Writing effective promotion applications

How to ensure your promotion application has the best possible chance of success

Publication details

Harzing, A.W. (2022) Writing effective promotion applications: Crafting your career in academia, Published by Tarma Software Research Ltd, London, United Kingdom

  • Black & white paperback, 115pp. ISBN 978-1-7396097-3-3.
  • Kindle edition, 125pp. ISBN 978-17396097-1-9.

Book description

Want to progress in academia? Read this book for practical, step-by-step guidance on writing effective promotion applications, leaving you better prepared to climb the academic career ladder. It teaches you how to evidence that your research, teaching, and leadership has made a real difference and demonstrates how to embed this evidence in an overall career narrative. It also provides insights into how your promotion panel evaluates your application, explains why external promotion is easier to achieve than internal promotion, but also outlines the advantages of internal promotion.


Promotion through the various academic ranks can be a slow, frustrating, and opaque process and there are few things in academic life which elicit such strong emotions. At the same time, for many academics achieving promotion to full or associate professor is one of the most important milestones of their academic careers. This is not surprising. Academic salaries are low when compared to other professions that require the same length of training and working hours. Moreover, rejection is a constant feature of academic lives. Hence, promotion is one of the few big positive reinforcements we get in our academic careers.

Even so, there doesn’t appear to be a lot of guidance for academics going up for promotion. As a result, many promotion applications are not as effective as they could be. In this short book, I have documented the lessons I have learned about the process, both from a personal and from an institutional perspective, and have provided detailed recommendations for successful promotion applications. I hope this will help you to better understand this highly contested topic and provide you with the tools to be successful in your own promotion application. I would love to hear from you if you feel this book has helped you.

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