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Academic Categories Procedure

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Section 1 - Purpose and Scope

(1) The University of Queensland’s commitment to excellence is supported by an academic staffing profile that recognises the variance in contributions made by individual academic staff across the four domains of academic performance outlined in the Criteria for Academic Performance. The University recognises the diversity of academic achievement and acknowledges that academic roles and activities may vary over the course of an academic’s career. For some academic staff, this may lead to a change of academic category.

(2) This Procedure identifies five academic categories and the relevant processes associated with the identification of academic category on appointment and for transitioning between academic categories. Guidance is also provided regarding the expected ranges of contribution for each academic category for each domain of academic performance.

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Section 2 - Process and Key Controls

Academic Categories

(3) Academic roles at the University are categorised under one of the following five academic categories:

  1. Teaching and Research (T&R)
  2. Teaching Focused (TF)
  3. Research Focused (RF)
  4. Clinical Academic (CA)
  5. Teaching Associate (TA).

(4) The Guidelines on Evidencing Academic Achievement can be referred to for a broad (but not exhaustive) range of evidence of academic activities, outcomes, quality and impact. These Guidelines reflect the diversity of academic achievement and provide a general description of activities specific to the different academic categories.

Expected Levels of Contribution

(5) The expected weighting range for each academic category (T&R, TF, RF, CA) relative to each performance domain is articulated below. These weightings are indicative and aren’t intended to be rigidly applied on an annual basis. For example, there may be circumstances where a higher contribution in one domain in one year is offset by a lower contribution in the following year(s).

(6) Workload allocation occurs according to the Workload Allocation for Academic Staff Policy and the Enterprise Agreement. Flexibility in workload mix is encouraged so that the overall work carried out by the combined staff meets the organisational requirements while giving reasonable consideration to the staff member’s preferences and career development needs. The allocation of work and the weightings attributed to each domain will be recorded in the workload model and taken into account when assessing an individual’s performance.

Indicative weighting range according to category and domain
  Teaching Research Supervision & Researcher Development Citizenship & Service
T&R Upper 50% 50% 20% 30%
Lower 30% 30% 0% 10%
TF Upper 80% 30% 10% 30%
Lower 60% 0% 0% 10%
RF Upper 20% 80% 30% 30%
Lower 0% 60% 10% 10%
CA Upper 70% 60% 40% 50%
Lower 30% 20% 0% 10%
Exceptions to these boundaries may apply to staff in management roles and to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander early career academics

(7) Teaching Associate (TA) is an academic category to be introduced with the next Enterprise Agreement as a casual conversion mechanism. TA staff have a nominal workload mix as defined by UQ’s Enterprise Agreement as 80% teaching and 20% tasks directly related to their teaching including managing a tutor team, citizenship, training, discipline currency and development activities related to the role.

Allocation of Academic Category on Appointment

(8) The mix of duties and associated workloads will be managed by the relevant Head of School (or equivalent). Prior to advertising an academic position, the Head will assess the required mix of duties and determine the appropriate academic category for the appointment. The academic category will be reflected in the job advertisement. Fractional appointments are possible under each type of academic category.

(9) All academic appointees will receive an offer of employment which specifies the academic category associated with their role. It is expected that the contribution across domains will be appropriately considered and discussed during the Annual Performance and Development process and other relevant performance processes including confirmation and promotion.

Transition of Academic Category

(10) Staff and supervisors should consider the implications of a change in academic category on the staff member’s career path. For example, staff seeking promotion should be cognizant that their application will be assessed against their academic category at the point the promotion application is considered. Similarly, probationary staff should consider the timing of mid-term and final review processes in determining if and when a change of category should occur. The process for requesting a change in academic category is outlined in Academic Annual Performance and Development Procedure clauses 13-14. 

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Section 3 - Roles, Responsibilities and Accountabilities

Academic Staff

(11) Academic staff are required to be aware of the expectations of their role according to their academic category and workload mix.


(12) Supervisors are required to provide support and guidance to the academic staff they supervise in relation to the expectations of the academic staff’s role according to their academic category and workload mix.

Head of Organisational Unit

(13) The Head is responsible for managing the allocation of workload for the academic staff in their Unit in accordance with the academic staff’s category and organisational requirements.

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Section 4 - Monitoring, Review and Assurance

(14) The Chief Human Resources Officer, in consultation with the Provost, will be responsible for the continual monitoring of the effectiveness and application of this Procedure.

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Section 5 - Recording and Reporting

(15) Consistent with their offer of employment, the allocated academic category for each staff member will also be recorded within Workday.

(16) Formal requests for a change to Academic Category will be retained within Workday after being actioned.