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Guidelines for Teaching Fellows and Professional Practice Fellows

Category Human Resources
Type Guideline
Approved by Vice-Chancellor, 2005
Date Guideline Took Effect 1 January 2006
Last Approved Revision 24 June 2016
Sponsor Director of Human Resources
Responsible Officer HR Manager, Promotions & Remuneration
Review Date 24 June 2021

Purpose

The purposes of these Guidelines are to define the positions of Teaching Fellow and Professional Practice Fellow, including the supervision, remuneration and study assistance provisions.

Organisational Scope

These guidelines apply to all appointments of Teaching Fellows and Professional Practice Fellows.

Definitions

PBRF - Performance Based Research Fund

Policy Content

Teaching duties for both Professional Practice Fellows and Teaching Fellows are carried out under the supervision of the academic colleague who is responsible for course design and delivery.

1. Teaching Fellows
(a) In general, Teaching Fellows:

I. support teaching or training by carrying out tutoring and related administration.
II. are under the supervision of a senior member of the academic staff.
III. duties are carried out under the supervision of the academic colleague who is responsible for course design and delivery.
IV. may hold or be studying for a higher degree.

2. Professional Practice Fellows
(a) In general, Professional Practice Fellows:

I. are academic staff who support teaching or training in a professionally based area;
II. are expected to maintain professional expertise through continuing professional development;
III. are generally working within their area of professional expertise, either within the University or outside the University;
IV. duties are carried out under the supervision of the academic colleague who is responsible for course design and delivery;
V. normally hold a postgraduate or professional qualification or may be studying for a higher degree.

3. Supervision requirements for Teaching Fellows and Professional Practice Fellows
(a) The positions both require supervision of the staff concerned.

(b) Supervisors should be the person(s) responsible for course design and delivery and would normally be a senior academic.
I. In the case of Teaching Fellows or Professional Practice Fellows teaching on one paper only, this is fairly straight forward.
II. In the case of those teaching on more than one paper and/or more than one level, either a primary supervisor should be identified where the majority of the teaching is taking place or the level coordinator may be appointed as supervisor.

(c) Staff who are supervised in this manner generally would not be included under PBRF.

(b) If supervision is not in place, and staff members work independently, then they would not meet the conditions of employment for this class of staff. Therefore, despite their title, staff who are unsupervised would be considered eligible for inclusion under PBRF.

4. Remuneration
(a) The salary scales for Teaching Fellows and Professional Practice Fellows are on the pay scales page.

(b) There are two salary ranges within the Teaching Fellow Scales. For non-Medical/Dental staff, the range below the bar is identical to the Assistant Research Fellow Scale above the bar. The range above the bar is similar to the lecturer scale up to step 3.

(c) Teaching Fellows within both salary ranges appointed on or before 1 September, will, subject to satisfactory performance, progress on the following 1 February each year until they reach the top of the range.

(d) Teaching Fellows below the bar may apply for promotion to Teaching Fellow Above the Bar. The requirements for this promotion are set out in the Academic Promotions Policy Document.

(e) There are four bands or ranges within the salary scales for Professional Practice Fellows.
i. PP1 – Similar to the Teaching Fellow Scale
ii. PP2 - Similar to the Lecturer Scale up to step 3
iii. PP3 - Equivalent to steps 4 to 7 of the Lecturer Scale
iv. PP4 - Equivalent to the Senior Lecturer Scale

(f) There is no provision for promotion or progression from one range to another. Professional Practice Fellows within the PP1 and PP2 range, appointed on or before 1 September, will, subject to satisfactory performance, progress within the range on the following 1 February each year until they reach the top of the range.

(g) Professional Practice Fellows in the PP3 range and the PP4 range are not entitled to automatic increments within these ranges. Instead, progression within both ranges will be based on retention alone. This means that the prime criterion for assessing appropriate salary is the market rate for the professional person rather than their performance in the job.

(h) The process to increase the salary of Professional Practice Fellows within the PP3 and PP4 ranges is similar to that used for Recruitment and Retention supplements. Heads of Department must prepare a case recommending that Professional Practice Fellow’s salary should increase in event that retention issues arise. The case must be supported by evidence. The recommendation requires the support of the Dean (in the Division of Health Sciences) and the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (in Divisions other than Health Sciences) and final approval is made by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic).

5. Qualifying for Study Assistance and requirements for Advanced Study
(a) Only staff who meet the study assistance criteria will be eligible. See the study assistance policy for full information on requirements. In general, members of staff whose employment is half-time or more, and who have a minimum contract of 10 months, may apply for Study Assistance. In the case of both Teaching Fellows and Professional Practice Fellows, for full assistance to be granted then it must be a requirement and condition of employment stated in their letter of offer for full assistance to apply. Otherwise, the study could be work-related and 70% assistance can be offered.

(b) In making appointments or re-appointments as Teaching Fellows or Professional Practice Fellows, a clear statement must be included to justify the requirement as a condition of employment for full assistance to be approved. The justification should include information on how the Department will benefit from the study proposed.

(c) No staff member will be approved for study assistance for a PhD in excess of 4 EFTS. Government funding for students’ ceases after 4 EFTS and therefore any PhD student enrolled in excess of 4 EFTS are not funded. All letters to staff granted study assistance for a PhD will state that funding will cease once the student reaches 4 EFTS (or earlier if they complete the PhD) and therefore the costs of completion if any beyond that point would be the responsibility of the staff member concerned. 

Related Policies, Procedures and Forms

Academic Promotions Policy

Study Assistance Policy

Job Descriptions for the two positions can be downloaded here:

Contact for Further Information

If you have any queries regarding the content of this policy or need further clarification, contact the HR Manager, Promotions & Remuneration at dan.wilson@otago.ac.nz or (03) 479 8092.