1. Purpose of policy
This policy aims to enhance the research capabilities of existing and emerging areas of research strength within the University of the Sunshine Coast through the recruitment, retention and development of high quality researchers through early career and senior research fellow appointments. The scheme promotes the nexus between excellent research and high quality teaching.
2. Application of policy
This policy applies to all prospective fellows, PPR supervisors, academic mentors, research fellows as well as members of University decision-making or advisory bodies that are involved with recruitment, research and teaching.
3. Appointment Categories
3.1 Early Career Research Fellow
Appointments are offered to applicants who have completed their Doctoral degrees within the previous 5 years and the proposed area of research fits strategically within an existing or emerging University research strength.
In special circumstances an offer may be made to an applicant who has not completed a Doctoral degree. Such an offer is conditional upon:
i. the Doctoral requirements being completed before the date of appointment
ii. the appointment being taken up within three months after the letter of the award of a Doctoral degree has been issued
iii. consideration being given to applicants with significant career interruptions in accordance with the University’s Equity and Diversity - Governing Policy.
Non-compliance with these conditions would result in the offer being withdrawn.
Appointments will be at the Lecturer level on a fixed term contract for five years with a three year probationary period.
At any time during the contract period, subject to satisfactory performance, an Early Career Research Fellow may apply for a vacant ongoing appointment and may apply for academic promotion.
3.2 Senior Research Fellow
Appointments are offered to established researchers with over five years’ experience since the award of their PhD or equivalent research doctorate. These researchers must demonstrate an excellent research track record and proven capacity for research leadership in an area of research that fits strategically within an existing or emerging University research strength. Consideration is given to applicants with significant career interruptions in accordance with the University’s Equity and Diversity - Governing Policy.
Appointments will be at the Senior Lecturer level on a fixed term contract for five years with a three year probationary period.
At any time during the contract period, subject to satisfactory performance, a Senior Research Fellow may apply for a vacant ongoing appointment and may apply for academic promotion.
4. Recruitment Process
Expressions of Interest are normally called annually and will be advertised in accordance with the University’s Recruitment, Selection and Appointment - Managerial Policy.
The selection process is based on merit, which encompasses the researcher’s skills and track record relative to opportunity. A research plan provided by candidates is assessed as part of the selection process. Assessors will consider the publishing, grant income and research linkages record of the past five years.
Each application is assessed by a Fellowship Selection Panel appointed by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation).
5. Distribution of University Research Fellowships
The number of Fellowships awarded in any one year is dependent on the quality of the candidates and the funding available. The distribution of the fellowships across appointment categories and within areas of strategic research strength is at the discretion of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) and in accordance with the objectives established in the University workforce planning process.
6. Application for ongoing appointment
Six months prior to the completion of the fellowship period the Fellow may apply for an ongoing appointment within the relevant Faculty. The Fellow will provide an evidence based portfolio to the relevant Executive Dean, who will consider the portfolio with the assistance of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) and the relevant Head of School, where applicable.
After that consideration, should the Executive Dean consider that the Fellow is suitable for ongoing appointment such an appointment will be offered for commencement on the expiration of the Fellowship period.