Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Faculty Affairs Office
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Research Faculty

The Research Track is a faculty career track intended to increase the quality and productivity of research programs at the Feinberg School of Medicine by permitting appointment of scholars to the faculty on a non-tenure basis in order to participate in and cooperate with the research efforts of faculty with tenure-track appointments. Individuals appointed as research faculty should hold terminal degrees and intend to concentrate on research. They are not subject to teaching responsibilities, though they may participate in the training of students in an area of expertise in which they are uniquely qualified. They are not eligible for tenure and cannot participate in the governance of the University. Research faculty do not normally move to positions on the tenure-track faculty, and may do so only in conjunction with a national search.

Research Faculty Ranks

  • Research Assistant Professor
  • Research Associate Professor
  • Research Professor

 New Appointment
Use for new hires, rehires, and changing a current employee to a research faculty member

Submit paper copies of the following documents to the Faculty Affairs Office:

 Reappointment

Annual Summer Process for Reappointment/Merit Increase 

Each summer, there is a brief window of time when reappointments and merit increases are processed using panels in myHR. Details for the current or most recent summer process (including deadlines for its use) are in the checklist below.  If the checklist does not apply, use the standard process.

Standard Process

Submit paper copies of the following documents to the Faculty Affairs Office:

 Promotion

Those already appointed to the research faculty may be proposed for promotion to the ranks of Research Associate Professor or Research Professor as part of the annual promotion and tenure process.  

Current research staff or postdocs may be proposed for appointment as Research Assistant Professor using the new appointment process described above; this is not treated as a faculty promotion. 

 Secondary Appointment

Submit paper copies of the following documents to the Faculty Affairs Office:

 Change Appointment Start Date

Check myHR to see if the approved appointment is already entered there.  If it is not, please contact FAO.

For appointments already entered in myHR, submit paper copies of the following documents to the Faculty Affairs Office:

  • Approved Recommendation for Faculty Level Research Appointment Form that you received from the Faculty Affairs Office
    • Change the dates on the approved form
    • Department Administrator must initial the date change on the form
  • NEW set of Position Data and Appointment Forms, reflecting the revised start date

 Change Appointment Basis (with commensurate change in salary)

Submit paper copies of the following documents to the Faculty Affairs Office:

  • Prior correspondence with FAO regarding special circumstances, if applicable
  • Recommendation Form for Faculty-Level Research Appointment, indicating change in basis and effective date
  • Position Data/Appointment Forms, printed from myHR and updated
  • Documentation (e.g., email correspondence) from candidate acknowledging reduction in effort and implications for benefits, if effort is dropping below 50%

 Change Salary: Annual Merit Increase
Standard process for salary increases, which take effect on September 1

Each summer, departments receive an email notification describing the annual merit increase process.  Please follow the instructions in that notification (also pasted below) if you wish to process a merit increase (which takes effect September 1) for research faculty that aligns with the start of the new academic year.
  

Annual Process for Reappointment/Merit Increase (available until June 16, 2017)

Use this special annual process for appointments ending between August 1, 2017, and September 30, 2017, where the reappointment does not have a visa.  The deadline for submitting reappointments/merit increases via this process is June 16, 2017. 

 Change Salary: Off-cycle Salary Increases and Adjustments
Note: Off-cycle salary increases (i.e., those not taking effect on September 1) are discouraged

Submit paper copies of the following documents to the Faculty Affairs Office:

  • Prior correspondence with FAO regarding special circumstances, if applicable
  • Recommendation Form for Faculty-Level Research Appointment, indicating salary change and effective date
  • Position Data/Appointment Forms, printed from myHR and updated
    Action/Reason code: PAY/SAJ
  • Written justification for salary change
    Note: FSM Finance may review if the salary increase is 5% or above

 Change Appointment Category

If proposing a change to a current faculty member's category of appointment, please do the following:

  • Navigate to the webpage describing the intended faculty appointment category
  • Follow the New Appointment process/checklist

 Transfer

To request a transfer from another FSM Department or NU School, please submit paper copies of the following documents to the Faculty Affairs Office:

