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APPC Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What exactly is a teaching portfolio?
     
  2. If my career path is education and program building, is an "educator portfolio" necessary to include in my packet.
     
  3. How is teaching recognized and validated in the promotion process?
     
  4. My appointment is designated as "PAR" (pending academic review). What is the process to change the status to full-time associate professor?
     
  5. Where in the official CV should clinical responsibilities be listed, and does this matter?
     
  6. Is there "value" or "recognition" for book chapters in the promotion process?
     
  7. What weight is given to "speaking at national meetings?"
     
  8. Do I include abstracts on my CV?  
     
  9. How do a build my "list" of reviewers...does the candidate or departmental committees pick, and what is the value given to these letters by the APPC? 
     
  10. Can I get promoted if I don't have external grants?
     
  11. What is the "magic" number of publications needed for promotion?
     
  12. Is criteria for promotion to rank of Associate Professor different for the Ph.D versus M.D/clinicians?
     
  13. In what different ways can a clinician or, say, an administrator, demonstrate "scholarly activity"?
     
  14. Can I look at a sampling of properly formatted curriculae vitae?
     
  15. Is there a time limit by which a faculty member must be promoted, "or else"?
     
  16. What does the Chairman/Directors (Nomination) letter? How does it differ from my CV? What are the differences in Director's letters that support the various career paths to promotion to rank of Associate Professor?
     
  17. Is it better to get a letter from someone who knows me very well but is not as prominent, or from someone who doesn't know me well but is very prominent?
     
  18. On average, after how many years of being at Hopkins do candidates apply for promotion?
     
  19. On average, how many grants and from what sources are necessary to apply for promotion?
     
  20. How long does it take to get promoted to the rank of Associate Professor? 
     
  21. If my promotion does not go through, how long until I can go up again?
     
  22. How else can I demonstrate "scholarship" other than publishing papers?
     
  23. What is the average number of publications of those individuals that have been promoted in the more recent past?
     
  24. How can I find out the status of my promotion nomination?
     
  25. How long does it take on average for a decision to be made?
     
  26. If I feel there are experts in my field who should not be asked for letters of evaluation, how can I request that? 
     
  27. I am a Ph.D. in a clinical department, and support the research and teaching in the department.  I have over 30 publications but my name is frequently "in the middle" of the list of authors. How will this be viewed by the APPC? 

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1. What exactly is a teaching portfolio?

A teaching portfolio is referred to as the “Educator’s Portfolio” discussed on pages 26-32 of the Silver Book (of which an example is included in the Appendix of the Silver Book). The purpose of the Educator’s Portfolio is to accurately reflect the following elements of your teaching:

1)     Quantity of teaching effort

2)     Impact of teaching effort

3)     Evidence of scholarship

The Educator’s Portfolio is a narrative that accompanies your CV and contains the following items enumerated below. Please refer to the guidelines outlined in the Silver Book prior to preparing your Portfolio. The APPC does not require that an Educator’s Portfolio be included in your packet for promotion.     

1. Teaching Philosophy Statement 

2. Professional Development in Education

3. Teaching Activity Report

4. Curriculum Development and Instructional Design: Innovations

5. Educational Administration

6. Regional and National Scholarship

7. Honors and Awards

8. Advisees

9. (Self-Assessment and Long-term Goals)

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2. If my career path is education and program building, is an “educator portfolio” necessary to include in my packet?

No, but it should be clear to the APPC that you have scholarship in these areas, that you have made an impact on the field, and that you have national recognition for your contributions to education and program building. This information can be easily included in a well-constructed director’s letter and outlined in your CV. The solicited letters should also support your national recognition for your contribution to education and/or program building. If you do have an educator's portfolio, please limit it to 5 pages. You may upload this document in the Nomination Manager along with your CV.

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3. How is teaching recognized and validated in the promotion process?

National recognition for scholarship in teaching at the predoctoral, doctoral, or Continuing Medical Education (CME) level may be demonstrated as documented in the Silver Book. For more information please refer to page 8 in the Silver Book.

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4. What is designated as "PAR" (pending academic review). What is the process for changing the status to full-time associate professor?

