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Please consult the SMD Regulations of the Faculty for information about:

  • An overview, including general principles and premises for our promotions and tenure system
  • Criteria for academic appointments, promotion, and tenure
  • Procedures for faculty appointments and promotions
  • Additional issues including appeals, compensation, vacation, consulting policy, racial and sexual harassment, and disability
  • A summary of time in rank guidelines
  • Guidelines with examples of application of the criteria for promotion
  • Curriculum vitae format
  • Family leave policy and procedures for extending the 'academic clock'
  • Academic clock adjustment for part-time faculty

Processes for Faculty Appointments and Promotions


All as specified in the SMD Regulations of the Faculty

All requests for appointments, reappointments, promotions, and decisions for tenure originate at the departmental level, not from the Dean’s Office

All appointments, reappointments, and promotions at the rank of Associate Professor and above require Steering Committee processes (as advisory to the Dean’s Office) and approval of the University Board of Trustees

All appointments, reappointments, and promotions at the rank of Assistant Professor and below require approval of the Dean’s Office (but do not require Steering Committee processes)

The Steering Committee of MEDSAC serves as the School-wide promotions committee, making decisions on behalf of the Dean

  • Chaired by the Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs (SADAA)
  • Consists of 18 members serving three-year terms
  • Rather than replace the entire committee all at once every three years, members’ terms are staggered so each year six members rotate off, replaced by six new members, to ensure consistency of committee decisions over the years
  • All members hold academic appointments at the rank of Professor
  • Approximately half of the members are Chairs or Center Directors
  • Approximately half of the members are from basic science areas, the other half from clinical areas
  • Members of Steering chair all faculty ad hoc committees, helping ensure that our promotions criteria are applied consistently

Types of Faculty Appointments

Academic appointments (e.g., Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Professor): activities that include Teaching plus at least one of the following components: Research, Scholarship, Institutional Scholarship, Clinical

Research appointments (e.g., Research Assistant Professor): expectations are solely for research activities, with appointments contingent on funding

Professional appointments (e.g., Assistant Professor of Clinical): expectations are solely for clinical or other professional services, and may contribute significantly to teaching

Voluntary clinical appointments (e.g., Clinical Assistant Professor): typically community-based, non-salaried faculty members involved in teaching or other activities at the SMD

Other / special appointments include non-doctoral-level appointments, Adjunct, Visiting, Interim, and Emeritus faculty members

Appointments, Re-appointments, Promotions at the Assistant Professor Level and Below

The Department initiates the process.

In smaller Departments, may be done entirely by the chair; larger Departments may involve an intradepartmental promotions committee, division chiefs, or other internal processes

Appointment/reappointment/promotion packet (c.f., Required Paperwork) sent to the Dean’s Office

  • Reviewed by SMD Finance and/or hospital leadership and/or URMFG, as appropriate
  • Also reviewed and ultimately signed off by the SADAA
  • After decision is made, a confirmation letter is sent to the faculty member, with copies to the Chair and (if relevant) Center Director

Appointments, Re-appointments, Promotions at the Associate Professor Level and Above

Again, the Department initiates the process.

In smaller Departments, may be done entirely by the chair; larger Departments may involve an intradepartmental promotions committee, division chiefs, or other internal processes

Appointment/reappointment/promotion packet (c.f., Required Paperwork) sent to the Dean’s Office

  • Reviewed by SMD Finance and/or hospital leadership and/or URMFG, as appropriate
  • Also reviewed by the SADAA, who either brings directly to the next meeting of Steering Committee (reappointments) or initiates the ad hoc processes (initial appointments, promotions)
  • After decision is made, a confirmation letter is sent to the faculty member, with copies to the Chair and (if relevant) Center Director

Faculty ad hoc committee processes (for initial appointments and promotions at these ranks)

  • Appointed by the SADAA
  • Consists of three faculty members​
    • Chaired by a current member of Steering Committee
    • Two other faculty members
    • Must represent three distinct Departments / Centers
    • No member can be from the candidate’s current or proposed primary or joint appointments
    • No member can have written a referee letter supporting the proposed action
    • All members must be at or above the academic rank being proposed
    • Members chosen to have expertise giving them some familiarity with the area(s) of expertise and activity of the candidate, to ensure a fair understanding of the candidate’s work
    • Membership of the ad hoc committee is kept strictly confidential

