The research faculty track exists for faculty members who focus principally on scholarship. Notably, the standards for scholarly achievement are similar to those for individuals on the tenure-track for each faculty rank. A research faculty member may, but is not required to, participate in educational and service activities. Research faculty are expected to contribute to a department’s research mission and are expected to demonstrate excellence in scholarship as reflected by high quality peer-reviewed publications and successful competition for NIH or similar funding.

Promotion to associate professor on the research faculty is awarded for having developed a national level of recognition and impact in one’s field of study. This is generally assessed through the evaluation of the quality and quantity of an individual’s scholarship, and most importantly, through the impact that it has had on the field. Impact is assessed by evaluating numerous data points including citation data, journal impact factors, invitations to present one’s work, journal reviews and editorships, and study section participation, among other variables. Funding to support one’s research program is required as evidence of sustainability of the research program and is typically required to be from the NIH or another comparable federal source.

The titles of faculty members on the research faculty are: research assistant professor, research associate professor and research professor.

Research faculty appointments are not eligible for tenure, but are eligible to be appointed to renewable term contracts of 1-5 years. The first term of appointment to the regular research track is probationary, regardless of the length of the contract period and the rank of initial appointment.  Faculty are reviewed annually and a more formal review occurs in the penultimate year of the contract to determine if the contract will be renewed.

Renewal of the contract may be for a period of 1-5 years and the term of a renewal is not dependent on the term of the previous contract.  A formal review occurs in the penultimate year of each subsequent contract to determine if the contract will be renewed. There is no minimum or maximum years of service required before a faculty member can be considered for promotion.