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II. Appointments & Promotions of Full-Time Faculty

A. Principles Governing Appointments and Promotions of Full-time Faculty

The selection of individuals for appointment to the faculty and for promotion must be made in accordance with the highest standards. Moreover, the selection process shall be governed by consideration of the immediate and long range needs of the department and the School and the best interests of the individuals concerned. Recommendations to the Advisory Board of the Medical Faculty (ABMF) for an appointment to the faculty and for promotion are made by the Department Director. Each Department Director is expected to develop such recommendations in consultation with a departmental or interdepartmental advisory committee.

The School of Medicine, through the Department Director and (where applicable) the Division Director, shall endeavor to encourage each faculty member in the development of his or her academic career. It is the responsibility of the Department Director to ensure that junior faculty members receive guidance from more senior faculty members and that their progress in teaching, research, and other duties is actively reviewed. Furthermore, all faculty members must be given an objective evaluation of their ultimate potential for academic advancement within this Institution as early in their careers as feasible, in order to give them maximum mobility in seeking career development opportunities. To these ends, all full-time faculty members shall have at least Annual Reviews with their Department Director, or his or her designee, and a written record of review will be sent to the faculty member.  

Advancement through the ranks and eventual appointment until retirement are not automatic consequences of full-time service on the faculty for any given number of years. Rather, they are privileges conferred in recognition of merit on an individual faculty member by action of the ABMF.

B. General Criteria for Appointment and Promotion of Full-time Faculty

The criteria for appointment and promotion are derived from the Institution's primary aim, which is to be a national and international leader in medicine, science, and education. This aim can be achieved only if the School's faculty are outstanding leaders in their respective fields.

Professional recognition as a leader in one's field is the fundamental criterion for promotion to the rank of Professor. However, earlier in the promotional sequence, well before candidacy for Professor, the prime consideration is whether a faculty member's professional career is developing in a manner that promises to make him or her eligible for promotion to the next level. At all stages of the promotional sequence, candidates proposed for promotion must satisfy as a first prerequisite the basic obligations specified above in Article I-D, "Obligations of Full-time Faculty Members to the School of Medicine." Likewise, at all stages, the criteria for academic advancement are research, education, program building, and (for clinicians) clinical distinction, documented by scholarly accomplishments.

It is recognized that that there are different pathways toward becoming an outstanding leader in one’s field and that education is an important component of all faculty career pathways. The most common element of recognition as a leader in one's field is excellence in scholarship in one or more of the following areas: Research, Education, Clinical Care, and Program Development, as discussed more specifically below. Faculty members in all career paths carry the same titles (Professor, Associate Professor, Assistant Professor) and must meet the same criteria for appointment or promotion at each level. However, the specific accomplishments for demonstrating those criteria differ for each academic career path. The most important criterion in all faculty appointments and promotions is recognition of one’s excellence as judged by peers, supervisors, reviewing committees for appointment and promotion, and professionals outside of the School of Medicine. From time to time, the Vice Dean for Faculty will distribute to members of the faculty suggestions for documenting scholarly achievement in the most common career pathways (such as Clinician/Educator, Clinician/Researcher/Educator, Researcher/Educator, and Program Builder/Educator) in the Professional Development Guide for the Faculty of The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine (subsequently referred to as “the Silver Book”) or through other means.  It is important to note that meeting or exceeding these suggestions does not guarantee appointment or promotion.

Scholarship, the primary basis for academic advancement, encompasses the generation of new knowledge and/or the dissemination of knowledge to others, as long as these activities are accessible to critical assessment and accessible for future use by members of the academic community.  Reputation beyond the School of Medicine and the following important elements of scholarship are considered in the promotion process:

  • Research: New knowledge can take many forms, including important clinical observations, clinical research findings, laboratory research, and integrative research. Customarily, such new knowledge is disseminated through publication in peer-reviewed journals and books. For this reason, a candidate's publications form an important basis for assessing scholarly productivity in research.
  • Education: Excellence in education requires not only an objective, up-to date, accurate, and balanced command of the field being taught but also effective communication skills. Documenting the scholarship of education also requires 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.  This documentation may take the form of a teaching portfolio, as described in the Silver Book.  Course leadership and design, the judgment of students, trainees, and peers, and meritorious publications may also be considered when a faculty member's teaching is assessed.
  • Clinical Distinction: For faculty members who are clinicians, clinical distinction comprises professional excellence, integrity, and empathy in treating patients. Other elements of clinical distinction that are considered for a faculty member's promotion include election to distinguished medical societies relevant to achievement in his or her field, the application of new knowledge, and meritorious publications.
  • Program Building: A leader in program building is someone who has developed 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.

C. Achievements and Contributions that Document Criteria for Academic Advancement

The following contributions will be considered by Promotion Committees in assessing faculty for advancement with variable weights for each contribution depending on the faculty member’s academic career path (as instantiated in the Silver Book):


  • Quality and quantity of contact hours with students including graduate students, medical students, residents postdoctoral fellows, and attendees of continuing education courses
  • Educational program director for graduate students, medical students, residents, postdoctoral fellows, or continuing medical education courses with evidence of learner and program outcomes
  • Development or direction of new courses or special teaching materials such as video tapes, computer programs, and web sites
  • Teaching awards


  • Substantive and continuous publication in refereed journals with special emphasis on the quality of original contributions to the field
  • Role of the faculty member in the execution of the project involved in the publications
  • Number of authors and the place of the faculty member among the authors
  • Textbooks or monographs either as sole author or as editor
  • Chapters in text books

Support for Research and Education Programs

  • Grants and contracts obtained as the principal investigator or co-principal investigator, program director, or co-director
  • Funding from grants and contracts with other principal investigators or program directors

Recognition beyond the School of Medicine

  • Awards or prizes for research or service
  • Presentations at scholarly meetings and conferences
  • Serving on national scientific advisory boards or study sections
  • Serving as an officer or on the council of national scholarly organization
  • Membership in scholarly organizations
  • Serving on editorial boards
  • Invited presentations at Universities, Hospitals, etc.
  • Organizing international, national, or regional research or educational meetings
  • National or international reputation documented by letters of recommendation, leadership in professional societies, and invited talks or invited reviews

Citizenship to the University

  • Service on various University, School of Medicine, or Department Committees
  • Serving as a division, program, or section chief
  • Serving as residency or fellowship director, co-director, or administrator

Clinical Service

  • Reputation as a clinician as manifested by referrals and peer review
  • Number of clinic sessions and patients served
  • Scope and productivity of clinical practice as compared to peers performing similar services to similar patient populations
  • Development of a unique or essential clinical program