Reader (academic rank)

Reader (academic rank)

The title of Reader in the United Kingdom and some universities in the Commonwealth nations like Australia and New Zealand denotes an appointment for a senior academic with a distinguished international reputation in research or scholarship. It is an academic rank above Senior Lecturer (or Principal Lecturer in the New Universities), recognising a distinguished record of original research at a level of a full Professorship. In the British ranking, for some universities a Reader could be seen as 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 B and Chaired Professor in Ireland. Both Readers and Professors in the UK would correspond to Professors in the US[1].

The promotion criteria applied to a Readership in the United Kingdom are similar to those applied to a Professorship: advancing from Senior Lecturer (equivalent to Associate Professor in the United States and Hong Kong) to Reader requires evidence of a distinguished record of original research as well as a significant record of teaching excellence and service to the university.[2][3][4][5][6]

An incompatibility of ranking systems between different (English-speaking) countries makes the position of Reader difficult to place outside the context of the United Kingdom. A similar title used in some countries, for instance in Sweden, is Docent, which is officially translated in English as Reader.[7]


  1. ^ Graham Webb, Making the most of appraisal: career and professional development planning for lecturers, Routledge, 1994 (page 30) ISBN 0749412569
  2. ^ Newcastle University
  3. ^ University of London
  4. ^ Lancaster University
  5. ^ Open University
  6. ^ University for the Creative Arts
  7. ^

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