The qualifications for each of the three research ranks for research scientists are roughly equivalent to those set forth for tenure track faculty in the area of research.
A three-rank system exists for those full-time researchers who hold a terminal degree and typically have postdoctoral experience (or its equivalent) and who are employed by the Vice President for Research and its research centers, institutes, and museums primarily to conduct research and related activities. The three ranks are described below:
Assistant Research Scientist
A person at the rank of Assistant Research Scientist must have completed the terminal degree in his or her discipline and have demonstrated competence in various research activities such as participation on a research team; presenting at professional and scholarly meetings; writing grant proposals independently or as part of a team; preparing research reports; serving as expert consultant on design, implementation, or analysis of research projects). A person at this rank is fully capable of original, independent research work but may work under the direction of a senior faculty member or an Associate or Senior Research Scientist.
Associate Research Scientist
A person at the rank of Associate Research Scientist must have begun to establish a national reputation by a record of productivity in one or more of the following activities: research that informs methodological or substantive disciplines; research and evaluation work that informs practice or policy; contributions to proposal and grant development activities; or demonstrated ability to independently conduct project activities as a principal or co-principal investigator. Typically, a person will have achieved a minimum of five years of successful research as reflected in the above ways before attaining or being appointed to the rank of Associate Research Scientist. However, there is no set time period and it may take some longer to acquire the experiences needed for promotion and in exceptional cases may be made prior to five years.
Senior Research Scientist
A Senior Research Scientist must have an established record of research that has resulted in a national or international reputation. The researcher must have made substantial contributions in his or her area(s) of expertise by disseminating the results of inquiry projects in appropriate high-quality venues, such as scholarly publications, prominent research reports, national conference presentations, and serving as principal investigator on funded projects. Having demonstrated continued career growth, a Senior Research Scientist is expected to provide intellectual and research leadership and mentorship within the center and across the university. The quality of the venues and products must be considered worthy of the status of a senior member of the research community. However, there is no set time period and it may take some longer to acquire the experiences needed for promotion and in exceptional cases may be made prior to five years.
Supporting Evidence for Promotion to Assistant, Associate or Senior Research Scientist
To be promoted to the rank of Assistant, Associate or Senior Research Scientist the applicant must provide evidence of excellence in research. The evidence must document the qualities noted in the above descriptions of these ranks.
Documentation of research accomplishments should include, but is not limited to, the following types of accomplishments:
- publications in scholarly or professional journals;
- written grants or research proposals (funded and non-funded, internal and external, primary authorship and co-authorship including authorship and co-authorship of research design or analysis approach);
- written reports of completed research projects;
- publication of books (authored or edited) and/or chapters;
- presentations at professional conferences;
- presentations to funders or collaborators, clients, or funding agencies;
- presentations at the center, campus, or external venues;
- development of research materials and products that are innovative and relevant to the research activities of the center and academic research community including, but not limited to, white papers, working papers, blog posts, professional societies, social media posts, etc.
Note: For each co-authored product, the applicant should describe the nature and scope of the applicant’s contributions.