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Adjunct and Honorary Appointments Procedure

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Section 1 - Preamble

(1) Charles Darwin University (‘the University’, ‘CDU’) recognises the importance of collaborating with individuals and institutions with particular skills, expertise and experience to further the University’s strategic goals and build the University’s teaching and research capabilities by appointing such people to adjunct and honorary positions.

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Section 2 - Purpose

(2) This procedure defines the mechanisms for the appointment, review, renewal and termination of adjunct or honorary appointments, and defines the rights and responsibilities of adjunct and honorary appointees.

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Section 3 - Scope

(3) This procedure applies to all adjunct or honorary appointees, and to all staff of the University as potential nominators of candidates for appointment.

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Section 4 - Procedure

(4) University staff and members of the University community may nominate suitably qualified and experienced people to adjunct or honorary staff appointments.

(5) Adjunct and honorary appointments must be mutually beneficial to the University and the nominee and should enhance University capacity and networks.

(6) An adjunct or honorary appointment is expected to contribute to the University in one or more of the following ways:

  1. Higher education and/or vocational education and training teaching through curriculum development, guest lectures, field trips, workshops, laboratory classes and/or practical demonstrations;
  2. Research and/or research publication with University staff in attributed refereed publications eligible for Commonwealth Government reporting;
  3. Supervision of Higher Degree by Research (HDR) students;
  4. Mentoring and advice to University staff members in management, planning, or technical areas in which they have expertise and networks; and
  5. Strategic relationships between the University and its academic, professional, government, business, industry and community partners.

(7) Menzies School of Health Research academic staff members are accorded adjunct status at the University as per the CDU-Menzies Agreement, and for the term of their employment at Menzies. Academic titles accorded by Menzies through its Academic Standing Committee will be accepted at the University.


(8) Current staff members or coursework students of the University are not eligible for nomination for adjunct or honorary appointment.

(9) Current HDR students of CDU will not normally be considered for adjunct or honorary appointment during the term of their enrolment unless there are exceptional circumstances to support their appointment.

(10) Where a nominee is a staff member at another Australian university, the nominator must provide a clear explanation of how this appointment would add value beyond collaborations that routinely occur between academics and colleagues.

Categories of appointment

(11) Adjunct and honorary appointments may be awarded in the following categories:

  1. Teaching and Research, with classifications of Adjunct Professor, Adjunct Associate Professor, Adjunct Senior Lecturer and Adjunct Lecturer;
  2. Clinical, with classifications of Clinical Professor, Clinical Associate Professor, Clinical Senior Lecturer and Clinical Lecturer;
  3. Research-only, with classifications of Adjunct Senior Research Fellow, Adjunct Research Fellow and Adjunct Research Associate;
  4. University Fellow;
  5. Visiting Fellow; and
  6. Charles Darwin Distinguished Fellow.

(12) To be appointed with a classification level of the Teaching and Research or Research-only categories, the nominee must have academic qualifications or experience which at a minimum would allow appointment at that level.

(13) Clinical appointments are to support an active working relationship with a clinician from another organisation. To be appointed within a classification in this category the nominee must have reached a level of achievement that would allow appointment at that level.

(14) To be eligible for appointment as a University Fellow, the nominee must:

  1. have professional, business or industry qualifications and/or experience which contributes to the strategic needs of the University;
  2. be a current or former senior government official, administrator or department head; and/or
  3. have gained the respect of their community and be able to contribute to the intellectual and cultural life of the University.

(15) To be eligible for appointment as a Visiting Fellow, the nominee must have academic qualifications and be a member of another educational or research institution. Visiting appointments will be for a minimum period of one month and not exceed the duration of the person’s visit to the University.

(16) A Charles Darwin Distinguished Fellow may be called upon by the Vice-Chancellor to provide high-level advice and guidance. The nominee should embody exceptional experience and insight to assist the University to achieve sustainable growth, address opportunities and challenges and promote organisational and cultural excellence.

(17) A Charles Darwin Distinguished Fellow must:

  1. be an eminent and highly regarded individual in society;
  2. be recognised nationally and/or internationally in their fields of expertise; and
  3. be able to contribute to the University’s national and regional profile and activities.


(18) Nominations for adjunct and honorary appointments may occur at any time and are made using the Adjunct and Honorary Nomination Form.

(19) The nominators must:

  1. be familiar with this procedure and with the expectations of appointees;
  2. plan with the nominee the nature of the collaboration and expectations, and ensure that these are in keeping with the strategic direction of the University;
  3. specify the preferred duration of the appointment;
  4. consider the qualifications and experience of the nominee against the eligibility expectations outlined in this procedure when making a nomination;
  5. explain the nature and expected outcomes clearly in the nomination form, noting that a nomination that does not demonstrate clear value may not be approved; and
  6. ensure that appropriate evidence of support from the relevant senior manager is included with the nomination.

(20) In order to manage the expectations of the nominee, the nominator must make it clear to nominees that a nomination is not a guarantee of appointment and avoid making commitments regarding the level of appointment.


(21) Appointments to adjunct and honorary positions must be approved at the following levels:

  1. Visiting Fellows and Clinical appointments must be approved by the relevant Faculty Pro Vice-Chancellor.
  2. Teaching and Research, Research-only appointments, and University Fellows must be approved by the Faculty Pro Vice-Chancellor following endorsement by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation.
  3. Charles Darwin Distinguished Fellows must be approved by the Vice-Chancellor.

