Promotions process

The University’s promotions process is for all staff.

Our promotions process is open and there is no deadline for submission of applications. 

As noted in our update of July 2021, we are reviewing our promotions process. This supports the University’s ‘Fairer future for all’ pledge: “Based on the new University values and behaviours, we will review our key people processes and activities, such as recruitment, promotions and recognition to ensure that they reflect, encourage and celebrate positive demonstration of our values and behaviours.”  

We have launched the first change; an on-line application process Stonefish for academic staff. This provides a more streamlined process and user feedback from the pilot stage confirms that it is easy to navigate and straightforward. Please see ‘How to apply’ section for further information.

For now, the remaining promotions processes, criteria and guidance documents remain unchanged.  We will update this site as the project progresses and more changes are implemented.

Please continue to consider your personal development (and discuss this with your line manager as part of your Annual Academic Meeting, SRDS meeting and/or with your mentor, as appropriate). Applications must be able to evidence meeting the required criteria. Applications can be made at any point throughout the year. 

If you need any help, advice or support, please contact your local HR Manager/Officer in the first instance, or email 

How to apply

Our promotions process is designed to be as simple and flexible as possible, ensuring a quicker and more streamlined process.

You can download the promotions procedure document below for full details of the process. You'll also find below links to supporting documents and application guidance. The criteria, guidance – and local benchmarks, where available, if you're applying for an academic promotion - can be found on subsequent pages.

Academic staff can now apply for promotion via our new on-line system – Stonefish. We have launched this as a transition period, so that if you already have an application in progress you can submit outside of Stonefish until the end of December. From January 2023 on-line applications only will be accepted. You can log-in via the University Careers Site to Stonefish. Further information on accessing and completing an application via Stonefish can be found in the download documents attached/listed below. 

Support and Professional and Managerial staff should continue to complete an application form - see download documents attached/listed below - to demonstrate how you meet the criteria. Before you do this please make sure you speak to your manager who can confirm via the Executive Dean/Head of Service that the changes to your role are needed on an ongoing basis. They will then work with you to ensure your job description is revised and graded.   

Things to consider before you start your application

  • In your application you'll need to give evidence to show that you meet the criteria for the grade to which you're applying for promotion.
  • You should read the accompanying guidance document which will help you interpret and provide appropriate examples against the criteria.
  • If you're applying for promotion to grade 10, the process will include an interview and, if you are an academic, it will also be informed by external references. Full details are in the promotion procedure document.



Each grade has a set of criteria which describes the entry level to that grade. If you want to apply for a promotion (and for support staff and professional & managerial staff, it has been confirmed that your job is needed at a higher grade), you will need to provide evidence to show how you meet these criteria. 

Guidance Notes

Each set of criteria also comes with an accompanying set of guidance notes which will help to ensure that you interpret and address the criteria correctly. We strongly recommend that you read these notes before starting your application.

The guidance notes for Academic staff are currently being revised. The aim is to ensure they reflect activity that aligns with the new UOL strategic priorities and to provide a more meaningful and wider set of examples to cover a more diverse range of activity. Revised guidance notes once available will be published here later in the 2022/23 academic session. Please refer to the guidance notes attached to the below links until then. 

Academic criteria

Grade 7 - If you wish to apply for promotion to grade 7, please use the former criteria.

Grade 8 Student Education criteria / Grade 8 Student Education guidance notes

Grade 8 Research & Innovation criteria / Grade 8 Research & Innovation guidance notes

Grade 9 Student Education criteria / Grade 9 Student Education guidance notes

Grade 9 Research & Innovation criteria / Grade 9 Research & Innovation guidance notes

Grade 10 Student Education criteria / Grade 10 Student Education guidance notes

Grade 10 Research & Innovation criteria / Grade 10 Research & Innovation guidance notes

Grade 10 Academic Leadership criteria / Grade 10 Academic Leadership guidance notes

Support and Professional & Managerial criteria

We will be further streamlining the process for support staff and professional & managerial staff. Pending these changes, the current application process, criteria and guidance will continue to be used:

Grade 3 criteria / Grade 3 guidance notes

Grade 4 criteria / Grade 4 guidance notes

Grade 5 criteria / Grade 5 guidance notes

Grade 6 criteria / Grade 6 guidance notes

Grade 7 criteria / Grade 7 guidance notes

Grade 8 criteria / Grade 8 guidance notes

Grade 9 criteria / Grade 9 guidance notes

Grade 10 criteria 

Local benchmarks

If you hold an academic position and are applying for a promotion to grade 8, 9 or 10, local benchmarks for your Faculty may be available and these will help to clarify the requirements of certain criteria in practice for your subject or discipline.

Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

Faculty of Biological Sciences (FBS)

Faculty of Business (LUBS) - updated benchmarks will be available in due course.

Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences (EPS) **

Ex Faculty of Engineering

Ex Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences (MaPS)

Faculty of Environment

Faculty of Medicine and Health - updated benchmarks will be available in due course.

Faculty of Social Sciences 

School of Medicine

** Until the benchmarks have been reviewed and combined for the single faculty, please continue to use the relevant benchmarks for your previous faculty.

Roles and responsibilities

Everyone involved in the promotion process has a different role or responsibility, and these are outlined below.

Line manager

  • Provides support for your promotion application following a discussion with you. 
  • Can provide guidance on your ‘readiness’ to apply and on the best route/criteria for you to address.
  • Can review early drafts of your application.
  • Can undertake other roles such as verifier, panel chair, and panel member.


  • Will usually be the Head of School (or equivalent) / Head of Service, or a person they nominate.
  • Is the person who knows the most about you as the applicant and your role, and will verify that the application is an accurate reflection of your role.

Guidance for verifiers: Academic Staff Promotions

Guidance for verifiers: Support and P&M Staff Promotions

Executive Dean and Head of School/Service

  • Agree the ongoing requirements for a (support/professional & managerial) role in line with Faculty/Service needs.
  • Verify applications for promotion or nominate an appropriate person to do so.
  • Can be a member or chair of a promotion panel.

Panel chair

  • Facilitates the promotion panel’s discussion, making sure that application is judged fairly against the criteria for the higher grade.
  • Reminds the promotion panel of equality and inclusion considerations.
  • Records any declarations of interest from panel members.
  • Facilitates a discussion if there is a difference of opinion, to help the panel members reach a consensus.
  • Provides feedback to the applicant for an unsuccessful application. 

Panel members

  • Consider an application for promotion against the criteria for the higher grade.

Independent panel members

  • Ensure that there is University-wide consistency.

Appeal panel members

  • Will consider the case put forward by an applicant appealing the outcome of their unsuccessful application.
You can download the full promotion process document here.