I am looking to one job opening for a Lecturer position in a university (mostly dedicated to teaching but expanding its research capabilities), which asks me to submit a "proposal of academic plan". The application is actually in Spanish, and the above is a literal translation of "propuesta de plan academico". The job opening has no further information on what the latter means, as if it were self explanatory. I could well contact them, but first I want to see if this is something very obvious to you.

What do I think it would be? Not sure. A bit of research agenda perhaps, combined with prospect teaching courses, and perhaps personal development as academic, e.g. training, network building, etc.

Any ideas?

  • As is common in questions like this, it's always a good idea to start with just asking the university to clarify. While speculation can be interesting we really have no idea what they're asking for. – eykanal Mar 1 '19 at 13:00

I was hoping somebody with more experience would answer this, since I am also currently in the process of applying for my first Lecturer position. You say you are applying for a positions in Spain, so take care that my experience (and the guidance I received) was targeted at applications in UK universities.

I would assume your academic plan is what UK universities refer to as (X-year) research plan (typically, they would ask for a 3-year or a 5-year research plan with the application). They broadly want to know:

  • that you are able to plan ahead for 3-5 years and plan your own work (now that you are moving away from a "supervised" postdoc position to a Lecturer position)
  • broad ideas or topics you plan to tackle in those 3-5 years. No specific details, just 2 or 3 broad research ideas, where you show that you plan to tackle relevant and interesting problems (well, that's what you have to convince the interview panel of)
  • how you plan to fund your research activities, get students and other resources. At least for UK applications, each of the 2-3 research topics presented should be bundled up with a plan to get it funded. Again, while you don't oblige yourself to apply to specific grants they want to see that you are familiar with the system of obtaining funding and know how you are going finance your support research staff.
  • all of the above specifically in the context of the position, team, department you are applying for (so, it should be re-done for every application you are doing, highlighting the points pertinent to the specific research group you are applying for).

Edit: (I understand that Spanish is spoken outside of Spain as well, so this might not apply fully, but, according to my Spanish colleague):

  • he said he would interpret "propuesta de plan academico" as not only a research plan, but rather a document that would also explain how your research activities will benefit your teaching performance and student engagement, and vice versa (i.e. how your research can benefit from your teaching activities).
  • Actually, I have a couple of Spanish lads in my team applying for positions in Spain. I'll ask them to confirm if it's the same thing. – penelope Feb 12 '19 at 14:41
  • Thanks. I never mentioned Spain. There is a whole continent with Spanish speaking countries! :) – luchonacho Feb 12 '19 at 14:47
  • Oh, right, sorry, I overgeneralised from "the application is actually in Spanish". If I get the info for Spain, I'll still edit it in, but I don't think I know anybody applying in any other Spanish speaking countries, so can't be of any help there. – penelope Feb 12 '19 at 15:35

I suspect that even if the TERM is not defined, that knowing the JOB will help you make a proper submission. Is it a postdoc or lecutureship or tenure track? Even if the job description is scanty (but why would you invest time in a detailed submission for a job that you don't know what it is), you can make some guesses based on the school, group, etc. Is the school a teaching or research university?

So, I really don't understand coming at this thing with a "can you explain this term to me" versus giving more context, clues. This is both you might answer the question yourself or how we might help you.

Also, I would reach out say you are interested and ask for guidance.

  • Added more details. – luchonacho Feb 11 '19 at 19:37

From what it seems like, the phrase itself is fairly open-ended and vague. I would write up a document talking about what you:

  • Are wanting students to take away from the course.
  • What kinds of times and office hours you might want to schedule.
  • How you plan on getting the students involved.
  • How you plan on structuring the course (work, office hours, etc.)

I also agree with what guest said. Definitely reach out to the university anyway.


I understand that you should explain what are your plans in academic terms: if you have the intention of taking a Master or teaching or whatever.

My academic plan is: finish writing my article and using it to help me to get my Master degree.

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