Office of the Provost

The University of Michigan Faculty Handbook

5.D Research Faculty

5.D.1 Introduction

The term “research faculty" refers to persons appointed to titles in the research scientist and research professor tracks. Research faculty are members of the faculty whose primary effort is in research rather than instruction. Research faculty appointments are not tenure track appointments. The Institute for Social Research (ISR) is authorized to award "ISR Tenure," offered at and secured by the resources of ISR. See  Proceedings of the Board of Regents, November, 1968. However, a close correspondence is intended between the instructional ranks and the research faculty ranks, in both the criteria of competence and achievement and in the mechanics and procedures for applying these criteria in appointments and promotions (bylaw 5.24).

Research faculty are encouraged to participate in educational activities to the degree consistent with their research responsibilities. When appropriate, they may contribute to seminars, classes and symposia as may be arranged with the instructional department. In many cases, research faculty can assist in the research training of dissertation candidates or post-doctoral trainees. The manner in which instructional activities are included in determining promotion and advancement depends upon the policies of the individual units. See section 5.D.5 "Promotions of Research Faculty" for additional information about promotion.

Depending on the unit, research faculty appointments may be made in two separate tracks, the research professor track and the research scientist track.

On September 1, 2009, the Office of the Provost and the UM Office of Research jointly adopted a University-wide set of guidelines <http://www.research.umich.edu/appointments-promotions> for the appointment and promotion of research faculty. Key changes to the guidelines include revised criteria for appointing and promoting research faculty, a time-in-rank limit of four years for research investigators, a required third-year review by the appointing school, college, or unit for assistant research scientists and research assistant professors, and a required six-year review by the appropriate central office(s) for assistant research scientists and research assistant professors. Contingent on approval from the Office of the Provost and the UM Office of Research , the schools, colleges, and other appointing units may add unit-specific procedures and processes to their appointment and promotion guidelines in an appendix to the required guidelines.

5.D.2 Research Scientist Track

The research scientist classifications are research scientist, associate research scientist, assistant research scientist, and research investigator. Faculty in these ranks carry out research in an academic environment and may participate in instructional activities. The vice president for research has delegated authority to the deans and the directors of ISR and the Life Sciences Institute (LSI) to appoint research investigators and to appoint or promote individuals to the rank of assistant research scientist. Appointments at the associate research scientist and research scientist ranks require approval by the vice president for research before an offer may be extended. The administration of the research scientist track is the responsibility of the vice president for research, and appointment materials, promotion dossiers, and inquiries should be routed accordingly (bylaw 5.24).

5.D.3 Research Professor Track

The research professor classifications are research professor, research associate professor and research assistant professor. The provost and executive vice president for academic affairs and the vice president for research have delegated authority to the deans and major unit directors to appoint and promote individuals to the rank of research assistant professor. Appointments at the associate research professor and research professor ranks require approval by the provost and executive vice president for academic affairs (Ann Arbor campus) and by the vice president for research before an offer may be extended. The administration of the research professor track is the responsibility of the provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, and appointment requests, promotion dossiers, and inquiries should be routed accordingly (bylaw 5.24).

5.D.4 Supplemental Research Faculty ("Adjunct" and "Visiting")

Supplemental research faculty consist of all ranks of adjunct and visiting research faculty. The term "adjunct" is used in conjunction with research faculty appointees whose primary employment responsibilities lie outside the University or in another capacity within the University. The specific conditions appropriate for the use of adjunct titles are determined by each school, college and unit. Continuation of appointments of adjunct research faculty is reviewed by the dean or director and the executive committee, if any, each year.

The term "visiting" is used in conjunction with research faculty ranks for appointees who participate in the research function and are identified primarily with another institution of higher learning. The specific conditions appropriate for the use of visiting titles are determined by each school, college or unit. The criteria applied in initial appointment recommendations conform to the criteria used in determining appointments to regular ranks.

5.D.5 Promotions of Research Faculty

As mentioned in 5.D.1 , the Office of the Provost and the UM Office of Research have jointly adopted a University-wide set of guidelines <http://www.research.umich.edu/appointments-promotions> for the appointment and promotion of research faculty. Contingent on approval from the Office of the Provost and the  UM Office of Research, the schools, colleges, and other appointing units may add unit-specific procedures and processes to their appointment and promotion guidelines in an appendix to the required guidelines.

Each employing unit provides a system of peer review prior to initial appointment and in awarding promotions. A promotion may be initiated by the employing unit or result from a request by a research faculty member. (SPG 201.03) In the research scientist track, promotions are approved by the vice president for research on recommendation by the chair of the department and the dean or director, and the executive committee where applicable. Promotions of individuals on the research professor track also require the approval of the provost and executive vice president for academic affairs (Ann Arbor campus). In the Medical School, approval of the executive vice president for medical affairs is also required.

Faculty Handbook: Appointments: