UNIVERSITY OF TEESSIDE
READERSHIPS AND CONFERMENT ARRANGEMENTS
Scheme for the Conferment of Readerships
This document sets out a scheme governing the conferment of Readerships
(b) the criteria;
(c) who is eligible to be considered;
(d) the procedures to be followed in dealing with conferment,
(e) sponsored Readership posts;
(f) the procedures to be followed in dealing with the appointment of new staff;
(g) persons already holding the title 'Reader' on appointment to the University.
(h) University staff already holding the title Reader.
2. The Criteria
2.1 The title of 'Reader' is conferred in order to recognise the existence of research within the
University and to promote its development. This research must contribute to the
achievement of the Academic Unit's current and/or developing research objectives.
2.2 Candidates must submit against a), and b) and one or two other criteria.
(a) Research and Scholarship: Readers must have a record of research sustained
at a high level and will be expected to continue this in the future. Possible
evidence may include publications (articles in refereed journals, books which offer
new insights etc); commercial exploitation of ideas, processes, patents or other
forms of intellectual property; software applications; and products in any media
resulting from artistic creation. However it is recognised that in some areas a
significant piece of research may lead to a single publication,
(b) Peer Group recognition: Readers should have an established national reputation
in their field. Evidence of recognition may include invitations to present
conference papers, external examinerships of research degrees, membership of
relevant national/international committees and awards of medals or prizes,
(c) Research Funding:
Candidates will be expected to have achieved a level of funding
appropriate to their subject area. In assessing this criterion, it is recognised that
this may be difficult in some subject areas. Additionally, the scale of external
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funding is not necessarily an indication of research quality, but will be taken into
account where appropriate,
(d) Research Leadership/Research Management: Readers must have a successful
record of Research Leadership, e.g. through leadership of a team of active
researchers (which may, or may not include research students); or of Research
Management, e.g. through management of research within a School, Research
Centre, or the University, or externally as appropriate.
2.3 All applications should consist of two distinct elements:
a) a self-evaluation document in narrative form not exceeding 2000 words, setting
out the candidate’s case against each of the criteria for conferment set out above;
b) an up-to-date curriculum vitae containing details of education, qualifications,
academic posts held, research grants/contracts awarded (with value), research
supervisions and examinerships, publications, and any other information pertinent
to the application. Full bibliographic information should be provided for all
publications, which should be listed in the following order:
Chapters in Books
Articles in Journals (identifying with an asterisk those that have been refereed)
c) Candidates should identify the weight of contribution to jointly authored papers
published over the last five years, and clarify the nature of their role in relation to
Supervision of each research student during that period.
2.4 In applying these criteria it is recommended that the following guidelines be
a) Record of publication and scholarship – all candidates must provide evidence to
match the criterion at least at national level.
b) Peer Group Recognition – all candidates must provide evidence to
match the criterion at least at national level.
c) Research Funding – candidates may evidence this at any level.
d) Research Leadership and/or Management – candidates may
evidence this at any level.
e) Actual achievement with evidence of a continued upward trajectory, and not only
future promise, must be the principal yardstick.
f) The term 'research' is to be interpreted broadly, using the Frascati1 definition, and
in assessing contribution by consultancy or practice regard will be paid to the
‘Research’ is to be understood as original investigation undertaken in order to gain knowledge and
understanding. It includes work of direct relevance to the needs of commerce, industry, and to the
public and voluntary sectors; scholarship*; the invention and generation of ideas, images,
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standards which obtain in the respective discipline and the way in which it can
reasonably be expected to interact with industry, commerce, the professions and
g) Relevance: Candidates are normally expected to demonstrate the relevance of
their area of study and the particular applications pursued to the research
strategies of the University and of the School/Institute in which the applicant is
Those for whom a significant proportion of their research output was generated in
a previous employment should explain its relevance to the aims and objectives of
that institution. Wherever possible, applicants should make explicit reference to
specific policy documents.
h) In all cases, in accordance with equal opportunities aims of the University,
account will be taken of any personal factors which may have affected an
individual’s performance during particular stages of her/his career, thus making
the contribution to research, in particular, smaller in quantity (but not in quality)
than would otherwise have been expected. Candidates should draw attention to
any circumstances having an effect on their cases.
