Pathway 2

The context of much research activity in the University necessitates a specific approach to the operation of a Research Career pathway.  At any given time there will be a need for researchers at each level on the pathway and the distribution and number will be driven by the needs of the research being undertaken.  It follows that movement up the career pathway must be based not only on the individual meeting the expected duties of the next role profile or level but also on the need for work to be undertaken at that level.  This approach is analogous to the way careers progress in support services and is the same as that adopted for Pathway 3 but is different from the approach outlined for Pathway 1.  The reason for the difference is that cost-effective delivery of research work may require the structuring of tasks by level.

It must also be recognised that the funding and employment context of research work is in transition.  The impact of the fixed term contract legislation, full economic costing of research and the injection of funds to boost training and development activity for research staff should all work to create a more stable, investment based employment culture for research staff.  Our long-term aim must be to create a culture in which the direct link between a particular grant and a particular individual is broken and the University manages (ie, recruits, manages, develops and promotes) a research staff resource that will meet the needs both of the current and future research contracts it holds and will hold.  But we are not there yet; a number of external factors will slow progress and it will also be necessary to change the culture of the University to support the new approach. The career pathway for research staff must anticipate and facilitate this future but must also be deliverable in the current context. Over time it should be possible to create greater opportunity for successful research staff to move up from level to level in a managed way.

 Key Features

  1. There are five levels in Pathway 2, the latter four of which match the levels b-e on Pathway 1.  Each level has an associated role profile.   As with Pathways 1 and 3 there are two profiles at level d (see below).

    Research Assistant - 2a
    Research Associate - 2b
    Research Fellow - 2c
    Senior Research Fellow - 2d1
    Reader - 2d2
    Professor - 2e 


  2. Each of the levels has a corresponding grade and an individual will move through the range by annual increments.  Where a role is deemed “progressable” progression will occur from the fourth point on the salary range.

  3. The expectation at each level is set out in the role profile.  The role profile descriptions establish increasing independence and range at each research level.

  4. New appointments can be made at any of the levels and advert copy will anticipate the profile/contribution sought. Should a role be advertised at more than one level the anticipated contribution of a new starter will be matched against the profiles to establish the appropriate starting salary range.  A starting salary will be fixed within a grade range taking account of the salary position and contribution of existing staff.

  5. It is important that, for roles on Pathways 2 and 3, a decision is taken at the recruitment stage as to whether the role will be progressable, and the maximum level to which it is expected to progress.  This information will need to be clearly stated in the further particulars and the contract of employment for the individual. 

  6. It is important to remember that, having defined a role as progressable, individuals appointed to that role will be expected to develop and progress to the defined level. 

  7. The progression and promotion procedures will be the same as those applicable to Pathway 1