The mission of the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs (OVPFAA) includes research to ensure that administrative practices supporting IUB faculty success are evidence-driven. Research Scientist/Scholars may be employed within the OVPFAA to carry out this work. Data analysis and interpretation constitute intellectual contributions to research and therefore further IUB’s collective efforts.
Basis for Promotion
Research Scientists/Scholars in the OVPFAA may be promoted on the basis of research in service to the mission of the office.
“Service to the Research Mission” includes any research activities supporting the mission of the OVPFAA, including but not limited to creation of original data; oversight of original data collection conducted by outside parties (i.e. COACHE at Harvard), analysis of data that supports administrative decision-making; reports and publications; presentations; participation in working groups; and training and mentoring. Data creation and analysis may focus on data generated internally (employment data, salary data) or externally (COACHE surveys, Academic Analytics, data shared within the Big Ten Academic Alliance, or elsewhere). Writing may involve authorship or contributions to reports or administrative documents, or contributions to grant proposals. Presentations may involve internal or external audiences. Participation in working groups may involve leadership in or service to task forces and committees. Training and mentoring may involve contributions to the development of research skills of any IUB personnel.
Research that serves the mission of the OVPFAA will be evaluated on the basis of any or most of the following: productivity, quality, impact (defined as the value of its contributions to the mission of the OVPFAA), creativity/innovation, leadership/initiative, and intellectual independence/research autonomy. The balance of each of these activities should be evaluated according to the details of each appointment.
Published scholarship is not an explicit expectation, and indeed may be disallowed when the data are confidential. Should it occur in the course of administrative assignments, scholarship should be evaluated on the basis of its contribution to the reputation, visibility and functionality of OVPFAA and Indiana University, and its ability to support IUB faculty success.
The criteria for research scientist promotion are guided by the Indiana University policy statement on research ranks (Regulation of Research Appointments ACA-20, effective 2-07-1981, last updated 12-07-2020; http://policies.iu.edu/policies/categories/academic-faculty-students/academic-appointment-review/Regulation-of-research-appointments.shtml).
Research rank appointments are appropriate for individuals who hold the terminal degree in their field, who have some postdoctoral experience (or its equivalent), and whose primary responsibilities will be research and service in support of research.
Adopting the university policy’s general qualifications for each of the three research ranks to emphasize service in support of research, the following describe the expectations for promotion:
Assistant Scientist: The candidate has completed the terminal degree in his or her discipline and, in some fields, has at least one year of successful postdoctoral research experience; is capable of original, independent research and scholarship under the direction of a senior faculty member or an Associate Scientist or a Senior Scientist.
For promotion to Associate Scientist/Scholar, the candidate is beginning to establish himself or herself as an expert in his or her respective discipline, field or area of practice through sustained productivity and high-quality work in one or more areas of research/creative activity. The candidate demonstrates creativity/innovation and intellectual independence and research autonomy in the design and implementation of research projects. The candidate is beginning to show the capacity to independently and effectively interface with campus leadership, faculty, or the external community, and resolve research problems or issues that may arise during the research process. In demonstrating impact on the OVPFAA’s mission, the quantity, diversity, quality of service activities and emerging leadership in conducting the research will be considered. The candidate demonstrates professional competence and/or expertise in the performance of the service to the office. The candidate’s service to the Office is effective and has a positive impact on the development, welfare, productivity and/or functionality of the Office.
For Promotion to Senior Scientist/Scholar: The candidate is recognized as an established expert in his or her respective discipline, field or area of practice through sustained productivity and high-quality work in one or more areas of research/creative activity. The candidate demonstrates sustained creativity/ innovation and intellectual independence and research autonomy in the design and implementation of research projects. The candidate consistently demonstrates the capacity to independently and effectively interface with campus leadership, faculty, or the external community, and resolve research problems or issues that may arise during the research process. In demonstrating impact on the OVPFAA’s mission, the quantity, diversity, and quality of service activities and leadership in conducting the research will be considered. The candidate demonstrates a high level of professional competence and/or expertise in the performance of the service to the mission of OVPFAA and the campus. There is strong evidence that the candidate’s service to the Office is effective and has a positive impact on the development, welfare, productivity and/or functionality of the Office. The candidate regularly demonstrates leadership and initiative in his or her service to the Office. The candidate regularly identifies opportunities for furthering the mission of the Office, and takes the initiative to develop solutions to operational and/or organizational problems. The candidate has a history of providing independent administrative leadership for the Office.
Review Process and Timing
The timeline for reappointment reviews of Research Scientists/Scholars varies and should be specified in their appointment or reappointment letter. The Vice Provost or an Associate Vice Provost conducts these reappointment reviews, which culminate in a written assessment of the candidate’s accomplishments and prospects for eventual promotion. An internal review of the candidate’s performance, and prospects for eventual promotion, and recommendation for reappointment should be conducted by an ad hoc review committee if the candidate has been in rank 4 or more years.
Consideration for promotion should come at similar times in the career of the research scientist/scholar as it would for tenure-line faculty. Normally a person should have achieved a minimum of three years, and more typically five or six years, of successful research before seeing promotion to Associate Scientist.
For promotion, six letters from external referees will be required (see Guidelines for Promotion Reviews for Research, Teaching, and Clinical Ranks at Indiana University-Bloomington, June 1, 2021 for further details). To provide the role of a departmental review, an ad hoc review committee will be appointed by the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs. Committee members will be at least three Senior Scientists/Scholars and/or tenure-track Full Professors, from any IUB office or department. To the extent possible, these internal reviewers should be familiar with the methodological and/or substantive expertise of the candidate. The internal reviewers will prepare a report evaluating the dossier and will vote on promotion.
The dossier will be routed to the VPFAA who will review the case and vote, comparable to the role of Dean. The VPFAA vote is due by December 1. The dossier is then routed to the campus committee who will review the case and then vote. Because the VPFAA has evaluated the case at a previous level, the VPFAA will recuse themselves from the VPFAA vote and ask the Associate Vice Provost overseeing the Promotion Advisory Committee to review the dossier in the VPFAA role. The dossier is then reviewed by the Provost following the VPFAA review.