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Recruitment Procedure - Professors of Practice

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Section 1 - Background and Purpose


(1) La Trobe University may appoint Professors or Associate Professors of Professional Practice in a range of disciplinary areas to ensure the relevance of practice-based programs and to engage more effectively with professional communities. 

(2) Appointments may be made at Level E Professor or Level D Associate Professor.

(3) Such appointments will differ from standard academic roles as they will be practice-focussed. Appointees will not necessarily have a PhD and research productivity may differ from that expected for a standard academic appointment. 

(4) Alternatively, honorary clinical and industry-focussed appointments may be made. Schools should determine whether they require:

  1. a paid member of Level D-E staff to make a consistent, ongoing contribution and to provide leadership (in which case Professor/Associate Professor of Professional Practice would be appropriate); or 
  2. an unpaid, honorary person who will have some input into the research and/or teaching programs but will not be expected to contribute to the same extent as a staff member (in which case an honorary appointment would be appropriate).

(5) These Procedures do not provide for promotion to Professor or Associate Professor of Professional Practice.


(6) The process will be based on evidence of achievement and will be conducted in a transparent and equitable manner and with due regard for confidentiality.

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Section 2 - Scope

(7) Refer to the Recruitment Policy.

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Section 3 - Policy Statement

(8) Refer to the Recruitment Policy.

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Section 4 - Procedures


(9) Appointees will be leading practitioners in their professional fields who must be able to contribute in a translational capacity to the teaching and research efforts of the University by translating research, or the pedagogy of research, into practice in the broad public sector.

(10) Criteria for appointment:

  1. Level E appointees normally would be leading proponents with an international reputation; 
  2. Level D appointees would be leading proponents at least at national level;  
  3. Must have recognised and demonstrable level of competence as judged by their peers and be leading practice in elite settings;
  4. Appointees would not necessarily have a PhD but normally would have a Masters qualification;
  5. Evidence of research productivity, which may differ from that expected for a standard academic appointment, but esteem factors would be high;
  6. Must be practising at the time of appointment and continue to practice and maintain registration while at the University;
  7. If retired, they should be moved to another category, such as adjunct appointments.   


(11) The funding for such appointments will be provided from the budget of the area in which the appointment is located.

Terms of Appointment

(12) Appointments will be:

  1. Remunerated at the respective salary rates for Level D or Level E academics;
  2. Fractional, normally 0.4 to 0.6 FTE;
  3. Fixed term for two years and renewable.   


(13) The Provost will submit a proposal to the Vice-Chancellor (for Level E) or to the Executive Director, Human Resources (for Level D). 

(14) The proposal will include:

  1. A rationale for making such an appointment and what the expectations for the role will be; 
  2. Job card and position description;
  3. Funding source, internal or external;
  4. a copy of the proposed appointee’s curriculum vitae;
  5. the names and contact details of three disciplinary experts who could attest to the proposed appointee’s national/international standing and their effectiveness in translating research into practice;
  6. Proposed selection committee membership (refer to section below).

(15) If the proposal is supported by the Vice-Chancellor or the Executive Director, Human Resources (respectively), a selection committee will be appointed. 

(16) The selection process will be similar to that for a standard Level E or Level D appointment (refer to standard selection procedures for relevant level). Normally this would entail interviewing the candidate.

Selection Committee Composition 

(17) For Level E appointments:

  1. Vice-Chancellor or nominee (as Chair)
  2. One Deputy Vice-Chancellor
  3. Provost or delegate
  4. Dean
  5. Professor in a practice-based discipline from another university or senior external person with relevant professional expertise and standing;
  6. Up to two nominees to ensure gender representation or to provide for additional professional expertise (optional).

(18) For Level D appointments:

  1. Provost or nominee (as Chair)
  2. Dean
  3. Professor of discipline or school or other senior officer if no professor available
  4. Professor or associate professor in a practice-based discipline from another university or senior external person with relevant professional expertise and standing; 
  5. Up to two nominees to ensure gender representation or to provide for additional professional expertise (optional).

(19) The committee membership must meet the University’s requirements for gender representation.


(20) Vice-Chancellor (or delegate) may approve a Level E appointment, on the recommendation of the Selection Committee. Level E appointments will be reported to the Academic Board.

(21) The Provost may approve a Level D appointment, on the recommendation of the Selection Committee. 

Letter of Offer

(22) Once an appointment is approved, the Vice-Chancellor or Provost will forward the documentation to Human Resources to prepare a letter of offer. The formal offer will be made by the Vice-Chancellor (for Level E) and by the Executive Director, Human Resources (for Level D).

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Section 5 - Definitions

(23) For the purpose of this Procedure:

  1. Practitioner: is someone actively engaged in advanced professional practice, not retired nor merely qualified.