Permanent Appointment to Senior Research Fellow, Associate Professor or Professor Guidelines


Staff members on senior research fellow grade or above e.g., associate professor or professor at the University.
Academic heads who are considering applications for permanent research appointments.
Deans and LSRI Directors who are making appointment decisions.


To provide guidance and information about the process to apply for a permanent research appointment of a senior research fellow (SRF), associate professor (AP) or professor (P) to the University.


The University wishes to provide clear criteria and a consistent approach for making research specific academic staff permanent. To do so, the University is introducing the following initiative with the intention that this will provide:

  • greater career certainty for research specific academics
  • greater transparency and clarity for the group identified
  • a robust and consistent process across the University
  • defined criteria and guidelines for Deans and LSRI Directors when considering applications for permanency
  • formal recognition of the importance of our research colleagues whilst acknowledging that research funding is a competitive process


Eligibility criteria

  • The individual must have been a principal investigator (PI) for at least 5 years on grant and/or various grants.
  • During the 5-year period, at least 80% of salary would have been underwritten by the PI.
  • There is evidence of wider contributions to the University that extend beyond research, in the areas of student supervision, teaching and service/leadership.
  • The research field must have strategic importance to the University (depth and breadth of the field) and be stable and/or growing in terms of projected revenue streams, with a reasonable expectation that the ongoing cost of the permanent position can be recovered from future EFR revenues.


  • Research staff that meet the outlined eligibility criteria, can apply for consideration.
  • There will be one application round held annually, which will be communicated at least one month in advance.
  • Applicants will have to complete the application form addressing the eligibility criteria and providing supporting evidence (where relevant). This must include an up-to-date Academic Career Portfolio.
  • The dean/director will consider each application on its merits and may consult wider as appropriate and in consultation with the HR Manager.
  • The applicant will be advised in writing whether their application has been accepted.
  • Where the application is accepted, relevant documentation will be prepared accordingly.
  • Appointments will be subject to the University’s academic staff continuation criteria unless previously promoted to senior research fellow, associate professor or professor.
  • Where the application is not accepted, the applicant will be provided commentary on why the application has not met eligible criteria.
  • An unsuccessful application does not preclude a staff member applying for consideration in the future – however, any future application/s must objectively demonstrate the changes from the previous application and how the criterion have been met.


The following definitions apply to this document:
Academic head covers heads of departments, schools and other teaching and research units at Level 3 in the University Organisation Structure.
Principal investigator is the named researcher responsible for carrying out the research and delivering the outputs relating to an externally funded research project .
Staff member refers to an individual employed by the University on a full or part time basis.
University means the University of Auckland and includes all subsidiaries.

Key relevant documents

Document management and control

Owner: Director, Human Resources

Content manager: Associate Director, HR Advisory

Approved by: Director, Human Resources

Date approved: 23 February 2022

Review date: 23 February 2027