Academic job families

Academic job families

The Macquarie University Academic Staff Enterprise Agreement 2018 (the Enterprise Agreement) established a new framework for classifying continuing academic roles into one of three academic job families.

Teaching and Research AcademicA balanced academic role which will combine elements of research, teaching, leadership and service but the relative emphasis on these components and the nature of the contribution may vary.
Teaching and Leadership AcademicA specialist teaching and leadership role for staff who demonstrate excellence in teaching and leadership. This role is focussed on enhancing the organisation and delivery of teaching and improving the student experience. The emphasis of this role is on pedagogic innovation, governance and leadership across the University and strong leadership of academic programmes and activities.
Technical/ Industry/ Commercial AcademicA specialist academic role designed to be a bridge between industry/commercial enterprise and academia, and/or to accommodate hybrid technical/academic roles that are grounded in research or teaching. The academic component of this role may be teaching or research, coupled with activities that are not traditional academic work.

Background and context

The development of the new academic job families has been in response to a number of core objectives for the University including:

  • to better reflect the increasing diversity of work carried out by the academic workforce;
  • to ensure that all academic work is appropriately recognised, developed, valued, and rewarded; and
  • to strengthen the alignment between the composition and character of the academic workforce and the balance of different types of work needed across the University.

As the role of Universities evolves beyond the traditional boundaries of education and research, our staff are increasing called on to engage externally, to play leadership roles in civil society and in the business world, to split their time between academia and other activities, to commercialise their research, and to develop and participate in non-traditional forms of education. In one sense, extending the conception of academic work is a response to increasing diversity of imperatives that are embodied in the University’s Mission.

A key principle underpinning this framework is that of equity between each job family. In this context, the new job families will apply across all academic levels (Level A through to Level E).

Additionally, the academic job families framework will align more clearly with the University’s promotions policy and process. Staff in the new job families are eligible for promotion through to Professor Level E and will have access to career and professional development opportunities (such as OSP) on the same basis as Teaching and Research academics.

Transfer process

The majority of academic staff will be classified in the balanced ‘Teaching and Research’ academic job family.

There will be two opportunities for existing staff to transfer to one of the new specialist academic job families. These internal transfers will occur, at the Faculty level, through an expression of interest and panel interview process, held as two rounds in early 2019 and late 2019. Existing staff who are successful in transferring in these rounds will be provided with two opportunities to trial the new job family and to revert to a Teaching and Research Academic if they wish.

The University may also advertise and appoint new staff in the specialist job families at any time as the need arises (provided that the overall limits are maintained) in accordance with ordinary recruitment processes.

In exceptional circumstances, the University may agree to a request from a Staff Member to transfer into a job family outside the standard process. Approval must be given from the DVC (Academic), DVC (Research) and the Director, Human Resources. If you wish to make an application under these circumstances, please speak to your HR Manager in the first instance.

Key steps

The image below sets out the key steps to the transfer process.

Frequently asked questions

Faculty-based call for Expressions of Interest

How will my Faculty determine if there is a need to call for expressions of interest from existing staff to transfer to new job families? 

The new job families framework has been developed to meet various needs and interests, including the need to balance the different types of academic work that may be required in each Faculty and provide opportunities to peruse a more specialised Academic career. Expressions of interest will be invited from Faculties that have determined a need for the specialist job families.

Once Expressions of Interest have been received, your Faculty will first assess whether there is demand for that particular job family in your discipline/department to take into consideration the variation in the need for different types of work to be performed across departments and disciplines. If it is deemed that there is a need, the panel will then assess your skills and capabilities against the criteria for that job family.

My Faculty has not called for expressions of interest in the new specialist job families (either Teaching and Leadership or Technical/Industry/Commercial). Shouldn’t this new framework be implemented equally among the Faculties?

Not necessarily. A Faculty is not obliged to call for expressions of interest in this internal transfer process.  However, the Scheme has been designed to meet the mutual interest of staff and the University and aligning these interests wherever possible. If you are interested in one of the new Job Families and your Faculty has not called for an expression of interest, speak with your Head of Department or HR Manager to discuss your interest and career aspirations.

I am not interested in any of the specialist academic job families. Will I need to express an interest in the Teaching and Research job family to be classified as such?

No, all existing continuing academic staff will be classified as Teaching and Research Academics by default.

Has a ‘Research Only’ stream been established as part of the job family framework?

There is no specialised ‘research only’ or ‘research and leadership’ job family. It is recognised that some Teaching and Research academics may have a research only workload for periods of their academic career – that is, their workload is adjusted so that they do not have any teaching allocation. This is almost always due to external research grant funding and is for a fixed term. The University does not contemplate making appointments to research only positions on a continuing basis.  Accordingly, research only/focussed positions will be considered as adjustment of workload within the Teaching and Research category.


Am I eligible to express an interest?

All continuing academic staff (except staff who are appointed as Scholarly Teaching Fellows) employed in a Faculty who has called for expressions of interest to transfer to a new job family are eligible to apply.

Will the new specialist job families be open at all academic levels?

Academic staff at all levels are able to express an interest in a new specialist job family. However, your Faculty will first assess whether there is demand for that particular job family in your discipline/department to take into consideration the variation in the need for different types of work to be performed across departments and disciplines.

I am a fixed – term or casual academic staff member – can I apply in this round?

No, the new job families framework applies in the context of the University’s continuing academic workforce.  If an existing fixed term or casual staff member sees a new role advertised externally, they are eligible to participate in the recruitment process in the ordinary manner.

The University has committed establishing a number of Teaching and Leadership positions which will be open to casual and fixed term staff members. These roles will be advertised later in the year with an expected commencement in session 2, 2019 so keep an eye for these opportunities.

Are expressions of interest voluntary?

