Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

A range of academic titles can be conferred by the Division or the University. These include the title of (Full) Professor, the title of Associate Professor, and the titles of Visiting Lecturer or Visiting Professor. Professorial Merit Payments can be made to University staff who have the title of Full Professor.

The procedures and criteria for eligibility vary- some are available to non-employees, for example, whilst others are available to staff in particular grades. Note that the award of the title of (Full) Professor or of the title of Associate Professor for example does not change an individual's underlying role, duties or paygrade. Titles include:

Visiting professors and visiting lecturers 

Please contact Polly Bunce if you need more information, or if you are unable to access the Word document for any reason. 

associate professor title 

For individuals making a significant and sustained contribution to achievement of the University's goals, and who are comparable in distinction to those holding the substantive post of Associate Professor. 

Associate Professor Title can be awarded to eligible individuals in university grades 9 and 10 or to clinicians in an honorary consultant role. Nominations are considered periodically by the divisional board, and nomination is made via the Head of Department. Occasional exceptional requests to award Associate Professor title to eligible candidates upon appointment or in cases of retention may also be considered. The MPLS Procedure Document sets out the process for conferral of Associate Professor title by the Division and the criteria (which include research, teaching and citizenship aspects):

Please contact Polly Bunce if you need more information, or if you are unable to access the PDF for any reason. 

Professor Title

(Full) Professor title is awarded via the annual Recognition of Distinction exercise. All those employed by the University in academic or senior research roles are eligible to apply, as are other University employees who are making a significant and sustained academic contribution to the University. Criteria in research, teaching and citizenship apply, and research distinction must be at least equal to that expected of those appointed to full professorships at other leading international research universities. 

The 2023-24 exercise is in progress and applications have now closed.

Further background about the process and how to apply is available on the HR Support Recognition of Distinction page.

Outcomes from each annual round are normally finalized during the Long Vacation.

Please contact Polly Bunce if you need any further information about the University's Recognition of Distinction process for conferral of Professorial title.

The MPLS Recognition of Distinction Committee for 2023-24 is:

  • Prof Jim Naismith (Chairman), Head of MPLS Division
  • Prof Tim Coulson (Biology), Professor of Zoology and joint Head of Department of Biology
  • Prof Nicole Grobert (Materials), Professor of Nanomaterials.
  • Prof Matt Jarvis (Physics), Professor of Physics and Associate Head of MPLS (People)
  • Prof Simon Myers (Statistics), Professor of Mathematical Genomics
  • Prof Alison Noble (Engineering Science), Professor of Engineering Science
  • Prof James Sparks (Maths), Professor of Mathematical Physics and Head of the Mathematical Institute
  • Prof Niki Trigoni (Computer Science), Professor of Computer Science


Periodically, the University holds exercises to determine the pay awards that should be made to its senior academic staff in addition to their basic salaries, on the basis of their academic distinction. These are known as Professorial Merit Payments (under previous procedures these payments have been known as Professorial Distinction Awards).  Criteria in leadership and Citizenship, Teaching and Research apply, and it is expected that applicants will have exceeded the criteria for conferral of the title of Full Professor, their work and achievements having progressed since that time.

All University employees (in any type of non-clinical role) who hold the title of Full Professor, or whose post is a Statutory Professorship or Statutory Readership, are eligible to apply. 

More information about the process and criteria for professorial merit payments.

Please contact the Academic and Strategic HR team leader if you need any further information about the University's Professorial Merit Pay processes.


This page contains information on the award of titles. Read information about processes for appointing academic staff and appointing heads of department and about processes for academic staff in post. If you have a query about academic staffing that is not answered by the documents on these pages, please contact the Academic HR Team.