Senior lecturer is an academic rank. In the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia, and Switzerland, lecturer is a faculty position at a university or similar institution. The position is tenured and is roughly equivalent to an associate professor in the North American system.
Especially in research-intensive universities, lecturers lead research groups and supervise research students, as well as teach. After a number of years, lecturers might be promoted to senior lecturers with increasing research, leadership, and administrative responsibilities. In most research-intensive universities (such as those that are part of the Russell Group and 1994 Group), a senior lecturer position is between a lecturer and a reader, with a strong focus on research. At the same time, in some universities (for instance Leeds University), the rank of reader is no longer used for new appointments. A senior lecturer position can be a parallel position to reader in other universities. In some universities (notably post-1992 UK universities and former polytechnics), the senior lecturer and reader ranks denote different responsibilities, with the former being more teaching-focused and the latter being more research-focused. Senior lecturers can progress to either a reader or a professor position.
Commonwealth and European usage
In most UK, New Zealand, Australian, and Swiss universities, senior lecturer (Swiss translations: Lehrbeauftragter in German or Chargé de cours in French) is equivalent to the level of "associate professor" in North American universities, and "lecturer" is roughly equivalent to the North American "assistant professor".
Some British universities (for instance, Nottingham and Warwick) have recently decided to adopt the North American ranks of assistant and associate professor instead of lecturer and senior lecturer/reader. Some UK universities (for example, Plymouth University) use the rank of associate professor to denote the rank between a lecturer and a professor, but qualify it with 'senior lecturer' or 'reader' in the title, for example: Associate Professor (Senior Lecturer).
North American usage
However, in the United States, Canada, and other countries influenced by their educational systems, the term is used differently, generally denoting academics without tenure who teach full or part-time but have few or no research responsibilities within the institution where they teach. Senior lecturers have substantial experience and accomplishments in their field and possess a doctorate or its professional equivalent (see for example, job description at Columbia University, Officers of Instruction webpage). Also, in some schools it is a temporary post for visiting academics of considerable prominence—e.g. a famous writer may serve for a term or a year, for instance.
- "Senior Lecturers". Times Higher Education. UK. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
- "See, for example, Job Description at Univ. of Washington". US. Retrieved 19 March 2013.