Academic Titles Guidelines

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Academic Titles Guidelines

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1. Introduction

In determining the staffing base for health-related teaching and research initiatives, it is important to consider, in addition to staff appointed to the University, the award of academic titles to appropriately qualified externally-funded health and medical professionals who are seeking to establish an active teaching and/or research role within the University. The award of such titles and associated benefits to health and medical professionals:

  1. Expands the University’s academic and clinical teaching and research base;
  2. Indicates a clear commitment to health and medical professionals who demonstrate a reciprocal desire to commit to the work of the University; and
  3. Strengthens the relationships between the University and the local health sector.

2. Scope

These guidelines do not replace existing University provisions relating to the appointment of Adjunct Appointees and Visiting Fellows.

3. Guidelines

The University seeks to formally recognise, through the award of full academic titles, significant and sustained contribution to the teaching, research and/or service activities of the University from health and medical professionals who are not normally paid by the University.

Health and medical professionals awarded academic titles become members of the relevant School, or other appropriate work unit within the University. Within the work unit, Academic Titleholders are responsible to their respective supervisor for the academic activities undertaken within their position which can include teaching, collaborative research, postgraduate supervision, and staff and student consultations.

3.1 Academic Titles Available for Award to Externally Funded Health and Medical Professionals

Academic titles available to award to appropriately-qualified externally-funded health and medical professionals include:

  • Professor (Level E)
  • Associate Professor (Level D) or Principal Research Fellow
  • Senior Lecturer (Level C) or Senior Research Fellow
  • Lecturer (Level B) or Research Fellow
  • Associate Lecturer (Level A)
  • Clinical Educator (Ungraded)

Guidelines for the award of the various levels of academic title are appended (Appendix A).

3.2 Academic Title Appointments Available for Award to Medical Interns, House Officers/Registrars, General Practitioners and Medical Specialists and Other Registered Health Practitioners

The University recognises the key role that Medical Interns, House Officers/Registrars, General Practitioners, Medical Specialists and Other Registered Health Practitioners based in hospitals and general practices play in delivering teaching to the University’s students. The University will develop arrangements with hospitals and general practices hosting USC students whereby the following appointment levels will be offered to health practitioners without the need for applications to be individually reviewed or approved by the delegated:

  • Medical Interns undertaking their post-graduate year 1 (PGY1) will be offered the title of Associate Lecturer as a part of their Medical Internship appointment; and
  • House Officers/Registrars or equivalent who have completed PGY1 will be offered the title of Lecturer as a part of their House Officer/Registrar appointment; and
  • Other Registered Health Practitioners (for example a registered Nurse or Physiotherapist) will be offered the title of Lecturer; and
  • General Practitioners who are either a member of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners or have significant professional experience in general practice will be offered the title of Senior Lecturer; and
  • Medical Specialists or equivalent will be offered the title of Senior Lecturer as a part of their Specialist appointment; and
  • Other Registered Health Practitioners who hold a postgraduate clinical qualification (for example a post-entry level or specialist clinical degree) or a full fellowship with a recognized Australian health professional body will be offered the title of Senior Lecturer.
3.3 Duration of Academic Title Appointments (excluding Medical Intern Appointments)

Academic titles are awarded for a period not exceeding three years, conditional upon the Academic Titleholder maintaining:

  • employment with the employer they had at the time the Academic Title was awarded; and
  • acceptable standards of performance as determined.
3.4 Duration of Academic Title Appointments to Medical Interns

Academic title appointments at the level of Associate Lecturer are normally awarded to Medical Interns for the duration of the Medical Intern appointment (i.e., for the duration of their PGY1 training). Appointments lapse:

  1. on completion of Medical Internship training;
  2. if the Medical Intern is not reappointed;
  3. on resignation or termination;
  4. if the Medical Intern is no longer involved in medical student education for the University; or
  5. if the University through its performance management process determines that the Academic Title should be revoked.

At the end of their Medical Internship, Academic Titleholders who are progressing on to House Officer/Registrar positions within the health sector will be eligible to upgrade their academic title to the level of Lecturer by submission of written request to the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor through the Cost Centre Manager and the provision of suitable evidence of completion of internship.

3.5 Responsibilities of Externally Funded Academic Titleholders

Externally funded Academic Titleholders are members of the University. It is expected that these staff will carry out research and/or teaching as appropriate, as members of the University.

