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Award of Tenure

The granting of tenure implies a long-term commitment by the School and the faculty member. It is one of the most important decisions made by the School. A tenurable faculty member exhibits all the qualifications (teaching, basic research/clinical research, clinical activities (as appropriate), and citizenship/service contributions) required for promotion or appointment to the rank of Associate Professor and either holds the rank of Associate Professor or Professor in the School of Medicine or is appointed or promoted to one of those ranks at the time tenure is awarded. A tenurable faculty member exhibits a consistent pattern of development and achievement in teaching, basic/clinical research, clinical activities (as appropriate), and service, and shows promise for continued achievement.

Scholarly Output

The paramount criterion for granting of tenure shall be evidence that the faculty member has made substantial original contributions to knowledge as demonstrated by the publication of a series of peer- reviewed articles based upon the faculty member’s independent academic activities. The number of published, peer-reviewed (i.e., PUBMED) papers (co-) authored should meet the 25%ile for candidates successfully promoted to Professor in the School over the trailing three years for Associate Professor with Tenure and Professor with Tenure (currently 35 and 55 papers, respectively). This analysis of successful candidates is updated yearly-- see Frequently Asked Questions on this site for the latest APT analysis of the number of peer-reviewed publications, citations and h-index for successful candidates. The h-index and number of citations analysis are also important, especially for research faculty members.

A tenurable faculty member clearly demonstrates, with appropriate documentation, scholarly excellence recognized by the candidate’s peers as superior at the national level. Evidence of this level of scholarly attainment should include several of the following, including:

  • publication of a series of peer-reviewed articles based on the candidate’s original basic/clinical research program.
  • Publication of invited reviews/summary articles
  • Development and/or refinement of an operative procedure, definition of a new clinical entity, or establishment of a new method of medical treatment. These advances must have been recognized as true advances in the literature and among physicians with expertise and/or other appropriate renowned experts
  • Awards and honors from national organizations.
  • Invitations to present the individual's own scholarly contributions at major symposia.
  • Invitations to present seminars, grand rounds, or other special lectures at other institutions of higher learning.

A tenurable faculty member should have sustained, continual extramural research support from federal/national organizations. When research activities comprise the majority of a faculty member’s professional effort then a tenurable Associate or Professor must have the ability to secure or renew consecutive R01 awards as PI or MPI.

In addition, a tenurable faculty member should demonstrate evidence of service to the profession such as sitting on national study sections, a member of the editorial board of a major journal in their field and serving as a committee chair or officer in national professional organizations.


A tenurable faculty member should have a long and continuous record of successful and effective mentoring of trainees, often while serving as a Director of a nationally funded program such as a training program. There should be a record of the development and dissemination of novel educational materials.