Professorial Staff - Zone Movement

The Professorial Zone Movement platform can be accessed using the following link:

Professorial Zone Movement Portal

The closing date for applications for the current round is 15 March 2021


Professorial Zone Movement Policy and Process

  1. Introduction

  2. Equal Opportunities

  3. COVID

  4. Principles 

  5. Coverage

  6. Application Process and Criteria

  7. Zone Movement Panel

  8. Principal’s Board of Review

  9. Notification of Outcomes

10. Successful Applications

11. Timetable

12. Confidentiality

13. Records Management

14. Forms and Guidance


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 sought through a self-application process.

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 employment or contractual status and personal circumstances.  The Panel will take into account 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 particular 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. COVID-19

This year an additional question has been added to the online application form to allow applicants to outline the specific effect of the pandemic on their work. Clearly most staff will have been affected in some way by the pandemic and it is our expectation that staff will outline briefly, but as specifically as possible, how the pandemic has affected their work since March this year. Examples could be the effect of homeworking balanced with additional caring responsibilities, or the effect on research if lab space was not accessible. In contrast, others may have found that opportunities for collaboration have increased. There will be other examples. Candidates should outline the specific result on their output, which promotion committees will consider in their deliberations.

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 (by completing a Professorial Zone Movement Application) 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 trac  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/Director of Research Institute prior to submission. Heads of Schools/Directors of Research Institutes 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

Academic Clinician

Clinical practice + preponderance across 7 criteria

Learning, Teaching & Scholarship

Preponderance across 5 criteria

The Head of School / Director of Research Institute is required to complete a statement providing an evaluation of  the professorial profile against the identified  career track zone criteria detailing the extent to which the submission satisfies the criteria for the zone.  In addition, the Head of School / Director of Research Institute is expected to comment upon and confirm the factual accuracy of the submission.

7. Zone Movement Panel

A Zone Movement Panel meeting will be chaired by either the Principal or the Vice Principal, Academic Planning & Technological Innovation, and will comprise the Senior Vice Principal, the Vice Principals for Learning & Teaching and Research, the Clerk of Senate, the Executive Director of People & OD and the Director of Performance & Reward, 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 or Director of Research Institute for those cases under consideration. A further two members of senior professorial staff (either another Head of School/Director of Research Institute, a Dean or someone nominated by the Vice-Principal/Head of College) may also attend for College specific cases along with the College Head of HR.  

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

8. Notification of Outcomes

Following consideration by the Board of Review, 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 unsuccessful applicants by the Head of School / Director of Research Institute with appropriate information from the College 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 level of any professor 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

11 January 2021

Deadline for Applications to be completed online

31 March 2021

Applications available to Panel Members

30 April 2021

PPR Collation of Outcomes

  31 May 2021


Zone Movement Panel

30 June 2021

Notified of final outcomes

By 16 July 2021

Effective date of promotion/Zone Movement

1 August 2021

12. Confidentiality

In accordance with the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998, it is University policy in the interests of confidentiality, to retain the relevant information provided to the relevant College Panel.  However, it should be noted that applicants are entitled to submit a Subject Access Request and may be able to challenge this policy and force disclosure of all of the information provided as part of this process in relation to their individual application.

13. Records Management

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