Research Faculty Promotion Guidelines and Process

The Office of Faculty Affairs, in collaboration with the offices of the Provost and the Executive Vice President for Research (EVPR), oversees the Research Faculty Promotion Process at the Institute level. The compilation of promotion packages, however, happens at the unit level. A general description of the promotion process follows. This process may vary slightly depending on the unit, so candidates should contact their unit representative for specific information and guidance.

  1. A candidate, in consultation with his or her direct supervisor, submits a CV to the unit to be considered for promotion.
  2. For promotion to the Principal level, the unit seeks at least three (3) letters of external evaluation. These letters should be included in the promotion package for the peer review committee evaluation process.
  3. The unit convenes a peer review committee to evaluate the candidate and make a recommendation to the unit director.  The members of this committee should be of at least an equal, and preferably a higher, rank than the candidate.  The committee’s recommendation and rationale are communicated to the unit director in a formal letter.
  4. The unit director adds his or her recommendation, also in a formal letter, to the candidate’s package.
  5. A higher-level committee reviews the candidate’s package and makes a recommendation to the executive at the dean or director level.  In academic departments, this is a college-level committee; in Interdisciplinary Research Centers the committee is convened by the EVPR office; and GTRI has a standing committee for this purpose.  The committee’s recommendation and rationale are communicated to the dean or director in a formal letter.
  6. An executive at the dean or director level adds his or her written recommendation to the package.
  7. Units then submit their candidates’ completed promotion packages to the office of Faculty Affairs, for distribution to the Institute Committee.
  8. The Institute Committee reviews and votes on each package.  Their recommendations go to the Executive Vice President for Research and the Provost, who then make a recommendation to the President of the Institute.
  9. The President makes a final decision, which is then communicated in writing to the candidate and distributed via the office of Faculty Affairs to the candidate’s unit.

Requirements for Promotion

The backbone of this process is ensuring that candidates meet institutional standards for promotion, and the promotion packet and the committee/individual letters should reflect that. 

Different colleges and units may have additional requirements as part of the review process. Please consult with your college/unit for further information.

Each rank requires demonstration of certain levels of achievement and duties. If there are any special circumstances that do not allow the candidate to fully explain their work (such as confidentiality agreements or classified projects), we recommend that documentation be included to note these circumstances, either in the summary page, CV, or through an external letter of recommendation as appropriate.

The general requirements for Researcher II, Senior Researcher, and Principal Researcher can be found in Section 3.2.1 of the Faculty Handbook.

Research Associates / Engineers / Scientists / Technologists / Extension Professionals

Promotions among these titles are all covered by the Research Faculty Promotion Process. However, they have different job functions and duties.

For Research Associates/Technologists some conversion of the criteria may be required to demonstrate how their specific job function/duties and their job performance meet the standards for promotion. View a sample of how this conversion can be done:

Institute policy regarding Research Associates/Technologists can be found in Section 3.2.1 of the Faculty Handbook on the Policy Library website.







>> 2023 Workshop for Research Faculty Promotion Processing - video recording and slide deck (.pdf)

>> 2022 Research Promotion Peer Review Committee Memos - sample templates