2.5 Candidates will be asked to indicate the subject title that they wish to use if a title is
conferred. However, the title will be subject to the agreement of the Vice-Chancellor and
may be changed if another subject title is felt more appropriate.
2.6 Candidates may submit updates on any funding, publications, submission, or
esteem factors signalled in their CV, which have not been confirmed at the time of
submission of the application for conferment, before their actual submission for consideration
by the PCC. Candidates will be informed of the date of the relevant PCC meeting in order to
ensure that any relevant updates can be included.
3.1 Any member of staff is eligible to apply for conferment of the title of Reader.
4. Procedures for Internal Applicants
4.1 The Professorial Conferment Committee (PCC) will meet twice a year (normally in June
and December) to consider individual applications and confer the title ‘Reader’, on
successful candidates. Applicants must submit completed documentation to the
performances, artefacts including design, where these lead to new or substantially i mproved insights;
and the use of existing knowledge in experimental development to produce new or substantially
improved materials, devices, products and processes, including design and construction. It excludes
routine testing and routine analysis of materials, components and processes such as for the
maintenance of national standards, as distinct from the development of new analytical techniques. It
also excludes the development of teaching materials that do not embody original research.
* Scholarship is defined as the creation, development and maintenance of the intellectual
infrastructure of subjects and disciplines, in forms such as dictionaries, scholarly editions,
catalogues and contributions to major research databases.
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Executive Secretary no later than 31 March or 30 September in order for their application
to be considered at the next meeting of the Committee. All applications and the
Committee's own deliberations will be treated in strict confidence.
4.2 In exceptional circumstances, the Vice-Chancellor may convene the Committee at times
other than those specified above. However, although the Committee may be asked to
act quickly on such occasions, in all other respects it will continue to apply the
procedures and criteria set elsewhere in this document.
4.3 The PCC may confer titles on behalf of the Academic Board only in accordance with the
regulations established by the Academic Board. Recommendations for modification and
extension to the scheme may be made to the Academic Board by the PCC.
4.4 The PCC will consist of seven members:
a) The Vice-Chancellor, who will Chair the Committee.
b) The Deputy-Vice-Chancellor (Research & Enterprise)
c) One individual of Professorial standing in a University other than the
University of Teesside, nominated by the Vice-Chancellor
d) Four members of staff who have Professorial status, nominated by the
Vice-Chancellor in the light of the needs of particular cases, one of whom
may be a further Deputy-Vice-Chancellor of Professorial Status.
Consideration will be given to the gender balance of the Committee.
4.5 The quorum for the Committee will be five members, which must include the external
Professor. In the absence of the VC, the DVC (Research & Enterprise) will Chair the
Committee. Exceptionally, the Committee will be considered quorate if the External
Professor is absent but has submitted detailed written comments to the meeting and is
consulted regarding the outcome.
4.6 In consideration of a particular case the Committee will seek the written confidential
views of the applicant's referees and of such external advisers as the Committee may
choose. Additionally, if it is deemed necessary, the Committee may interview
4.7 As far a possible, non-core members will be chosen so as not to present situations
which require declarations of interest to be made. However, Members will be asked at
the commencement of the meeting to make declarations of interest in any candidates
4.8 In addition to providing the names of five Independent External Referees (from which two
appropriate names will be chosen in consultation with the VC), Deans will be asked to
provide a commentary on the application for conferment, taking into account the objective
criteria for the title.
4.9 A decision to confer the title of 'Reader' must be supported by at least five members
including the external member. There is no appeal against a decision, except that a
candidate may be reconsidered after two years.
4.10 Upon conferment of a Readership, a subsequent application for Professorship may not
be made, normally, until a further two years have elapsed.
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4.11 The Executive Secretary will keep Minutes of the Committee, and decisions of the
Committee to confer a Readership will be reported, as an information item, to the
4.12 Internal eligible candidates should consult their senior academic colleagues for guidance
on the appropriateness of their applications. The Vice-Chancellor may, without prejudice,
invite individuals to make application.
4.13 Applicants should identify two external referees, at least one of whom must be a full-
time member of the academic staff of a UK University and currently hold the title of
Reader or Professor.
4.14 Applications must be submitted in accordance with the Criteria issued from time to time.
4.15 Canvassing of members of the PCC is prohibited. Where it is proved that a candidate
has canvassed a potential member of the PCC, the candidate's application will be
withdrawn and will not be considered until two years have elapsed. Alleged cases of
canvassing will be investigated by the Dean, Graduate Research School acting on behalf
of the Committee’s Chair. The Chair's decision, based upon the Dean's report, is final.
