Clinical Sciences Tracks for Promotion

The 2020 School of Medicine Appointments, Promotion and Tenure (APT) Tracks guidance is the culmination of an extensive effort to articulate a contemporary framework that supports the aspirations of faculty while accommodating APT processes.  The changes are intended to bring greater clarity to the question “what does Duke value?” – the depth and breadth of the scholarship that we want to reward, the expectation of wide-ranging influence reflecting our vision, the embracing of non-traditional strategies such as social media for the dissemination and sharing of knowledge, and the prioritization of scholarship and impact as the key drivers of promotion. The guidance reduces pressure on early career faculty to declare their ultimate destination (in terms of the decision to pursue tenure), instead facilitating a protected “undifferentiated” period at the level of Assistant Professor to help the faculty member discover and define their area of focus and intent. The framework formally incorporates professionalism as a requirement for promotion and encourages Open Science as a reflection of best practice academic citizenship. It also provides explicit recognition and reward through improved job security for faculty in the Faculty Career Track through multiyear extended contracts.

There are two (2) Clinical Science tracks for promotion in the 2020 School of Medicine APT Tracks guidance, the Faculty Career Track  and the Faculty Tenure Track. Each track has its own set of criteria for evaluating promotion and tenure decisions.

On initial hire, new faculty members in the Clinical Sciences are 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 Tenure Track versus Faculty Career Track) designation.

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 (Faculty Career Track versus Faculty Tenure Track) may be made only with the mutual agreement of the faculty member and the Department Chair.

The links contain the details about each track and the criteria for promotion. Although the criteria outlined here provide a general overview of the achievements needed to progress from one rank to the next, it is expected that faculty will demonstrate their achievements in unique ways. Departments may also have additional guidelines that reflect their departmental priorities. Faculty are encouraged to discuss their progress toward readiness for promotion and/or tenure review at least annually during their annual review with the Department Chair and / or Division Chief.

Faculty are strongly encouraged to maintain documentation of their professional career. The Scholars@Duke site automatically collates published scholarship while providing a structure for Duke faculty to document professional activities and responsibilities.