1. Introduction

The University’s Zone Based Pay & Reward Structure provides for movement between zones within the professorial grade of the academic career track, subject to satisfying the relevant zone descriptor criteria in relation to which an application is made.

2. Equal Opportunities

The University of Glasgow is committed to promoting equality of opportunity in all its activities and aims to provide a work, learning, research and teaching environment free from discrimination and unfair treatment. The principles of the Athena SWAN Charter are embedded in the application of this policy. Procedures for movement between zones are intended to be fair, transparent and consistent with the University’s Equal Opportunities Policies.

Against this background, all members of the professoriate will be treated fairly and equitably with outcomes based solely on assessment of a professorial profile in relation to the specified criteria applicable to the zone into which placement is sought, irrespective of contractual status and personal circumstances.   The Panel will consider individuals who are currently, or have been, part-time, or have had a significant absence, whether due to parental leave, illness or other cause provided they outline clearly in their application the impact of those factors on output.

Further, the University's Equality and Diversity Strategy Committee monitors ethnic origin, disability and gender data in relation to the outcome of applications for zone movement.  This continual review of career development trends and statistics ensures that the criteria against which decisions are taken, remain objectively justifiable and lawful in accordance with equality legislation.

3. Additional Circumstances

The online application process permits applicants to outline any additional or specific impact on their track record of performance and activity profile as a consequence of personal circumstances. Additional circumstances may be included for periods of absence from work (or where a situation has had a similar impact) for equality-related reasons, including career breaks and caring responsibilities. In addition, circumstances such as the Covid-19 pandemic may have impacted on a personal level (e.g. caring responsibilities) or a practical level (e.g. lab closures). The Panel will take into account those circumstances that are clearly outlined in an application and give due consideration to the resultant impact of those particular factors relative to the overall profile and associated outputs.  

4. Principles

The procedure incorporates the undernoted principles:

  • Applications for movement between zones will be subject to a rigorous and robust internal process.
  • Professorial staff may be considered for movement into the next zone, subject to satisfying the relevant zone descriptor through the provision of specific evidence demonstrating that the level of performance and associated outputs match the zone descriptors of the higher level.
  • Each professorial profile will be considered and judged on its merits in accordance with the relevant career track criteria applicable to the zone into which movement is sought.
  • It is expected that a professor will normally be able to demonstrate meeting a preponderance of the criteria outlined across the range of academic activity, to justify movement into the next zone within the professorial career path, irrespective of track. It is recognised that distinction in all the areas detailed in the zone criteria will very rarely be achieved. There will be no expectation that all the listed activities will be undertaken all the time.  It does mean that the University can expect/require professors to undertake any of these activities.  The criteria are not exhaustive, and professors may be required to undertake other duties of a similar level and responsibility. In some roles and disciplines, some of the activities detailed will be essential requirements of the role. Criteria for assessing the extent to which a professorial profile meets the criteria for movement into the next zone will be applied fairly and consistently.
  • Judgements will be based as far as possible on objective evidence in meeting a preponderance of the requisite criteria across the range of academic activity applicable to the professorial career path and zone.

5. Coverage

The policy and process is accessible to all members of the professoriate within and potential recruits to the zone-based pay and reward structure.

6. Application Process and Criteria

The decision to apply is that of the applicant, whether supported or not by their line manager. Applicants should be mindful that an unsuccessful outcome will normally prevent a further application being made the following year without the support of their Vice Principal & Head of College. Professors seeking zone movement are expected to provide clear evidence to demonstrate the extent to which the relevant zone criteria are satisfied in the Professorial Zoning Form. Further, professors are strongly advised and encouraged to discuss their application with the relevant Head of School prior to submission. Heads of Schools and Heads of Colleges will normally, as part of annual performance and development review discussions, have taken the opportunity to discuss potential future development and career trajectory with each professor.


Where relevant applications will normally consist of: -

  • Professorial Zone Movement Application
  • Grant Calculation
  • PhD Calculation
  • An up-to-date CV
  • A full publication list (including all publications)

The submitted documentation will be assessed against the relevant Career track Zone Descriptors. Applications for zone movement will be assessed and subsequent decisions normally taken on the basis of best-fit with the zone criteria into which movement is sought, across  the  range  of  academic  activity  in  the  relevant  career  track  zone  descriptor,  and ultimately where there is conformance.

