Research Faculty Promotion

How the Research Faculty promotion process works

Professional research personnel are considered Research Faculty.  Because of the differences in functions, instructional and research faculty have different promotion criteria.  Note that the term “Scientist” is used to indicate the appropriate designation – Engineer, Scientist, Associate, or Technologist.

Criteria for Promotion

  • Research Scientist I: Initial rank, requiring a bachelor’s degree.
  • Research Scientist II: Requires a Master’s degree and three (3) years relevant full-time experience after completion of that degree, or a Master's degree and five (5) years of relevant full-time experience after the completion of a Bachelor's degree, or a Doctoral degree.
  • Sr. Research Scientist: Requires a Master’s degree and seven (7) years relevant full-time experience after completion of the degree, or a Master's degree and nine (9) years of relevant full-time experience after completion of a Bachelor's degree, or a doctoral degree and four (4) years relevant full-time experience after completion of a Bachelor's degree.
  • Principal Research Scientist: Requires a Master’s degree and eleven (11) years  of relevant full time experience after completion , or a doctoral degree and seven (7) years of relevant full-time experience. At least the most recent three (3) years of relevant experience shall have been at a responsible technical or managerial level. 

Eligibility for Promotion

See Section 3.2.1 of the Faculty Handbook for further details.

  • Research Scientist II:Three (3) years as a Research Scientist I
  • Sr. Research Scientist: Four (4) years as Research Scientist II
    • For candidate holding a doctoral degree, employment prior to Georgia Tech will be considered if adequately documented, and the four year time in rank requirement reduced to two (2) years for candidates so qualified. Employment prior to Georgia Tech plus employment at Georgia Tech must be four years or more with a minimum of two(2) years in rank at Georgia Tech. 
  • Principal Research Scientist: 5 years as Sr. Research Scientist

Process and Package Contents

See Section 3.2.1 of the Faculty Handbook and the Faculty Affairs website on Research Faculty Promotion Guidelines for further details.

  1. Contents of the Research Promotion package submitted by the candidate into the PROMOTE system (requires GT login credentials to access) include:
    • Summary for Institute Review - One page document to address how the candidate has accomplished each of the promotion criteria. It is an executive overview of the material covered in the qualification statement and CV. If your case is an exception (does not meet the full time in rank or degree requirements for promotion, it should be noted in this document. 
    • Qualification Statement - Narrative statement to address the qualifications that are required for the appropriate rank as described in the GT Faculty Handbook. This statement can not be longer than five (5) pages. 
    • CV (in format as specified for research promotion candidates) - There are two different CV formats based on the rank that the candidate is pursuing. 
    • For Principal Researcher candidates ONLY - Candidate must enter a minimum of three (3) potential external evaluator names and bios into the PROMOTE system. 
    • Immediate supervisor's recommendation letter (optional) uploaded into PROMOTE under additional documents tab.
    • Additional letters of support (optional) uploaded into PROMOTE under additional documents tab.
  2. The candidate is then reviewed at multiple levels and the following documents are added to the candidate’s promotion package:
    • School Peer Review - All research promotion packages must include a peer review at the school, laboratory, center, or unit level.  A letter with a vote is added to the promotion package.
    • School Chair - A recommendation letter a vote for/against promotion is added to the promotion package.  
    • College Research Promotion Committee - A committee comprised of COE faculty members will review the packages and make recommendations adding a letter with vote to the promotion package.
    • Dean - A recommendation letter a vote for/against promotion is added to the promotion package. .
    • Each candidate’s packet must be reviewed on at least two levels prior to being submitted to the Senior Vice Provost for Research and Innovation.
    • Candidates receiving a negative recommendation at any level must be reviewed at all levels.
  3. The candidate’s package is then forwarded to the Faculty Affairs who will establish an Institute Research Promotions Committee, which will conduct the final level of review prior to presenting the recommendations to the Executive Vice President for Research, Provost/Vice President of Academic Affairs, and the President.

Decisions for Promotion

The decisions, which are either "promotion" or "non-promotion," will be communicated from the Office of Human Resources to the dean, who will forward the decision to the school chair, who will inform the candidates. The effective date of the promotion is July 1 following notification.