Responsibilities include:

  1. participation in student teaching including:
    • supervision of students undertaking clinical placements; and/or
    • facilitating student group learning (including Problem Based Learning); and/or
    • conducting lectures and tutorials; and/or
    • participating in student assessment and other academic activities of their School/Institute ; and/or
  2. participating in research including where appropriate contributing to collaborative research projects with other colleagues from the University; and/or
  3. administration of research grants through the University where deemed appropriate by the University; and/or
  4. recognition of the University in the bylines of publications where appropriate; and/or
  5. participation in relevant committee meetings; and
  6. compliance with legislation and any other provisions that affect the University, and with the University Acts, Statutes, Rules, Orders and the Code of Conduct

4. Intellectual property

Academic Titleholders will be required to abide by the University’s Intellectual Property - Governing Policy, unless alternate intellectual property arrangements have been approved in writing by the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor. Academic Titleholders will only be able to assert conditions outside of the University’s Intellectual Property - Governing Policy on intellectual property produced if the conditions were negotiated and agreed to in writing prior to the Academic Titleholder undertaking a commitment to produce the intellectual property in question.

5. Applications for Award of Academic Title

Applications for award of academic title are to be made to the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor using the Academic Titles Application Form (PDF 199KB). Applicants will be required to submit a completed application form and provide a current curriculum vitae (CV).

Applications must be accompanied by a written statement of support from the relevant Cost Centre Manager for consideration by the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor.

6. Benefits available to Academic Titleholders

Upon award of an Academic Title, title holders will be issued with a letter from the University. This will also specify the name of the supervisor. Academic Titleholders are required to make contact with the work unit that they have become a member of, in order to access the following University benefits.

Externally funded Academic Titleholders are entitled to receive a wide range of benefits from the University including:

  1. use of the academic title and status as a member of the University in forums and correspondence in accordance with the University of the Sunshine Coast Staff Code of Conduct – Governing Policy;
  2. access to the University's library resources including library borrowing rights commensurate with access provided to University-paid academic staff;
  3. access to information technology services commensurate with access provided to University-paid academic staff including:
  4. USC internet and staff web portal accounts;
  5. USC email account;
  6. file storage space on central servers;
  7. external dial-up access to the University network;
  8. access to ITS support staff to assist with their use of University IT accounts and equipment,
  9. access to continuing professional development opportunities;
  10. business cards and USC photo identification card;
  11. inclusion on the work unit’s staff webpage;
  12. eligibility to apply for and be awarded University awards (e.g., teaching awards), scholarships and research grants;
  13. assistance from the Office of Research with accessing on-line grant databases, research grant administration, grant writing, feedback on grant applications, and achieving ethics approval for research administered through the University ;
  14. ability to display information about research projects on the host element's website;
  15. opportunity to promote professional achievements to the University community through input where appropriate into newsletters and on-line media;
  16. coverage by the University's Medical Malpractice Insurance and Public Liability Insurance, under the terms of those insurance policies, when acting on behalf of the University;
  17. entitlement to participate in their work unit’s meetings and seminars;
  18. such other privileges and benefits that are made available to academic staff of the University from time to time that the University deems should also be made available to Academic Titleholders.

7. Responsibilities of Externally Funded Academic Titleholders

Externally funded Academic Titleholders are members of the University. It is expected that these staff will research and/or teach as appropriate, as members of the University.

Responsibilities include:

  1. participation in student teaching including:
    1. supervision of students undertaking clinical placements; and/or
    2. facilitating student group learning (including Problem Based Learning); and/or
    3. conducting lectures and tutorials; and/or
  2. participating in student assessment and other academic activities of their School; and/or
  3. participating in research including where appropriate contributing to collaborative research projects with other colleagues from the University; and/or
  4. administration of research grants through the University where deemed appropriate by the University.; and/or
  5. recognition of the University in the bylines of publications where appropriate; and
  6. compliance with legislation and any other provisions that affect the University, and with the University Acts, Statutes, Rules, Orders and the Staff Code of Conduct – Governing Policy.

8. Payment of Academic Titleholders

Academic Titleholders are not normally paid by the University. However, in exceptional circumstances payment may be provided by the relevant School, including:

  1. where an Academic Titleholder must close their private practice to participate in University activities resulting in a tangible loss of income (payment made in this instance would be at the discretion of the School); or
  2. where an Academic Titleholder is engaged through an agreement or memorandum of understanding (other than a joint appointment) whereby the Academic Titleholder is released from their principal employer in order to carry out activities on behalf of the University (payment made in this instance would be in accordance with the relevant agreement or memorandum of understanding).

Such payments require the approval of the Cost Centre Manager.

9. Performance Review

Academic Titleholders are expected to carry out the performance of their duties and responsibilities in accordance with the University’s Academic Position Classification Standards and as determined by the relevant supervisor.

The relevant supervisor will review the performance of Academic Titleholders in accordance with an annual performance review process. Supervisors are required to collect information from Academic Titleholders on an annual basis listing each Academic Titleholder’s achievements for the year in the areas of:

  1. publications;
  2. research grants; and
  3. awards received.

