Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
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Investigator Offer Letter Approval

Before you extend an offer to a candidate, a business plan, draft offer letter, and supporting documents must be approved by the FSM Dean's Office. The business plan and supporting documents are submitted electronically via this online database

 Soliciting Reference Letters for Tenure-eligible Offers
Departments should solicit reference letters for tenure-eligible offers only, and these letters should be attached to the business plan when the draft offer is submitted for review (FAO will solicit reference letters if the appointment will be tenured)

Collect a list of suggested referees from the candidate:

Before requesting letters, confirm the appropriateness of the referees:

  • Referee rank must be at least as high as rank candidate will hold at NU
  • Referees must be external to NU 
  • No more than 2 letters from the same institution (geographic range of referees demonstrates the breadth of a candidates reputation, which is especially important for appointments at the ranks of Associate Professor and Professor)

How to solicit reference letters:

The Department Chair's office should contact the referees on the candidate's referee list to request letters of reference. Referees may provide their letters by email (either as an attachment or typed into the text of the email itself). The letters must remain confidential and not be shared with the candidate or any individuals outside those who are involved in evaluating the candidate for appointment.  

Full-time Offers

Full-time Investigators receive some or all of their salary from FSM via a Northwestern University paycheck.  

PHYSICIAN-SCIENTIST PATHWAY

 Tenure-Eligible Investigator (Assistant/Associate Professor), Physician-Scientist Pathway

Step 1: Prepare a business plan in the business plan database

  • On the business plan home page, select the department or division that is extending the offer (if you have access to more than one)
  • Select "offer" from the plan type drop down list and then press the button to create a business plan.
  • The next screen will show you the list of approved searches available to be filled in the organizational unit you selected.  Click on "create plan" beside the FAO number that you want to fill.  A new version of the business plan will be created that has the status "offer entry." This editable version of the business plan will be pre-populated with data from the pre-search version of the business plan.
  • Update the business plan as necessary so that it matches the offer letter and reflects the offer you are making to the specific finalist identified.

Step 2: Attach the following documents to the business plan:

 Tenured Investigator (Associate/Full Professor), Physician-Scientist Pathway

Step 1: Prepare a business plan in the business plan database

  • On the business plan home page, select the department or division that is extending the offer (if you have access to more than one)
  • Select "offer" from the plan type drop down list and then press the button to create a business plan.
  • The next screen will show you the list of approved searches available to be filled in the organizational unit you selected.  Click on "create plan" beside the FAO number that you want to fill.  A new version of the business plan will be created that has the status "offer entry." This editable version of the business plan will be pre-populated with data from the pre-search version of the business plan.
  • Update the business plan as necessary so that it matches the offer letter and reflects the offer you are making to the specific finalist identified.

Step 2: Attach the following documents to the business plan:

SCIENTIST PATHWAY

 Tenure-Eligible Investigator (Assistant/Associate Professor), Scientist Pathway

Step 1: Prepare a business plan in the business plan database

  • On the business plan home page, select the department or division that is extending the offer (if you have access to more than one)
  • Select "offer" from the plan type drop down list and then press the button to create a business plan.
  • The next screen will show you the list of approved searches available to be filled in the organizational unit you selected.  Click on "create plan" beside the FAO number that you want to fill.  A new version of the business plan will be created that has the status "offer entry." This editable version of the business plan will be pre-populated with data from the pre-search version of the business plan.
  • Update the business plan as necessary so that it matches the offer letter and reflects the offer you are making to the specific finalist identified.

Step 2: Attach the following documents to the business plan:

 Tenured Investigator (Associate/Full Professor), Scientist Pathway

Step 1: Prepare a business plan in the business plan database

  • On the business plan home page, select the department or division that is extending the offer (if you have access to more than one)
  • Select "offer" from the plan type drop down list and then press the button to create a business plan.
  • The next screen will show you the list of approved searches available to be filled in the organizational unit you selected.  Click on "create plan" beside the FAO number that you want to fill.  A new version of the business plan will be created that has the status "offer entry." This editable version of the business plan will be pre-populated with data from the pre-search version of the business plan.
  • Update the business plan as necessary so that it matches the offer letter and reflects the offer you are making to the specific finalist identified.

