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Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Faculty Affairs Office
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Prepare Your Packet

Requirements for the promotion packet vary by rank and career track and are summarized in the table below. Before completing the packet, Clinician-Educators should also know their specialty domains. They may log into their faculty profiles to confirm their domains. Domain changes may be made by Sept. 1; to begin the process, speak to your division chief or department chair.


Packet Elements


Your CV is the foundation of your promotion/tenure packet, providing the most comprehensive accounting of your achievements. We require promotion/tenure applicants to use the Feinberg CV template to facilitate equity in the review and evaluation process. 

Feinberg CV template (Word)


  • Proofread your CV and be attentive to detail; a poorly prepared CV reflects poorly on the applicant
  • Ensure formatting is consistent throughout
  • When listing publications, put your name in bold font and list all authors in the order they appear on the publication 
  • When listing grant awards, follow the format established on the CV template, making sure to document your role and the direct costs you received
  • Do not include sensitive information such as your social security number
  • Sections of the CV template that do not apply to you may be skipped, but the sections that do apply should be listed in the order established in the template
  • If you have achievements in additional areas not represented on the CV template, you may add them at the end of the CV (or add sub-sections at the end of sections within the template, as appropriate)

 Personal Narrative Statement

Feinberg requires personal narrative statements for promotions to the level of associate professor and professor on all career tracks, as well as for the award of tenure. The personal statement is optional for promotions to assistant professor, though department chairs may require them as part of the department's internal nomination process. Effective personal statements contextualize the accomplishments listed on the CV or provide supplementary information that may not be apparent from review of the CV. The personal statement is also an opportunity to communicate with reviewers outside your field, helping them to understand the significance of your work in your specialty.


  • Recommended length is three to five pages
  • Do not simply repeat the accomplishments listed in your CV; instead use the personal statement to provide additional context or other information that is not evident from your CV and that would help reviewers evaluate your application for promotion or tenure (for example, explain specific contributions that may not otherwise be appreciated by reviewers such as clinical expertise, describe extenuating circumstances that may have impacted your progress, list accomplishments that do not appear in other parts of the application)
  • Use the personal statement to help reviewers who may be unfamiliar with your field to better appreciate the accomplishments on your CV by explaining the significance/impact of your work in your specialty
  • The dean's office or department chair may provide your personal statement to referees when soliciting reference letters (candidates do not solicit their own reference letters) 

 Documentation of Teaching Form

Except for those on the non-tenure-eligible research track, all promotion/tenure applicants must complete this form. Teaching is a core mission of Feinberg and all faculty on the Clinician-Educator, Team Scientist and Investigator career tracks are expected to demonstrate contributions in this area as documented through this form.

Documentation of Teaching Form (Word)

 Critical References Form

Faculty are expected to advance their fields, with their work having an impact beyond Northwestern's campus. Through the Critical References Form (required for all), applicants may identify up to five references since their last promotion in rank (or appointment) that represent their most significant contributions and explain the impact and consequences of each. Authorship order is not a perfect indicator of authors' contributions to publications, so if you are a middle author on a high-impact paper for which you played a critical role, this form also provides an opportunity to highlight your contribution.

Critical References Form (Word)

 Quality Improvement Project Activity Form

This form is optional and may be used by faculty on any career track to record their quality improvement project activity. Clinician-Educators who specialize in the health services management or clinical domains are encouraged to describe their quality improvement activity, as it provides evidence of achievement in those domain areas.

Quality Improvement Project Activity Form (Word)

 Team and Collaborative Research Documentation Form

This form is required for Team Scientists in the research domain only. The Team and Collaborative Research Documentation Form is used to demonstrate achievement as a key collaborator, communicating Team Scientists' essential contributions to the research enterprise, which may not be apparent from the CV since they are often co-investigators and middle authors.

Team and Collaborative Research Documentation Form (Word)

 Letter from Program Leader

This is required for Team Scientists in the research domain only. These Team Scientists should request a letter from a program leader at Northwestern (e.g., another faculty member who is principal investigator for a grant on which the Team Scientist contributes) who can attest to the essential contributions the Team Scientist makes as a key collaborator. Promotion candidates who are appointed on the research track may include one or more letters from program leaders to demonstrate how their activities contribute to research excellence at the Feinberg School of Medicine. 

 Referee List

Promotion/tenure candidates do not request their own reference letters, but they do suggest referee names who will be contacted by the department chair or dean's offices to provide an evaluation. The quality of reference letters (prominence, rank, institution) is an important factor in evaluating you for promotion/tenure. Poorly chosen external reference letters may adversely affect the likelihood of promotion/tenure success.

On non-tenure-eligible career tracks, promotions to the rank of associate professor require evidence of a regional reputation, and promotions to the rank of professor require evidence of a national/international reputation. On the Investigator track (tenure track), evidence of a national reputation is required by the time of promotion to associate professor. Referees from a diverse set of geographically dispersed institutions demonstrate the breadth of your reputation.  

Candidate's Referee List Form (Word)


  • Promotion candidates suggest referee names but should never contact the referees to solicit their own letters
  • Referees must hold an academic rank that is equivalent to or higher than the rank of the proposed promotion
  • Select referees from peer institutions when possible, as these strengthen your promotion application
  • Select referees who represent diverse institutions; if all your referees come from a couple of institutions, that suggests your work has limited impact, and the geographic range of referees demonstrates the breadth of your reputation
  • Referees must be external to Northwestern, with one exception: candidates proposed for promotion to non-tenure-eligible assistant professor can suggest up to two referees who are at Northwestern but outside their department
  • Referees without a training connection to the promotion candidate are preferred
  • The number of referee names a candidate should provide is dependent upon the rank of promotion
  • List referee names in rank order of preference
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