Referral Priority (RP) Information Guide

This information guide describes the services offered to Referral Priority (RP) candidates and walks through using the RP automated process. RP candidacy is available only to laid off and long-term Academic Staff employees who are non-renewed due to funding loss, budget redirection, and program redirection.

This information guide explains the services and application processes offered to Referral Priority (RP) Candidates and other relevant RP information. RP services are available to exempt University Staff who are laid off after July 1, 2015, Academic Staff who are laid off and to long-term Academic Staff who are non-renewed due to funding loss or budget/program redirection. For purposes of nonrenewal, long-term Academic Staff are defined as employees who have six or more years of academic staff service at UW–Madison within the prior seven years.

Academic Staff who have been nonrenewed for performance are not eligible for RP Services. Nonexempt University Staff are also not eligible for RP Services.

This information guide will help you understand:

Table of Contents


University Staff Laid Off from Exempt Positions

Academic Staff Layoff v. Nonrenewal

Academic Staff Layoff & Nonrenewal Notice Requirements

Nonrenewal Notice
Years of Academic Staff Service/Continuity Status Minimum Notice
Fewer than 2 3 months
At least 2 but fewer than 6 6 months
At least 6 but fewer than 10 9 months
10 or more 12 months
1-yr Rolling Horizon 12 months
2-yr Rolling Horizon 24 months
3-yr Rolling Horizon 36 months
Indefinite Can’t be nonrenewed
Layoff Notice
Years of Academic Staff Service/Continuity Status Minimum Notice for Funding Loss Minimum Notice for Budget or Program Decision
Fewer than 2 1 month 2 months
At least 2 but fewer than 6 2 months 3 months
At least 6 but fewer than 10 3 months 5 months
10 or more 4 months 6 months
Rolling Horizon 6 months 12 months
Indefinite 24 months 24 months

Enrollment Periods for Referral Priority Services

Determining if You Qualify for Referral Priority Services

Have you been notified of an impending layoff or nonrenewal? Your notification letter informs you if you are being laid off or nonrenewed. Please reference your notification letter and contact your departmental or divisional HR representative for further information. If you don’t know who this is, email and we will tell you who to contact. Please include the notice that you have received with this email.

Enrolling in Referral Priority Services

To request enrollment in RP services, please email and include your layoff or nonrenewal notice and your NetID. The Referral Priority Services Team in the Office of Human Resources will review your request and complete your enrollment.

Maintaining Referral Priority Status

Referral Priority may end when an RP candidate:

Referral Priority Services

RP Services give RP candidates access to the Referral Priority Page from the employment website ( This page enables RP candidates to view eligible academic staff vacancies before they are posted to the employment website. Positions will remain posted on the Referral Priority Page for 7 calendar days. During that time they are also posted to the employment website. RP candidates may apply to vacancies through the Referral Priority Page or via the employment website. Details on both application methods are included later in this guide.

Prospective employing departments/units are asked to consider RP candidates before considering other candidates.

The hiring department is not obligated to interview or hire an RP candidate. They must consider RP candidates, however. Consideration can be given along with the rest of the applicant pool.

Hiring Decision Makers

When a hiring department receives an RP candidate’s application and referral they may, after reviewing the RP candidate’s application materials,

Benefits of Hiring an RP Candidate:

Application Options and Processes

RP candidates may apply to vacancies using the following two methods:

  1. The Referral Priority Page
  2. The Jobs at UW employment website (

Applying through the Referral Priority Page

To access and apply for positions through the Referral Priority Page, please follow these steps:

  1. Visit the employment website. Click on the “REFERRAL PRIORITY” box as shown below. Only RP candidates are given access to this portion of the website.


  2. Enter your NetID and Password. If you are unsure of what your NetID is, please contact DoIT by email at or by phone at 608-264-4357.


  3. Review a vacancy by clicking the Vacancy ID number. Vacancies will be visible for 7 calendar days from the time they are posted to the Referral Priority Page. Following the posting of a position to the Referral Priority Page, the Office of Human Resources will review and release the job posting to the employment website. Once released, positions will be posted simultaneously on the Referral Priority Page for the remainder of the 7 days and on the employment website until the deadline date. RP candidates can apply using either site.


  4. To apply for a position, click “Referral Priority Request.”


  5. This screen will show with instructions for completing the RP Form. Complete the form and then click “Submit.” The submission requires the upload of a resume and also allows for the upload of a cover letter. While not required, it may be beneficial to include a cover letter stating you are a referral priority candidate. The submission is sent to the job’s administrative contact, the HR divisional representative, and the RP email box (



    After you submit the form, you will receive an email with contact information for the position you applied for.

  6. You have now completed the process to apply for a job through the Referral Priority Page.
  7. The following email is sent to the division/department from with information regarding the RP candidate:



  8. Applying through the employment website

    RP candidates may apply to positions using the employment website. Applying this way may allow a candidate to better track the progress of their application. As a reminder, there is a delay between the time a position is posted to the Referral Priority Page and the time it is posted to the employment website. If you find a position on the Referral Priority Page that is not yet on the employment website, check back regularly if that is your preferred application method.


    When you submit an application via the employment website, you will receive a confirmation email. Forward that email to The email below will then be sent to the hiring department.

    “Good Morning,

    This individual is enrolled in the Referral Priority Program, which is for those who are non-renewed for funding loss, budget, or program reasons, as well as academic staff on layoff status or on notice of layoff, who are looking to find a position within the University of Wisconsin - Madison. These individuals have the right of referral priority to all academic staff vacancies for which they may reasonably qualify [ASPP Chapter 3.05, ASPP Chapter 5.08].

    Please consider this referral priority candidate by reviewing their application materials in the applicant tracking system (TREMS). We would allow cancelling this PVL and converting it to a waiver if you want to hire this candidate as referral priority and if early enough in the recruitment process. If appropriate please extend this candidate an interview, with the understanding of no obligation to hire. Please contact the candidate directly with any questions regarding their application and to keep them updated on their status for this position.

    If you have any questions regarding referral priority services please contact Thank you very much for your time and consideration.
    OHR Referral Priority Team”

    When you receive this confirmation email, you have completed the process to apply for a job through the employment website.

    “Good Morning,

    The employing unit has been notified of your interest for this position as well as your referral priority status. The employing unit has been encouraged to extend you an interview. They are also aware of the option to waive the recruitment and hire you directly on the Position Vacancy Listing (PVL). If you have any questions regarding referral priority services, please contact If you have any questions regarding the position you have indicated interest in, please contact the employing unit.
    Thank you,
    OHR Referral Priority Team”


    • Division of Continuing Studies (DCS), Adult Career and Special Student Services – DCS supports the mission of the University of Wisconsin–Madison and the spirit of the Wisconsin Idea by providing access to educational resources to nontraditional students, lifelong learners, and the community. They provide resources that help with the job search process.
    • Career Planning for UW–Madison Employees
    • Job Search Support Group – A weekly gathering of job seekers designed to provide support, information, new ideas, and resources to those coping with unemployment (or underemployment). Topics addressed in group are based on input from group members. Common topics include: networking, interviewing, self-awareness, effective communication, generating job leads, and other job search concerns.
    • Madison Writing Assistance – Madison Writing Assistance provides thoughtful, responsive readers for all kinds of writing, including cover letters and resumés.
    • Employee Resume Tips
    • Unclassified Title Guideline (UTG) – explains Academic Staff titles and links to salary range information (click ‘salary range’ in the title column after looking up the grades, e.g. numbers for the range)
    • Salary Ranges