Jump to other news and events
Purdue signature
 

Human Resources

Research Faculty Appointment and Promotion (VI.F.8)

Volume VI: Human Resources
Chapter F: Terms and Conditions of Employment
Responsible Executive: Vice President for Research
Responsible Office: Office of the Vice President for Research
Date Issued: April 1, 2012
Date Last Revised: N/A

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Statement of Policy
Reason for This Policy
Individuals and Entities Affected by This Policy
Who Should Know This Policy
Exclusions
Website Address for This Policy
Contacts
Definitions
Responsibilities
Procedures
Related Documents, Forms and Tools
History and Updates
Appendix

STATEMENT OF POLICY

Research Faculty positions are intended to provide a career path that allows for independence, individual scientific growth and the opportunity for promotion through scientific ranks. They are envisioned to be equivalent to the tenure-track faculty position without the responsibility of didactic teaching and without eligibility for tenure.

Research Faculty will be appointed with academic rank equivalent to tenure-track faculty (i.e., assistant professor, associate professor or full professor). The faculty rank of instructor is not available for Research Faculty. Qualifications for the three Research Faculty ranks are comparable to those of tenure-track ranks, but with primary or singular focus on research credentials. The ability to secure external funding does not automatically qualify individuals for Research Faculty appointments.

Individuals appointed to Research Faculty positions will:

  • Engage in activities that support the academic and scholarly life of the University, particularly those that enhance the discovery mission of the University.
  • Possess outstanding research credentials, similar to the research credentials of tenure-track and tenured faculty at comparable rank.
  • Possess a doctorate or appropriate terminal degree in their field of research.
  • Participate in activities that enhance professional growth.
  • Develop and lead independent research programs.
The primary responsibilities of Research Faculty are research and research-related activities such as proposal writing, project supervision and teaching/mentorship specifically linked to their scholarship and research programs (e.g., supervision of undergraduates, graduate students and Postdoctoral Research Associates). Although Research Faculty do not have regular teaching duties, it is recognized that instances may occur when it is advantageous to expose students to a specialized expertise. In cases where a Research Faculty member is considered for a limited teaching assignment, a separate part-time teaching appointment is required. Such part-time teaching appointments must be prior approved by the Vice President for Research and the Provost.

Research Faculty positions must be primarily supported by extramural or non-general funds. It is recognized that certain effort (e.g., proposal writing, serving on graduate student advisory committees and other activities not related to the objectives of funded research projects) cannot be compensated by extramural funds. Therefore, at the discretion of the appointing unit and subject to the availability of funds, alternative sources to extramural funding, including gift funds and unrestricted, internal university funds (e.g., general funds) may be appropriated by the appointing unit for partial support of Research Faculty. Support from internal university funds (e.g., general funds) may not exceed 25% of the total annual compensation of each Research Faculty position. Except as noted in this policy, Research Faculty are subject to the policies, procedures, guidelines and regulations governing tenure-track and tenured faculty.

REASON FOR THIS POLICY

In January 2005, the University Senate passed University Senate Document 04-4 as Amended and Approved January 24, 2005. This document, titled “Proposal for Non-Tenure Track Research Faculty within Purdue University," established the employment classification of Research Faculty in response to the changing research environment and evolving discovery mission of the University. This policy revises the principles and procedures for the appointment and promotion of Research Faculty at Purdue University.

INDIVIDUALS AND ENTITIES AFFECTED BY THIS POLICY

 All campuses, units, faculty, staff and students at Purdue University.

WHO SHOULD KNOW THIS POLICY

Board of Trustees
President
Chancellors
Vice Presidents
Vice Chancellors
Associate and Vice Provosts
Deans/Directors
Department/School Heads/Chairs
Faculty
Staff involved in the screening and hiring process of Research Faculty
Supervisors
Business Services Staff

EXCLUSIONS

There are no exclusions to this policy.

WEBSITE ADDRESS FOR THIS POLICY

www.purdue.edu/policies/human-resources/vif8.html

CONTACTS

Subject Contact Telephone E-mail/Web Address
Policy Clarification Office of the Vice President for Research 765-494-6209 ovpr@purdue.edu
Campus Specific Questions Calumet: Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs 219-989-2446 webs.purduecal.edu/acadaffrs/
Fort Wayne: Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs 206-481-6116 new.ipfw.edu/oaa/
North Central: Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs 219-785-5500
800-872-1231 ext. 5500
www.pnc.edu/academic_affairs/
West Lafayette: Office of the Vice President for Research 765-494-6209 ovpr@purdue.edu
Search and Search Waivers Calumet:
Office of Equity and Diversity
219-989-2337  
Fort Wayne:
Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action
260-481-6106  
North Central:
Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Office
219-785-5545  
West Lafayette: Office of Institutional Equity 765-494-7253
765-496-1343 (TTY)
equity@purdue.edu

DEFINITIONS

Area Committee
A college, school or center level committee that considers candidates for promotion. In situations where no such committee exists, the Vice President for Research will appoint an ad hoc committee to perform the same functions.

