Appointment and Promotion Criteria

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. 

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 with first/senior authorship is expected.  

Some examples of success on the research scientist track are:

  • Team science researcher who serves as co-investigator (and/or as PI on small grants - not required).
  • Recognized for specific research or technical expertise in a team science environment.
  • Peer-reviewed research in high-impact journals.
  • Participation at the national level for their scholarship.

Assistant Research Scientist

 

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

Associate Research Scientist Criteria and Medical School Benchmarks

Appointments and promotions to associate research scientist require review by APRAPT; approval by the Medical School Executive Committee; endorsement by the 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

Research Scientist Criteria and Medical School Benchmarks

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

Research Professor Track

Research professor track faculty must have a record of substantial teaching and mentoring of postdoctoral fellows, junior research colleagues, or students at any level.  They 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.  

Independent and peer-reviewed funding is the norm in research-based careers. For many research-oriented faculty, being the principal investigator or multiple principal investigator on a National Institutes of Health R01 grant indicates independent, established investigator status. Other grants, which can be considered R01 equivalents can also indicate independent investigator status, including: Veterans Administration Merit grants, or similar sized grants from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other federal agencies (AHRQ, HRSA/MCHB, DOD, NSF). Substantial non-governmental granting organization grants may also be considered R01 equivalents. Examples of these are grants from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), or established foundations such as the American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, and others. The important criterion is an established peer-review process for these grant applications.  Additionally, the grants are typically for multiple years with substantial funding for the investigator’s research program.

Some examples of success on the research professor track are:

  • Independent researcher that is well-funded.
  • Highly sought after for research or technical expertise.
  • Peer-reviewed research in high-impact journals.
  • Recognized at the national and international level for their scholarship.

Research Assistant Professor

Research Assistant Professor Criteria and Medical School Benchmarks

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 seven 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

Research Associate Professor Criteria and Medical School Benchmarks

A Research Associate Professor must have produced research that has achieved a national reputation.  Institutional citizenship is expected to achieve this rank but cannot substitute for distinguished research performance. 

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

Research Professor Criteria and Medical School Benchmarks

Appointment and promotion to this highest rank in the Research Track requires an internationally recognized record of continued excellence in research.  Institutional citizenship is expected of a Research Professor.

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

Information on UMOR policies for appointments and promotions for Research Scientists and Research Professor tracks can be found here.

UMOR Appointment and Promotion Research Grid

Letter of Support for Federal Funding

The Office of Faculty Affairs can provide an optional letter of support describing the appointment and promotion criteria for research track faculty at the University of Michigan upon request.  This letter can be included in a research application to the NIH and other federal funders to clarify the use of research faculty titles at U-M.

  1. Download this template
  2. Update the highlighted sections within the template
    • NIH Scientific Review Officer
    • PI Name’s
    • Federal Funding Agencies Name (add in 2 spots)
    • Grant title
    • 2-3 sentences describing the project. [Optional]
  3. Email the completed letter to Lisa Turek and copy Aruna Sarma. Include within the email the deadline for grant submission.  We require a minimum of two weeks to obtain the appropriate signatures.