minimum of 11pt font with normal margins and no web links). Candidates may also provide a supporting statement, which sets out the case for promotion in a summary form (maximum of one side A4 in minimum of 11pt font with normal margins and no web links). The CV should include:

Current appointment
Education and professional qualifications
Previous appointments
Membership of professional bodies

Applicants who have made a previous application for promotion, should highlight the developments since that date.

Timetable for consideration of applications

Applications will be assessed initially by the committee at a meeting normally held in March. For those where a prima facie case is judged to have been made, external references will be sought to inform a final decision that will be taken at the following meeting.

For applications that are progressing to references, the People Directorate will contact the three referees suggested by the candidate. At least three independent external references will usually be required. The committee will have discretion to approach any of the referees suggested by the candidate, or to identify others as appropriate.

At the meeting in July, the committee will normally reach a decision on the basis of the application documentation and the references that are received.

Candidates will receive a letter after the meeting in March and, if applicable, the meeting in July informing them of the progress of their application.

Each unsuccessful candidate will receive feedback about their application and the potential for re-submission. When re-applying candidates must submit a full application and not just address how they have responded to the feedback offered. Promotions will be backdated to 1st January before the meeting.