Expectations of Tenure-Track Faculty

More specific interpretation of expectations of faculty on the tenure track. 

Category 1:   Faculty whose primary activity is research

A recommendation for tenure must be based on sustained research productivity as evidenced by publications and extramural funding. As an example, a candidate may have 2 to 3 substantial peer-reviewed publications per year over the last three years preceding the award of tenure, each of these reflecting work accomplished primarily within the investigator’s group. These publications should reflect progress toward answering one or more substantial biomedical questions, and cannot be a collection of unrelated studies.  

Adjustments in the expected number of publications may be made to reflect greater or lesser length, quality, and impact on the field. Non peer-reviewed publications and contributions to collaborative studies directed primarily by others will be viewed positively but cannot substitute entirely for a body of peer-reviewed, independent work.

The candidate should be a current principal investigator on one or more substantial, peer-reviewed extramural research grants. The amount of grant support should be sufficient, at minimum, to support 50% of the total cost of the individual’s research program, and typically will be greater, supporting 50% of salary and up to 100% of other costs.   Demonstrated ability to renew extramural grant support (or to compete successfully for additional support, after the initial round) will provide important evidence for the sustainability of the candidate’s program.

To establish the degree of outside recognition, it is expected that the committee will solicit letters from 4 to 8 prominent researchers in the candidate’s field. The candidate may suggest individuals to write letters but the committee is not limited to this list.

It is also expected that the candidate will demonstrate excellence in teaching, with accomplishments, as documented in an educator’s portfolio, that are commensurate with the fraction of time devoted to teaching. Teaching effort will often be within the School of Graduate Study, and this effort will be counted toward promotion and tenure. It is desirable, but not required, that some teaching also be within the School of Medicine.

Category 2: Faculty whose primary activity is clinical service with some teaching, and who conduct on-going, funded clinical research.

 Recommendation for tenure must be based on sustained research productivity, usually clinical investigation, as evidenced by publications and extramural funding.  Expectations will be commensurate with the fraction of total effort devoted to research. A candidate should have an ongoing record of peer-reviewed publications over several years preceding the award of tenure, and should be the senior or corresponding author on at least some of these publications. Additional publications may reflect collaborative multi-investigator studies in which the faculty member has had a substantial, although perhaps not the leading, role.

The committee recognizes that productivity in clinically-based research may be measured somewhat differently than in basic research. Although faculty members are encouraged to be principal investigators on peer-reviewed research grants, other forms of extramural support are also recognized as valuable, particularly when funded activity leads to scholarly publication.  For example, a faculty member may be a co-investigator or project director in the context of a larger grant or center.  Faculty may also have research contract funding that is recognized as being of distinct value to the institution.

For faculty members with substantial clinical commitments, clinical service will be taken into account in the promotion and tenure process. As stated in the faculty manual, "Since the Georgia Health Sciences University is unique among University System of Georgia institutions in that it is heavily involved in patient care, faculty members in appropriate disciplines may also be evaluated [for tenure] in terms of their clinical service in addition to those areas common to all University System of Georgia institutions.

Category 3:   Faculty whose primary activities are teaching and/or educational administration and who conduct ongoing scholarly work, including peer-reviewed publications, in the area of medical education; some funding is expected.

Few faculty whose primary responsibilities are teaching and/or educational administration are likely to meet the scholarship requirements of the tenure track. However, scholarship in the realm of education/teaching does not exclude a faculty member from appointment in the tenure track. Faculty members are scholars who advance or transform knowledge through application of the intellect in an informed, disciplined, and creative manner and produce products that are typically reviewed by peers to assess quality and made public for others to learn from or build upon. The products of scholarship of research (discovery of new knowledge) are peer-reviewed publications and extramurally funded grants, while products related to education, including teaching, are typically instructional materials (including web-based, syllabi, case discussion materials), evaluation tools, development, or educational leadership, in addition to peer-reviewed publications. The common element of scholarship among these products is peer judgment of quality and dissemination. For appointment and promotion on the tenure track, scholarship should be supported by extramural funding and evidenced by peer-reviewed publications as well as other scholarly products.