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Promotion to Research Associate Professor

Summary of the review process

Our Department conducts annual merit reviews of all faculty, following the guidelines specified in the University of Washington Faculty Code. Our own guidelines for appointment and promotion to the rank of Associate Professor are included here. Because we are a small department, we do not have a separate Promotion & Tenure review committee (thus, there is no separate review committee report). In the case of a faculty appointment, all eligible faculty act as the review body.

Criteria for promotion to the rank of Research Associate Professor

The standards and criteria for promotions used in the Department of Aeronautics & Astronautics (AA) are the same as those contained in section 24-34.A/B of the University of Washington Faculty Code and Governance. The qualifications cited for promotion to the rank of Research Associate Professor are described in items A2 and B5 of that section:

A.2. Appointment to the rank of associate professor requires a record of substantial success in teaching and/or research. For tenured, tenure-eligible, or WOT appointments, both of these shall be required, except that in unusual cases an outstanding record in one of these activities may be considered sufficient.

B.5. Appointment to one of the ranks in Subsection A above with a research title requires qualifications corresponding to those prescribed for that rank, with primary emphasis upon research. Tenure is not acquired under research appointments.

Activities under the categories of research and service are interpreted by A&A in accordance with section 24-32, 24-54 and 24-57 of the UW Faculty Code. The application of the University criteria by the department is described below for promotions to the rank of Associate Professor.

Promotion from Research Assistant Professor to Research Associate Professor

Candidates for promotion to Research Associate Professor are expected to demonstrate a considerable record of achievement in research. The candidate’s research record must show evidence of significant scholarship, impact on his/her fields of specialization, and national recognition. The specific expectations are as follows:


  • A substantial record of research in the form of publications in leading peer-reviewed archival journals, conference proceedings, and professional reports prepared for research sponsors is required. Also expected are technical presentations at national conferences, and seminars and/or short courses at other institutions.
  • The development of a vigorous, independent research program involving the participation of graduate students must be demonstrated. If the research involves collaboration with senior faculty members in the department or elsewhere at the University, or with faculty at other universities, the role of the Assistant Professor should be significant to demonstrate leadership and originality and his/her contributions and areas of responsibility must be clearly defined and documented.
  • A demonstrated ability to originate and develop innovative research ideas, and effectiveness in supervising the work of graduate students at the M.S. and Ph.D. levels is required. Candidates for promotion are expected to have on-going research activities involving graduate students and are expected to have supervised several completed M.S. and/or Ph.D. dissertations.
  • The ability to secure support for research, in the form of grants or contracts from external funding agencies and organizations must be demonstrated. Effectiveness in preparing research proposals and the success of these efforts is an important parameter in measuring the candidate’s research performance.