When a new faculty member is recruited at the rank of associate professor, the committee reviews the CV and the request from the director/dean to appoint the faculty member as an associate professor "PAR" until supporting letters can be solicited from inside and outside reviewers. A new faculty member is not appointed to the rank of associate professor until this full review is completed. Appointment to the rank of associate professor at Johns Hopkins is based on the same criteria as promotion to associate professor. The designation "visiting associate professor" is no longer used for this purpose. A visiting associate professor is a faculty member who will be temporarily working at Hopkins for a period no longer than one (1) year.

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5. Where in my official CV should I list clinical responsibilities, and does this matter?

Yes, it matters. The committee evaluates your entire portfolio and the contribution that you make to Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, its mission and beyond. You should have a CV heading called Clinical Activities/Service Responsibilities where you document the number of patients you see, listed as either patients per month or percent effort of clinical service. Some statement of your contribution in time and importance to the clinical service should be included in the director’s letter to the dean.

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6. Do book chapters count in the promotion process?

Original research publications in peer-reviewed journals carry the greatest weight.  However, book chapters and invited reviews give credence to your national recognition and thus are viewed favorably by the committee. For those faculty who are clinician/ educational scholars, book chapters and inivted reviews are evidence of educational scholarship. 

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7. What weight does the committee give to speaking at national meetings? 

Invitations to speak at national meetings are evidence of your national recognition. However, the committee is looking for leadership at national meetings (e.g., chairing or co-chairing a scientific symposium or being a featured speaker or invited speaker at a national meeting) and not simply having a poster or 10-minute presentation of an abstract. Abstracts should not be included on the CV for academic promotion.

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8. Do I include abstracts on my CV?

No. Abstracts should not be part of your CV.  However, if a project was performed with a student who was the presenting author of the abstract that was presented at a national or international meeting, then you may list this abstract (if it has not yet come to publication) under the mentoring section of the CV along with the trainees name.  It is also helpful to the committee to know if the trainee (student) may have received an award or special recognition for the work.

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9.  How do a build my list of reviewers? Do I pick them or do the departmental committees? What value does the APPC give to these letters?

The committee solicits letters from the list that you provide. Please provide a list of 14 names for the committee to choose from. Additional guidance is provided on the Nomination Manager, the web-based site that is required by the APPC to be able to process your nomination. Generally, your list of referees should include:

1) leaders (external letters) in the field with whom you have no direct professional relationship

2) colleagues/collaborators within the Hopkins community who can speak about your contribution to Hopkins (internal letters)

3) current or previous colleagues and collaborators who are outside the Hopkins community (external letters).

The APPC may solicit additional individuals not on your list who are in your field or a related field of expertise. For the most part, your candidacy will be reviewed at the APPC monthly meeting when approximately 8 to 10 letters are received, with at least 50 percent of the letters from external referees.  Please provide names of internal and external refereers who are at the the rank of Associate or Full Professor, or of comparable rank at the NIH, CDC, or in industry.

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10. Can I be promoted if I don’t have external grants?

Yes. The essential elements for faculty promotion are excellence in scholarship and impact on one’s field as evidenced by national recognition for contributions either in the area of clinical distinction, research, teaching/education, and program building. Recognition by others “outside of the walls of Hopkins” is essential criteria for promotion to Associate Professor.

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11. What is the number of publications needed for promotion?

There is no MAGIC number of publications. The impact of the publications and role of the faculty member in the publication (e.g., as first or last author versus co-author) are more important than the number of publications. However, usually a substantial number of peer-reviewed manuscripts published since promotion or appointment to Assistant Professor will be necessary to be considered for appointment or promotion to rank of Associate Professor. The published body of work should have a theme.

Summary statistics showing the average number and range of original research/ career pathway of faculty who are successfully promoted to Associate Professor can be viewed on the Nomination Manager by clicking on Downloadable Forms (on the left navigational pane). The Nomination Manager is updated and mainted by the Associate Professor Promotions Committee.

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12. Are criteria for promotion to rank of Associate Professor different for the Ph.D./researchers versus M.D./clinicians?

The essential elements required for faculty advancement are excellence in scholarship and impact upon one’s field evidenced by national recognition. National recognition for scholarship and leadership can be achieved through a variety of career pathways (such as Researcher/Educator, Clinician/Researcher/Educator, Clinician/Educator, and Program Builder/Educator, or other combinations). Refer to page 4 of Silver Book

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13. What are the different ways that a clinician or an administrator can demonstrate scholarly activity?

