Job titles for researchers are determined by departmental employing authorities. Most researchers' job descriptions are generic and therefore have a degree of flexibility and adaptability incorporated into them.
A researcher should be given a summary project plan, provided by the principal investigator or supervisor. This plan should clarify what the researcher is expected to contribute to the research project. It is recognised that these expectations may change as the researcher settles into the role.
Research Assistant (grade 5)
For researchers who are educated to first degree level and who possess sufficient breadth or depth of knowledge in the discipline and of research methods and techniques to work within their own area. Role holders who gain their doctorate during the course of employment will normally be recommended for promotion to research associate, if this is appropriate for the duties and responsibilities of the post. Promotion is not automatic and depends upon the role holder fulfilling all the duties of the role of research associate.
Research Associate (grade 7)
For researchers with some research experience who have normally have been awarded a doctoral degree. Their research activity will provide substantial scope for academic judgment, originality, interpretation and presentation of results. Research Associates will often have supervisory responsibilities for more junior researchers and may well exercise full authority over many aspects of project work. For appointments at the level of research associate the Department may use the title of 'fellow' where this is a condition of the sponsor's award.
Senior Research Associate (grade 9)
For researchers with at least three years' experience as a postdoctoral Research Associate, or equivalent. Most Senior Research Associates will have full operational responsibility for a major project or research facility and some may hold research grants in their own right. They will have demonstrated a high level of competence and an independent standing as researchers. Appointment as a Senior Research Associate requires the approval of the relevant Faculty Board (or equivalent body). For appointments at the level of senior research associate the Department may use the title of 'fellow' where this is a condition of the sponsor's award.
Principal Research Associate (PRA) (grade 11)
This appointment is at a level equivalent to Reader. (A generic role profile for Readers is available on the Human Resources Division website.)
Researchers may be considered for promotion to or may be recruited to PRA under the University's procedures. The criteria and evaluative standards used for appointment at this level are those specified in the guidance on the senior academic promotions scheme and these appointments will be reported to the University's Human Resources Committee. Where a post arises out of a national scheme run by a major research sponsor, any title associated with that post may be used.
Director of Research (DoR) in (field of research) in the Faculty/Department, etc, of X. (grade 12)
This appointment is at a level equivalent to Professor. A generic role profile for Professors is available on the Human Resources website.
Researchers may be considered for promotion to or may be appointed on recruitment to DoR under the University's procedures. The criteria and evaluative standards used for appointment at this level are those specified in the guidance on the senior academic promotions scheme and these appointments will be reported to the University's Human Resources Committee. The Senior Academic Promotions Scheme is outlined on the Human Resources website.