Tenure track faculty lead novel, independent, investigator-driven research that defines a new field or drives an existing field forward, as evidenced by the development of new principles, methods, or technology that substantially alters the genesis or application of information. Tenure track faculty produce original scholarship that highlights their role in advancing their field, resulting in national (for Associate rank eligibility) and international (for Professor rank eligibility) recognition.

Join us for Strategies for Success on the Tenure Track

  • 5/23, 3-4:30
  • NEW Location: Room 123-AB, Abramson Pediatric Research Center, 3615 Civic Center Blvd
  • Presenter: David Margolis, MD, PhD, Chair of School COAP
Faculty Panelists

The Promotion Process Starts at Appointment. Read through the tabs below on Preparing for Reappointment and Promotion right away!


Getting Started

The Probationary Period

Those on the Tenure track must be promoted from the rank of Assistant Professor to the rank of Associate Professor by the end of their probationary period, which is the term between appointment and promotion.

Basic Scientists

For Basic Scientists, the mandatory review occurs during the fifth and sixth years. Between appointment and promotion, there is one reappointment. At year seven (7), the Basic Scientist will either be promoted or the seventh year will serve as the terminal year. For example, a faculty member appointed on July 1, 2017 would be on schedule for Reappointment July 1, 2020, and Tenure at the rank of Associate Professor on July 1, 2023.

Tenure Track (Basic Scientist) Seven Year Timeline

Physician Scientists

For Physician Scientists, the mandatory review occurs during the eighth and ninth years. Between appointment and promotion, there are two reappointments. At year ten (10), the Physician Scientist will either be promoted or the tenth year will serve as the terminal year. For example, a faculty member appointed on July 1, 2017 would be on schedule for Reappointment July 1, 2020, and again July 1, 2023, and considered for Tenure at the rank of Associate Professor with an effective date of July 1, 2026.

Tenure Track (Physician Scientist) Ten Year Timeline

Promotional Track Timelines and Extensions

Under certain circumstances, faculty on the tenure track may request and be granted an extension to the length of their probationary period. If you have experienced one of the qualifying events below, you are encouraged to request and submit to your chair a Faculty Notification for Extension to the Probationary Period Form. Extensions DO NOT affect evaluation for promotion.

Qualifying Events

  • birth or adoption of a child
  • serious medical condition of you or your  spouse, same-sex domestic partner, child or parent.
  • catastrophic event, such as an explosion in a boiler system in the faculty member's building or a fatal viral outbreak amongst research animals (an extensive investigation is undertaken in this situation)

Each faculty member is allowed a maximum of three extensions, one year at a time. The faculty member must give timely, written notification to the Chair, Dean, and Provost to receive the extension. You will find more information on the Extensions Policy the FAPD web site.

Key Takeaway: If you are eligible for an extension, there is no downside to requesting and taking one: you are encouraged to do so! Extensions DO NOT impact promotion. 

Career Strategy

As a new faculty member, you will be quite busy setting up and staffing your lab or clinic, but stay focused and keep in mind that the promotion process starts at appointment. Right away, you will want to make sure that you follow some key best practices.

  • Review your Academic Plan (sample blank form). Your Academic Plan is a job description that details expected effort distribution across research, teaching, clinical service, and administrative duties (if applicable). Your Academic Plan is used as a frame of reference at the time of reappointment and promotion, and therefore, should be reviewed yearly to ensure it accurately reflects department expectations and your clinical schedule.
  • Keep your CV and grant information updated in the Faculty Expertise Database (FEDs), accessed via My.Med (with your Pennkey). See the CV and Grants Page Check List here.
  • Track your teaching as you go using the Teaching Workbook. At reappointment and promotion, you will need to demonstrate you have met your required teaching effort effectively.
  • For teaching not formally evaluated by the Perelman School of Medicine, use the Blank Teaching Evaluation Form.
  • Start developing a list of individuals who might someday be one of your Extramural Consultants (see the Preparing for Promotions section for more information).
  • Cultivate multiple mentor relationships.

Key Takeaway: It is much easier to update FEDs using My.Med and your Teaching Workbook regularly. Waiting to update until the time of reappointment or promotion is extremely challenging, and you risk leaving out items. Update FEDS each time you present an abstract/poster, publish a paper, give a talk, join a committee, acquire a new role, or receive an award. Update your Teaching Workbook each time you teach.

Onboarding for Teaching

Faculty at the Perelman School of Medicine are expected to excel in teaching. The Professional Development Teaching Requirement for Assistant Professors is designed to support new faculty and foster success in clinical teaching, facilitating, lecturing, longitudinal mentoring, supervising lab rotations, and supervising scholarship. Your Department Committees on Appointments and Promotions (D-COAP) will not review reappointment dossiers for candidates that have not completed this onboarding requirement.