Board of Trustees
The Board of Trustees of The Trustees of Purdue University.

CUL
Capacity utilization level, or a faculty member’s full-time equivalency.

Panel C
A West Lafayette campus level committee that considers Research Faculty promotion candidates. Committee membership is comprised as follows:

  • Provost as chair
  • Vice President for Research (ex officio)
  • Two academic deans or associate deans from colleges/schools that employ Research Faculty
  • Three faculty members appointed by the Provost from the University Promotions Committee
  • Three research professors appointed by the Provost

Postdoctoral Research Associate
A scholar or researcher who is temporarily undergoing academic study or training beyond the level of a doctorate degree and is supervised/mentored by a faculty member.

Primary Committee
A department level committee that considers candidates for promotion. In situations where no such committee exists, the Vice President for Research will appoint an ad hoc committee to perform the same functions.

Provost
Purdue’s Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost.

Purdue, University and Purdue University
Any campus, unit, program, association or entity of Purdue University, including but not limited to Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, Purdue University Calumet, Purdue University North Central, Purdue University West Lafayette, Purdue Cooperative Extension Service and College of Technology Statewide.

Research Faculty
A non-tenure professorial position that reports to a department head or center director. Research Faculty carry no sustained teaching duties other than the supervision of the research activities of undergraduate and graduate students and Postdoctoral Research Associates. They are qualified and expected to develop and lead independent research programs.

Research Faculty Center/Department
A Research Faculty member appointed in a non-degree granting unit (center) for whom the center has established a formal relationship with a degree-granting, academic unit(s). Individuals holding the classification of Research Faculty Center/Department may serve as graduate mentors for graduate students in the academic unit(s) with which the relationship exists, subject to the policies and procedures of the graduate school. Departmental/college/school policies addressing graduate student mentorship that apply to tenure-track/tenured faculty will apply equally to Research Faculty.

Research Scientist/Research Associate
Researchers who work collaboratively with and typically report to academic or Research Faculty members and generally do not have the qualifications to become a faculty member. Research Scientists/Research Associates are not expected to direct independent research programs and may not serve as principal investigators on grant applications without prior approval of the appointing unit head/director, the appropriate dean/ Discovery Park executive director and the Vice President for Research. The Research Scientist/Research Associate position can be a career path to the Research Faculty position. This definition is provided in order to distinguish this position from that of Research Faculty.

Short-Term Appointments
Any appointment of less than one semester (for academic year appointments) or five months (for fiscal year appointments), regardless of the CUL.

RESPONSIBILITIES

Vice President for Research

  • Administer this policy.
  • For the West Lafayette campus, review requests to establish Research Faculty positions and make a final determination.
  • For the West Lafayette campus, review Research Faculty appointments for prior approval when applicable and make a final determination.
  • Appoint ad hoc Primary and Area Committees as needed.
  • Serve on Panel C.
  • Take all Research Faculty promotion recommendations to the Board of Trustees for ratification.

Chancellor

  • Review requests to establish Research Faculty positions and make a final determination.
  • Review Research Faculty appointments for prior approval when applicable and make a final determination.
  • Review Research Faculty promotion candidates and submit approved candidates to the Vice President for Research for recommendation to the Board of Trustees for ratification.

Provost

  • Serve as chair of Panel C.

Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

  • Review requests to establish Research Faculty positions and determine what approvals are required prior to the request being submitted to him or her for review.

Academic Units and Centers

  • Document the guidelines and requirements for Research Faculty specific to their unit.

Department/School Heads and Center Directors

  • Review requests to establish Research Faculty positions in their units and determine whether to forward the request to the next level.

Deans and Executive Director of Discovery Park

  • Review requests to establish Research Faculty positions in their units and determine whether to forward the request to the next level.
  • Upon authorization to establish a Research Faculty position, authorize the search.
  • Ensure appropriate funding exists to support the Research Faculty position.
  • Obtain prior approvals as necessary for Research Faculty appointments and extend an offer.