The University reserves the right to review its award of an academic title to an Academic Titleholder at any time and may alter the category or revoke the title where it is in the best interest of the University to do so. Decisions to alter or withdraw academic titles are made at the discretion of the University officer delegated to confer the title.

10. Renewal of Academic Titles

Cost Centre Manager’s may recommend renewal of an academic title at a Titleholder’s current level in accordance with these Guidelines by completing an Academic Titles Application Form (PDF 199KB). Applications for renewal should be forwarded to the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor for consideration. An updated CV should accompany the application.

Appendix A: Criteria

Criterion Clinical Educator Associate Lecturer Lecturer or Research Fellow
Likely Applicant Registered health practitioner (medical, nursing or allied health). Health care graduate currently undertaking postgraduate professional training e.g., a Medical Intern undertaking PGY1, within the health system, public or private.

An independent registered health care clinician or research fellow e.g., a medical practitioner who has completed PGY1, nurse or health practitioner with an entry-level professional qualification.

Teaching Provides clinical teaching and/or related clinical resources to health and medical students. Primarily clinical supervision, small group tutorials, problem based learning sessions or resource sessions and assessment.

As for Associate Lecturer plus regular scheduled undergraduate or graduate teaching and some role in organisation of teaching – particularly clinical sessions.

 

A Research Fellow may supervise postgraduate research students or projects and be involved in research training.
Research  

Participation in research projects, particularly at a clinical or educational level would be desirable.

Some research participation would be desirable as for Associate Lecturer.

 

A Research Fellow will normally have experience in research activities which have resulted in publications in refereed journals, and in carrying out independent and/or team research.

Clinical service, professional leadership, administration Clinical experience appropriate to the teaching required. As expected of a trainee health practitioner who is yet to achieve independent registered practitioner status. Some involvement in local professional or administrative committees. This could also be administration within the postgraduate training programs of the discipline.
Qualifications Appropriate clinical qualifications and registration in the relevant discipline. Bachelor's degree in health discipline or education.

Bachelor’s degree in health discipline or education.

Criterion Senior Lecturer or Senior Research Fellow Associate Professor or Principal Research Fellow Professor
Likely Applicant
  • A medical practitioner with relevant College qualifications; or
  • A health care professional with additional post registration qualifications; or
  • An experienced health or medical researcher in a leadership role.

As for Senior Lecturer level but with a leadership role within the health system. Evidence of local and national professional leadership would be expected (see clinical service section below).

or

A senior health or medical researcher with an established track record and at least national standing.

A likely applicant may be someone who has achieved an international research reputation in his or her area of interest. They are also likely to be a significant leader at the national level of their profession and/or play a major role within the health system at the State level.

Teaching

A Senior Lecturer will undertake regular scheduled undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate teaching and assessment, some involvement in the organisation and development of courses.

 

A Senior Research Fellow will provide leadership in research, including research training and supervision.

An Associate Professor will be expected to take a lead role in facilitating teaching and assessment opportunities for students and/or supervising research higher degree students. In addition, some evidence of clinical teaching contribution may be expected.

 

A Principal Research Fellow will play an outstanding role within their discipline and/or profession in fostering the research activities of others, and in research training.
Involvement with undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate teaching and assessment. In the case of non-clinical staff, supervision of research higher degree students would be expected where relevant.
Research

A Senior Lecturer will be expected to participate in research projects required including clinical research or audit.

 

A Senior Research Fellow will make independent and original contributions to research which have a significant impact on their field of expertise. This standing will normally be demonstrated by a strong record of published work.

An Associate Professor will demonstrate evidence of facilitation of significant research and/or clinical publication in peer-reviewed journals would be expected. Evidence of continuing research collaboration and supervision of researchers would be expected.

 

A Principal Research Fellow will make major original and innovative contributions to their discipline in research, which are recognised as outstanding nationally or internationally.

Significant personal research and/or clinical publications in peer-reviewed journals of international standing would be expected with a substantial continuing involvement in basic or clinical research. Evidence of an ability to facilitate others to participate in research and evidence (current or past) of research supervision.

Clinical service, professional leadership, administration Involvement in local professional or administrative committees. Some involvement in regional or State professional or health committees. This may include being on the State committee of a relevant discipline or on a divisional committee (in the case of general practitioners). Demonstrated professional leadership through representation on state and/or national committees. Experience as Director/Manager of a substantive clinical service. Evidence of broad service outside day-to-day clinical service delivery. As for Associate Professor and evidence of international professional representation.
Qualifications

Bachelor’s degree plus Fellowship of Specialist College or equivalent post registration professional recognition or postgraduate award (Masters etc).

As for Senior Lecturer level, along with a doctoral degree by research might be expected but would not be essential if there was significant evidence of academic achievement in other areas.

A doctoral degree by research would normally be required but this might be waived where research achievement and publications demonstrate significant activity or there is evidence of national and international profile in other areas.
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