Definitions of Special Faculty Appointments

Policy Memorandum No. 71

Recommended by the Commission on Faculty Affairs
Approved by University Council: October 20, 1986
Approved by the President: October 20, 1986
Effective: Immediately

There has been some uncertainty in recent years about the definitions of certain special faculty appointments. As a result, the University Council, on recommendation of the Commission on Faculty Affairs, approved new definitions for three special faculty appointments: Research Associate, Research Scientist, and Senior Research Scientist. Following is the resolution setting forth these definitions:

WHEREAS current definitions of special faculty appointments do not distinguish clearly the differing expectations in the ranks of Research Associate and Senior Research Associate, and

WHEREAS the definition of Senior Research Associate does not provide conditions of employment appropriate to the professional stature of highly qualified scholars,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that Sections 2.4.2 and 2.4.3 of the FACULTY HANDBOOK be replaced as follows:

2.4.2 RESEARCH ASSOCIATE:

Appointment to this rank is reserved for persons who are working solely on research projects under the supervision of a principal investigator. Persons appointed to this rank are expected to hold an advanced degree or equivalent professional qualifications as appropriate to the position. Frequently the appointment is postdoctoral. Appointment is on an annual basis and is indefinitely renewable. Tenure cannot be earned at this rank and service in this rank is not applicable toward probationary faculty service. Research Associates are ordinarily appointed on a restricted basis, and are generally funded for a limited period of time from sponsored project sources. When the position is funded from grants or contracts, earned annual leave must be taken during the term of appointment and at a time approved by the principal investigator.

2.4.3 RESEARCH SCIENTIST:

Persons appointed to this rank are required to have a doctoral degree or the equivalent in training or experience. Appointment is on an annual basis and is indefinitely renewable. Research Scientists are generally funded from sponsored project sources which extend beyond one calendar year, and may be appointed on a non-restricted basis where long-term continued funding is anticipated. Research Scientists may serve as co-principal investigators, with faculty who are authorized to be principal investigators, on grants or contracts. Requests for appointment at this rank must be approved by the Office of the Provost. Tenure cannot be earned at this rank and service in this rank is not applicable toward probationary faculty service.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the following text be added as a new Section 2.4.4 of the FACULTY HANDBOOK:

2.4.4 SENIOR RESEARCH SCIENTIST:

Persons appointed to this rank are required to have a doctoral degree or the equivalent and at least ten years of experience as a Research Scientist or in an equivalent rank. The research qualifications for a Senior Research Scientist should be consistent with those for a Professor. Appointment is on an annual basis and is indefinitely renewable. Senior Research Scientists are generally funded from sponsored project sources which extend beyond one calendar year, and may be appointed on a non-restricted basis where long-term continued funding is anticipated. Senior Research Scientists may serve as principal investigators on grants or contracts. Requests for appointment at this rank must be approved by the Head or Director of the department or division in which the appointee will serve with the advise of the appropriate departmental or divisional committee, and must also be approved by the Office of the Provost. Tenure cannot be earned at this rank and service in this rank is not applicable toward probationary faculty service.

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the sections of the FACULTY HANDBOOK now numbered 2.4.4 (Visiting Professor), 2.2.5 (Adjunct Professor), and 2.4.6 (Graduate Student Appointments) be renumbered 2.4.5, 2.4.6, and 2.4.7 respectively.


President's Policy Memorandum

URL: http://purl.vt.edu/vtdocs/policies/ppm71