  • Recommendation for Faculty-Level Research Appointment, write in "transfer from ____"
  • Position Data/Appointment Form printed from myHR, and signed by both departments
  • Personal Data Form, required if candidate is transferring from another school
  • CV
  • Documentation (e.g., email correspondence between Dept. Chairs) confirming both departments agree to the transfer 

 Medical, Parental, and Family-Related Leaves of Absence (salaried by NU)
Use this process for full-time research faculty who receive their salary from Northwestern University

New Leave Policy

Effective September 1, 2017, Research Faculty leaves of absence for medical, parental, or family-related reasons are processed directly by the Office of the Provost.  The following resources are available through the Office of the Provost to address this change:

FSM Leaves of Absence: Frequently Asked Questions (web page)
FSM Leaves of Absence: Frequently Asked Questions (pdf)

 
Leave Process

To begin a leave of absence for medical, parental, or family-related reasons:

  • Research Faculty should contact Alex Rot, facultyrecords@northwestern.edu, to request a leave.  He will confirm their eligibility for a leave and refer them to The Hartford, which will collect any necessary medical documentation for determining the duration of the leave.
  • After The Hartford makes a leave determination, department administrators will be notified
  • Department administrator should print position data/appointment forms from myHR and update them with the appropriate leave of absence codes and dates, based on the determination letter from The Hartford
  • Department administrator delivers completed position data / appointment forms to FAO

 Other Leaves of Absence & Leaves for Research Faculty Not Salaried by NU

Submit paper copies of the following documents to the Faculty Affairs Office:

 Return from Leave

Submit paper copies of the following documents of the Faculty Affairs Office:
  • Position Data/Appointment Forms, printed from myHR and updated

 Resignation
Voluntary departure initiated by the research faculty member

Submit paper copies of the following documents to the Faculty Affairs Office:

  • Position Data/Appointment Form indicating termination date and correct Action/Reason codes. The form should be signed by the department or center administrator
  • Resignation letter from faculty member

 Termination: Non-renewal of Expiring Appointment
Appointment will not be renewed after current appointment end date

Non-renewal of an expiring appointment is considered an involuntary departure initiated by the department, even if the candidate was aware the appointment was time-limited when hired.  Research faculty whose appointments are not renewed are entitled to unemployment benefits, and following this process ensures that NU meets its obligation to inform research faculty of their benefits when separating from the institution.

Step 1: Contact the Faculty Affairs Office to discuss your case and for guidance on preparing a Notice of Non-Renewal Letter.

Step 2: Inform candidate that appointment will not be renewed

  • Meeting: Principal Investigator (or Department Chair, or Department Administrator) meets with the research faculty member to inform him/her that appointment will not be renewed
  • Letter: Department prepares a Notice of Non-Renewal Letter (with guidance from FAO) and provides it to the research faculty member as follow-up to the meeting.

Step 3: Submit paper copies of the following documents to the Faculty Affairs Office:

  • Position Data/Appointment Form printed from myHR, indicating termination date and correct Action/Reason codes. The form should be signed by the department or center administrator
  • Copy of Notice of Non-Renewal Letter provided to the candidate in step 2 above

 Termination: Early Lay-off
Involuntary departure initiated by the department prior to the current appointment end date

If your department wishes to end a research faculty member's appointment before his/her appointment term is complete, please contact the Faculty Affairs Office to discuss the case.

 Retirement (retaining netID, Wildcard and email)
Eligible at 55 years of age

Submit paper copies of the following documents to the Faculty Affairs Office:

  • Position Data / Appointment Forms, printed from myHR and updated
    Action/Reason code: TER/RTT
  • Retiree Privileges Form
  • Faculty member's letter of retirement (optional)

 Retirement (relinquishing netID, Wildcard and email)
Eligible at 55 years of age

Submit paper copies of the following documents to the Faculty Affairs Office:

  • Position Data / Appointment Forms, printed from myHR and updated
    Action/Reason code: TER/RTT
  • Faculty member's letter of retirement (optional)

 Death

Submit paper copies of the following documents to the Faculty Affairs Office:

  • Position Data / Appointment Forms, printed from myHR and updated
    Action/Reason Code: TER/DEA
  • Obituary (if available)
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