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Frequently Asked Questions about promotions guidelines: Department of Pediatrics (DOP)

Prepared by S. Davis, T. Noah, S. Tolleson-Rinehart (Revised March 24, 2022)


Please click on the questions below for our most up to date answers
What types of scholarship “count” towards the ≥ 5 required items?
DOP defines scholarship eligible for promotions as peer-reviewed, accessible, and enduring original works relevant to the Department’s major missions and contributing to generalizable knowledge.

Tenure track: Generally means 1st/senior authorship of published, peer-reviewed original research or scholarship, though there may be certain exceptions, such as in the education focus (see below).

Fixed term: A broader range of peer-reviewed or invited scholarship may be counted. This broader range includes chapters, books, peer-reviewed presentations, invited workshops, and curricula. Middle authorship of papers or invited presentations significant for the field may also be considered, e.g., products of multidisciplinary or team science where the faculty member made substantial contributions to the published work.

Faculty should consider: a short description of their specific contributions to middle-author papers in their CV; brief statements from 1st/senior authors explaining your contribution, if not contained in the publication; and use of Contributors Role Taxonomy (CRedIT):

Current School of Medicine promotion guidelines (revised July 2021) indicate that I can be reviewed for promotion as early as after 3 years in rank, if I “meet the mark” for scholarship etc. in my track and area of focus. Should I plan to request review as soon as I reach 5 publications?
Keep in mind that number of publications or works of scholarship is only one of multiple “marks” to be met in each track/focus area. The closer you are to the 3-year minimum in rank, the more the APT review committees inside and outside of Pediatrics may expect your record to completely meet the criteria, and the more significant your work may be expected to be. In addition, as the committees work with the new guidelines, we expect there will be some pushback for dossiers that are submitted earlier than in the past, if there are any weak spots. Bottom line: consult with your mentoring committee, Division Chief, and when needed, the Department faculty development leadership team, before deciding to put forward your dossier.
Does QI count as scholarship?
It can, if it meets the definition of scholarship, including an element of peer review such as for publication or invited presentations.    However, QI that is carried out entirely internally as a normal part of clinical activity, and does not lead to generalizable knowledge, may not meet this definition. 
For faculty with a focus on educational scholarship, are traditional publications required, or can other forms of peer-reviewed scholarship substitute for traditional publication? Is this different in the fixed term?
Other forms of peer-reviewed educational scholarship may be substituted. Examples of this are given in Table 1, page 7 of the SOM guidelines. This is true for tenure-track or fixed-term faculty.
In addition, works of clinical scholarship (e.g., case reports or clinical guidelines) can potentially “count” for faculty focusing on education, if they are relevant to the candidate’s educational work. The candidate may wish to point out this relevance in annotations to their bibliography, or in their teaching statement.
Note: If the same invited presentation is given multiple times, it will not count multiple times toward the scholarship total unless the faculty member can demonstrate unique effects or results of the presentation in multiple venues.

Note: If the same invited presentation is given multiple times, it will not count multiple times toward the scholarship total unless the faculty member can demonstrate unique effects or results of the presentation in multiple venues.

For faculty who do not have formal teaching evaluations from learners (research faculty, for example), how can they document teaching excellence?
Other ways of documenting teaching outcomes include (1) evaluations from lectures or invited presentations at meetings; (2) noting outcomes of trainees such as subsequent faculty positions or grants success; (3) asking for letters from supervisors who would be in position to comment on your teaching skills; (4) asking for individual letters commenting on teaching skills, from former trainees such as graduate students or post docs.
What is the DOP process for internal review for promotions?
  1. Faculty member’s progress toward promotion reviewed annually by Mentoring Committee and/or Division Chief
  2. Request and rationale for promotion review by Division Chief on behalf of the Faculty member
  3. Promotions advisory sub-committee appointed to review Division Chief’s recommendations, CV and teaching evaluations; assessments by Department DEI Committee; Teaching summary prepared. Sub-committee sends report and recommendation to the Chair
  4. Chair makes decision whether to move forward
  5. Letters of support solicited by Department as per SOM guidelines; reviewed when required number received
  6. Faculty member’s dossier submitted to Department Full Professors (meeting quarterly) for discussion; vote to move forward, reject, or table pending completion or improvement of specific items
  7. If Chair recommends promotion based on all of the above, dossier submitted to SOM HR for review by appropriate SOM APT committee, SOM Dean’s advisory council (DAC), and “main campus” (Health Services Advisory Council [HSAC-], Provost, and Board of Trustees)
Can faculty switch from fixed term to tenure track?
This requires a national posting and formal search for a new tenure track position.

In selected cases, a waiver of national search may be requested for a specific circumstance, but this must be reviewed and approved by the Provost.  In general, we expect that a successful waiver request will require strong evidence that the candidate fulfills a unique and critical role for the Department and the institution, to justify skipping a national search.

When it is unclear which track is appropriate, new faculty may be initially appointed into the Variable Track as described in the SOM guidelines (p. 4), but will be required to differentiate to tenure or fixed term at the end of 2-3 years.

Can faculty switch from tenure track to fixed term?
Yes, but only if there is a fixed term faculty role available, after discussion with the Division Chief and Chair.  
I’ve been in my current rank for more than 3 years, and I just successfully switched tracks. I believe I already meet the mark for promotion to the next rank in my new track. Can I immediately request review for promotion?
It is requested by SOM HR that faculty request only one promotion-related HR “action” per academic year. This is to help them manage the increase in the numbers of letters of review and administrative actions that might otherwise be required under the now shorter promotions timelines.
For faculty at sites other than the UNC campus, what’s the difference between Adjunct and “regular” faculty in terms of promotions criteria?
The main difference is that scholarship is encouraged, but not required, of Adjunct faculty, who can be promoted based on other criteria as per the SOM guidelines.

Adjunct faculty promotions use a streamlined administrative process, not requiring letters of reference or Full Professors votes.

Faculty at off-campus sites who are appointed to standard faculty positions in DOP will be expected to meet all the same criteria for promotion as those on campus.

Useful Websites
Peds Faculty Development page:

School of Medicine Faculty Affairs and Leadership Development (“FALD”) Career Navigation page: This page contains links to the SOM standard c.v. format requirements, and to examples that may be of use as you craft your DEI statement.