Many examples are listed in the Silver Book (refer to pages 8-9) as to what will lead to national recognition in the area of clinical and administrative (program-building) expertise. The operative phrase, however, is national recognition for promotion to the rank of Associate Professor and recognition for this expertise should go beyond the Johns Hopkins Community.   Some of the examples of activities that lead to national recognition in clinical and administrative (program building) expertise on listed on this website however we strongly recommend that you consult the Silver Book for a complete list.

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14. Is there a required format for the CV?

Yes. A link to a properly formatted CV for Academic Promotion is provided from the pull down menu on this web page. A properly formatted CV is required for the promotion process to move forward.
View example CV (Silver Book, pp 25-27).

You may also view the PowerPoint presentation "Managing your CV" that can be accessed by clicking on downloadable forms on the Nomination Manager.

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15. Is there a time limit by which a faculty member must be promoted, "or else"?

When a faculty member has served seven years at the rank of Assistant Professor, he or she must be reviewed by the Instructor and Assistant Professor Reappointment Review Committee. Prior to review by the Committee, the Committee requires documentation from the Department Director that states the type of contract recommended for the faculty member and confirms that the faculty member has been informed of the Director's recommendation.

The Committee will either (i) advise the Department Director to nominate the individual for promotion with reappointment(s) at rank with one-year contract(s) during the review process, (ii) recommend reappointment(s) at rank for two years with re-review when the faculty member has served nine years, or (iii) recommend a one-year terminal appointment. If not promoted after reappointment at rank for two years, the faculty member will be reviewed again by the Instructor and Assistant Professor Reappointment Review Committee at the end of nine years. The Committee will (i) recommend a terminal one-year contract, (ii) recommend an appointment for three to five years, or (iii) advise the Department Director to nominate the individual for promotion with reappointment at rank with one-year contract(s) during the review process.

If recommended for consideration for promotion, but not promoted after reappointment at rank, the faculty member will be reviewed again by the Instructor and Assistant Professor Reappointment Review Committee. The committee will either (i) recommend a one-year terminal contract, or (ii) recommend reappointment for three to five years.

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16. What is the Chairman/Director’s (Nomination) letter? How does it differ from my CV? What are the differences in Director’s letters that support the various career paths to promotion to rank of Associate Professor?

The Director’s letter should provide a summary of the candidate’s contributions and impact of his/her activities to the mission of Johns Hopkins in excellence in education/teaching/research/clinical distinction. It should not be a reiteration of the CV but a narrative that puts the accomplishments listed on the CV in context. It should showcase the candidate in the best possible light with emphasis on the impact of the candidate’s accomplishments in the Hopkins Community and nationally.  Please click on each for an example of a Director’s letter that has been written in support of candidates for each of the career paths that have led to promotion to the rank of Associate Professor within the last year.

Access to these letters is restricted and will require logging in using your JHED username and password.

Additional examples of faculty with career pathways in Clinical Program Building and/or Educational Program Building can be viewed by downloadable forms on the Nomination Manager.

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17. Is it better to get a letter from someone who knows me very well but is not as prominent, or from someone who doesn't know me well but is very prominent?

Both are helpful. The APPC solicits letters from 1) individuals that are leaders (external letters) in the field with whom you have no direct professional relationship (i.e. collaboration or previous mentor), 2) colleagues/collaborators within the Hopkins Community that can speak about your contribution to Hopkins (internal letters), and 3) current or previous colleagues and collaborators who are currently outside the Hopkins Community (external-internal letters). The APPC reserves the right to solicit letters from additional individuals who are not on your list but who are in your field or related field of expertise (prominent but may not know you well). For the most part, the candidate will be reviewed at the APPC monthly meeting when approximately 8-10 letters are received with at least 50% of the letters from external referees. You are required to submit 14 names from which the Committee may choose. Additional instructions are provided on the referee section of the Nomination Manager.

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18. On average, after how many years of being at Hopkins do candidates apply for promotion?

Approximately seven (7) years at the rank of Assistant Professor is when most individuals are being considered for promotion to rank of Associate Professor.  Recent data can be found on the Nomination Manager by clicking on Downloadable forms, and then APPC summary statistics.  However, an Assistant Professor may be recommended for promotion to the rank of Associate Professor by the Department Director at any time.

