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Appointment of Distinguished Professors Policy

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Section 1 - Background and Purpose

(1) To set out policy and procedures for the appointment of Distinguished Professors.

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

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Section 2 - Scope

(3) Applies to:

  1. All campuses
  2. All schools
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Section 3 - Policy Statement

(4) To attract and appoint leading, world-class academic researchers who have established stellar records of academic achievement and have attained international distinction for their research and scholarly work. 

(5) Such appointments are consistent with the University’s strategic objectives and will add to the University’s prestige as a world-class research institution.

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Section 4 - Procedures


(6) The criterion for appointment as a Distinguished Professor is an established stellar record of academic achievement and international distinction for outstanding research quality in an area identified as a strategic priority for the University. 

(7) External indicators of great distinction which may be demonstrated include, but are not limited to:

  1. Fellowship of the Royal Society of London; the British Academy; the US Academy of Sciences, or US Academy of Engineering;
  2. Fellowship of an equivalent European Academy; or other equivalent evidence of international recognition for outstanding research;
  3. a distinguished record of research publications in A or A-star journals or equivalently distinguished publishing outlets;
  4. a record of research commercialisation, and international collaborations;
  5. a record of achievement in attracting large competitive research grant funding and other research funds;
  6. proven experience in effective engagement with government, industry, community organisations and/or international institutions;
  7. demonstrated outstanding leadership in research.


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

Term of Appointment

(9) Appointment normally will be for a fixed-term of five years. 


(10) The Vice-Chancellor will consider a recommendation from a Deputy Vice-Chancellor or a Provost and may initiate the process by appointing a selection committee.

(11) Proposals will be assessed by the committee against the criteria outlined in clauses 6 and 7.


(12) Proposals should include:

  1. the funding source, internal or external;
  2. a statement addressing the criteria for appointment as a Distinguished Professor, as detailed in section 1, above;
  3. a copy of the proposed appointee’s curriculum vitae;
  4. the names and contact details of three disciplinary experts who can attest to the proposed appointee’s international reputation.

Selection Committee

(13) Composition:

  1. Vice-Chancellor or nominee (as Chair)
  2. Two Deputy Vice Chancellors
  3. Provost or nominee

(14) The Vice-Chancellor may appoint additional committee members, as appropriate. The committee membership must meet the University’s requirements for gender representation.


(15) The Vice-Chancellor will have the authority to approve the appointment.

(16) Appointments will be reported to the Academic Board.

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Section 5 - Definitions

(17) For the purpose of this Policy and Procedure:

  1. Distinguished Professor: leading world-class academic researchers, who have achieved international distinction for the outstanding quality of their research and scholarly work.