Academic common room
Reference letter for promotion file
Justnowthisone · 01/10/2017 14:51
I am a relatively young academic due to go up for promotion to Reader next year and have a very strong case in terms of the criteria in my university/field/departmental support.
One of the things I have been thinking about is the UK letter of reference needed for the file. I can think of countless people of course - but the strongest one - apart from being (1) a huge huge star in the field, agenda-setting, groundbreaking (2) an admirer of my work and my contributions to the field from the viewpoint of someone 26 years my senior! and (3) my long-term mentor, cheerleader, critic - is also..... the person who was my PhD supervisor.
Now - the regualtions state no objections to this, and say no collaborations (co-editing, co-authoring) in the last 5 years with the referee. By the time file goes in I will have finished my PhD 7 years ago - so I do not see an issue there. Over these 7 years, i have invited her to things, (i organise all sorts of panels, events, conferences, special issues, edited books) - and to be honest I would struggle to find someone relevant who knew my work but had never ever been invited to something I've organised.
Anyway, so direct collaboration would have beenn 7 years ago as PhD supervisor. Since then I have moved institutions for each step (Post doc, lectyreship and senior lectureship) - and even countries.
She would be the strongest name to get a letter from + she is my biggest champion so both personal and professional ticks. Would the PhD link ruin the case? The regs dont state it but I just thought I'd check on Mumsnet's hivemind.
iveburntthetoast · 01/10/2017 15:38
My uni's regs state that its best not to use your supervisor, but it's not against the rules. They said they'd be suspicious that you've done nothing else since your PhD.
geekaMaxima · 01/10/2017 17:20
My institution would look on an ex-supervisor the same way as they'd look on any self-nominated referee in a promotion case: assume it'll be positive and not put a whole lot of weight on it. An unsupportive reference from a self-nominee would be a red flag, but a supportive one is just a baseline hurdle everyone is meant to clear.
What the promotions panel really values are the references from people in the field who were not nominated by the applicant. Sometimes they solicit suggestions for referees from HoD or other profs in the applicant's dept, but sometimes they use their own contacts.
Justnowthisone · 01/10/2017 18:51
Hmm. The regs ask me to submit three references
One from the uk
One from abroad
One from inside the Faculty at university
No other references are mentioned. They do say that the panel will seek these three above at a particular point in the process.
geekaMaxima · 01/10/2017 20:05
Sounds more straightforward so! Do you have a chance to ask someone who sits on your promotion panel rather than trying to guess what they value? Or at least someone who has sat on it in previous years?
purplepandas · 01/10/2017 20:31
I agree with geeka, I would be asking someone in the know if I could. Good luck :)
Justnowthisone · 01/10/2017 21:46
Okay will ask hod and my departmental senior colleague
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