Faculty on the tenure track demonstrate excellence in the discovery and dissemination of new knowledge, as evidenced by national and international recognition of their scholarship and successful competition for extramural funding such as that provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). While many faculty members on this track will engage in the scholarship of discovery through bench research, this track is also available to faculty members who develop clinical and translational research programs. In addition, excellence in teaching and outstanding service to Ohio State is required, though these alone are not sufficient for promotion on this track.

Promotion to associate professor on the tenure track 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 tenure-track are: instructor, assistant professor, associate professor and professor.

Faculty who are appointed at the rank of assistant professor have a probationary period. The duration of this probationary period depends on whether or not the faculty member has patient care responsibilities. Faculty members with patient care responsibilities have an eleven-year probationary period whereas those who do not have patient care responsibilities have a six-year probationary period. It is important to appreciate that these are maximum periods, and there is no minimum number of years of service required before a faculty member may be considered for promotion. In addition to the standard probationary period, faculty members on the tenure track have the ability to exclude time from the probationary period (i.e. “stop the clock”) for specific reasons including birth or adoption of a child, or for reasons outside the faculty member’s control which prevent them from pursuing their faculty responsibilities. In general, a maximum of three years may be excluded from the probationary period.

Ordinarily promotion to the rank of associate professor and the award of tenure are linked.  However, the college has recognized the value of recognizing the accomplishments of faculty members as they work towards tenure, and we therefore have the ability to consider a faculty member for promotion to associate professor independent of the award of tenure.  When this occurs for faculty with an 11-year probationary period, the subsequent consideration for tenure must occur no later than six years after promotion to associate professor.