Associate Professors are roughly equivalent to senior lecturers. The term is used in U.S. universities and in a few U.K. institutions. They teach students at further or higher education institutions. Teaching usually takes place during the day between 9am and 6pm although some associate professors are also required to teach in the evenings. Associate professors divide their time between classroom hours and preparing for teaching or meeting students privately.
The job may also involve some research activities if based in a higher education institution, including presenting research findings at conferences worldwide. Associate professors are also required to seek external funding for their research activities to enhance the prestige of their institution. Associate professors will be expected to take part in the strategic planning and decision making for their department. In some cases they will do less first year undergraduate teaching and focus more on teaching senior undergraduates and postgraduates.
- Delivering large group lectures to between 20 and 200 students
- Delivering small group teaching to between 1 and 20 students
- Pastoral care of students
- One to one advice on particular pieces of work
- Course design
- Lecture/seminar planning
- Marking assessed work
- Keeping student records of achievement
- Attending planning meetings to ensure cross departmental parity
- Undertaking research projects
- Presenting research at conferences
- Administration tasks (e.g. admissions tutor) within the department
Salary and Conditions
Starting salary usually c. £35,000-£43,000 in the UK.
Most associate professorships are permanent positions. Most are full time, although part time posts and job shares are occasionally available.
Permanent staff can opt into a final salary pension scheme (Teachers Pension Scheme). Sick pay allowance varies from institution to institution but is often more generous than the private sector. Maternity and paternity leave also vary from institution to institution. Staff can join the University and College Union.
Most associate professors will have a PhD. They will have a very good bachelor’s degree: a first or upper second class. Some associate professors have a separate masters degree, especially in the humanities fields. Very rarely an associate professor with personal vocational experience will be taken on without a PhD.
Associate professors are expected to do take part in Continuing Professional Development activities throughout their career, run by their own university. This is done part time while working.
There are steady annual salary increments in most jobs. After c. 5-7 years an associate professor is usually eligible for promotion although this can be sought earlier in special cases. The next scale is principal lecturer (not in all institutions), reader and full professor.
To increase promotion chances associate professors are advised to produce internationally renowned research, publishing their work in reputable journals and books and attending conferences, and be innovative in their teaching practice.
HE associate professors are mostly employed in publicly funded universities or HE colleges. There are many different sorts of these in the UK. Oxford and Cambridge are the most prestigious, followed by research-based institutions such as the Russell Group. The post-1992 group of universities, which used to be Polytechnics, are also large employers of lecturers. There is one private university in the UK, based in Buckingham. Every large town or city in the UK now has its own university.
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