The Tenure-Track Program

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 Advantages of the Tenure Track

NIH Intramural Research Program Tenure-Track Procedures

Guidelines for Assuring Broad Scientific Input for New Tenure-Track Positions

The intent of these guidelines is to guarantee that the decision to dedicate resources to a tenure-track position is based on broad input from knowledgeable scientists within the Institute in which the appointment will be made. Because circumstances vary considerably among Institutes, Laboratories and Branches, the following guidelines are intended to provide several different possible mechanisms to be used singly or in combination to garner scientific input:

The advice of the Board of Scientific Counselors may also be solicited on the creation of tenure-track positions. The criteria to be used by these groups include whether or not there is (a) programmatic or scientific need within the Institute, Laboratory or Branch for the tenure-track position, and (b) availability of resources to support the tenure-track scientist.

The Tenure Decision

Candidates for Tenure shall be reviewed by the IC's Promotion and Tenure Review Panel which shall notify the candidate in writing whether he or she will or will not be advanced for tenure consideration. The Committee shall solicit outside letters on behalf of the candidate, and, in concurrence with the Scientific Director and IC Director, shall make a recommendation to the NIH Central Tenure Committee that is chaired by the DDIR. Criteria used in the evaluation of candidates for tenure by the NIH Central Tenure Committee shall include: the scientific merit of their research, the contribution of their work to their laboratory or section, scientific independence, productivity, leadership, potential for sustained intellectual growth, and other contributions to the NIH Intramural Research Program. This evaluation will consider a candidate's publications and the impact of those publications on other scientists, letters of recommendation from NIH and non-NIH scientists, participation in and chairing of scientific conferences and symposia, development of innovative techniques or patentable products, overall contribution to intramural research at NIH, mentoring and other leadership within the laboratory, branch, or section, and adherence to the highest ethical standards in the conduct of science.

After reviewing the candidate, the NIH Central Tenure Committee makes its recommendation on tenure. The DDIR shall issue the final approval or disapproval for each conversion to tenure. The Scientific Director will notify candidates in writing of the DDIR's decision.

If a candidate is advanced for tenure consideration before seven years (nine years for clinical and epidemiology investigators) have elapsed, and is denied tenure, his or her Scientific Director, with approval of the IC Director, may re-submit the tenure application at a later date, but before the seven year maximum (nine years for clinical or epidemiology investigators).

Sample Tenure-Track Agreement

Updated July 28, 2009

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