Yes. The expressions of interest should be staff-led and completely voluntary.

I am currently considering an application to transfer to a new job family. Who can I speak to for guidance?

Staff may seek guidance from their Head of Department, Faculty Associate Deans or their Faculty Executive Dean. In addition, staff can organise a time to speak with their Faculty HR Manager.

Scholarly Teaching Fellows (STFs)

I am a Scholarly Teaching Fellow. What is the process to transfer to a TL role for me?

There is a separate process for current Scholarly Teaching Fellows wishing to transfer to a new Teaching and Leadership role. The University is currently in the process of organising a dedicated information session for these staff members to better understand their options.

Expression of Interest (EOI) application process

How do I express an interest? 

Once the expression of interest process commences, you will be provided with the link to submit your application. As part of the application you will be asked to submit a short document (no more than 2 pages) outlining your interest and capability in the new specialist job family. You will also be able to upload supporting documentation should you wish to.

If you are having trouble accessing the link, please contact your Faculty HR Manager for support.

Do I need to speak with my supervisor before submitting an EOI?

It is not essential but it is recommended that staff have a conversation with their Supervisor. You can also seek guidance from your HR Manager if you have any concerns or queries about the process.

How will my application be assessed?

Applications will be assessed on merit. Existing Staff will be required to demonstrate excellence in the specialist components of the job family to which they are seeking to transfer and applications will be assessed by a Panel.

If my Round 1 EOI is unsuccessful am I eligible to apply in the second round in 2019?

Yes. Staff are encouraged to consider the feedback from their Round 1 EOI and if they wish to submit an application in Round 2 they will be eligible to do so, provided that their Faculty participates in the second round.

Panel evaluation process

Who will sit on the selection panel?

Panels for all levels must have at least three members, including your Faculty Executive Dean (or their nominee) as Chairperson and at least one member who is recognised for their expertise in the relevant specialist job family (for example, the relevant Associate Dean). A representative from Human Resources will be in attendance at all meetings but will not have voting rights.

What format will the interview take?

The panel interview will focus on suitability to the specialist job family and provide an opportunity for you to further demonstrate your interest and capability against the specialist job family.

Trial periods

If my EOI is successful can I trial the new job family?

Yes. A staff member who is successful in transferring to a new job family will have the option of trialling the new role for a period of 1 – 2 years. Staff who transfer may opt out at designated times and revert to the Teaching and Research job family.

What are the trial period timeframes associated with the transfer?

EOI opportunitiesIf successful, effective fromOption to revert
Round 1Session 1, 2019

Quarter 4, 2019 (1 year trial)

Quarter 4, 2020 (2 year trial)
Round 2Session 1, 2020

Quarter 4, 2020 (1 year trial)

Quarter 4, 2021 (2 year trial)

What will I revert to if I do not wish to continue with the new job family?

A Teaching and Research Academic.

After these trial timeframes, will I have the option to revert to a Teaching and Research Academic at a later date?

No, once these timeframes have passed, staff members transferred to a new job family will remain in that job family and will not be able to transfer back. Beyond these timeframes, a staff member wishing to move to a different job family may do so by applying for any new roles advertised and participating in a recruitment process.

Components of work

If I am successful in transferring to a Teaching and Leadership Academic role what will my workload allocation be?

The Enterprise Agreement refers to the following default workload allocations:

Teaching and leadershipTechnical, industry, commercial
  • 70% teaching and related duties;
  • 30% leadership (which refers to either or both teaching leadership and traditional citizenship and leadership duties)
  • No default allocation but must have at least 40% dedicated to either teaching or research duties.

What does the Teaching Leadership component of the role involve?

An indicative list of Teaching Leadership activities is set out in the Enterprise Agreement. A link to the relevant section of the Enterprise Agreement is provided here.

Can my workload be varied outside of the 70/30 split?

Yes, but only by agreement. You may agree to decrease your teaching allocation below 70% or to increase it up to 80%. These variations however may only be made by agreement between a staff member and their supervisor as part of workload allocation processes.

Am I required to undertake research in the Teaching and Leadership position?

No , there is no research allocation nor any performance expectation to be ‘research active’ in this job family. However, these academics are not pure ‘teachers’. There is an expectation for teaching practice to be grounded in scholarship, as per the University’s promotions model.

If I am successful in transferring to a Technical, Industry, Commerical Academic role what will my workload allocation be?

There is no default workload allocation for these roles in recognition of the need for flexibility in undertaking non-traditional forms of work. There is a requirement however for traditional academic work to form part of the workload and this may involve either teaching or research for at least 40% of the appointment.

How will my existing workload responsibilities be transitioned? 

Your Head of Department will work with you on a plan to transition your work to the new specialist job family.

Other features

If my EOI is successful will I transfer across at the same academic level? 

Yes. Your academic level (A-E) and position fraction will remain unchanged and your position title (for example, Senior Lecturer or Associate Professor) will remain unchanged. Transfer to a new job family will not affect the timing of salary increments.

If my EOI is successful will any other features of my existing appointment change? 

No. The transfer to a new job family will be at their existing academic level, step and position fraction. Transition from one job family to another will not affect the timing of increments. The transfer will take effect from the following year as set out in subclause 17.18 below.

If I am successful, will I be eligible for promotion and OSP? 

Yes. The University is committed to supporting the professional and career development of all staff, including by providing diverse and meaningful career pathways for all academic staff. All continuing staff, irrespective of their job family, will have access to the University’s academic promotion system, PDR processes, Outside Studies Program and other training and development opportunities. The University is currently reviewing its existing OSP policy to ensure it adequate covers OSP opportunities for academic staff in specialist job families.

Further information

If you wish to clarify or discuss any aspect of this information provided, or the EOI process in your Faculty, please contact your Faculty HR Manager.

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