Currently considering resigning from an associate prof position in the US to take up a lecturer one at Sydney Uni but am worried that promotion might be very hard to get without ARC funding. No one in my field (humanities) at USYD has ever received an ARC grant, for various reasons. The Australian academic system seems to heavily rely on those grants. Has anyone had experience with this situation or can give more insight?

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    Lecturers get grants in Australia? Commented Oct 26, 2022 at 18:36
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    A lecturer in the Australian system is equivalent to a tenured assistant professor in the US system. Commented Oct 26, 2022 at 18:51
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    I've voted to close as this is too specific for a reliable answer here. There aren't enough of us here with the needed expertise to answer it with something you could base a career change on. But, I'd expect promotion to be difficult in any case. High standards and all that. Takes work, like everywhere.
    – Buffy
    Commented Oct 26, 2022 at 19:32
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    Though actually, "Lecturer" is usually Level B so maybe you're talking about promotion to Level C. In that case I interpret the rules as saying you only need to have applied for grants, and those applications don't need to have been successful.
    – avid
    Commented Oct 26, 2022 at 20:10
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    @Buffy I don't agree this is too specific. Anyone familiar with Australian universities would know that promotion would be hard to get without funding. Commented Oct 26, 2022 at 21:47

1 Answer 1


Promotion to associate professor at any Australian university without receiving a major grant from a well-known government funding agency is quite unlikely. ARC provides much less money to humanities than other fields. As far as I know, the other funding agencies do not fund humanities at all.

Colleagues told me humanities academics rarely get promotions. In all fields, a substantial portion of career advancement is obtained by changing universities.

You can search grants for yourself. https://dataportal.arc.gov.au/NCGP/Web/Grant/Grants

Unlike the USA, never receiving a promotion to full professor is considered normal in Australian universities.

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    Also, the progression is lecturer -> senior lecturer -> associate professor, except when it's not. Commented Oct 26, 2022 at 21:49
  • The last sentence is very true. I know 2 professors. One of them went from PhD graduate to full-professor within 10 years. He also received DECRA and FF. While it took the other professor who got no major grant almost 15 years to get promoted to A/Prof.
    – Neuchâtel
    Commented Oct 26, 2022 at 21:51
  • Thank you! This is really helpful! Commented Oct 27, 2022 at 0:12

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