(22) The relevant approver will notify People and Culture of the appointment and appointment category.

(23) People and Culture will:

  1. prepare the letter of appointment for the nominator’s signature; 
  2. confirm that the appointee accepts their appointment; and
  3. enter the appointee’s details into relevant systems.

(24) In addition to the nomination process, the Vice-Chancellor may at any time make honorary appointments that are of strategic value to the University.

(25) Where the Vice-Chancellor may have a real, potential or perceived conflict of interest in such an appointment or in the appointment of a Charles Darwin Distinguished Fellow, they will refer the matter to the Vice-President Governance and University Secretary in accordance with the Conflicts of Interest Policy.

Review, renewal and cancellation

(26) Four months prior to the end of an adjunct or honorary appointment, the nominator and the head of the relevant faculty or institute will review the extent to which the appointment achieved its original objectives.

(27) An appointment may be extended by renewal. Nominations for renewal follow the same process and are subject to the same expectations as new nominations.

(28) Nominations to renew appointments should include a statement of the contributions of the nominee, along with a research outcome data report. These reports are available from the Office of Research and Innovation, contactable at

(29) An adjunct or honorary appointment will normally cease if an appointee accepts any paid employment at the University for longer than six months.

(30) At the end of a period of employment, the adjunct or honorary appointment is reinstated, provided the original end date of the appointment has not passed. If the end date has passed, a renewal must be submitted.

(31) At its sole discretion, the University may cancel an adjunct or honorary appointment for any reason, including but not limited to a breach of the Staff Code of Conduct or any other governance document.

Adjunct and honorary titles

(32) An adjunct or honorary title conferred by the University under this procedure may only be used in full; for example, “Dr J Smith, University Fellow, Charles Darwin University” or “Dr J Smith, University Fellow, CDU.”

(33) Adjunct and honorary appointees may use their title on business cards and other corporate materials.

(34) The adjunct or honorary title must be acknowledged on publications, presentations, reports and media releases relating to work undertaken as part of the appointment.

Responsibilities and privileges

(35) Appointees, nominators and the head of the relevant faculty or institute have a responsibility to maintain regular engagement.

(36) Appointees must comply with the University’s Governance documents and Staff Code of Conduct as a condition of their appointment.

(37) Privileges for appointees include:

  1. a staff card to access the library and other appropriate buildings and IT services where required;
  2. library borrowing privileges equivalent to CDU staff, as listed on the CDU website;
  3. a CDU email account and internet access;
  4. representation on the University’s website;
  5. use of University letterhead;
  6. office accommodation, only if specifically requested, available and appropriate; and
  7. participation in University Graduation ceremonies.

(38) Appointees are required to include Charles Darwin University among their affiliations in the authorship by-line of all research publications which result from their collaboration with the University.

(39) When using the University’s address, acknowledgement of the Institute, Centre or faculty is important but should be attributed second or third in the address line. Attribution to Charles Darwin University should always be first.

(40) Example of the attribution format:

  1. Dr J Smith, Charles Darwin University, Research Institute/Faculty of [x]/Menzies School of Health Research, Casuarina NT 0909
  2. Intellectual property that results from an honorary appointment is subject to the Intellectual Property Policy.


(41) Adjunct and honorary appointments are recorded by People and Culture and any other areas necessary to enable access to University systems. An annual report of current and new appointments will be provided to the Vice-Chancellor's Advisory Committee and to Council for noting.

(42) Appointments are normally voluntary and non-stipendiary. However, remuneration, honorariums and travel assistance may be permissible at the discretion of the head of the relevant faculty or institute and is the responsibility of the relevant organisational unit.

(43) Planned payments or honorarium details should be provided at the time of nominations, together with a recommendation from the head of the relevant faculty or institute.

(44) Where justified and approved, reimbursement to cover reasonable expenses incurred by the appointee in the course of collaborations with University staff members may be made as part of the appointment. Such expenses may include travel, accommodation, meals, and minor equipment such as stationery.

(45) All payments to international Visiting Fellows must meet with the requirements of their visa conditions.

(46) Appointees who do not hold Australian citizenship or Australian permanent resident status should note that they are not eligible for Medicare. Appointees in this position are advised to take out private health insurance.

(47) Appointees are advised to take out Personal Injury Including Death Insurance. This is a matter for individual appointees to decide.

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Section 5 - Non-Compliance

(48) Non-compliance with Governance Documents is considered a breach of the Code of Conduct – Staff or the Code of Conduct – Students, as applicable, and is treated seriously by the University. Reports of concerns about non-compliance will be managed in accordance with the applicable disciplinary procedures outlined in the Charles Darwin University and Union Enterprise Agreement 2022 and the Code of Conduct – Students.

(49) Complaints may be raised in accordance with the Complaints and Grievance Policy and Procedure - Employees and Complaints Policy - Students.

(50) All staff members have an individual responsibility to raise any suspicion, allegation or report of fraud or corruption in accordance with the Fraud and Corruption Control Policy and Whistleblower Reporting (Improper Conduct) Procedure.