Step 2: Attach the following documents to the business plan:

Academic Full-Time Offers

Investigators are "academic full-time" if their effort totals 100% and their salary is paid in full by one of FSM's approved affiliates: Lurie Children's Hospital, Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, Stroger Hospital of Cook County or the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center. Academic full-time faculty do not receive salary support or a paycheck from FSM/Northwestern University.

Academic full-time faculty should be identified through a national search and hired into a search number obtained through the pre-search process. 

PHYSICIAN-SCIENTIST PATHWAY

 ACADEMIC Full-time, Tenure-Eligible Investigator (Assistant/Associate Professor), Physician-Scientist Pathway

Step 1: Prepare a business plan in the business plan database

  • On the business plan home page, select the department or division that is extending the offer (if you have access to more than one)
  • Select "offer" from the plan type drop down list and then press the button to create a business plan.
  • The next screen will show you the list of approved searches available to be filled in the organizational unit you selected.  Click on "create plan" beside the FAO number that you want to fill.  A new version of the business plan will be created that has the status "offer entry." This editable version of the business plan will be pre-populated with data from the pre-search version of the business plan.
  • Update the business plan as necessary so that it matches the offer letter and reflects the offer you are making to the specific finalist identified.

Step 2: Attach the following documents to the business plan:

 ACADEMIC Full-time, Tenured Investigator (Associate/Full Professor), Physician-Scientist Pathway

Step 1: Prepare a business plan in the business plan database

  • On the business plan home page, select the department or division that is extending the offer (if you have access to more than one)
  • Select "offer" from the plan type drop down list and then press the button to create a business plan.
  • The next screen will show you the list of approved searches available to be filled in the organizational unit you selected.  Click on "create plan" beside the FAO number that you want to fill.  A new version of the business plan will be created that has the status "offer entry." This editable version of the business plan will be pre-populated with data from the pre-search version of the business plan.
  • Update the business plan as necessary so that it matches the offer letter and reflects the offer you are making to the specific finalist identified.

Step 2: Attach the following documents to the business plan:

SCIENTIST PATHWAY

 ACADEMIC Full-time, Tenure-Eligible Investigator (Assistant/Associate Professor), Scientist Pathway

Step 1: Prepare a business plan in the business plan database

  • On the business plan home page, select the department or division that is extending the offer (if you have access to more than one)
  • Select "offer" from the plan type drop down list and then press the button to create a business plan.
  • The next screen will show you the list of approved searches available to be filled in the organizational unit you selected.  Click on "create plan" beside the FAO number that you want to fill.  A new version of the business plan will be created that has the status "offer entry." This editable version of the business plan will be pre-populated with data from the pre-search version of the business plan.
  • Update the business plan as necessary so that it matches the offer letter and reflects the offer you are making to the specific finalist identified.

Step 2: Attach the following documents to the business plan:

 ACADEMIC Full-time, Tenured Investigator (Associate/Full Professor), Scientist Pathway

Step 1: Prepare a business plan in the business plan database

  • On the business plan home page, select the department or division that is extending the offer (if you have access to more than one)
  • Select "offer" from the plan type drop down list and then press the button to create a business plan.
  • The next screen will show you the list of approved searches available to be filled in the organizational unit you selected.  Click on "create plan" beside the FAO number that you want to fill.  A new version of the business plan will be created that has the status "offer entry." This editable version of the business plan will be pre-populated with data from the pre-search version of the business plan.
  • Update the business plan as necessary so that it matches the offer letter and reflects the offer you are making to the specific finalist identified.

Step 2: Attach the following documents to the business plan:

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