HR Excellence in Research Award

Improving the academic experience

The University is continuously looking for ways to improve the academic experience, looking at each element of an academic career, including career paths and promotion, leadership, development and feedback.

Latest news

A Steering Group has been set up to support the work on Exeter Academic with the following remit;

  • To ensure Exeter achieves its ambition of being a place that promotes outstanding  academic careers through steering the direction of Exeter Academic work streams and identifying new priorities of focus.
  • To ensure decisions are informed by an academic perspective so that the “Exeter Academic” appropriately engages and is valued by academics.
  • To monitor the return on investment, benefits and risks of the work undertaken.

Membership of this group consists of;

Career Paths

We want to simplify and clearly explain the structure of academic career paths. Firstly we are focusing on the roles within the Education and Research (E&R) job family. We have looked at the existing progression framework for E&R staff at all levels from Lecturer to Professor to make sure that it recognises all-round contributions. We have also reviewed the timings and criteria for the lecturer probation period, to ensure that it is clear what is expected. Details can in our frequently asked questions.


We are looking at how we help academics develop the right capabilities, through courses, coaching and mentoring and the most useful forms of development at each stage of your career. We are starting by focusing on Early Career Researchers, Heads of Discipline and Principal Investigators. We are also looking at how we can improve academic induction and are looking to create and pilot a tailored programme.


Leaders and managers set the direction, standard and tone for their teams. We want to make sure these roles are properly defined, fulfilled and supported. We will be defining the role of the “Academic Manager” and providing training in career coaching for managers.

Our current leadership roles – Head of Department, Director of Research, Director of Education and Academic Lead - determine the success of a discipline, but they are not always clear. We will look again at these roles definitions and clarify them where necessary. We will make sure that those who fill them:

  • understand what’s expected of them
  • get the right level of support, and
  • are appropriately recognised and rewarded for their contributions.