Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

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  1. What is the SOM process for recommendation/denial of P&T?

1. How do I find out which criteria I will be evaluated on for my next promotion?

The criteria are provided, by track, in the Faculty Tracks section of the website.

2. How can I find out if I am ready for my next promotion?

There are multiple sources for information and advice:  P&T website, Department Chair, Division Chief, Departmental P&T Committee Chair and current members of the SOM P&T Committee.  In addition, two workshops are offered annually: Promotion and Tenure at the University of Virginia School of Medicine and Polishing Your Portfolio for Promotion and Tenure.  The schedule of classes is on our training page, as well as the CME website.

3. How do I format my P&T Portfolio?

This information is provided on the Promotion and Tenure web page (Portfolio Binder Checklist). 

4. Referees

The candidate and department chair (or division chief) discuss the list of referees.  The list will include internal referees, external referees, and independent referees.  Each referee must be identified as originating from either the candidate or the Chair.  Please review Criteria for Letters of Reference for full information.

5. How does my performance as an educator influence the likelihood that I will be promoted?

Education is one of the three missions of the School of Medicine. Excellence in one of the three mission domains (Education, Research, Patient Care) is required for Promotion to Associate Professor; excellence in two domains is required in order to achieve Tenure to Full Professor. Demonstration of educational excellence will therefore be required for everyone in the Academic Investigator or Clinician Educator tracks and may be chosen as one of the two domains of excellence for those in the Clinician Investigator track. Thorough documentation of your performance is essential for demonstration of excellence, per item 6. 

6. How do I document excellence in education?

This is documented in the candidate’s Teaching Portfolio.

7. Excellence in Clinical Activity

This is dependent upon your department, your role, and your job description.  For more information regarding clinical excellence specific to your role and job description, you may consult with your department chair, division chief, the Chair of your department's P&T Committee, or current members of the SOM P&T Committee.

8. How do I demonstrate excellence in research?

Excellence includes:
-  Peer-reviewed publications, as documented in your CV, including both impact factors and  citation record.  The Health Sciences Library has a tutorial on finding impact factors and journal rank available on their website.
-  Extramural and intramural research funding
-  Documented impact such as invited publications and invited extramural presentations
-  Further information regarding research excellence, by track, is available in the P&T Policy or through the Faculty Tracks section of our website.

9. How do I document research collaboration?

-  Nature of contributions should be described in the annotations to the bibliography of your CV
-  Document your role as co-investigator on research projects
-  Documented by statements in your internal and external letters of reference

10. How does my extramural funding impact my likelihood of being promoted?

Promotion and the award of tenure of Academic and Clinical Investigators requires funding via NIH RO1 grants or comparable grants.

11. Does it count if my grant gets a good score but is not funded?

For faculty in tracks dependent upon research excellence, and who demonstrate sufficient funding credentials for the requested promotion, evidence that a proposal was highly evaluated is favorable, but does not stand alone.

12. How do I document extramural reputation beyond the University of Virginia (regional/national/international)?

-  Invitations to speak at other institutions; or at regional, national, or international meetings
-  Study sections and grant-review panels
-  Editorships and membership on editorial boards
-  Replication of clinical, research, or educational models at other universities or institutions
-  Invited expert testimony for governmental agencies
-  Leadership roles in regional, national, or international societies
-  National Board memberships, or role as examiner or question writer
-  Named lectureships
-  Awards
-  Invited publications
-  Evidence of impact of your publications

13. How are my publications evaluated?

Publication record, as documented in your CV, should demonstrate continued scholarship.  Further, publications are evaluated by their impact on the field as evidenced by the number of your peer-reviewed papers, the ranking of the journals in which you have published, and the citation record of your papers.  Other evidence of impact may include comments in the letters of reference and documentation of honors accorded because of the impact of your publications.  The Health Sciences Library has a tutorial on finding impact factors and journal rank available on their website.
In evaluating submitted publications it is helpful to the P&T committee if each publication is accompanied by a very brief explanation of why the publication is considered important.

14. How many publications do I need?

This is an integral of quality and quantity, related to both your rank and track, so there is no single magic number.  Please note:  a few papers in premier journals may count as much as many papers in journals of moderate rank (see 13)

15. How do I find the impact factor and ranking for a journal?

The impact factor is a measure of the frequency with which the average article in a journal has been cited in a particular year.  The Health Sciences Library has a tutorial on finding impact factors and journal rank available on their website.

16. Do non-refereed publications help me at all?

Invited publications may speak to regional or national reputation.  However, peer-reviewed publications are essential for promotion on the AI and CI track.

17. How is my local committee service evaluated?

Good citizenship implies participation in functional activities of your Department and the School of Medicine.  However, service on local committees is not highly weighted unless you serve in a leadership role or directly contribute to notable committee accomplishments.  Note: Service on national committees is highly regarded and should be documented for proof of extramural reputation (see item 12 for more information).

18. What happens if I come up for Promotion/Tenure early?

In cases of candidates applying early, the P&T Committee will adhere to the P&T Policy criteria more stringently. The earlier you are nominated, the more stringently the criteria will be interpreted.  Please review the P&T Policy very carefully to be sure you are ready.

19. What if the Departmental P&T Committee does not recommend me for P&T?

The candidate has the option to appeal to the Dean, as documented in the P&T Timeline.  Departmental P&T Committees meet beginning on September 2.  Departmental Committees review candidate portfolios and notify candidates not recommended for advancement.  Candidates not recommended for advancement must appeal to the Dean’s Office by October 4, 2013
Appeals to the Dean’s Office are reviewed by an ad hoc committee consisting of: the Senior Associate Dean, the Chair of the SOM P&T Committee, and a faculty member within the Department and at the appropriate rank, as identified by the candidate.

20. What is the SOM process for recommendation/denial of P&T?

The SOM P&T Committee deliberates based on all P&T application information, and then provides decisions to the Dean.  The Dean distributes the decisions to department chairs in late December/early January. 

21. What if the SOM does not recommend me?

The Department Chair has the right to appeal unfavorable outcomes, but the appeal may only be based on the presentation of new information.  Any candidate not recommended by the SOM P&T Committee may submit new information to their Department Chair.  It is at the discretion of the Chair to carry the appeal forward.  Appeal documents must be submitted by the Chair to the Dean’s Office by January 13, 2014.

22. What are the guidelines for the establishment and functioning of the Departmental P&T Committee?

The guidelines are available here: Guidelines for Departmental P&T Committees.