This page sets out guidance for staff who may require further information regarding opportunities for promotion and progression within the Research job family.

The following promotion and progression paths are available to staff in the Research Job Family:

  • Research Assistant to Research Associate – progression is at Departmental/Faculty level and will be processed through the HR Staff Hub following official confirmation of PhD having been awarded  
  • Research Associate to Research Fellow – promotion is currently through the research job level review process and guidance is available below
  • Research Fellow to Advanced Research Fellow -  progression is at Departmental/Faculty level and will be processed through the HR Staff Hub
Criteria for progression/promotion to Advanced Research Fellow

All individuals on spine point 24, the highest point on the Research Fellow grade, are eligible to be recommended by their Head of Department (subject to Dean’s approval) for consideration to move to the Advanced Research Fellow grade.

Promotion to the Advanced Research Fellow grade no longer takes places as part of the pay review process and can happen as advised by Faculty and Business School timetables with the agreement of the Head of Department, Dean, and Strategic HR Partner. For employees in post prior to 1 April 2019, a contract change form will be required to change the employee’s job title. For employees in post on or after 1 April 2019, a contract change form will need to be completed with the agreed new salary. The recommendation should note evidence of progress on the way to meeting the criteria for promotion to Senior Research Fellow. 
 
  • Advanced Research Fellow to Senior Research Fellow - promotion is through the Academic Promotions process
  • Senior Research Fellow to Principal Research Fellow - promotion is through the Academic Promotions process

Further information and the required criteria on all Research grades can be found on the appropriate research tab on the Research job family webpage

Guidance for promotion from Research Associate to Research Fellow

Flow Chart for Research Job Level Review

Research Job Level Review (Research Associate to Research Fellow)

Research Job Level Review (Research Associate to Research Fellow)

Introduction

This procedure covers staff in the Research Family (promotion from Research Associate to Research Fellow). Progression and promotion to other Research grades takes place via the Staff Hub process or through the Academic Promotions process at more senior grades.

Research staff must have an equal opportunity to be considered for promotion review and recommendations from Line Managers must be free from bias in relation to age, ethnic origin, gender, disability, religious belief, sexual orientation, or bias on any other grounds. Part-time staff, and staff on fixed-term contracts, must also receive equal treatment. HoDs and Faculty Operating Officers are also involved in the procedural process, and they are required to adhere strictly to the principles of equal opportunity and equal treatment.

Applications for promotion review cannot be considered in isolation from matters connected with an employee's probation or general employment.  If a member of staff is at the informal, oral, or other stages of the College's disciplinary/capability procedure, the application will be put on hold until such time as the matter has been resolved, or any warning issued is spent. 

Applications should not be made for at least one full year following a restructuring within a department, division, section, or other organisational entity.

If an application has been made within the last 6 months, whether it was successful or unsuccessful, a further application should not be made until a full year has elapsed between applications.

Applicants must have been in post and working at Research Fellow level for a minimum of 6 months before a job can be considered for re-grading. 

Criteria for Promotion to Research Fellow

Applications should demonstrate clear evidence of progress on meeting the criteria for promotion to Research Fellow grade. Further information and the required criteria is available on the Research Job Family webpage. The Research Job Families criteria is the core reference document for this level. The relevant documentation must be consulted before an application is made.

Key Dates for Submission of Application Documents for 2022

Applications are coordinated centrally by the HR Division, and are considered, in June, September and December. 

Timetable

Closing date to submit application to HR

Effective date of Promotion

18 May 2022

1 May (implement in September payroll)

1 August 2022

1 October (implement in November payroll)

1 November 2022

1 January (implement in February payroll)

Note: Faculties and Departments may have earlier deadlines to process applications ahead of the College review.  Please check with your Department Administrator for your local submission deadline.

Please Note: A review should not be used as a reward for good performance. Please contact your local department administrator to discuss any other pay mechanisms that may be available to you.

Making an application

All line management initiated, and personal applications should proceed to the College's central Review Panels but first, HoDs will wish to have oversight on the applications from their department. Only the application and supporting documentation agreed by all parties, i.e., the individual, the line manager and the HoD, may proceed for review.  HoDs should notify their staff of the process.

‌‌If a member of staff wishes to make a personal application, he/she should discuss this with the Line Manager to allow any issues of clarification to be dealt with before an application is made.

In faculties, it is up to the Faculty Operating Officer to agree with their departments if a faculty-coordinated approach is appropriate e.g., whereby applications should be sent to the faculty by a prescribed date and considered together before being forwarded to HR.

‌The Line Manager should complete the Research Job Level Review Research Job Level Review Application Form (Word) in line with the Research Job Level Review Research Job Level Review Guidance Notes (PDF). The application requires him/her to indicate why the review is justified (same process will apply to personal applications). The application should include:

  1. Up-to-date CV with complete details of Research and Publication activity including h-index to show progression over the last few years
  2. Current Job Description and Person Specification for the post; the details of the job description should be agreed with the current post-holder. For personal applications the job description and person specification should be agreed with the Line Manager; the job description and person specification should follow the format shown in the Application Form
  3. Summary Statement on how you meet the role criteria for Research Fellow.
  4. Supporting case completed by the Line Manager, on a separate page from the other documentation. If personal application, supporting case to be completed by the Post-holder and written on a separate page from the rest of the documentation.

The Line Manager signs the form to confirm that the job description and person specification are an accurate and true reflection of the responsibilities being undertaken within the organisational structure. 

Please note: any application that is missing information or is incomplete, will be returned, and will not be processed until the paperwork is complete.

