I'm currently a postdoc at School A at a certain university in Australia. On another campus of the same university, there's a vacant assistant professor position at Shcool B. I was intending to apply for this position, but the HR is telling me that I cannot and that my application should go through the academic promotion procedures.

Is this fair under the equal opportunity principles? I checked the policies available online in this regard but didn't find any explicit interpretation of cases like mine. Why should be disadvantaged just because I'm already employed by the university?

Edit: The academic promotion round takes place once a year in March. So I'll be missing out on this opportunity if I wait till next year.

  • 1
    What makes you say you are disadvantaged? It's not obvious to me that internal promotion is harder than getting recruited on the open market.
    – Allure
    Commented Jul 17, 2018 at 1:39
  • 3
    Have you contacted the department (the chair or perhaps the head of the search committee if this person has been identified) at school B to ask about this? It's possible that they might disagree with HR about this. Commented Jul 17, 2018 at 3:25

1 Answer 1


In many universities in Germany you are not allowed to get a professorship at the same university as the one you are currently in. So from that perspective, the fact that there are promotion rounds at all seems luxurious... (If all involved really want it, then there are ways around it, but the hurdle is very large; a single person at any stage in the process can block it.)

As I understand it, such policies are there to avoid a situation where a department mainly hires "its own" people. After a couple of generations, such a department becomes completely sealed off from the outside world. I think it is plausible that such a process could occur (without bad intent of any of the participants), and apparently there are historical examples of that actually happening. Having rules in place to avoid that is a good thing. You could argue that that should not apply to moves across departments, but apparently they did not think of that when writing those rules or they thought that that would invite to many loopholes. Anyhow you can't change the rules once the hiring process is set in motion. So you just had bad luck.

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