Academic Promotion Policy



1. The Academic Promotion Policy (the Policy) sets out the guiding principles that underpin fair, transparent and holistic reward and recognition of academic staff achievement in support of the University’s success through an annual academic promotion round.

The Academic Promotion Procedure and the Bradley Distinguished Professor Procedure should be read in conjunction with this Policy.

Policy Statement

2. The Academic Promotion Policy establishes a framework and principles within which the University's annual academic promotion round, and associated processes, are to be implemented.

Scope and eligibility

3. The Policy applies to all full or part-time academic staff employed on a continuing or fixed-term contract under the University of South Australia Employment Agreement 2019 as varied or renewed, applying for academic promotion to:

• Academic Level B
• Academic Level C
• Academic Level D
• Academic Level E

4. The Policy also applies to those Level E academic staff nominated for consideration of conferral of the Bradley Distinguished Professor.


5. This Policy does not apply to casual or sessional staff, adjuncts and honorary appointees with respect to applying for academic promotion.


6. Academic promotion at the University of South Australia will be based on the following principles:

6.1 Academic promotion is aligned with the University's mission and strategic directions. The promotion process acknowledges that individual staff members contribute to the achievement of these strategic objectives in diverse ways.

6.2 Academic promotion recognises and rewards sustained, demonstrated academic excellence in the areas of teaching and learning, research, and engagement.

6.3 Equal opportunity, fairness and justice will apply to the academic promotion process in line with the University’s policies and state and federal legislation.

6.4 Applicants for academic promotion will be assessed on the evidence provided of the quality and impact of contributions in these areas and evidence of leadership and its impact relevant to the appropriate/relevant promotion level under assessment/consideration.

6.5 Academic Promotion will be determined on the basis of merit, relative to opportunity, based on individual staff members’ circumstances as provided by the applicant.

6.6 Continuing and fixed-term academic staff, whether full-time or part-time, who meet the criteria for promotion are eligible to apply for promotion.

6.7 Successful promotion for fixed-term academic staff recognises the quality and impact of the applicant’s work, it does not guarantee a further fixed term appointment or conversion to a continuing contract.

6.8. A staff member may make separate applications to a number of different levels in the same promotion round.

6.9 The University will establish academic promotion panels to assess individual applications for promotion. Academic promotion panel members may seek a balanced and confidential assessment of an application for promotion from independent assessors in the applicant's field.

6.10 Academic promotion outcomes will not be subject to a quota, ie a limited number of successful promotions.

6.11 Applicants who are unsuccessful can appeal the outcome only on the grounds that due process was not followed.

6.12 All materials and deliberations relating to academic promotion will be treated in confidence by all participants in the academic promotion process.


7. Academic promotion - Academic promotion is the annual process through which academic staff members can apply for promotion to a higher academic level based on merit. For the purposes of this Policy and supporting Procedures.

8. Academic Promotion Round – the Academic Promotion round includes the process through which the University manages conferral of the title Bradley Distinguished Professor.

9. Bradley Distinguished Professor Procedure –  the process for the conferral of the title University of South Australia Bradley Distinguished Professor (Bradley Distinguished Professor) in recognition of preeminent academic staff achievement in research/creative activity, education, leadership and engagement.

Associated Documentation


  • Approving Authority: Vice Chancellor & President
  • Officer Responsible: The Executive Director: People, Talent and Culture is responsible for providing guidance and information sessions to support the implementation of this Policy and the review of this Policy and associated Procedures.
  • Commencement Date : 6 April 2021
  • Review Date: The review of this Policy will be in accordance with the UniSA Policy Framework.
  • History 
Change Date Change Author
Created  6 April 2021 Executive Director: People, Talent and Culture