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Faculty Promotions

Page updated  9th September 2022

UCD seeks to ensure that the University’s faculty and staff are enabled to achieve their full potential and are appropriately rewarded for their contribution. In this section you will find details of the criteria for promotion and an outline of the application and the assessment process. You will also find a summary of the Policy, information on the current Development Framework for Faculty, a selection of frequently asked questions along with more information on the supports available to applicants. Please note that a revised version of the Development Framework for Faculty came into effect on 1st September 2022. Further information can be found under our frequently asked questions

Policy Summary

Applications for promotion are considered on a rolling basis by the Faculty Promotions Committee. All applications are judged on an individual basis against the UCD Development Framework for Faculty. There is no internal quota system in place for Faculty promotions.

(opens in a new window)The Policy provides detailed information on the roles of the various parties including the Head of School, College Principal, Faculty Promotions Committee and President. The role that External Assessors play in the assessment of applications is also outlined in the Policy.


Normally a period of continuous employment of three years at UCD is expected prior to applying for promotion.  Simultaneous applications for promotion to different levels are not permitted.  Candidates will not have reached the normal retirement age prior to the effective date of promotion. 

Before I Submit My Application

Before submitting an application for promotion, it is important that a candidate complete the following steps as part of the promotion process:

  • Discuss your application with your Head of School.  Part of the conversation with the Head of School should be in relation to your overall development.  
  • Candidates a advised to attend a workshop on the Faculty Promotion process prior to submitting a formal application.
  • Candidates will nominate three External Assessors as per the guidelines outlined in the section "The Role of the External Assessor". Candidates may include the names of up to two external assessors that they do not wish to be considered as external assessors.

The Assessment Process

How will I be assessed?

All candidates for promotion will be assessed under the following 3 criteria:

  • Research, Scholarship and Innovation
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Leadership and Contribution

You will be assessed against the UCD Development Framework for Faculty which is detailed in the Supports section. You are expected to make a clear and unequivocal case that you are currently performing at the level to which you're applying, and that you have the drive and capacity to continue performing at that level. You should refer to the Development Framework for Faculty when making this case.

The Assessment Process

Step 1: Determine if prima facie case exists to proceed

On receipt of an application for promotion, the Faculty Promotions Committee will determine if there is a prima facie case to assess the application. If the Faculty Promotions Committee determines that:

  • a prima facie case does not exist, feedback will be provided to the candidate
  • a prima facie case exists, the application will be advanced to the External Assessors.

Step 2: Send to External Assessors

External Assessors are required to give an assessment of the applications for promotion sent to them for review and not provide a reference for the candidate.

The Faculty Promotions Committee will approve the final list of potential External Assessors submitted by the candidate and the Head of School/College Principal.

The detail of the number of external assessor reports sought is outlined in the Faculty Promotions Policy. 

Step 3: Consider all evidence and make a recommendation

The Faculty Promotions Committee will:

  • Assess all applications for promotion to Full Professor, Professor and Associate Professor.  In its assessment, the Committee will consider all evidence provided by the candidate and will be informed by, but not bound by, the comments of the Head of School and College Principal and the reports of the External Assessors. 
  • Forward to the President the names of candidates recommended for promotion for final approval.

External Assessors will:

  • give an assessment of your application but will not provide a reference for you
  • be required to assess your overall academic performance
  • be invited to provide an independent, unbiased assessment of the level of your achievements in Research, Scholarship and Innovation, Teaching & Learning and Academic Leadership and Contribution, with reference to the UCD Development Framework for Faculty, taking into account the norms for the discipline

In addition, External Assessors will be invited to comment on:

  • Whether there is clear evidence of an upward trajectory and forward-looking agenda
  • Whether your application meets international standards for promotion to the relevant level
  • How your application compares with recent successful applications for promotion to the equivalent level within the assessor’s own institution

Faculty Promotion Committee Membership

Name College / Unit
 Professor Colin Scott (Chair) Registrar and Deputy President (ex officio)
 Professor Maria Brenner Health and Agricultural Sciences
 Professor Eoin Casey Engineering and Architecture
 Professor Mark Crowe Health and Agricultural Sciences
 Professor Dympna Devine Social Sciences and Law
 Professor Fiona Doohan Science
 Professor Anne Keegan Business
 Professor Gary McGuire Science
 Professor Bettina Migge Arts and Humanities
 Professor Karl Whelan Social Sciences and Law

 The Faculty Promotions Committee all undertake Unconscious Bias Training.

Feedback Process

Accurate notes will be taken as part of the process that reflect the basis of the decision made. In the interests of transparency, best practice and staff development, at the conclusion of the process, all candidates will be given written feedback on their application,  unsuccessful candidates with the opportunity for oral feedback by the Chairperson, or nominee, and one other member of the Faculty Promotions Committee.

These notes will support the communication of the promotion decision so that the applicant has sufficient clarity and a link will be developed between the feedback received and the Performance for Growth process, so that feedback can be incorporated into an individual’s development plan.

Candidates attending a feedback meeting may be accompanied by either a UCD colleague or a representative from their union, if applicable. The name of the colleague/representative, and their relationship to the candidate, must be forwarded to the HR Promotions and Grading Office 3 working days prior to the feedback meeting.

UCD Human Resources

Roebuck Offices, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
T: +353 1 716 4900 | E: hrhelpdesk@ucd.ie | Location Map(opens in a new window)