Career Track

Assessment Based On

Research & Teaching

Preponderance across 7 criteria as specified

Academic Clinician

Clinical practice + preponderance across 7 criteria

Learning, Teaching & Scholarship

Preponderance across 5 criteria

Statement provided by Head of School

Each application will include an evaluation of the applicant’s suitability for professorial zone movement, prepared by the relevant Head of School. Heads of School are required to confirm the accuracy of information submitted by the applicant and provide an objective evaluation against each of the specified criteria. The commentary must include the specific view of the Head of School as to whether or not the applicant meets each of the individual criteria and in summary, their overall judgement of the application having taken into account their commentary against each criterion. Their statement should also include clear reasoning and justification of their view having taken into account any additional circumstances listed.

It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that their application is made available to the relevant Head of School in good time to allow sufficient time for the supporting statement to be submitted prior to the closing date.

It is recognised that the Head of School may not always have the relevant subject specialist expertise to evaluate the standard of research outputs.  In such cases, the Head of School may consult, confidentially, with a relevant senior academic who has the appropriate specialist knowledge.  In such cases, the Head of School should indicate in their statement that consultation has taken place, indicating who was consulted. All assessments of the quality of research outputs should be compliant with the principles of the Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA).

7. Zone Movement Panel

A Zone Movement Panel meeting will be chaired by the Senior Vice Principal/Deputy Vice Chancellor – Academic and will comprise the Vice Principals for Learning & Teaching and Research, Assistant Vice Principal (Strategy & Resources), the Clerk of Senate, the Executive Director of People & OD and the Director of Performance & Reward, or other such People & OD Executive member, as nominated by the Executive Director of People & OD, along with a clerk from the Performance, Pay & Reward team.

Each College Vice-Principal will attend only for cases in their respective Colleges with the relevant Head of School for those cases under consideration. A further two members of senior professorial staff (either another Head of School, a Dean or someone nominated by the Vice-Principal/Head of College) may also attend as College Senior Representatives for College specific cases along with the College Head of People & OD. College Senior Representatives must be sufficiently experienced and familiar with the Academic Promotion/Zone Movement processes to be able to provide the requisite level of expertise and a suitably independent assessment of applications within their College.

The panel will be responsible for reviewing each application for zone movement and determining whether an application for zone movement is successful.


8. Notification of Outcomes

Following consideration by the Zone Movement Panel the Performance, Pay & Reward team will communicate the outcome of the process to all applicants.  Where an application for zone movement is unsuccessful, or where the outcome of an application is different to that for which zone movement was submitted, feedback will be provided to applicants by the Head of School with appropriate information from the Panel.  This will include guidance and support in relation to any  future application.  Unsuccessful applicants will normally be unable to re-apply for a two-year period without permission from their Vice Principal & Head of College.

9. Successful Applications

Where an application for movement between zones is successful, the salary placement level of the applicant will be amended to the bottom of the zone into which movement is sought (normally the next zone) unless the current salary is within the overlap between zone boundaries.  In this event, salary placement will be adjusted accordingly, normally beyond the current salary placement.

10. Timetable

Launch of Zone Movement Round

15 January 2024

Deadline for Zone Movement Applications to be completed (please note School deadlines will be earlier)

22 March 2024 

Zone Movement Panel

4 June 2024

Notified of final outcomes

By 28 June 2024

Effective date of Zone Movement

1 August 2024

11. Confidentiality

It is the Univeristy's policy, in accordance with GDPR Principles https://www.gla.ac.uk/myglasgow/dpfoioffice/gdpr/principles/ to retain each applicaiton , and associated correspoindence, in an individual's personal file, including references, where relevant, soutght for successful applicants. References sought for unsuccessful applicants will be held for tweleve months and then securely destroyed.

12. Records Management

Zone Movement Applications will be retained in the relevant personal file along with any outcome notification letters.

13. Zone Descriptors