As stated in the Gold Book:  When a faculty member has served seven years at the rank of Assistant Professor, he or she must be reviewed by the Instructor and Assistant Professor Reappointment Review Committee. Prior to review by the Committee, the Committee requires documentation from the Department Director that states the type of contract recommended for the faculty member and confirms that the faculty member has been informed of the Director's recommendation. One purpose of this review is to ensure that a recommended reappointment of an individual is not only merited, but also is in the best interests of the Department and the School. Another purpose is to provide faculty members an objective and independent evaluation of their contributions to date and their long-term potential within the School of Medicine. Coming as early in their careers as possible, this evaluation allows faculty members to take advantage of all opportunities for further career development.

The Committee will either (i) advise the Department Director to nominate the individual for promotion with reappointment(s) at rank with one-year contract(s) during the review process, (ii) recommend reappointment(s) at rank for two years with re-review when the faculty member has served nine years, or (iii) recommend a one-year terminal appointment. If not promoted after reappointment at rank for two years, the faculty member will be reviewed again by the Instructor and Assistant Professor Reappointment Review Committee at the end of nine years. The committee will (i) recommend a terminal one year contract, (ii) recommend an appointment for three to five years, or (iii) advise the Department Director to nominate the individual for promotion with reappointment at rank with one-year contract(s) during the review process.

If recommended for consideration for promotion, but not promoted after reappointment at rank, the faculty member will be reviewed again by the Instructor and Assistant Professor Reappointment Review Committee. The committee will either (i) recommend a one year terminal contract or (ii) recommend reappointment for three to five years.  For additional information please refer to the Gold Book.

19. On average, how many grants and from what sources are necessary to apply for promotion?

The common and essential elements for faculty promotion are excellence in scholarship and impact in one’s field. Grants are evidence of impact in one’s field by the nature that they represent recognition from experts in the field as a result of the peer-review process. Grants are not obligatory for promotion but they are viewed favorably by the APPC especially for the person whose career portfolio is focused on research (basic science/translational or clinical investigation).  A grant awarded by the NIH to the candidate who is the principal or co-principal investigator is given considerable weight by the APPC.

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20.  How long does it take to be promoted to the rank of Associate Professor? 

With reorganization of the administration of the APPC, the goal is to reduce the time from the arrival of the candidate’s packet in the Dean’s office to the review by the APPC committee to a maximum of 8 months. The rate limiting step is often the time it takes for the solicited letters to arrive to the Dean’s office. Once the committee receives 8-10 of the solicited letters, of which 50% are from external referees, then the candidate is reviewed at the monthly APPC meeting. Within 2 weeks of the meeting, a recommendation is sent to the Dean and the candidate is then presented to the Advisory Board to the Medical Faculty (ABMF) at which time a final vote is made. Thus, on average, it takes an additional 3-4 weeks after the APPC makes a recommendation to the Dean that the promotion process is complete. Notification of your promotion will be from either your Director or the Dean’s office.

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21. If my promotion does not go through, how long until I can go up again?   

There is no time requirement for the candidate to be re-reviewed by the APPC committee. Specific recommendations are made by the APPC to the Dean regarding what the candidate should accomplish in order for the APPC to recommend promotion to the rank of Associate Professor. Sometimes the supporting documents are incomplete and do not best “showcase” the impact of the candidate’s expertise on the field and need simply to be rewritten and resubmitted. At other times, more time is needed for the candidate to demonstrate scholarship in his/her area of expertise.  

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22. How else can I demonstrate scholarship other than publishing papers?

The unabridged dictionary definition of Scholarship is learning; knowledge acquired by study; the academic attainments of a scholar. The scholar is a learned or erudite person, esp. one who has profound knowledge of a particular subject. It is difficult to demonstrate scholarship without publishing. Furthermore,   demonstration of scholarship by publishing makes it “black and white” for the APPC to evaluate. As stated in the Silver Book, “Appointment or promotion to the rank of Associate Professor, full-time, requires meritorious publications and substantive contributions to education and/or clinical practice. The scholarly achievement of candidates for promotion to Associate Professor should be indicated by national recognition among their peers. National recognition for scholarship is primarily judged by impact on one’s field. Publication is the most important avenue for achieving national recognition in one’s field.”  

Listed below are excerpts from the Silver Book summarizing the essential elements of ways to demonstrate scholarship in each of the specific areas of career development? More examples can be found in the Silver Book under each heading.