Ready to onboard for teaching? Start here

Resources: Sites Every Faculty Member Should Bookmark

CV and Grants Information

A guide for how to prepare a properly formatted PSOM CV and Grants Page in the only accepted form at the PSOM.

Faculty Affairs

The Perelman School of Medicine Faculty Affairs main web site for school policies and process. 

Knowledge Link

The university management system that tracks training enrollment and compliance.

MY.Med (with your Pennkey)

 

My.med is a PSOM portal to many important internal sites. Via My.med you can get to HAMSTER, the Housestaff And Medical Student Teaching Evaluation Record, where access your teaching evaluations, as and FEDS, the Faculty Expertise Database for CV maintenance.

Perelman School of Medicine Campus Map

 

Penn Online Directory

 

Teaching Workbook

Use this document to determine how teaching activities are credited and to track teaching.
Workbook Guide A companion document for the Teaching Workbook.

U@Penn Portal

U@Penn is a university portal that leads to important sites, such as those for your benefits. Keep your contact information updated in U@Penn/My Directory Information as this is the source data for Knowledge Link and the Penn Directory.

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Preparing for Reappointment

Key Questions to Prepare for your First Reappointment

General Process

The Department Committee on Appointments and Promotions (D-COAP) reviews your submitted materials. If the results are positive, your case then goes to the Perelman School of Medicine's COAP (S-COAP). For promotions to Associate professor and full Professor, if the school COAP approves your case, the dean will then present the case for the Provost's Staff Conference for review. (The Provost's Staff Conference, or PSC, is an advisory group to the Provost that includes Vice Provosts and Deans from across the University.) For all Assistant-rank reappointments, the Vice Dean for Faculty Affairs presents your case; approved recommendations then go to the Provost's Staff Conference Subcommittee (or “PSCS”). The PSCS is chaired by the Vice Provost and includes vice deans and associate deans from across the University. The dossier then goes to the University Provost. The University Provost makes the final decision on all faculty appointments, reappointments and promotions.

Advisory Letters

In some cases, the S-COAP may approve a reappointment, but do so with an Advisory Letter. Advisory Letters are not warning letters or in any way punitive. They are a method for the S-COAP to provide feedback for faculty who are not progressing along an expected trajectory in one or more areas. If you receive one, do not be alarmed, but do seek advice from your mentors on how you can adjust your efforts and apply the S-COAP’s recommendations.

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Preparing for Promotion

Key Topics to Discuss With Your Mentor(s)

Please note that the Provost's office will only review a candidate for promotion once. 

Promotion to Associate Professor

The successful candidate must have

  • a national reputation for outstanding scholarship that includes a body of work that demonstrates intellectual independence as indicated by membership in research societies, regular presentations at national meetings, and invited lectureships.
  • a series of peer-reviewed articles in respected journals that tell a coherent story about his/her research.
  • independent research grant support. This is most commonly from federal sources such as NIH, NSF, VA, NASA, DoD, etc., but funding from non-federal sources with a peer-review process such as States, foundations and non-profit institutes will also be considered.
  • a record of excellence in teaching students and trainees.

Those who are involved in patient care are expected to be excellent clinicians.

Collaborative and interdisciplinary research is encouraged and will be considered along with a candidate’s independent scholarship.* These collaborative contributions will be considered for their distinctive substantive contributions along with a candidate’s independent scholarship.

*As an aspect of a faculty candidate’s promotion, junior faculty members are encouraged to establish productive collaborations with other members of the PSOM faculty and even more broadly with other UPENN faculty or faculty at academic institutions in the US or internationally. Collaborative and large “team science” publications that include the name of more senior faculty or scientists provide evidence of independence if the faculty candidate for promotion is recognized by the comments of extramural reviewers, by comments solicited from leading members of the collaborative team, or by comments from Penn faculty members that corroborate the candidate’s intellectual leadership/value as being an important, critical, and identifiable aspect of the overall research effort. Furthermore, when appropriate, the faculty candidate should describe the value of their role in the collaborative and/or “team science” publications in their personal statement and by annotating appropriate references in the peer reviewed publication section of their CV.

Note: For candidates who are being proposed for appointment to the rank of Associate Professor and have achieved the rank or equivalent at a peer institution, the COAP will consider the totality of the candidate’s previous scholarly contributions, accomplishments, reputation and how the candidate will enhance the prestige and mission of the Perelman School of Medicine and the University of Pennsylvania.

Please note that the Provost's office will only review a candidate for promotion once. 

