What are the US equivalent ranks to the Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Reader (or Associate Prof), Professor ranks of the UK system? Is it correct that in the US system they are Assistant Prof, Associate Prof, Full Prof and Chair/Endowed Prof, respectively? I know that in the British system, there are further sub-levels in each of these ranks whereas in the US system there is no further gradation within each rank. So I am looking for only rough equivalence.

Edit: It would be great if a formal/informal reference which compares the two is also pointed out.

  • What is the point of academic rank? In the military, the point of rank is to remind you of where you are on the hierarchy. Wouldn't funding awards do the same thing in academia. – emory Jul 18 '15 at 10:56
  • Academic rank often corresponds with pay scale (sometimes with the possibility of bonusses). Often it also corresponds with a set of tasks that the person is expected/required to perform. It also corresponds with where persons are in the hierarchy, i.e. who has power over whom. As to the latter there are significant country and discipline differences. All of these are differences that are not covered by funding awards. – Maarten Buis Jul 18 '15 at 12:47
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    There's no guarantee of precise equivalence within the US system... – keshlam Jul 18 '15 at 17:25
  • @keshlam, sure. But some informal equivalence? – John Jul 18 '15 at 19:46
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    I'm not sure there's all that much equivalence between one UK institution and another.... ;-) – Flyto Jul 19 '15 at 18:13

From the wiki pages https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Academic_ranks_(United_States) and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Academic_ranks_in_the_United_Kingdom:

  1. Entry level position
    • UK: Lecturer
    • USA: Assistant Professor
  2. Mid-level
    • UK: Senior Lecturer
    • USA: Associate Professor
  3. Upper-level
    • UK: Reader
    • USA: Professor
  4. Highest level
    • UK: Professor
    • USA: Endowed Chair/Named Professor

Note 1. that in the USA, ranks #2 and higher are normally tenured. Tenure is handled different in the British system.

Note 2. The American rank of a named chair (aka named professorship, endowed chair) is distinct from the administrative head of a department, who is also often called the "Chair."

  • "Tenure is handled different in the British system." what is that different process? – user24094 Aug 21 '16 at 1:14
  • "what is that different process", the difference is that there is no tenure in the UK system that is equivalent to the US system. However, in the UK all employees of an organisation (any organisation) have the right not be to dimissed without a good reason and due process once they have been employed for 2 years. – Ian Sudbery Aug 1 '20 at 14:25

Information in Wikipedia is not to be taken for granted. I woould rather suggest the following according to different categorisations in different countries Lecturer is usually someone holding an MA (at least in most of the countries I know) Senior Lecturer usually somewhere between MA and PhD Assistant Professor definitely with PhD Associate Professor with habilitation Full Professor habilitation + many publications

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    My question was specific to the UK (and the British system). @RoboKaren's answer is correct - I have checked with several British academics as well. – John Aug 10 '15 at 2:40

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