Lectu-wha?

As Loughborough is in Britain (Mercia, not 'Merica), I am (obviously) a lecturer in the traditional British sense of the word – see for example Wikipedia. Hence, my responsibilites include not only teaching, but also research and enterprise (roughly, bringing sciene out into the world); and my position is the entry level of the promotion ladder that continues with senior lecturer, reader, and professor.

I have been told that this is comparable to a tenured assistant professor in the US system (but as my experiene with that is only second hand, I cannot comment on that). While some people I know compared the role to an Akademischer Rat in the German system, I think that a better comparison is a permanent Juniorprofessor (“permanent” as in “not for a limited time”, hopefully not as in “will never be promoted”).

Of course, the qualifiers “permanent” and “tenure” come with the caveat that academic positions in the UK are not as permanent as (for example) Beamte in Germany (you can get fired if you &lquo;underperform”). And, of course, I still have to reach the end of my probation period (but the requirements for that are nicer than what I have been told about tenure; probably also because it is much simpler to fire people).

In conclusions, comparing academic roles on an international scale is hard, and tempts one to use ill-fitting analogies.