How to contact us

Documentation and queries should be directed to:

Human Resources
Sardinia House (2nd floor)
London School of Economics
Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE


Phone: +44 (0)20 7955 6217
Fax: +44 (0)20 7242 3967

Academic Career Development Scheme

Dates and Deadlines for 2013-2014

Dates and Deadlines 2013-2014



Departments/Centres to update and return the spreadsheet provided by Human Resources| with: 

1) Details of Scheduled Meeting Dates for all Academic and Research Staff that are due a Meeting this session  

2) The full name of the nominated Reviewer

Friday 23 May

Departments/Centres to inform the Teaching and Learning Centre of names of Reviewers to be offered 1-2-1 assistance from TLC prior to Meetings should they require it (via email to Liz Barnett|)

Friday 23 May

Departments/Centres to send all Reports due this session to Human Resources|, and (where applicable) TLC|.

Friday 15 August

The Vice-Chair of the Appointments Committee (VCAC) to report the Departmental/Centre Meeting schedule for this session to the Appointments Committee|

Wednesday 18 June

Human Resources to send all Reports received from Departments/Centres by Friday 15 August 2014 to the VCAC for review

Friday 22 August

VCAC to report any relevant trends in the Reports to Department Heads Forum|

MT 2014-2015

(Research Staff only) VCAC to report any relevant trends in the Reports of Research Staff to Research Staff Committee|

MT 2014-2015

(Academic Staff only) VCAC to report any relevant trends in the Reports of pre-Major Review staff to Promotions Committee|

MT 2014-2015

Academic Career Development Review Scheme 2014-2015

Guidance Notes

The School expects that all academic staff, and particularly those in the early stages of their career, should receive constructive advice on career development from senior colleagues. The School has in place two approaches to structuring career development conversations between academics:

An Academic Career Development Review (ACDR) Scheme for pre-Major Review staff (annually) and post-Major Review staff who are not yet full Professors (biennially). The ACDR should also be used for those post-Major Review staff whose performance falls below expectations and who would benefit from career advice.

A Mentoring Scheme for post-Doctoral LSE Fellows and pre-Major Review academic staff as well as, on their request, for post-Major Review staff. For details see here|.

The Mentoring Scheme is distinct from the Academic Career Development Review Scheme. Mentors give informal and frequent advice and provide a listening ear throughout the year, whereas formal Career Development Review meetings take place annually (or bi-annually) and are normally conducted by the Head of Department. They are not meant to replace regular informal meetings between staff and their mentor or staff and Heads of Department during which issues and problems can be raised. Importantly, the mentor cannot be the one holding the Career Development Review meeting.

Purpose of Academic Career Development Review meetings

The principal purpose of Academic Career Development Review meetings is to provide constructive advice to pre-Major Review staff on the structuring of an academic career, and specifically on what they need to do in order to progress toward Major Review. For post-Major Review staff who are not yet full Professors, the purpose of the Academic Career Development Review meeting is to provide constructive advice on the further development of their careers – for example, advice on working toward promotion to Professor. For post-Major Review staff whose performance falls below expectations the purpose of the Scheme is to review the staff member’s performance and to provide constructive advice on how to bring their careers back on track.

Academic staff are expected to be pro-active in managing their own careers. However the School and senior staff also have a responsibility to provide appropriate support. The Academic Career Development Review Scheme has been designed to reflect the School’s commitment to ensuring that staff receive good advice in relation to their career and professional development, noting that the knowledge, skills and experience required to move successfully to the next career stage may not be the same as those required to achieve the current position. The scheme should serve the needs of individual academics. For pre-Major Review staff, it enables Heads of Department to manage the development of staff toward their Major Review, and in that context, flag at an early stage any issues of possible concern to the Promotions Committee. For post-Major Review staff, it enables Heads of Department to provide advice with respect to further career development and promotion to Professor and/or to manage apparent under-performance with respect to research, teaching or administration/service.

The Academic Career Development Review meeting is intended to allow for an open and constructive exchange of views of both strengths and weaknesses, which as well as taking into account future plans, enables a review of past performance, achievements and experience. It also provides a space for broad reflection on further development needs in relation to longer term career planning. This is also a time when plans for research leave and grant applications, but also personal issues such as parental leave and elder care, sickness and disability that may affect career planning can be discussed sensitively. Human Resources can provide support and guidance on such issues.

Who should have an Academic Career Development Review meeting and how frequent are meetings?

Annually for all pre-Major Review academic staff; bi-annually for post-Major Review staff who are not yet full Professors. Normally annually for all post-Major Review staff who perform below the required expectations as set out in the role profiles|for Associate Professor and Professor. Heads of Departments are responsible for assessing when the performance falls below the accepted standards and, therefore, when a meeting is necessary. However, all post-Major Review staff with teaching evaluation scores above 2.5 in the previous year or who have not been submitted to the last Research Excellence Framework on grounds of insufficient quality of publications, or who have been given the lowest grade for two consecutive years in the annual performance evaluation carried out by the Head of Department or the Departmental Evaluation Committee, are automatically required to have an Academic Career Development Review meeting. This will be monitored by Human Resources and the VCAC.

