Academic Appointments

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  • Faculties must request approval from the Humanities Divisional Board to fill posts that become vacant through resignation or retirement, or to create new posts.
  • Exception: faculties are not required to seek approval for externally-funded research and related posts (e.g. an externally-funded research project administrator post).
  • Requests are considered by the Humanities Personnel Panel, which meets twice a term. The Panel makes recommendations to the Humanities Planning and Resources Committee, and proposals are formally approved by the Humanities Divisional Board.
  • The main exercise for requests to release academic posts for refilling takes place around the end of Trinity Term. Faculties are expected to make a case based on academic need, the Faculty’s strategic priorities, the teaching and research capacity from other postholders working in the relevant subject area, and student numbers.



  • Faculties manage the recruitment process, liaising with colleges in the case of joint appointments (such as Associate Professorships).
  • The Chair of the Selection Panel must complete and submit a report to the Humanities Division, using the Divisional template. (In the case of joint appointments, the report must also be submitted to the college’s Governing Body.)



The Humanities Divisional Office issues contracts for Associate Professors, Language Instructors and Departmental Lecturers.



The Divisional Office undertake right to work checks for newly appointed associate professors, language instructors and Departmental Lecturers.



  • Associate Professors are typically appointed for a fixed period of up to five years in the first instance.
  • Roughly half-way during this period, an interim review of progress is undertaken, and towards the end of the period, a final review of progress is undertaken.
  • For each review, the appointee is asked to submit a self-report, and reports are also requested from the appointee’s Faculty Board Chair, lecturing assessor, research assessor, and College, where relevant.
  • The Divisional Office manages the timetables and reports for these reviews. The Office sends out requests out for the relevant reports, forwards them to the Faculty for consideration by a faculty review committee which reports the outcome to the Faculty Board. Approval (by Chair’s action) is then made on behalf of the Humanities Divisional Board.



Language Lecturers and Departmental Lecturers usually have an initial probationary period, during which their progress in post is reviewed. The Divisional Office will ask faculties to produce relevant reports, for approval (by Chair’s action) on behalf of the Humanities Divisional Board.



  • Academic postholders who wish to apply for leave, must complete the appropriate form and submit it to their faculty in the first instance. Formal approval for leave is given by the Humanities Divisional Board. Faculties will forward leave applications to the Divisional Office.
  • This covers the following types of leave:
    • Sabbatical leave, for Statutory Professors and Associate Professors (Teaching Fellow – University; Teaching Fellow – Faculty; and non-Teaching Fellow)
    • Dispensation from lecturing, for Associate Professors (Teaching Fellow – College)
    • Special paid (research) leave, e.g. in relation to an externally-funded research grant
    • Unpaid leave


Information on the Recognition of Distinction Awards to confer the title of professor at the University of Oxford can be found at


Catherine McKiernan

For advice on release of post requests, Humanities personnel policies and procedures, further particulars for academic posts, major personnel exercises (such as Recognition of Distinction), and complex personnel cases.

HR Officer 

For reports of academic selection panels, academic employment contracts, right to work checks for new academic appointees, leave applications, schedules and reports relating to initial periods of office of associate professors and probationary period for instructors and departmental lecturers.

N.B. While every effort is made to keep the website up to date, on HR matters the current Divisional Manual is the authoritative version. For those external to the University, please contact the HR team with any requests for information (see Divisional Staff page for relevant contacts).

Useful Links

Humanities SharePoint site

Requires log-in using University Single Sign-On credentials.

Guidance notes and forms for release of post requests

Guidance notes for Initial Period of Office procedures

University website: Academic Employment