4.16 Applicants will be informed in writing of the outcome of their application immediately after
the Committee, including, where appropriate feedback on their application. Verbal
notification of outcomes will not be given and the Secretary should not be approached for
this information. All applicants will be invited to make an appointment with the Chair or
Vice-Chair of the Committee to discuss the feedback, or future work.
5. Procedures for External Applicants
5.1 Further particulars distributed by the Human Resources Department, about posts
advertised externally as possible Appointments at Readership level, will include a
summary of requirements for the conferment application and a copy of the University's
conferment scheme for Readers. Applicants for conferment must submit a self-
evaluation document and a CV (See Section 4) in addition to the University's Application
and Employment Form.
5.2 Shortlisting for appointment at Readership level will be undertaken by the Interview Panel.
The Panel will comprise:
a) the Vice Chancellor or the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research & Enterprise) as
the Chair, together with
b) one individual of Professorial or - for Readerships only - Readership standing in a
University other than the University of Teesside, and
b) at least three members of staff who have Professorial or - for Readerships only -
5.3 Membership of the Panel will be determined by the Vice Chancellor or his/her nominee in
the light of the needs of the particular post.
5.4 The criteria used in conferring the title are those in paragraphs 2.2 a) b) and either c) or
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5.6 In consideration of applications following shortlisting, the Interview Panel will seek the
written confidential views of the applicant's referees and of such other external advisers
as the Panel may choose in consultation with the appropriate Dean of School.
5.7 Where an appointment could be made at more than one level (e.g. Principal
Lecturer/Reader), the Interview Panel will first determine which candidate (if any) is to be
offered the substantive post. It will then separately determine whether the successful
candidate merits the conferment of a Readership title.
5.8 A decision to confer the title of Reader must be supported by at least five members of
5.9 It will be the responsibility of the Human Resources Manager handling the appointment to
liaise as necessary with the Executive Secretary of the Professorial Conferment Committee
in order to ensure that
a) the necessary steps are taken to convene an appropriately constituted Interview
b) the candidate’s own referees are invited to report separately on the their
qualifications for the substantive post to be filled and on their suitability for the
conferment of a Readership title;
c) independent assessors are identified in good time;
d) all panel members are provided with the confidential reports from referees and
independent assessors on a candidate’s suitability for the conferment of a
Readership title prior to the meeting of the panel.
6. Sponsored Readership Posts
6.1 Academic Units may secure external funding for sponsored permanent or fixed term
posts of Readership status. These arrangements must have the approval of the Deputy-
Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise).
6.2 Sponsorship must be based upon a formal contract for a fixed period, with a normal
minimum of three years. The contract must specify both the funding and the services
which may be claimed by the sponsor; while the latter should relate to the normal criteria
for Readership appointments.
6.3 The sponsor may nominate an individual for the title. If the nominee is not currently a
Reader the contract shall not be signed until the award of the title has been confirmed
under the normal University procedures.
7. Status and Salary of Readers and Duties
7.1 The title of Reader is personal to the holder. The conferment of the title does not alter or
affect the holder's permanent full-time post or contract of employment with the University.
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7.2 The University will allow both 'generic' and 'specific' titles. These titles will be granted at
the sole discretion of the Vice-Chancellor subject to advice from the Dean of the relevant
academic unit. In the case of an externally funded post associated with the status of
Reader, the name of the funding body may be used in conjunction with the title Reader.
7.3 A separate document, setting out the Readership Salary Scale, Academic and Fixed
Term Contracts, Confirmation of Appointments, Conditions of Service and Duties, is
available from the Human Resources Department. However, the Vice Chancellor will
discuss the conditions etc with successful applicants after conferment.
8. Persons already holding the title 'Reader' on appointment to the University
8.1 In the case of a person already holding the title of 'Reader' being appointed to the
University it is inappropriate that they should continue to use that title. However, having
been appointed they may apply for such a title under the arrangements laid down in this
9. University staff already holding the title 'Reader' prior to May 1993
9.1 University staff holding the title of 'Reader' prior to May 1993 will continue to hold the title.
Their conditions of service are unaffected by this document.
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