If the Line Manager does not support the application, it is his/her responsibility to ensure that the job description is a true reflection of the responsibilities of the post. (If agreement cannot be easily reached, every effort should be made to come to a consensus; where this is not possible, either party may wish to approach HR for assistance). If the Line Manager does not support the application, he/she should provide a separate statement which gives clear reasons for the lack of support. The form should be signed irrespective of whether the application is supported.

The Line Manager then passes the full Application to the HoD for consideration. If the HoD does not agree that the job description is a true and accurate reflection, the HoD and the Line Manager must reach agreement before the application can come forward for review.  No application can be reviewed without the HoD’s agreement with the Job Description.

The form asks whether the HoD supports the application or not. If it is not supported, reasons should be provided in a separate statement. The form should be signed by the HoD whether the application is supported or not, and the account details completed if a change of charge code is applicable. (If the application is for any member of staff who is based in a Faculty HQ, the Principal, or senior nominee, should sign the form in place of the HoD).

If the post is funded from grants or contracts, the relevant Research Services approval is required.

The form and any statements should then be sent to the Faculty Operating Officer for consideration. Please check with your Department Administrator for your local submission deadline. If it is not supported, brief reasons should be provided on the form. The form should be signed irrespective of whether the application is supported.

The Application Form and supporting documents (A, B, C, D) should be sent to the e-mail: jlr@imperial.ac.uk by the Faculty Operating Officer or their nominee and must be submitted by the deadline, at the latest.

Review Procedure for Research Fellow Candidates

The Academic Review Committee are composed of Faculty Consuls who will consider applications and may seek additional advice on any application as appropriate. Applicants will be invited to interview in cases where further clarification is sought.

Notification of Decisions

HR will notify the results by letter. Letters will be addressed to the member of staff and sent via the Line Manager and Departmental contact as indicated on the application form. Please ensure that the correct names of those to be contacted regarding outcomes and other related matters, are included on the form.

The letter will provide reasons why the application has been successful or unsuccessful.

The Effective Date of Promotion/New Salary

Successful promotions will be effective on 1 May (implement in September payroll), 1 October (implement in November payroll), and 1 January (implement in February payroll).

The new salary will normally be at the bottom of the Research Fellow grade (or, where a member of staff is already earning the equivalent or more, an increase of one increment will be given).

Unsuccessful Applications

When an application has been unsuccessful, applicants should wait a full year before re-applying. During this period, the role may possibly grow, and new evidence would be available of the type of activities that would support promotion, but it is unlikely to do so in a matter of months. 

Research Job Level Review Guidance Notes

GUIDANCE NOTES – RESEARCH JOB LEVEL REVIEW

(Research Associate to Research Fellow)

 

The documents listed below (A, B, C, D) must all be submitted to jlr@imperial.ac.uk.

 The Academic Committee evaluate the role on the basis of the current CV, Job Description, Person Specification, Summary and Supporting Case and the Research Fellow role profile is taken into consideration.

 Please note: an interview may take place in cases where further clarification is required.

A.  Supply an updated CV

B. Job Description and Person Specification Format – Please use the separate Job Description and Person Specification Template

The Job Description must follow that in the latest template format

  • A short paragraph to sum up the main purpose of the post – why does it exist?
Key Responsibilities

Include a list of the main responsibilities that must be undertaken to ensure that the purpose of the post is met. Sub-headings for some responsibilities may be useful e.g., research, funding, independence, learning, leadership, management contribution, national reputation, innovation, strong publication record, supervision of undergraduate/postgraduate students and postdoctoral staff.

The list of responsibilities should be in order of importance.  They should describe what the post holder does i.e., WHAT ACTION IS TAKEN and why i.e., TO ACHIEVE WHAT.  The typical percentage of working time spent on each responsibility should be included.   See the examples below of some of the key responsibilities: 

Responsibility

Action

To Achieve

% Time Spent

Role 1

Research

Independent research, design, plan and deliver high-quality research, awarded funding

Success in delivering research results and activity,

leading projects without PI direction 

 

 

 

50%

Role 2

Publications

Independent high impact publications,

leading projects

 

 

 

Record of high-quality publications in international peer-reviewed journals

 

 

 

20%

 

 

 

Role 3

Growing reputation,  teaching and  supervision of undergraduate and postgraduate students

 

Design and deliver lecturers, course work, tutorials, building collaborations,  supervising students

 

Success of national recognition and growing reputation.

Success in student supervision,

30%

 

 

 

 

We are committed to equality of opportunity, to eliminating discrimination and to creating an inclusive working environment for all. We therefore encourage candidates to apply irrespective of age, disability, marriage or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion and belief, gender identity, sex, or sexual orientation. We are an Athena SWAN Silver Award winner, a Disability Confident Leader and a Stonewall Diversity Champion.

 Summary Statement

Please provide a single summary covering the following criteria on how you meet the role (500 word maximum)

  1. Research
  2. Fellowships
  3. Awarded Funding
  4. Publications
  5. Education (supervising undergraduate and postgraduate courses and students)
  6. National and International Professional Recognition, industrial collaborations
  7. Leadership, Management Admin (departmental role)
D.  Supporting Case (on a separate sheet)

The Line manager, or applicant if the submission is a personal one, writes a statement explaining why the postholder has been put forward for promotion, adding any additional information not provided in the CV, job description, person specification and summary statement.

Please note: any application that is missing information or is incomplete, will be returned, and will not be processed until the paperwork is complete.