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Adjunct Faculty

Faculty who hold a primary appointment at another institution or organization and remain based at that institution or organization but who contribute to the academic mission of the medical school will be appointed as adjunct faculty. If their appointments are paid, they can have a maximum effort of 49%. This is a non-tenure track.

Adjunct appointment typically involves a greater level of involvement at the university beyond scientific collaboration, including activities such as:

  1. Holding an active grant that is administered through Northwestern (this does not include holding a subcontract that is part of a grant awarded to Northwestern)
  2. Continuing to mentor a graduate student who was in the faculty member’s laboratory and is completing their training at Northwestern as opposed to moving to the faculty member’s new institution
  3. Actively contributing to the educational mission of Northwestern by filling a teaching need identified by Northwestern and approved by the Department Chair or her/his designee

For faculty members who are granted an adjunct appointment for the first two reasons, the adjunct appointment would typically end once the grant has finished or the graduate student has completed their training.  For #3, the appointment would typically end once the need for teaching has ended.


Adjunct Faculty Ranks

  • Adjunct Lecturer (visit the Lecturers page to process an appointment at this rank)
  • Adjunct Instructor
  • Adjunct Assistant Professor
  • Adjunct Associate Professor
  • Adjunct Professor

Appointment Transactions (submitted via OnBase)

  • Submit requests at least 3 weeks before the effective date. You may be asked to resubmit with a revised effective date if there is not sufficient time for appointment processing.
  • If the candidate has a visa, write "VISA" in two places: (1) at the top of the first page of appointment packet, and (2) in the Comments and Notes section of the OnBase submission form. 
  • Do not contact FAO for status updates or appointment letters unless more than 3 weeks have passed since you submitted a correct and complete request (i.e., if an OnBase transaction is rejected and you need to resubmit, the 3-week timeline begins at the time FAO receives your resubmission). 
  • Recognize that transactions route through multiple offices, and approval by FAO does not mean that a request is fully processed. View OnBase Routing Workflows for more information.