Individuals with a focus on Investigation may engage in a broad range of investigational activities. This area of focus covers research efforts in any discipline related to health sciences such as laboratory, clinical or translational, population-based, health services/policy/economics, outcomes, biostatistics, bioinformatics and pedagogical research and includes: 

  • discovery
  • analysis or synthesis of existing knowledge
  • novel application of existing knowledge

Investigation in this area of focus differs from that expected in the tenure track as it may be primarily collaborative, industry partnered, or consist of a quantitatively smaller effort than expected for the tenure track. Faculty may have roles ranging from research leader, major contributor, or collaborative research team member, or research site investigator. Significant contributions to the research work, including authorship of manuscripts and a record of research funding (which might come from federal, industrial or foundation sources) and research presentations would be benchmarks for success in this area of focus. Research effort is expected to be funded, although funding sources may be more varied than those required in the Tenure-track.

Advancement by Rank

Assistant Professor

At the Assistant Professor level, faculty must have evidence of demonstrated training and involvement in high-quality research which is published in peer-reviewed journals, although independent research need not be evident. Publication of clinical observations, reviews, or analytic studies in peer-reviewed journals which contribute new knowledge or which organize, synthesize, and convey existing knowledge in a way that enhances the practice of medicine or educational practice.

Associate Professor

For promotion to Associate Professor, faculty must have publications in peer-reviewed journals. Evidence that the work is scholarly, and of good quality and significance, and may focus on laboratory, clinical or population-based investigations, or analysis, or synthesis of clinical observations and experience, or educational research is measured by journal impact and relevance of the study. Research accomplishments, such as authorship on multi-authored journals articles and/or documentation of a major, substantial contribution to a collaborative, multidisciplinary project and publications, statements of peer evaluators on the significance and recognition of the faculty’s research contributions, identification as the principal investigator or a major collaborator on funded research grants or contracts originating from federal, foundation or industry sources or cores of multi-author grants, development of knowledge resulting in new product patents and technology transfer, research funding as co-investigator from federal, foundation, or industry resources. If funding is from industry, evidence that the faculty member has a significant role in the formulation and conduct of the research is desirable. Additional criteria may include: invited lectures which demonstrate recognition of investigational expertise; service on editorial boards, expert panels, FDA panels, and data safety monitoring boards for multicenter studies; membership on steering committees for multicenter trials.


For promotion to Professor, faculty must have sustained academic, scientific, scholarly, and professional achievements beyond that accomplished for promotion to Associate Professor. Additional accomplishments might include sustained incremental productivity either as investigator or key collaborator, sustained record of funding from either federal, foundation or industry sources, membership on national research committees including grant review panels, advisory groups, research steering committees, awards by national organizations and invited lectureships.

Review all criteria for advancement by all professor ranks for all 3 of the “at CUMC” areas of focus.