Guidelines - Appointment of Academic Research Staff


Approving Authority:
Vice President, Human Resources
Date of Approval:
May 2000
Last Amended:
December 2011
Contact Officer:
Industrial Relations Advisory Unit

Schedule 3 of the UNSW (Academic Staff) Enterprise Agreement 2015 states at Subclause(d) that:

A Research only employee will be appointed at a level at least consistent with the "Guidelines for Appointment of Academic Research Staff" which were in place on the day before the commencement of the Agreement.

The following guidelines apply.

1. NHMRC Research Fellows, Post Doctoral Fellows and above, the various categories of ARC Research Fellows and Research Associates and the Vice-Chancellor's Post Doctoral Research Fellows will be recognised as academics. These appointees will have titles within the range Research Associate (or Post Doctoral Fellow)#, Research Fellow, Senior Research Fellow, Associate Professor and Professor, according to his/her standing against normal academic levels A to E as shown in the table below.

Level Standard Academic Title Title for Research Academics
A Associate Lecturer Research Associate or Post Doctoral Fellow
B Lecturer Senior Research Associate or Post Doctoral Fellow
C Senior Lecturer Senior Research Fellow
D Associate Professor Senior Research Fellow, Associate Professor
E Professor Senior Research Fellow, Professor

# Note: The distinction between Research Associate and Postdoctoral Fellow is likely to be both discipline and qualification specific.

2. In addition, University research academics, other than those referred to in point 1 above, should have his/her title and status as academic confirmed if they:

(i) have primary or significant responsibility for leading a research project(s) provided that in the case of a Level A academic research appointment, the conduct of research may be under limited supervision either as a member of a team or independently and the academic demonstrates intellectual contribution to research as is the norm for the discipline; or

(ii) have received his/her Fellowship through a rigorous selection process; or

(iii) are regarded internationally or nationally as experts in his/her field of study or research; or

(iv) are otherwise recognised as occupying an academic research position by the University.

3. Other research positions should only be considered as academic and receive the titles as specified in point 1 above, if they can demonstrate that they meet the criteria outlined in point 2 above. Otherwise these staff will hold a title of either Research Assistant, Research Officer or Senior Research Officer and will be considered to be general staff.

Specifically the following research academics will be covered by this Agreement:

Australian Research Council Funded Positions  
Australian Post Doctoral Fellowships Level A
Australian Research Fellowships Level B
Queen Elizabeth II Fellowships Level B
Senior Research Fellowships* Level C-E
ARC Research Associates ** Level A
ARC Senior Research Associates ** Level B

National Health and Medical Research Council Funded Positions  
Australian Post Doctoral Fellowships Level A
Research Fellows Level B
Senior Research Fellows Level C
Principal Research Fellows Level D
Senior Principal Research Fellows Level E
RD Wright Fellows*  
CJ Martin Fellows*  
Neil Hamilton Fairley Research Fellows*  
RDAustralian Applied Health Sciences Fellows*  
Public Health Post Doctoral Fellows*  
Inserm Exchange Fellowships*  
Peter Doherty Fellows*  

Other UNSW Positions
Vice-Chancellor's Fellowship
Postdoctoral Research Fellows
Senior Research Fellows

* indicates that academic Level will be determined on appointment.
** indicates that academic status dependent on satisfying one of the criteria in point 2.