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Imperial College reforms academic pay scales

Under embargo for 00.01
Friday 26 October 2001

Imperial College has radically reformed lecturers' and professors' pay, in order to further improve the College's ability to recruit and retain the best academics. The move represents an unprecedented change to traditional academic salary scales.

The new minimum salary for lecturers will rise from UKP20,267 to UKP28,319. The minimum for professors will rise from UKP39,004 to UKP42,500 on 1 October 2001, and will increase further to UKP45,000 from 1 October 2002. All of these figures exclude the additional London Allowance.

The College has abolished the lower two thirds of the lecturer scale, putting the new minimum at spine point 15 (UKP28,319, due to rise to UKP28,602 with effect from 1 March 2002 as part of this year's staged pay supplement). Staff already on point 15 will continue by increments to the maximum of the scale as at present.

Those currently below point 15 will be moved to point 15 with effect from 1 October 2001; they will also receive the March increase. London Allowance (UKP2,134) will continue to be paid, taking the London-based lecturer minimum to over UKP30,000. This change will affect 46 lecturers and all new appointments.

Staff whose pay is adjusted in this way will continue by annual increments to the scale maximum. This will apply to staff who are currently on, as well as those who have successfully completed, their probation.

Lecturers recruited to the College from 1 October 2001 will now join on the new four point scale (1) and will progress by increments up to the maximum, with an annual October increment as now.

Progression into the current discretionary pay points will continue to be performance related, although more robust performance management systems will be developed and implemented.

The new professorial minimum salary of UKP45,000 from 1 October 2002 will benefit 69 professors.

All professorial staff will continue to receive any centrally agreed cost of living increases applied with effect from 1 August each year. Pay increases in addition to any cost of living element will be individually performance related through the College's Remuneration Committee as at present to ensure a fair and transparent process. More robust performance management systems will be put in place in due course as part of the College's obligation to ensure that the College is run in a professional and businesslike manner.

Imperial College Rector Sir Richard Sykes said:

"We have long known that pay for many of our academic staff is uncompetitive in the international marketplace where we compete for staff of the highest quality. To retain our position as one of the top research and teaching institutions in the world we had to start removing the barriers which exist to recruiting, retaining and properly rewarding our high calibre academic staff. This is just the start of the process."


For further information contact:

Abigail Smith
Press Officer, Imperial College
Tel - +44 (0)20 7594 6701
Email -

Notes to Editors:

1) The new salary scale for lecturers is:

with effect 1/10/01 with effect 1/03/02
UKP28,319 UKP28,602
UKP 29,414 UKP29,709
UKP30,514 UKP30,819
UKP32,215 UKP32,537
plus UKP2,134 London Allowance

2) Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine is the largest applied science, technology and medicine university institution in the UK. It is consistently rated in the top three UK university institutions for research quality, with one of the largest annual turnovers (UKP339 million in 1999-2000) and research incomes (UKP176 million in 1999-2000). Web site: