The title of reader in the United Kingdom and some universities in the Commonwealth of Nations, for example India, Australia and New Zealand, denotes an appointment for a senior academic with a distinguished international reputation in research or scholarship.
In the traditional hierarchy of British and other Commonwealth universities, reader (and principal lecturer in the new universities)are academic ranks above senior lecturer and below professor, recognising a distinguished record of original research. Reader is similar to a professor without a chair, similar to the distinction between professor extraordinarius and professor ordinarius at some European universities, professor and chaired professor in Hong Kong and "professor name" (or associate professor) and chaired professor in Ireland. Readers and professors in the UK would correspond to full professors in the United States.
The promotion criteria applied to a readership in the United Kingdom are similar to those applied to a professorship: advancing from senior lecturer to reader generally requires evidence of a distinguished record of original research.
Several UK universities have dispensed with the reader grade, such as Oxford University,and the University of Leeds in 2012; those currently holding readerships retain the title, but no new readers will be appointed. In the few UK universities, including the University of Cambridge, that have adopted North American academic titles (i.e. lecturer is equivalent to assistant professor; senior lecturer equivalent to associate professor; professor equivalent to professor), readerships have become assimilated to professorships.
In Denmark and Norway, docent was traditionally a title ranking between associate professor and professor, and was virtually identical to a readership in the United Kingdom, although today, the title is used somewhat differently. The traditional Danish/Norwegian docent title is widely translated as reader. Historically, there would often only be one professor (chair) for each institute or discipline, and other academics at the top academic level would be appointed as docents. In Norway all docents became full professors when the docent rank was abolished in 1985.
In Sweden, and countries influenced by Sweden, docent is the highest academic title below that of (full) Professor, but it is usually not an academic position in itself, but is more like a degree; in this sense it is somewhat comparable to the Habilitation found in certain countries in Continental Europe. The Swedish docent title is translated as either readeror associate professor in the sense of a title above senior lecturer (i.e. associate professor as an alternative title of reader, as found in certain Commonwealth countries and Ireland).
At some universities in Commonwealth countries, such as India, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Malaysia, and in Ireland, the title associate professor is used in place of reader, and similarly ranks above senior lecturer and below professor. This associate professor title should not be confused with the associate professor title used in the North American system; like the reader title it ranks higher than an associate professor in the North American system, as the North American associate professor corresponds to the senior lecturer rank in Commonwealth universities. About half as many people hold the full professor title in Commonwealth universities as compared to U.S. universities; hence the reader or associate professor rank in the Commonwealth system broadly corresponds to the lower half of the U.S. full professor rank.
The table presents a broad overview of the traditional main systems, but there are universities which use a combination of those systems or other titles. Note that some universities in Commonwealth countries have adopted the American system in place of the Commonwealth system.
|Commonwealth system||American system|
|Professor (chair)||(Full) Professor|
or associate professor
(Australia, NZ, India, Southeast
Asia, South Africa, Ireland)
|Senior lecturer||Associate professor|
This rank was the highest academic rank reached by Alan Turing, Chaim Weizmann,Mary Cartwright and Anita Brookner.
Lecturer is an academic rank within many universities, though the meaning of the term varies somewhat from country to country. It generally denotes an academic expert who is hired to teach on a full- or part-time basis. They may also conduct research.
Assistant professor is an academic rank just below the rank of an associate professor used in universities or colleges, mainly in the United States and Canada.
Senior lecturer is an academic rank. In the United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, Switzerland, and Israel senior lecturer is a faculty position at a university or similar institution. The position is tenured and is roughly equivalent to an associate professor in the North American system.
Docent is a title at some European universities to denote a specific academic appointment within a set structure of academic ranks at or below the full professor rank, similar to a British readership, a French "maître de conférences" (MCF) and equal or above the title of "associate professor".
Honorary titles in academia may be conferred on persons in recognition of contributions by a non-employee or by an employee beyond regular duties. This practice primarily exists in the UK and Germany, as well as in many of the universities and colleges of the United States, Australia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, New Zealand, Japan, Denmark, and Canada.
A research fellow is an academic research position at a university or a similar research institution, usually for academic staff or faculty members. A research fellow may act either as an independent investigator or under the supervision of a principal investigator.
Professor is an academic rank at universities and other post-secondary education and research institutions in most countries. Literally, professor derives from Latin as a "person who professes". Professors are usually experts in their field and teachers of the highest rank.
Academic ranks in the United States are the titles, relative importance and power of professors, researchers, and administrative personnel held in academia.
This article describes the academic positions and ranks in Sweden.
This article is about academic ranks in higher education in Australia and New Zealand. Both systems have derived from a common heritage in the British university system.
The following are academic ranks in the Finnish higher education system. There are a specific number of posts, which can be applied to when they are vacated or established.
Academic ranks in the United Kingdom are the titles, relative seniority and responsibility of employees in universities. In general the country has three academic career pathways: one focused on research, one on teaching, and one that combines the two.
Academic ranks in Norway are the system of merit-based ranks used by academic employees in academia. Similar to the British rank system, the Norwegian rank system is broadly divided into three pathways, a combined research and teaching career pathway, a research career pathway and a teaching career pathway.
Academic ranks in Russia are the conferred titles, indicating relative importance and power of professors, researchers, and administrative personnel in Russian academia and scientific institutions. The rank “certifies” the demonstrated ability of an individual to function in the specific academic position(s).
Academic ranks in Israel are the titles, relative importance and power of professors, researchers, and administrative personnel held in academia.
Academic ranks in Denmark are the positions and titles of professors, researchers, and administrative personnel held in academia at Danish institutions, and the relations between them.
Academic ranks in Malaysia are the titles, relative importance and power of professors, researchers, and administrative personnel held in academia. Generally, Malaysia uses Commonwealth academic ranks. However, there are universities using their own academic titles.
An adjunct professor is a type of academic appointment in higher education who does not work at the establishment full-time. The terms of this appointment and the job security of the tenure vary in different parts of the world, however the general definition is agreed upon.