Scholarship in Research:  Dissemination of such new knowledge, through publication in peer-reviewed journals and books, and through presentations at national and international meetings, is also an essential element of scholarship in research. (Silver Book, pp 8-9 section B. 4.b. and B.4.b.2)

Scholarship in Education/Teaching: Demonstration of accomplishments that are public, subject to critical review and analysis of outcomes, and useful to others in the community beyond the School of Medicine. ( Silver Book, pg 8 section B.4.a,).

Scholarship in clinical distinction: Development and dissemination of a unique clinical program, diagnostic test, or intervention that has had a national impact. Election to and leadership of distinguished medical societies relevant to one’s field, the application of new knowledge, and meritorious publications. (Silver Book, pg 11, section B.4.f, B.4.f 2.).

Scholarship in program building: Development of a clinical, educational, or scientific program that is widely recognized as an outstanding model of its kind and/or that has had a substantial impact on the field.(Silver Book, pg 10, section B.4.3 and pg 11 section B.4.c.1 and B.4.f.1).

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23. What is the average number of publications of those individuals that have been promoted in the more recent past?  

This information can be found on the Nomination Manager by clicking on Downloadable forms, and then APPC summary statistics.

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24. How can I find out the status of my promotion nomination?

After completing and submitting your Nomination Manager, you can log back onto the site and find a status update of your nomination. In addition, when a major status change has occurred, you will receive an e-mail from the system. Approximately 2-4 weeks prior to your nomination being presented to the full Committee, an updated CV will be requested. You will be able to log back into the Nomination Manager and upload a new CV. Sending an updated CV will prevent the Committee from holding your application until additional information is received. It is important that the APPC has the most updated information regarding grants and publications, awards, and invited talks. It is strongly recommended that you respond to the request for an updated CV within 48-72 hours. If any additional information is needed from you, we will request it through your credentialing coordinator or your Department Director/Chairman.  The APPC processes over 60 applicants at any one time. Help us, help you. If you do not see any change in status on your Nomination Manager log-in page 4 months after all documents have been received from the Dean’s office, please send the Chair of the committee an email to check on the progress of your nomination. Your Department Director and credentialing officer will always know the current Chair of the APPC.

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25. How long does it take, on average, for a decision regarding promotion to be made?

It can take as few as 4 months or as long as 14 months. With the reorganization of the administration of the APPC and the institution of web based Nomination Manager, our goal is to reduce the maximum time to 9 months from receipt of the completed nomination packet in the Dean’s Office to having the candidate initially reviewed by the full APPC with (1) recommendation to the Dean and a vote at the Advisory Board to the Medical Faculty (ABMF) or (ii) a letter will be sent to the Director requesting additional and clarification. Although the APPC meets throughout the year, the ABMF does not meet during June, July, or August. Thus, if a candidate is reviewed by the APPC during the summer months, the recommendation will not be voted on until September.

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26. If I feel there are experts in my field who should not be asked for letters of evaluation, how can I request that? 

With the list of names that you will provide to the APPC for us to solicit letters, include another list of names that you would prefer a letter not be solicited.

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27. I am a Ph.D. in a clinical department, and support the research and teaching in the department. I have over 30 publications but my name is frequently “in the middle” of the list of authors. How will this be viewed by the APPC?

National recognition for scholarship in research is primarily judged by national impact on the field. Having a collaborative role in the department is considered favorable by the APPC. However, for promotion to the rank of Associate Professor it must be clear to the APPC that you play a pivotal role in the research and educational activities of the department, and you have a national reputation for you contribution. A well-constructed Director/Chairman’s letter emphasizing your essential contribution to the team is very helpful to APPC.

Assessment of how well the publication record demonstrates national recognition in one’s field will include consideration of the following factors:

Authorship:  Papers on which the faculty member is the first or senior author carry the greatest weight. Co-authored papers may be reflective of national recognition if there is evidence of the individual’s pivotal role in the study. (Pivotal role in the study is the operative phrase and should be clearly documented in your case.)

Quality of the work:  Publications should be based on outstanding, original, and innovative research findings and/or important and novel clinical applications of basic research.

Quality of the journal:  It is essential that publications are in journals of the highest quality and impact in the candidate’s area of research. 

Citation Index:  Highly cited original research papers may also demonstrate national recognition in one’s field.   

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