Information for External Assessors - Academic Promotion

  1. Who can act as an external assessor?
  2. What sholuld be included in an assessment?
  3. What is the academic career structure at the University of Bristol?
  4. What are the criteria for promotion?
  5. What information should be excluded?
  6. Where can I find further information?

1. Who can act as an external assessor?

Assessors are nominated by the Head of School following consultation with the candidate.   Assessors are not referees and are chosen on the basis of their ability to provide an independent, objective and informed judgment on the quality and impact of the candidate’s research or contribution to education and pedagogy.  

To avoid conflicts of interest assessors should confirm how they know the candidate in their report.  An assessor should not be a co-grant holder, co-author (within the last ten years), PhD supervisor, friend or collaborator of a candidate.  Assessors are required to make a full declaration of how they know the candidate, and whether a report from them could be perceived by a reasonable person as being biased.

2. What should be included in an assessment?

External assessors are provided with an External Assessor report to ensure that all necessary areas are covered.  Depending on the promotion applied for, we are looking for a balanced and informed view of the candidate’s research or contribution to education and pedagogy.  We are particularly seeking an external view on the candidate’s impact in their discipline, the quality of their work, and the overall trajectory demonstrated by the case.   ‌‌

3. What is the academic career structure at the University of Bristol?

The University of Bristol’s Academic Career Pathway framework consists of three pathways: 

Each pathway has a series of corresponding levels, each of which has an associated role profile. The Academic Career Pathway diagram (PDF, 119kB) shows the different roles at each level.  Full details and associated role profiles can be found here.

For the benefit of assessors unfamiliar with UK academic ranks the role of Associate Professor is someone who is on track to becoming a full Professor.  It is also one level above a Senior Lecturer.

4. What are the criteria for promotion?

The candidate’s performance is assessed against the criteria in Section 3 of our Promotion Procedure.  

 5. What information should be excluded?

The University of Bristol will consider equality factors associated with the quantity of output at promotion committees, considering all documentation for each case. The nominated assessor is not required to comment on any known equality factors in their assessment e.g. part time working.

 6. Where can I find further information?

Further information is available on the Academic Promotion Procedure section of the HR website or by contacting the relevant HR Team.

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