Promotion to Professor

The successful candidate will  

  • be among the top scholars in the country in his/her area of expertise, with an international reputation for his/her accomplishments.
  • have a CV that reflects a substantial body of work and evidence of continuing productivity and excellence since his/her promotion to associate professor.
  • be a principal investigator of one or more federal grants.
  • have a record of teaching excellence, and when appropriate, of serving as a graduate student preceptor and thesis committee chair.
  • have a record of giving invited lectures at national and international levels, and of writing scholarly reviews.
  • be a member of national research societies, study sections and national organizations. The strongest candidates will hold leadership positions in these organizations.

Those involved in patient care are expected to be excellent clinicians.

Note: For candidates who are being proposed for appointment to the rank of Professor and have achieved the rank or equivalent at a peer institution, the COAP will consider the totality of the candidate’s previous scholarly contributions, accomplishments, reputation and how the candidate will enhance the prestige and mission of the Perelman School of Medicine and the University of Pennsylvania.

Extramural Consultant Reviews

Your promotional dossier will include Extramural Consultant Reviews. Extramural Consultants are individuals in your field with whom you have not directly collaborated who are asked to provide an unbiased and impartial assessment of your scholarship, reputation and standing in your specific area of expertise. Extramural Consultants do not provide recommendations. They provide reviews.

Per Provost guidelines, Extramural Consultants should be active faculty at your proposed rank or higher and from a peer institution or an institution known for excellent achievement in your specific field. You, the candidate, are entitled to select three (3) Extramural Consultants. Your department must select an additional eleven (11).

When it comes to your Extramural Consultant list, start early and think strategically.

Once the Extramural Consultant list is reviewed and approved by the school COAP, the Dean, and the Provost, the Extramural Consultants will receive your CV, your Personal Statement, and Selected reprints (3-4 max). From these documents alone, your Extramural Consultants will be asked to

  • evaluate the scope and significance of your scholarly achievements and their importance within the general discipline
  • comment upon the degree of recognition achieved in the discipline, noting your most distinctive contributions
  • rank you relative to the leading scholars in the same field of study and at a comparable level of professional development
  • evaluate the candidate’s likelihood of achieving a similar faculty position and rank at the leading institutions in this discipline
  • provide any information or insight on your skill and effectiveness
  • provide any additional insights that may be helpful in determining whether or not to recommend promotion

This entire process is confidential with no contact in advance to determine if the consultant has prior knowledge of the candidate or if the consultant is willing to provide a positive evaluation of the candidate. Only PSOM COAP members see the Extramural Consultant letters and only PSOM COAP members know who, from your submitted Extramural List, wrote a review.

Intramural Letters

Intramural letters are not required, but you may include up to three (3) in your dossier. One reason for including Intramural Letters may be that you have collaborated with faculty from the Perelman School of Medicine or faculty from another University of Pennsylvania school.

Promotion Process

Promotion begins at the department level, and during the promotion process, you will work closely with your department Education Officer and Faculty Coordinator to compile your dossier, which is then submitted by your chair to FAPD. Your dossier will include, among other important documents, your CV, extramural letters (see below), and an Educational Database (EDB), which is a comprehensive record and summary of your teaching effort and effectiveness as well as a Personal Statement. Next, an ad hoc committee is formed that is chaired by a member of S-COAP and includes faculty from within the Perelman School of Medicine and from at least one other school in the University. The ad hoc committee members are chosen for their familiarity with the candidate's area of research. The ad hoc committee may request additional letters from national and international experts in the candidate's field. The ad hoc committee reviews the dossier, votes, and submits a recommendation to the full S-COAP that the S-COAP considers in its deliberations. Supplemental information may be requested by the S-COAP before a dossier is considered complete.

Tenure Track Promotion Process

Key Takeaway: Take time to create an accurate Personal Statement that communicates the scope and focus of your work. Share drafts with your mentors and trusted colleagues. Ask to see others’ Personal Statements. Remember that your extramural consultants and PSOM COAP members rely heavily on this document to interpret your CV.

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Resources

Education Officers

Along with your mentors, your Education Officer (EO) will play a critical role in supporting your career development and advancement.The Education Officer has basic knowledge of policies and procedures relating to faculty appointments and promotions and supports department faculty in terms of teaching activities.While your EO will review faculty and course specific data in the Housestaff and Medical Student Teaching Evaluation Record system (HAMSTER) to determine if there is a need for individual faculty development related to education, you should feel free to reach out to him or her if at any point you would like to find resources for improving clinical teaching, facilitating, or lecturing. EO Contact List.

Reach out to your department Education Officer!

Reappointment and Promotion Preparation

Checklists and Documents

Processes

Career Policies

Contacts

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