Primary Committee

  • Consider Research Faculty candidates for promotion.

Area Committee

  • Consider Research Faculty candidates for promotion following the Primary Committee’s review.

Panel C

  • Consider Research Faculty candidates for promotion on the West Lafayette campus following the Area Committee’s review.

Research Faculty

  • Adhere to the requirements of this policy and the terms and conditions of their employment contract.

PROCEDURES

  1. Authorization to Establish Research Faculty Positions
    1. Requests for the establishment of Research Faculty positions must originate within an academic unit or center. Colleges/Schools may desire to establish a uniform set of guidelines for Research Faculty positions in all departments within the college/school where such an approach is appropriate.

      Units interested in establishing Research Faculty positions are required to document the guidelines and requirements specific to their unit. The following aspects, as appropriate to the unit, must be included in the documentation:
      • General requirements for appointment to the Research Faculty (educational background, professional expertise, etc.).  Appointment processes must follow appointment processes for tenure-track/tenured faculty.
      • Guidelines for annual review, reappointment and promotion.
      • Unit voting privileges.
      • Other unit specific guidelines or considerations.

      All guidelines and requirements must be consistent with the overall university guidelines as approved by the University Senate and outlined in this policy. In cases where inconsistencies arise between college/school/center guidelines and this policy, this policy prevails.

    2. Once the unit has documented the above, it must obtain authorization to establish the Research Faculty position(s). All requests on the West Lafayette campus must be approved by the Vice President for Research. The following approvals relative to the unit type/location must be obtained prior to the request being submitted to the Vice President for Research for review:

      • Requests from an academic unit(s) on the West Lafayette campus must have approval by the department/school head and dean.
      • Requests for college/school-based centers must have approval by the center director and dean.
      • Requests originating from centers reporting to the Office of the Vice President for Research must have approval by the center director. Research Faculty appointed in Discovery Park additionally must have the approval of the Executive Director of Discovery Park.

      All requests on regional campuses must be approved by the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs then approved by the Chancellor. Each Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs may determine what approvals are required prior to the request being submitted to him or her for review.

  2. Candidate Search
    1. Once all authorizations outlined in Section I.B above have been obtained for the establishment of a Research Faculty position(s), the dean or center director may authorize a search. It is the responsibility of the dean or center director to ensure that appropriate funding exists to support the Research Faculty position. The normal search and screen processes in place for tenure-track and tenured faculty hires will be used for Research Faculty hires. Procedures to obtain a search waiver are described in the “Guidelines for Research Faculty Appointments."
    2. If a non-degree granting unit (center) wishes to establish a formal relationship with a degree granting, academic unit(s) for a particular Research Faculty appointment in their center, the request should be initiated by the center’s director at the beginning of the search process so the academic unit(s) may participate in that process. When such relationships are established, all fiscal responsibility for individuals holding a Research Faculty Center/Department classification remains with the center in which the individual is appointed.
    3. Review of Research Faculty candidates for hiring (and promotion) will be conducted with the same rigor accorded that within the tenure-track ranks. Research Faculty members will be hired at a rank commensurate with their professional experience and qualifications and in accordance with the following (in addition to the guidelines established by the college/school/center):
      • Assistant Research Professor: Candidates for appointment to this rank must exhibit significant promise for the establishment of an independent, nationally recognized research program, which contributes to the discovery mission of the University.
      • Associate Research Professor: Candidates for appointment to this rank must have a significant and sustained record of independent, scholarly accomplishment and externally funded research. The candidate additionally must show promise of continued professional growth, national recognition and contribution to the discovery mission of the University.
      • Research Professor: Candidates for appointment to this rank must be nationally and internationally recognized authorities in their field and have established significant and sustained extramural research funding, which contributes to the discovery mission of the University.
  3. Appointment of Research Faculty
    1. Requests to appoint specific individuals to Research Faculty positions within a unit cannot be made until the authorization to establish such positions has been obtained as outlined in Section I of these Procedures.
    2. The following conditions must be met for all Research Faculty appointments:
      • Appointments may be either academic year or fiscal year. Part-time appointments are allowed.
      • Appointments are renewable and each appointment period may not exceed three years. Renewed appointments are contingent upon availability of funds and satisfactory performance evaluations.
      • An incumbent may not hold a tenure-track and a Research Faculty position simultaneously.
      • An incumbent may hold Research Faculty appointments in multiple units as long as the appointments do not exceed a total of 100 percent CUL.
      • Research Faculty may not be designated as visiting faculty.
    3. In general and as appropriate, the prior approval requirements for appointments of tenure-track/tenured faculty apply to appointments of Research Faculty.

