Clinical Science APT for Administrators

The new 2020 Clinical Science APT Guidelines are applicable to all clinical sciences faculty in the School of Medicine with a start date of July 1, 2020 or later in terms of appointment, promotions, and tenure. For faculty with a start date before July 1, 2020, the new APT Guidelines are applicable effective January 1, 2021 unless the faculty member has explicitly exercised the opt-out option to remain subject to the older APT Guidelines. 

On initial hire, all new faculty members in the Clinical Sciences are initially appointed at the rank agreed upon by the faculty member and the Department Chair (subject to School of Medicine and University policies and processes). Entry level faculty are typically appointed at the rank of Medical Instructor or Assistant Professor. These ranks are not assigned a track (Faculty Career Track versus Faculty Tenure Track) designation.

Nomenclature and progression of Clinical Sciences faculty ranks in terms of APT are depicted below.

Previous APT Ranks 2020 APT Ranks
Medical Instructor Medical Instructor
Assistant Professor, tracks I/II/III/IV/V  Assistant Professor* 
Associate Professor, tracks I/II/III  Associate Professor, Tenure Track
Associate Professor, tracks IV/V  Associate Professor, Career Track
Associate Professor with tenure, tracks I/II/III   Associate Professor with tenure, Tenure Track
Professor with tenure, tracks I/II/III    Professor with tenure, Tenure Track
Professor, track IV/V   Professor, Career Track

* Faculty to use: “Assistant Professor, tenure-eligible” in grant applications as needed


Chart - 2020 Clinical Sciences APT Guidelines

The period from eligible appointment at Duke until a decision to, or not to, award tenure is ten years in the Clinical Sciences (the “tenure clock”). The tenure clock begins on the start date at Duke at the rank of Assistant Professor or higher. (The tenure clock is not active at the Medical Instructor rank.) The decision to pursue the Faculty Tenure Track is generally made in years 4-6 at the rank of Assistant Professor for those faculty who are deemed potentially eligible for tenure. Track assignments and changes (Faculty Career Track versus Faculty Tenure Track) may be made only with the mutual agreement of the faculty member and the Department Chair. In accordance with University Bylaws, if the candidate in the Faculty Tenure Track is not notified of a decision regarding tenure by the end of their tenure clock, then tenure is granted by default.

The tenure review process can be initiated by the Department Chair at any time. Excepting tenure clock extensions, the review process to determine the awarding of tenure is to begin no later than the start of the tenth year. This allows approximately six (6) months for departmental processes and another six (6) months for disposition at the School of Medicine and Duke University levels.

The School of Medicine has a limited number of tenure positions available. This number is established by the Dean in conjunction with the Department Chairs based on SOM and departmental financial responsibility and programmatic needs. The number of Faculty Career Track positions is substantially greater than the number of tenured positions such that tenure may not be granted to all qualified faculty.

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