Lecturer appointments are usually probationary for three years.  The probationary period allows you to develop the appropriate teaching, research, management and administrative skills and demonstrate your suitability for confirmation of appointment. 

The probationary period is as much beneficial to you as it is the department.  We want to encourage you to progress well and have all the support possible to do so.

Please see the below Physics Department guidance or for further help please see the Human Resources Academic appointments and Honorary and visiting associations   pages.

Lecturer probation

Guidance for lecturers

What is expected of you by the end of your probation?

  • Lecturing
  • Supervising
  • Give tutorials
  • Examining
  • Make satisfactory progress in a research programme
  • Undertake management and administrative duties
  • Complete FoNS Learning and Teaching Development Programme (please book early as these courses get full quickly)
  • Meet with your Academic Adviser regularly

Please complete an End of term report at the end of each term and return to the Executive Assistant to the Head of Physics.

Academic Advisers

Academic Advisers - What's expected?

As an Academic Adviser, your role is that of mentor.  In conjunction with the new Lecturer’s Head of Group , you have a very important part to play during the Lecturer's probation. You will be an adviser, a “friendly ear” and helping to oversee progress.

In brief, your role is to offer guidance and advice on good teaching practice, curriculum development, the preparation of research applications, the management of research projects and provide information on systems and procedures about which the new Lecturer needs to be acquainted.

Specific Duties
  • To attend a regular number of lectures and seminars given by the probationary Lecturer during the first two years of probation.
  • To give guidance on good and innovative teaching practice and provide constructive criticism where appropriate.
  • To give guidance on curriculum development and course planning.
  • To give guidance on the assessment of course work and the marking of examinations
  • To review a sample of the probationer's marking and to give advice accordingly.
  • To advise the Lecturer on the preparation of research grant and contract applications and the management of research grants and contracts.
  • To advise on effective research student supervision.
  • To advise on the most effective methods of undertaking management and administrative duties which have been given.
  • To keep the Lecturer informed of any systems, procedures, practices, or developments which may influence how they perform his/her duties;
  • To liase with the Head of Department, to ensure that the Lecturer undertakes those management and equality-related courses which are compulsory, and that he/she is aware of the FoNS Learning and Teaching Development Programme

Formal Review
  • To complete the End of term report, each term with the Lecturer.
  • To report to Head of Group in advance of the PRDP process, informing them of the Lecturers progress.
  • To be involved with the Mid-Probation Review and panel meeting.
  • To be part of the Review Panel which undertakes the Final Review during the penultimate term of the probation.  (The Review Panel will recommend to the College if the Lecturer's appointment should be confirmed, whether the probationary period should be extended, or whether he/she should be dismissed.)

Formal stages

Formal Stages DurinG Probation

At the end of each term:

Mid & End of Probation:

Documentation needed:

  • Current Curriculum Vitae
  • Details of teaching and research activities
  • Details of student supervision
  • List of publications
  • List of courses/workshops attended
  • Details of other departmental duties undertaken during probation
  • Copy of teaching evaluation scores
  • SOLE Results.

What you are assessed against:
  • Teaching Responsibilities (e.g. approach to student learning, delivery, design, assessment, materials)
  • Approach to Research
  • Progress in Relation to Publications
  • Progress in Relation to Income Generation
  • Supervision of PhD and Higher Degree Students
  • External Visibility
  • Management Responsibilities/Skills
  • Administration/Supplementary Responsibilities
  • Are there any factors that are preventing the full duties of the post being performed?
  • Is the relationship with the Academic Adviser working satisfactorily?
  • Has the member of staff completed compulsory training requirements (or is booked upon future events) e.g. in relation to recruitment and selection, management, etc?
  • Has the member of staff completed LTDP?
  • Have any other training requirements been identified as part of the probation review process?
  • On track for confirmation of appointment/or recommendations for any other actions?

Who will the panel be?

At the mid probation review a meeting will be held by the Head of Department, Head of Group and the Academic Advisor.  The Lecturer will also be invited to attend this meeting prior to the panel making its decision.

At the final probation review a meeting will be held with the panel.  The Lecturer will also be invited to attend this meeting prior to the panel making its decision.

The panel:

  • Head of Department
  • Head of Group
  • Academic Advisor
  • Director of Undergraduate Studies
  • Non-Professorial Representative.
  • HR representative (under special circumstances only)

Further guidance

For further guidance please see HR's Academic Appointments.


Any questions you may have which these web pages haven’t answered please contact Gayle Baldwin or for further guidance please see HR's Academic Appointments.  

Q. I’m not sure who my Academic Advisor is, who can tell me?

A. You should be provided with this information at the start of your employment, however Caroline will be able to advise you of this.

Q. Who can tell me which courses for LTDP I still have to complete?

A. You will be able to find a record of completed courses on ICIS under ‘my training’.  But if you are still unsure contact Caroline.

Q. Can courses taken before probation be counted towards the LTDP?

A. Yes, if they are one of the specified courses for LTDP.

Q. Can I finish my probation before the 3 years?

A. Yes, if after 2 1/2 years all parts are completed.