Transfer and Promotion

Brown University offers qualified employees the opportunity to seek career development and growth through transfers and promotions.


A transfer is usually a lateral move to a vacant position. A transfer within the department may provide an opportunity for an employee to assume different responsibilities and develop new skills. Transfers to other departments may also provide career development by enhancing skills and learning about other functions of the University. A transfer will not normally result in a change in compensation.

Transfers Resulting from Reassignment

When there is a significant business need, division/department heads have the authority to transfer employees from one position to another at the same grade and salary in the same division/department without announcing the vacancy through the posting process. In such cases, the division/department head should discuss the situation and submit a memorandum to the Employment section of the Human Resources Department in advance of the reassignment, indicating the rationale for the change and, if applicable, attaching a Personnel Action Form (PAF) for the employee. In effecting such transfers, the department should attempt to make the most effective use of the employee's skills and abilities and should consider the employee's interest whenever possible.


A promotion is usually a move by an employee to a vacant position at a higher grade level either within the current department or in a different department. Changes to a higher grade level obtained through intradepartmental/interdivisional promotion, job audits or career paths are covered in other policies.

Promotions generally result in a salary increase at the time of promotion. The general guidelines for these increases are covered in this policy, but supervisors should contact the Compensation section of the Human Resources Department for specific information.

General Information on Transfers and Promotions

Eligibility for Transfer or Promotion

Full or part-time employees who are in good standing, are compensated on the regular payroll, and meet at least the minimum qualifications of the available position are eligible for consideration. Employees are normally expected to have been in their current position for at least one year before applying for a transfer or promotion.

Probationary Period following Transfer or Promotion

When an employee transfers or is promoted to a new department, a new probationary period of three months (nonexempt positions) or six months (exempt positions) begins so that the employee and the department have an opportunity to determine if there is a good match between the requirements of the position and the skills and abilities of the employee.

Hiring Procedures for Internal Candidates

Normally, vacant positions which will be filled by transfers or promotions are posted and filled in accordance with the policy entitled Hiring Employees for Regular Positions (# 20.011) , except in the case of interdepartmental/interdivisional promotions which meet the criteria described in that policy (# 20.022 ).

Checking references on current employees

Hiring supervisors should check references of internal applicants. The Human Resources Department will complete reference checks if so requested by the hiring supervisor. Relevant portions of an employee's Human Resources personnel folder which include information on objective job-related criteria are also available for review upon request.

Compensation for Transfers or Promotions

Transfers within or outside the employee's department do not normally include any salary increase. If, as a result of a transfer, an employee is deemed to be inequitably compensated, adjustments will be made in accordance with the Equity Adjustments policy (40.041).

If an employee has been promoted, the hiring department, in consultation with the Human Resources Generalist and/or Compensation Director, determines the new salary. (See Policy #40.021) The new salary will not place the employee below the minimum of the salary grade range, nor will it exceed the maximum.

The new salary is dependent on the employee's related background and experience, internal equity, and budget considerations. Salaries for promoted employees should generally not be lower than salary offers to external candidates with similar background and experience.

Job Offers to Internal Candidates

Once the hiring department has been informed by Human Resources that the transfer or promotion has been authorized, the hiring supervisor makes the job offer to the employee. Upon acceptance, the start date is negotiated between the supervisors of the old and new department and normally will be from two to four weeks after acceptance of the offer. Transferred and promoted employees carry unused sick and vacation accrual with them to new department. Current employees are subject to criminal background checks after they are offered a promotion or transfer and prior to commencing employment in that new position if a criminal background check was not part of their initial hiring process.