Who should hold the Academic Career Development Review meeting?

The expectation is that Academic Career Development Review meetings are normally conducted by the Head of Department. Particularly in large Departments, the Head of Department can delegate responsibility to his/her nominee. Nominees must be of sufficient seniority and must be sufficiently versed with the School’s review and promotion guidelines as well as School expectations with regards to the performance of its academic staff to hold Academic Career Development Review meetings.

The ACDR Process

The process will involve the following stages:

  1. The preparation by the member of staff of a self-evaluative statement on the ACDR_Form.
  2. A meeting with the Head of Department or his/her delegate.
  3. The co-production of an ACDR report summarising agreed action points, signed off by the individual, the Reviewer and the Head of Department (if not the same person as the Reviewer).
  4. The report will be forwarded to Human Resources for monitoring by the VCAC and the back page to the Teaching and Learning Centre (TLC) to arrange developmental support.

In the following paragraphs, stages 1-4 are elaborated in more detail.

Stage 1

The statement will provide the member of staff with the opportunity to provide a rounded and self-evaluative statement of their activities, achievements and performance over the last review period and plans for the next.

Within the framework of headings for discussion, the scheme is deliberately non-prescriptive about the detail to be covered in the ACDR meetings. Departments are free to tailor the discussion to suit the individual's career stage.

The use of a CV in the standard School template is recommended, as staff will also use this format for Interim and Major Review and if applying for promotion. Use of the standard template is not, however, a prerequisite for completing the ACDR report and meeting.

Stage 2

In framing the discussion, reference should be made as appropriate to the relevant role profiles| for the current grade and prospectively for the next.

For Pre-Major Review staff, the meeting should ensure that staff are aware of departmental and School priorities, that they have appropriate mentoring arrangements, and a workload that allows for their development towards Major Review, as well as a thorough understanding of what is required for successful career progression.

For mid-career staff (post-Major Review Lecturers and Associate Professors), the meeting may need to concentrate more on maintaining a clearly focused research strategy leading to high-quality outputs, on curriculum development and innovation, on improving teaching scores, on extending and developing service to the department and the School, and on building a stronger external profile. The next promotion step is also likely to feature at this stage.

For Professors, the meeting may provide an opportunity, in addition to those issues covered in mid-career, for discussion of the Professor’s current and future contribution to leadership in the department and in the School. Guidance to and mentoring of staff may feature. The balance of workload and planning to enhance some activities relative to others may also be discussed, taking into account the pressures on the department. New initiatives are likely to be a significant topic at this stage, as well as future career planning and leadership opportunities at the School and/or beyond.

Stage 3

The Reviewer will produce a summary of action points arising from the meeting, which will be recorded on the ACDR form. The Reviewer will also fill in the section evaluating the achievements and performance of the staff member with respect to teaching, research, administration and citizenship as well as external, professional and other activities. Where a member of staff being reviewed disagrees with the evaluation, they have the right for their disagreement to be noted in a supplementary document.

Stage 4

The complete record will be forwarded to Human Resources, signed off by the Reviewer and the HoD (if not the same person as the Reviewer), and the member of staff. Where the agreed actions include development and training points, the final page will be forwarded to TLC by the Department, who will then contact staff directly to make appropriate arrangements.

Training needs arising from the ACDR

TLC has produced a checklist of training opportunities provided in the School to act as an aide-mémoire for discussion of training needs arising from the ACDR. Research Division can also provide advice on support for grant applications and details of opportunities for involvement in professional bodies, particularly for senior members of staff seeking to enhance their external profile. It is assumed that members of staff and Heads of Department will be proactive in contacting TLC and Research Division in these matters.

Embedding the new scheme

TLC will include briefing sessions on the Scheme at academic induction, and at the induction for new Heads of Department. TLC and Human Resources will work together to develop short support sessions to be delivered at departmental or group events, and to incorporate skills training for those less confident or experienced in this type of conversation.

Monitoring and relationship to review and promotion

1. The VCAC, in conjunction with Human Resources, will keep the ACDR Scheme under review and report annually on its implementation and effectiveness to the Appointments Committee.

2. The Form will normally be seen only by the member of staff, their Reviewer and the Head of Department (if not the same person as the Reviewer), as well as, for pre-Major Review and mid-career staff and subject to the Head of Department’s discretion, the Professoriate. The Form is also seen by the VCAC for monitoring purposes. The action points, if they include development and training recommendations, will be seen by TLC. With the staff member’s permission, the form can be shared with the mentor of the staff member.

3. Where the VCAC is concerned about a particular academic's progress towards Interim/Major Review or promotion, the ACDR forms or information derived from them may be presented to the Promotions Committee. The Committee may then advise the VCAC to discuss with the Head of Department the steps that should be taken toward progress to Interim/Major Review or promotion. It is assumed that such action would be initiated only in the interests of the staff member in question. This should be seen in the context of the School's commitment to ensure that all academic staff receive good advice in relation to career development.

Provost and Deputy Director and VCAC

June 2014