Effective promotion applications

In 2018, I wrote a 4-part blogpost series on the difference between internal and external promotion in academia. It turned out to be one of the most popular series on my blog. However, readers have indicated that it can be hard to get an overview of the recommendations. It is also a bit tricky to navigate between the blogposts.

On this page I have therefore included links to all ten separate blogposts as well as all of their sub-sections. In due course it will also feature recorded presentations on each of the blogposts. For now you can download the slides of a presentation I gave at the CYGNA women's network here: It is so unfair! Internal vs. external promotion [presentation download]

Part 1: Internal vs. external promotion

Part 2: Seven reasons why external promotion is easier

Part 3: Seven advantages of internal promotion

Part 4: Tips for promotion applications

Academic promotion tips

Over the years, I have worked with many colleagues on their internal promotion applications to Senior Lecturer, Associate Professor, and full Professor. In doing so, I came up with tips and guidelines that may be helpful for you too.

Note: these posts are not yet live, links will be added when they are.

Academic promotion tips (1) - Understand the process

  • A few caveats before we start
  • Understand why universities promote academics
    • Professorial promotions
  • Start early and create a "good stuff" file
  • Quick preview: what makes a successful application?

Academic promotion tips (2) - Treat your application as a journal submission

  • Tip 1: Gather information
  • Tip 2: Learn by example
  • Tip 3: Consider your audience
  • Tip 4: Tailor your submission
  • Tip 5: Realise that packaging does matter
  • Tip 6: Ask for advice
  • Tip 7: Think R&R, not reject
  • Tip 8: Accept you can't control everything
  • Tip 9: Recognise outliers
  • Tip 10: Neutralise academics' critical nature

Academic promotion tips (3) - Evidence your impact in Research & Engagement

  • Evidence helps to discount the "what ifs"
  • Evidencing impact in Research & Engagement: the basics
    • Funding: how much is a lot?
    • What are top journals anyway?
    • Benchmarks for citation performance
  • Beyond funding, top publications, and citation impact
  • Academic impact
    • Using emails and journal reviews
    • Awards signal ground-breaking contributions
    • You can even re-use references
  • Societal impact
  • Your research standing
  • Any "extras" with that?

Academic promotion tips (4) - Evidence your impact in Teaching & Learning

  • Evidence helps to discount the "what ifs"
  • Evidencing impact in Teaching & Learning: the basics
    • Scope of your teaching
    • Your teaching evaluations
    • Turn a negative into a positive
  • Teaching philosophy
  • Course development & research-based teaching
  • Creating an inclusive classroom
  • Designing assessment and feedback
  • Leadership in teaching

Academic promotion tips (5) - Evidence your impact in Leadership & Service

  • Evidence helps to discount the "what ifs"
  • Evidencing impact in Leadership & Service: On job titles and beyond...
    • Point to specific initiatives & qualitative change
    • Show positive changes in "hard metrics"
    • Testimonials from students and colleagues
  • Service to the academic community
  • Make invisible work visible
  • Committee membership: how (not) to evidence this?
  • Career narrative

Academic promotion tips (6) - Craft your career narrative

  • Craft your career narrative pro-actively
  • Create your career narrative retrospectively
  • Be inspired by colleagues' view of your work
  • The winning combination
  • Pro tip: link your narrative to your university's mission
  • Finally: See it as time for reflection