I've just come across some academic positions in Ireland described as Lecturer above (/below) the bar. What should this be understood as equivalent to in other naming schemes?

(A basic search didn't produce a reliable answer.)

  • Do you have a link you are willing to share? Apr 26, 2017 at 16:13
  • 1
    A payscale difference roughly equivalent to Lecturer / Senior Lecturer in the UK. Apr 26, 2017 at 16:52
  • 5
    Most of all, I'd check if below the bar gives access to the cellar :-) Apr 26, 2017 at 18:42

1 Answer 1


The academic grades in Ireland vary somewhat from one university to another. Something like the following is fairly typical:

Professor (aka Full Professor)

Associate Professor

Senior Lecturer or Statutory Lecturer

Lecturer (above the bar)

Lecturer (below the bar)

The last two, which you ask about, may also go by somewhat different names such as as 'college lecturer' and 'lecturer' with no parenthetic qualification.

Most new academic staff are appointed as lecturers (below the bar). After a certain number of years' service, a lecturer below the bar is eligible to apply to progress 'above the bar'. An application form may have to be completed and these days perhaps even another interview may be required, but it is a largely straightforward process to progress in this way. (The next stage, becoming a senior lecturer or statutory lecturer, is far from straightforward and is generally competitive, so you may very well have mathematicians, Latin scholars, botanists and chemical engineers competing for a handful of posts.)

Note that the question of permanency (tenure) is a separate issue: an applicant may well be appointed as a Lecturer (below the bar) in a permanent capacity.

In summary:

Lecturer (below the bar) and lecturer (above the bar) are generally the two most junior academic positions in an Irish university.

While this doesn't answer your question regarding other naming schemes, I hope this clarifies where these grades lie.

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