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This page contains information on the processes for appointing academic staff and about appointing heads of department.

Responsibility for recruitment of academic staff is shared between the division and departments. Certain categories of post are deemed to be divisional posts, most usually those which have a college association. These are  generally entitled posts and include statutory professorships and associate professorships (with and without tutorial fellowships).

The MPLS Associate Heads of Division meeting, sitting as MPLS Personnel Committee on behalf of Divisional Board, is responsible for giving Divisional endorsement for establishing such posts or to release vacant posts for refilling. This includes approvals for these post types under the divisional Recruitment Protocol.

Once approved for filling/refilling, departments are responsible for liaising with the college to devise the job description and person specification and for constituting the selection committee. These must then be approved by the division before the post may be advertised. In the case of statutory professorships the University’s Senior Appointments Office also reviews recruitment material and there are additional stages of approval.

More information on each stage of the academic recruitment and appointment processes is below.

before beginning

The issues and processes to be followed from approval through recruitment and appointment are laid out in the Divisional Guidelines on the approval procedures for Associate Professorships:

Central University publishes the Guidance on Recruitment of Associate Professors and Guidance on Inclusive Recruitment to Associate Professorships.

Where a new associate professor post is envisaged, departments should consider whether an associate professorship with tutorial or non-tutorial fellowship may best fill the need. The Tutorial Fellowship document explains the various types of AP-TF post and differences in duties. 

approval to create oR release the post

Approval must be granted under the Recruitment Protocol before an Academic post can be created or refilled. Further detail on the recruitment protocol in MPLS, and MPLS-specific forms are available. Note that MPLS Divisional approval is required for all statutory chairs and associate professorships, irrespective of the source of funding for the post. The business case template should be submitted along with the Recruitment Request form; the Division also issues Guidance on filling the business case template. All these are downloadable from the MPLS Recruitment Protocol webpage.

college association

Existing posts will normally retain their college association, though departments should double-check with the college before requesting release of the post for refilling.

New posts must be circulated for bids for college association, following the Procedure for Determining College Associations:

The academic HR team leader will liaise with the department to gather information needed for a call for bids. 

The university's procedures for considering college bids require some specific points to be addressed. Bidding colleges should include contextual information information for the teaching need as follows: 

  • academic strategy in areas relevant to the field of the post;
  • current strengths in the field of the post and associated fields;
  • facilities relevant to the field;
  • (for new associate professor posts in particular, but also where relevant for chairs) what the teaching need is at the college and how the proposed association will satisfy it;
  • (for new statutory chairs) the number of chairs formally allocated to the college and the number filled. 

College association must be confirmed before proceeding any further towards recruitment.

preparing to recruit to an associate professorship

Once the college association is confirmed, the department should compile a draft JD and discuss it, and the selection panel composition, with the college.

MPLS-specific job description templates are here:

Please begin with this template when drafting the job description. If you are unable to access the templates as Word documents please contact our Communications Team for assistance. (Central University publishes generic templates for the Job Description and Selection Criteria document.)  

These should be submitted to the Academic Appointments and HR Officer together with the proposed membership of the selection committee for approval. Guidance on panel composition is set out in the Divisional Guidelines for AP recruitment (see links at the top of this page under 'Before Beginning').

Once the draft JD and panel have been approved by the division, the post request will be released, allowing advertisements to be placed on the university jobs site.


When a statutory professorship is released for (re)filling, the Divisional Office will liaise with heads of department and with the Senior Appointments team centrally. Guidance for Departments on the processes for appointment to professorships are available from the Academic and Strategic HR Team Leader. Details of the proposed composition of the electoral board must be provided to the academic HR team as well as the Job Description and Advertisement. Please contact the Academic and Strategic HR Team Leader for templates and further guidance on the drafting of adverts and Job Descriptions for Professorships.

The University’s senior appointments team also reviews recruitment material. There are additional stages of approval before recruitment can begin, and recruitment is carried out centrally via the senior appointments team.

There is a Code of Conduct for Members of Electoral Boards. 


In addition to the joint appointment procedure Divisional Guidelines, further information is available in the Central University  Guide to the Appointment of Associate Professors, Guidance on Inclusive Recruitment to Associate Professorships. and general guidance on the recruitment process. Committee members may also wish to note the Code of Conduct for Electors which applies for recruitment to Statutory Chairs.


After the interviews have been held, the selection committee’s recommendation is subject to ratification by the Divisional Board, often delegated to the Chair of the Board for timely action. The following two items should be submitted to the academic appointments team together with the preferred candidate’s application materials including references:

First Choice Candidate Form (Word doc) or you can view the First Choice Candidate Form as a webpage

Selection Committee Report (Word doc) or you can view the Selection Committee Report as a webpage

The division will issue the contract once the appointment has been ratified. 


Relocation scheme: Central University publishes details of the Relocation Scheme.

Certificates of Sponsorship and Work Visas: departments are responsible for any necessary CoS applications. Central University publishes details of the Policy and Procedures.

Head of department or sub-department

Heads of Department in MPLS are appointed from amongst senior research and academic staff in the department, and serve for a fixed term, which may be renewed. 

Procedure for appointment of Head of Department (PDF) or you can view the Procedure for Appointment of Head of Department as a webpage

Head of Department Duties and Responsibilities (PDF) or you can view the HoD Duties and Responsibilities as a webpage

Conflict of Interest Policy

Further Information

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