Research Track

Background

Shaomeng Wang

The Research Track began in 1974. There is a mandated ascension in rank — 4 years for Research Investigator, 6 years for Assistant Research Scientist, and 7 years for Research Assistant Professor — which reflects achievements in research.

Aspects of Research Track Faculty Work

  • Strong emphasis on scholarly research that results in publications and funding.
  • Participation in the peer review process, including manuscript reviews and grant reviews.

Appointment Packet Checklists & Sample Documents

List of Requirements

Research Investigator

Assistant Research Scientist

Associate Research Scientist

Research Scientist

Research Assistant Professor

Research Associate Professor

Research Professor

Documents Used by All Research Ranks


Rank Descriptions

Research Scientist Track

Research Scientist Track faculty are typically part of a scientific team or have achieved independence in a research program and have demonstrated excellence in initiation, direction and completion of research projects.  A record of peer-reviewed publications is expected.  

Research Investigator:

A person appointed to the position of Research Investigator must hold a doctoral degree or its equivalent in professional and technical experience and typically has completed two or more years of postdoctoral work.  The typical candidate for this position is someone whose scholarly reputation is equivalent to a person who has recently completed a Ph.D. or M.D. and/or postdoctoral training and demonstrates evidence of potential for scholarship.  Candidates for research investigator are not expected to have a record of Institutional citizenship or teaching, although achievement in these areas is a welcome addition.

Research investigator positions are intended for persons for whom a full-time career in research is expected.  Appointments are recommended by the Department Chair or unit head, within the constraints of the University appointment procedures, and must be approved by the Dean’s Office of Faculty Affairs.  The time-in-rank limit for the Research Investigator is four years.  The Research Investigator can be promoted to Assistant Research Scientist or to Research Assistant Professor on the Research Professor Track.

Assistant Research Scientist:

Candidates who are appointed or promoted to this rank must have a record of publications in peer-reviewed journals.  Candidates for this rank are establishing a national presence with talks, abstract presentations and/or participation at professional meetings.  Candidates for Assistant Research Scientist should demonstrate potential for scholarly development, possibly as part of a larger research program. 

 Appointments and promotions to assistant research scientist require review by the Advisory Committee on Primary Research Appointments, Promotions, and Titles (APRAPT) and approval by the Medical School Executive Committee.  The time-in-rank limit for the Assistant Research Scientist is six years.  (A review of the Assistant Research Scientist’s progress will be conducted by the Medical School upon completion of the third year in rank.)

Associate Research Scientist: 

Appointment or promotion to this rank requires growing national and/or international scientific visibility.  Independence in research is not required, but may be developing as represented by a substantial record of collaborative funding as a team scientist (usually as co-investigator).  There should be a strong and sustained record of publication in peer-reviewed journals, including a number of first-author and/or senior-author publications and evidence that this accomplishment will continue.  A candidate for this rank typically have a record of participation in or presentation at professional meetings, symposia, and/or invited talks.

Promotion to associate research scientist signals the passage into medical academia’s senior rank.

 Appointments and promotions to associate research scientist require review by APRAPT; approval by the Medical School Executive Committee; endorsement by the Dean/Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, and the Vice President for Research.  There is no time–in-rank limit for the Associate Research Scientist.  However, longevity in this rank is not sufficient evidence of accomplishment or merit for promotion.  

Research Scientist: 

Appointment and promotion to this highest rank in the Research Scientist Track requires an internationally recognized record of continued excellence in research productivity and contributions.  A Research Scientist will have a sustained record of first-author and/or senior-author publications in peer-reviewed journals.  A Research Scientist will have served as principal investigator on center grants, major grants (e.g. NIH R01) or equivalent.  A significant and sustained record of participation in relevant professional meetings is expected of a Research Scientist. 

 Appointments and promotions to research scientist require review by APRAPT; approval by the Medical School Executive Committee; endorsement by the Dean/ Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, and the Vice President for Research.

Research Professor Track

Research professor track faculty must have achieved or demonstrated the potential for autonomy as independent scientists or as part of a scientific team and excellence in initiation, direction and completion of research projects.  A record of substantial teaching and mentoring within the context of one or more research programs with postdoctoral fellows, junior research colleagues, or students at any level is an expectation in the Research Professor Track.

Research Assistant Professor: 

Candidates who are appointed or promoted to this rank must have an established record of publications in peer-reviewed journals in which several are primary or senior authored.  Emerging national visibility is typically documented by participation in professional meetings.  Candidates for Research Assistant Professor will have evidence of potential for extramural funding (often mentored K awards and/or foundation grants); with a strong potential for future independent “RO1 NIH type” proposals.  Contributions to education and Institutional citizenship are typical.  Candidates at this rank typically have documented teaching and mentoring within the context of one or more research programs with postdoctoral fellows, junior research colleagues, or students at any level.

Appointments and promotions to research assistant professor require review by the Advisory Committee on Primary Research Appointments, Promotions, and Titles (APRAPT) and approval by the Medical School Executive Committee. The time-in-rank limit for the Research Assistant Professor is six years. (A review of the Research Assistant Professor’s progress will be conducted by the Medical School upon completion of the third year in rank.)

Research Associate Professor: 

Appointment or promotion to this rank requires independent, distinguished, and productive research that has been consistent over a number of years and has gained national or international recognition.  There should be clear evidence of in obtaining significant independent external funding as principal investigator; past the level of initial research grants and fellowships.  There should be a strong record of publication in peer-reviewed journals, including numerous first-author and/or senior-author publications and evidence that this accomplishment will continue.  Many researchers appointed or promoted to research associate professor also have a substantial record of book chapters, abstracts, and/or textbook co-authorships.

 A Research Associate Professor must have produced research that has achieved a national reputation.  A candidate for this rank should have a record of invited national lectures, seminars, study sections, and ad hoc reviews.  Candidates at this rank will have a record of substantial teaching and mentoring, both in quantity and quality, within the context of one or more research programs with postdoctoral fellows, junior research colleagues, or students at any level.  Institutional citizenship is expected to achieve this rank but cannot substitute for distinguished research performance. Promotion to Research Associate Professor signals the passage into medical academia’s senior rank.

 Appointments and promotions to Research Associate Professor require review by APRAPT; approval by the Medical School Executive Committee; endorsement by the Dean, the Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, the Vice President for Research, the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, and the President.  There is no time-in-rank limit for this position.  There is no time-in-rank limit for this position.  However, longevity in this rank is not sufficient evidence of accomplishment or merit for promotion.  

Research Professor: 

Appointment and promotion to this highest rank in the Research Track requires an internationally recognized record of continued excellence in research.  A Research Professor will have a substantial and continued record of first-author and/or senior-author publications in peer-reviewed journals.  A Research Professor will have served as principal or co-principal investigator on center grants, major grants (e.g. NIH R01) or equivalent and demonstrate a maintained record of such funding.  National and international lectures, seminars, study sections, and ad hoc reviews are expected of a Research Professor.  Research Professors are expected to perform mentoring, supervising, and laboratory or research based teaching in a number of venues.  Institutional citizenship is expected of a Research Faculty.

Appointments and promotions to research professor require review by APRAPT; approval by the Medical School Executive Committee; endorsement by the Dean, the Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, the Vice President for Research, the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, and the President.