      On the West Lafayette campus, prior approval requirements applicable to Research Faculty have been delegated to the Vice President for Research as outlined in the document “Employment Actions Requiring Prior Approval by the Provost." This document also provides a listing of actions relative to Research Faculty appointments that require prior approval by the Vice President for Research. The appointment date cannot pre-date the final Vice President for Research approval date. Deans, the Executive Director of Discovery Park and center directors who report directly to the Vice President for Research may extend offers to potential Research Faculty hires when prior approval is not required. College/School/Center guidelines for authorization to extend offers also must be followed.
    4. A template offer letter for Research Faculty positions is included in the “Guidelines for Research Faculty Appointments."
  4. Review and Promotion
    1. Annual Merit Review
      Research Faculty are eligible for annual merit increases in accordance with the University’s and each campus’s annual salary policies. Determination of merit increases will be based on the annual merit review. Research Faculty appointed in an academic department will undergo annual merit reviews in the same timeframe and following the same procedures and processes that are used for the annual merit reviews of tenure-track and tenured faculty in that department. Research faculty appointed in college/school-based centers will undergo the annual merit review following procedures established in the appointing college/school. Research Faculty appointed in centers reporting to the Office of the Vice President for Research will be reviewed by the Office of the Vice President for Research following receipt of recommendations by the hiring unit.
    2. Promotion Review
      Research Faculty are not subject to the probationary periods that are applicable to tenure-track faculty. Nevertheless, like tenure-track and tenured faculty, Research Faculty are eligible for promotion in rank from assistant research professor to associate research professor to research professor. Appointments less than 50 percent CUL and Short-Term Appointments are not eligible for promotion in rank. Criteria for promotion will be similar to that for tenure-track and tenured faculty, but with much greater or singular focus on research accomplishment. The guidelines and requirements outlined by the unit when the position was established (Section I.B) also will be referenced for promotion reviews.

      Recommendations for changes in rank will be considered during the normal fall and spring semester faculty promotion cycle in accordance with guidelines issued annually by the Provost. A promotion review for Research Faculty must occur at least every five years. Five-year reviews can result in dismissal, retention in rank or promotion in rank.

      Research Faculty appointed in an academic department will be reviewed for promotion by the Primary Committee and the Area Committee, with the addition of one or more Research Faculty to each committee as appropriate. Research Faculty appointed in a unit other than an academic department will be assigned either to a department-based Primary Committee for review or to ad hoc Primary and Area Committees appointed by the Vice President for Research. In the latter case, the Area Committee will consist of five members appointed by the Vice President for Research.

      On the West Lafayette campus, Panel C will review all Research Faculty promotion candidates submitted to it by Area Committees. On the regional campuses, the Area Committees will forward promotion candidates to the Chancellor for review and approval. The Vice President for Research will take all Research Faculty promotion recommendations to the Board of Trustees for ratification.
  5. Temporary Reductions in Funding

    When grant funding ends prior to the availability of anticipated new funding, the appointing unit may continue the employment of the Research Faculty member and provide salary support from departmental/center resources, including gift and general funds, for a bridging period of up to six months. This bridging provision is intended to be available after periods of significant extramural funding. Initial appointments are not eligible for bridge funding. Any commitment of salary support in the case of unanticipated loss of project funds will be the responsibility of the hiring unit.

RELATED DOCUMENTS, FORMS AND TOOLS

Frequently Asked Questions:  www.purdue.edu/research/vpr/publications/fac_policy.php

Guidelines for Research Faculty Appointments:  www.purdue.edu/research/vpr/publications/fac_policy.php

Employment Actions Requiring Prior Approval by the Provost: www.purdue.edu/provost/documents/delegations.pdf

University Senate Document 04-4 as Amended and Approved January 24, 2005: www2.itap.purdue.edu/faculty/documents/04-4.pdf

Related University Policies (not exhaustive):

HISTORY AND UPDATES

April 1, 2012: This policy combines and revises: 1) University Senate Document 04-4, and 2) “Research Faculty Implementation Guidelines" issued July 25, 2005, by the Office of the Vice President for Research. University Senate Document 11-1, a draft of this new policy, was approved January 23, 2012.

APPENDIX

There are no appendices to this policy.