Academic ranks (Australia and New Zealand)

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This article is about academic ranks in higher education in Australia and New Zealand.

Teaching and research positions[edit]

Academic positions in Australia and New Zealand can be either continuing (permanent) or fixed-term (contract) appointments. Continuing appointments at the lecturer level and above are similar to the permanent academic posts found in the United Kingdom, and generally involve a 3-5 year probationary period.

  • Professor – 'level E'. Equivalent to chair professor in most Asian countries and North American universities and to a professor of a discipline in British universities. In Australia and NZ, the number of professors is approximately 10 percent of the total number of academic staff in any given university. This rank is only given to those who have demonstrated outstanding competence and academic leadership in research, teaching, and service as well as achieving international recognition of their scholarship.
  • Associate professor – 'level D'. Equivalent to professor in most Asian countries and in North American universities.[1] Equivalent to reader in Britain. The associate professor rank is given to academics that are developing a very strong international profile and have demonstrated sustained high competence in both teaching and research.
  • Senior lecturer – 'level C'. Equivalent to associate professor in North American universities. Normally, academic staff demonstrating sustained competence in research and teaching are promoted to this rank after 4 to 6 years of service at the rank of lecturer. Most appointments at this level are 'continuing', the equivalent of North American tenure, although some temporary appointees at Level B on longer contracts may achieve promotion to Level C during their employment.
  • Lecturer - 'level B'. Equivalent to assistant professor in North American universities. This is the usual entry level appointment for new full-time academics, be they permanent or on temporary contract. Such appointments typically require a PhD to have been already awarded at the time of appointment. It is possible for a lecturer in Australasia to be on a permanent contract and complete their probation while remaining at Level B, thus attaining the equivalent of tenure.
  • Associate lecturer – 'level A' . Appointments at this lowest level are relatively rare – most appointments that occasion a contract are at level B. All or almost all appointments made at level A are temporary and fractional, making it roughly equivalent to North American positions of lecturer or instructor.

Research only positions[edit]

The Australian public service or government organisations also employ a large number of academics or researchers. Different organisations have their own established title systems (e.g., principal scientist, senior officer etc.). However, it is the level rather than the title that determines the equivalent academic rank. With Commonwealth Scientific & Industry Research Organisation (CSIRO) and most state governments,

  • Level 4, equivalent to postdoctoral fellow or associate lecturer;
  • Level 5, equivalent to lecturer or research scientist;
  • Level 6, equivalent to senior lecturer or senior scientist;
  • Level 7, equivalent to associate professor;
  • Level 8, equivalent to professor;
  • Level 9, chief.

The Western Australian state government introduced a specified calling system in 2008. Within this system,

  • SC-level 1, equivalent to postdoctoral fellow or associate lecturer;
  • SC-level 2, equivalent to lecturer or research scientist;
  • SC-level 3, equivalent to senior lecturer or senior scientist;
  • SC-level 4, equivalent to associate professor;
  • SC-level 5, equivalent to professor;
  • SC-level 6, chief.

Administrative ranks[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]