Grade M Professorial Grade Ranges

General Provisions
Activities of Professors
Range 1
Range 2
Range 3

General Provisions

University of Bristol Professors are appointed, or internally promoted, to an academic position with the title of Professor as recognition of academic distinction meriting that title. The ranges will exist only to assist in providing a transparent and equitable way of allocating salaries to Professors who sit on Grade M of the University’s pay spine, and of appropriately rewarding continuing scholarly attainment, achievement and effective academic leadership in the role of Professor and contributions to the life and work of the University community.

The range profiles will guide the initial salary to be offered to a newly appointed Professor, whether that appointment is external or by way of internal promotion.

The particular expectations of the role for any individual professor will vary according to the individual, the academic discipline, the pathway and any individual terms of the contract of employment. Those expectations will necessarily be more focussed and specific for Professors on Pathway 2 or Pathway 3. Subject to that, the section below headed “Activities of Professors” sets out a list of activities expected of and appropriate to the role of Professor at the University of Bristol. The relevant level of achievement, performance, distinction or esteem in any of these areas will contribute to decisions on the particular salary for a Professor on appointment and to decisions on whether a Professor should be rewarded with an increase in salary.

Incremental movement within a range will occur in one of the following ways:

  1. Within Range 1 (but not within Ranges 2 or 3), by a defined right of progression at specified intervals from increment point 1 to 2, and from 2 to 3 (subject to denial of progression due to unsatisfactory performance against the role descriptor and any discipline-specific criteria ); or
  2. Within all ranges, by institutional recognition of continuing and valued contributions within the expectations of the range; or
  3. Within all ranges, by achievement of performance criteria judged against the role descriptors generally and any discipline-specific criteria.

Guidelines will indicate which of these applies to movement within a range to a particular incremental point. As a general expectation, therefore, there will be an increasing achievement of the range expectations, both quantitatively and qualitatively, as movements within the range, or to a higher range, are achieved or awarded.

The payment of professorial salaries at a higher level than is justified by reference to these range criteria can only be made through salary supplements determined in accordance with the agreed University of Bristol Recruitment and Retention Payments scheme.


Activities of Professors

On appointment, a Professor will necessarily have a significant national, and an international, reputation in the relevant discipline with established evidence of academic excellence that, for Pathways 1 and 2, will include an established and externally recognised reputation in research and scholarship sufficient to justify appointment as a Professor.

Academic excellence, within all ranges, may be reflected by a combination of all or some of the following activities, outputs or achievements (which are an exemplary and not a comprehensive list of possible activities) and as are most appropriate to the relevant discipline:


Key activities or achievements:


Additional activities or achievements:

Within all ranges on Pathway 1, Professors will be expected to maintain a teaching commitment. On appointment, they will be able to demonstrate an excellent record of achievement in teaching (or, exceptionally to demonstrate excellent potential in teaching and ability to achieve that standard in due course.

[1] Professors moving to a higher range will not only be expected to have maintained that excellence (or, exceptionally, to have achieved that record before movement to a higher range[2] but in many cases will be able to demonstrate ongoing improvement and development, effective academic leadership in education in their discipline, and the appropriate dissemination of the fruits of their scholarship and research for the benefit of students and other appropriate audiences.[3]  All professors undertaking research will be expected to seek and achieve external funding to support their research activity to the extent that is appropriate to the discipline and achievement of the external funding to support and take forward their research will be a significant factor in the case of Pathway 2 Professors. For Pathway 3 Professors, effective academic leadership of teaching and education is their core role and some scholarly activity and pedagogic research is part of the role profile; significant further development and achievement within the expectations established for appointment of Pathway 3 Professors will be the principal benchmark by which incremental and range movement is determined.

A professor will have a wholehearted commitment or contribution, as appropriate to the particular position, to the activities of the University whether through its teaching and associated educational activities, development of research initiatives and strategies and/or to management, policy development and leadership roles whether at school, faculty or university levels.

All professors will be expected to contribute appropriately to the life and work of the University community by providing relevant and effective academic leadership.[4] Such effective academic leadership may be shown by providing clear research leadership in their discipline whether in their own school, or more widely; by a major contribution as a Dean, Head of School or in a Faculty or University role or leading successful change management activities; by leading research teams or by contribution to interdisciplinary research themes; by educational leadership of the discipline or within a faculty; through community and public and societal engagement activities; through knowledge transfer or knowledge exploitation activities. Examples include:

Range 1

This is the normal entry range for those promoted, or appointed externally, to the Professoriate.

By dint of such appointment, a professor will necessarily have a significant national and international reputation in the relevant discipline with established evidence of academic excellence.

Professors who achieve movement to a higher point within Range 1 will be demonstrating continued development in the role as measured against the general activities expected of professors and the particular requirements of the role in question.

It would be unusual to appoint a person to above Range 1 who had not been a professor before. Very clear evidence would be needed to do this (an example might be an appointment of a person of research eminence from a non-academic research background or clear demonstrable achievement of the standard for the higher range).

Range 2

A Professor appointed or moved into this range will have a distinguished academic record well in excess of the level necessary for appointment or promotion to a Chair at Bristol.

They will be national research leaders in their field and have established themselves as a leading international authority. Their academic work is likely to have made a significant and lasting mark.

This range may also be used in the case of Professors whose individual scholarship is acceptable for Range 1 but may fall short of the normal expectations for Range 2, and who have over a period of time as a Professor at Bristol, made quite exceptional and sustained contributions by way of effective academic leadership to the academic and wider work of the University. This will permit the movement into this range of individuals whose research and scholarship might for one reason or another not otherwise merit a Range 2 reward but whose working in other respects within and on behalf of the University has been sustained and exceptional.

Range 3

A Professor appointed or moved into this range will be of a very high, or have the very highest international distinction or have made the very highest internationally recognised contributions to academic leadership. They will be a world leader in their broad discipline and be internationally acknowledged as outstanding. They will have made a formative and lasting contribution to their field of study.

[1] This wording is an attempt to encapsulate the normal requirement for excellence in teaching at appointment (but recognising the exceptional case where there is no such record).

[2] The aim here is to ensure that the exceptional research talent can be awarded with a Chair early in the career, but it will be expected that a Pathway 1 professor will demonstrate excellence in teaching before a move into Range 2.

[3] This wording tries to ensure an expectation of continued improvement and commitment to teaching as a Pathway 1 professor, with (for all Professors) some form of effective dissemination of learning whether to students, in accessible publications, to academic colleagues or to the wider community.

[4] This is an attempt to set a non-specific benchmark; we cannot expect all professors to take on leadership roles such as being Dean or Head of School but we must have an expectation that professors should contribute appropriately.

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