Alternative criteria selection

The University of Sheffield is a research intensive university and so the expectation is that the majority of academic colleagues employed on a Teaching and Research contract will undertake significant research activity and normally evidence achievement of the expectations for at least one of the two additional research criteria in addition to the core criterion of high quality research outputs.

We do however recognise that academic colleagues make a significant and valuable contribution in teaching and or leadership and in some cases it may be appropriate to remove the requirement for at least one their two additional criteria to be selected from the research criteria.

Where an academic staff member on a teaching and research contract wishes to replace the additional research criteria with one from teaching or leadership they should first discuss this with their Head of Department (HoD) through the SRDS process (or separately if their HoD does not undertake their SRDS).

If the HoD is supportive of their case, a recommendation to the Vice-President and Head of Faculty should be made using the Alternative Criteria Selection Form which can also be downloaded from the right-hand side of this page. The case should make it clear which alternative criteria is being selected and how long the agreement applies for. The case must demonstrate both the individual's achievements in the proposed alternative criteria, and articulate the organisational benefits of agreeing the variation.

The case will be considered by the Vice-President and Head of Faculty. If approval is obtained, the academic staff member may focus on additional teaching or leadership criteria in place of additional research criteria. The alternative criteria form should be submitted alongside SRDS paperwork.

When applying for promotion details of the approved change should be clearly indicated on the Academic Promotions Summary Statement and the approved case should be included with the submitted promotions documentation.


If a HoD does not support an individual’s request to replace additional Research criteria with an additional teaching or leadership criteria, the academic staff member can appeal to the Vice-President and Head of Faculty using the information presented in the Alternative Criteria Selection Form. The Vice-President and Head of Faculty’s decision is final.

Where the request is agreed by the HoD but rejected by the Vice-President and Head of Faculty, the academic staff member may appeal to a University panel made up of the Provost & Deputy Vice-Chancellor, and both cross cutting Vice-Presidents, using the information presented in the Alternative Criteria Selection Form. The decision of the University panel is final.