• Chair
    The name given to a post which is at the grade of Professor eg 'Chair in Economics'.
  • FE
    Further Education - in the UK, post-school education below degree level. May be delivered in Further Education or other colleges
  • Fellowship
    1. A prestigious award for a researcher to carry out their own research; may lead to a permanent academic post.
    2. Alternatively, a name sometimes given to a fixed-term research or teaching role within a university.
  • Graduate Teaching Assistant
    Part-time role teaching undergraduate or masters students, generally undertaken by current doctoral level students.
  • HE
  • Higher Education - in the UK, generally degree level education (or Higher National Diploma level), most commonly provided at a university or university college.
    Higher Education Funding Council for England - distributes public money for teaching and research to universities and colleges in England. There are similar bodies for Scotland (SFC) and Wales (HEFCW), with Northern Ireland being funded by the Department for Employment and Learning, Northern Ireland.
  • HESA
    Higher Education Statistics Agency. UK Government agency who collect and collate statistics on a range of Higher Education topics, including destinations of graduating students (at undergraduate and postgraduate level).
  • Impact factor
    A method of classifying science and social science academic journals according to how often articles in the journal are cited by other academics. Sometimes used to indicate the relative importance of journals.
  • Journal
    A published collection of articles detailing research findings. Journals may be peer-reviewed (gives more academic credibility) or non-peer-reviewed (gives no indication of academic quality).
  • Lecturer
    1. A university grade - the entry grade for most permanent academics.
    2. Someone employed by a university to teach students through a lecture course. May be a fixed-term or permanent appointment, may or may not be at 'Lecturer' grade.
  • Monograph
    A single authored book in a single specialised academic area, published by a scholarly publisher. There may be scope to turn a doctoral thesis into a monograph in some disciplines.
  • Peer review
    Process whereby articles (or other materials) detailing research findings are scrutinised by other academic referees, before publication is allowed.
  • PI
    See 'Principal Investigator'
  • Post-doctoral Staff or Post-doc
    A member of university staff who has doctoral level qualifications (eg PhD) but who has not yet gained a permanent academic post. This term is starting to be replaced by alternatives such as 'research staff' or 'early career researcher'.
  • Principal Investigator
    A person who holds a research grant on which others are employed. In this context, generally an academic who is 'the boss' of one or more research staff. Often abbreviated to PI.
  • Professor
    The most senior academic grade.
  • Publications
    Articles in journals, conference proceedings, books or chapters of books, where researchers publish their findings. Peer-reviewed journals have more academic weight than non-peer reviewed journals.
  • RAE
    Research Assessment Exercise - UK-wide assessment of research quality in universities, last carried out in 2008.
  • Reader
    A senior role for experienced academics (above Senior Lecturer, below Professor/Chair).
  • REF
    Research Excellence Framework - UK-wide assessment of research quality in universities which will replace RAE. Currently scheduled for 2014.
  • Research Assistant
    Member of university staff, generally not requiring doctoral level qualifications. Below research associate grade and often a fixed term project role.
  • Research Associate
    Member of university research staff, often with doctoral level qualifications. Generally below lecturer grade and often a fixed term project role.
  • Russell Group
    A group of 20 UK universities with a strong focus on research ('research intensive'), including the University of Manchester.
  • Senior Lecturer
    A senior role for experienced academics (above Lecturer, below Reader or Professor).
  • Sessional Lecturer
    A person employed to teach a specific course. A fixed-term role, often undertaken by post-doctoral temporary staff, particularly common in the humanities.
  • Supervisor
    Academic responsible for directing and supporting someone undertaking doctoral level qualifications (eg a PhD). A doctoral researcher may have more than one supervisor.
  • Vitae
    A national organisation supporting personal, professional, and career development for doctoral researchers and research staff in universities. www.vitae.ac.uk