I am invited to an interview for a Lecturer (Teaching) position in a (very prestigious both research-and-teaching-based) UK institute. The duty and the responsibilities noted in the job ad clearly target teaching without saying anything about research, say,

Duties and Responsibilities

The Department of ... has an exciting opportunity to recruit a Lecturer (Teaching) in ... positions to help support the teaching & assessment and supervision of projects across both Undergraduate and Post Graduate Taught courses with a strong emphasis on developing and delivering innovative teaching strategies and enhancing the student experience.

Teaching duties include organising and running taught modules, lecturing, setting up and running laboratory/practical classes, holding personal tutorials with tutees, the setting and marking of exams and coursework, as well as supervision and marking of project work.

Key Requirements

The post-holder should have a Degree in Computer Science or related field, along with a range of teaching experience. They should be able to demonstrate a good knowledge and understanding across a range of core computer science subjects as well as demonstrate an interest and understanding in scientific research.

As a general question, could such a Lecturer (Teaching) be potentially able to get through the same path similarly to a Lecturer to eventually become a tenured personnel who both teach and does research (promoting from lecturer, to senior Lecturer, to reader, and finally to professor)? Or a Lecturer (Teaching) is supposed to always be only involved in teaching stuffs?

You may say that I better ask this question from the panel in the course of interview. However, I am afraid if my question's answer is an obvious NO, they may already tag me as a not-the-best-fit candidate. So, I am essentially seek some advice on the potential career path of a Lecturer (Teaching) in that whether such a path can, at some point, intersect with research.

  • 3
    Regarding your last paragraph: Instead of raising the question during the interview, you could also wait until they offer you the job and then bring it up during negotiations. Feb 23, 2022 at 9:18
  • A quick Google showed that the Uni in question has in its Computing Department at least two or three posts Lecturer (teaching) and also many Teaching Fellows and a few Senior Teaching Fellows. Can you find out anything about their career trajectories? Feb 24, 2022 at 8:04

2 Answers 2


The university you are applying for should have promotion guidelines available on their website, where you can check the relevant criteria for being promoted to the various ranks. Keep in mind that tenure is not an applicable concept in the UK system. A lecturership would typically be subject to probation, which seems shorter and milder than the tenure-track requirements at US universities. After passing probation, your position is permanent, but not nearly as protected as equivalent positions in eg the US or Germany.

At my university, both Lecturer (Research) and Lecturer (Teaching) can get promoted, and criteria for both involve both teaching and research. However, the demands in the focus track are much higher than in the non-focus track (and everyone needs to do some admin). Being promoted does not change you out of the track though - a Lecturer (Teaching) becomes a Senior Lecturer (Teaching), etc.

Changing track is possible, but only if it matches the needs of the department you are hosted in. And of course, for going from Teaching to Research you are subject to the classic Catch-22 that on a teaching position, your teaching load will be so high that demonstrated your research excellence for getting a research position might not really be feasible.



Is there a standard career path for a Lecturer (Teaching) (in the UK) to transition to a Teaching+Research role.

Short answer: No

Long answer: In UK academia, 'lateral movement' is a very common approach to shape one's career. Academics focus not only on securing more senior positions, but frequently apply for (subjectively or objectively) better positions. "Better" in this context could mean a higher-ranked University, less teaching, better lab infrastructure, better alignment of research interests to a team.

While there is no standard path, I would consider applying for Lecturer (Teaching) position a legitimate option if your ultimate goal is securing a permanent academic (research + teaching) position.

Pros: You will have your "foot in the door" and the opportunity to see the system "from the inside". As teaching is still required in most research positions, you will also get relevant experience in this area. Not sure if the position you are considering is a fixed-term or a permanent contract (some teaching positions are fixed-term I think), but if it is permanent it provides job security and removes the time pressure to "find your next post".

Cons: As Arno points out, the teaching load can be very high (even for research+teaching posts, let alone teaching only). This will be especially so in your first year, as you will need to create lecture materials or adapt old ones to your delivery style. It will be difficult to find time for research, and a stale research profile wouldn't be the best thing when applying for research positions.

I'd also like to echo what Arno mentions about "tenure-track" in the UK - it does not exist. Lecturer (research) positions are permanent, and often include an "automatic" promotion to Senior Lecturer. However, further promotions (Reader, Full Prof) do not (only) depend on an academic meeting some criteria, but also on the availability of such positions within your institution.

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    " further promotions (Reader, Full Prof) do not (only) depend on an academic meeting some criteria, but also on the availability of such positions within your institution." This completely depends on the institution. We have definted criteria for Full Prof as well as for SL, and anyone who can demonstrate they meet them should (in thoery) be promoted. Feb 23, 2022 at 17:23
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