Submits written report to the SADAA within six weeks

  • May take longer if the ad hoc committee requests more information from the chair (done via the SADAA to preserve ad hoc members’ anonymity)
  • If the ad hoc report supports the proposed action, a copy is sent to the Chair / Center Director for information and the report is presented at the next meeting of Steering Committee
  • If the ad hoc report does not support the proposed action, the SADAA communicates with the Chair / Center Director to discuss the recommendation and alternatives, which may include:
    • supplying additional information and asking the ad hoc committee to reconsider
    • requesting that Steering Committee consider overturning the ad hoc committee recommendation
    • withdrawing the proposed action (often with a subsequent request for a different action, or the same request at a later point in time)
  • Steering Committee votes are advisory to the Dean of the SMD
    • Each ad hoc report is presented orally and then discussed as a group prior to vote
    • Steering Committee votes to approve or disapprove the proposed action
    • Steering recommendation is reported to the Chair / Center Director and to the faculty candidate
    • Steering recommendation also is reported to MEDSAC (all the Chairs and Center Directors) for information
    • Results are sent to the University Provost and ultimately require approval of the University Board of Trustees
  • Time from receipt of the completed packet in the Dean’s Office to approval by Steering can be as brief as 3–4 months, although may take longer if more information is requested
  • Time to subsequent approval by the University Board of Trustees can be an additional 1–3 months; the action is not “official” until the Board of Trustees has approved it
  • Given the above timeline, we recommend that the Department send the promotion packet to the Dean’s Office no later than six months prior the end of the current appointment; this typically means the Department and the faculty candidate should begin preparing the packet (including self-evaluations, referee letters, etc.) approximately one year prior to the end of the current appointment

The Office of Academic Affairs will work with faculty members to prepare applications for the approval of the University Provost.

Please review the two forms below before you start preparing your proposal:

All proposals are to be submitted by email to the Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, either as a Word Document or electronically converted to a PDF (using “print to PDF” on a Mac, or Adobe on Windows). Please do not simply scan your proposal to a PDF, as doing so makes it impossible to select/copy text from the PDF. The Academic Leave of Absence Information Form is a writeable pdf and may be digitally signed, or you may print the form, fill in by hand with signatures, and email a scanned copy.

Once you have returned from your leave, please submit a Post-Leave report by email to the Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, either as a Word Document or electronically converted to a PDF (using “print to PDF” on a Mac, or Adobe on Windows).

Template for Post-Leave Report

Links are provided to resources that you may find helpful regarding relationships with industry and management of financial disclosures and potential conflicts of interest.

The majority of relevant policies are available through the UR Office of Research and Project Administration:

URMC Reporting of financial disclosures (annual survey plus 30-day updates) is done through the following survey site:

FAQs About New COI Policies faq-coi.pdf

2016 update: Practical Guidance regarding the Open Payments/Sunshine Act (old, contains some outdated links)

Tip Sheet to navigate through the Open Payments data review process:

Other relevant policies of note

Start a new morning habit with faculty@urmc, an email news stream designed by faculty and for faculty. Each Tuesday and Thursday at 5:30 a.m. you'll receive one convenient email with short updates on:

  • News specific to clinical, research, and education operations
  • Events, lectures, CMEs
  • Training opportunities
  • Institutional news
  • Faculty accomplishments
  • Strategic Initiatives

With an easy-to-scan format and a succinct, just-the-facts style, faculty@urmc is serving up a go-to resource for all your faculty news.

For archived issues of faculty@urmc, click on the link below:

  • faculty@urmc (intranet site only—available while connected to the URMC network)

In the life of any academic institution, a small proportion of faculty members will depart for other opportunities each year. We hope the following resources will be of help to you if you are considering such a departure.

Q: Are there any resources available to me regarding finding another job, or preparing my CV or job interview skills?

A: Yes, such resources are available on the web; useful links may be found on the website of our Office of Faculty Development.

Q: If I do decide to leave, how much lead time (advance notice) should I give?

A: In general, the more advance notice the better! The SMD Regulations of the Faculty ask that faculty give sufficient notice to ensure that her/his responsibilities can be properly covered after the faculty member leaves. The duration required varies by the type of faculty appointment. Please review the section of the SMD Regulations relevant to your appointment, and also please review the language in your initial job offer letter or any subsequent letters or contracts, which also may stipulate the advance notice period required.

Q: What happens to my benefits when I leave?

A: Please discuss this directly with a representative from Human Resources, either your department-assigned HR Business Partner or HR Benefits Office personnel.

Q: Will I get paid for my unused vacation time?

A: No, faculty are not entitled to a payout for unused vacation time.

Q: Can I just use up my vacation time at the end of my employment, that is, stop working before the end of my employment at UR?

A: In general the answer to this question is no. Faculty may not use vacation time at the end of their employment unless they have the explicit permission of their department chair to do so.

Q: What do I need to turn in before I leave?

A: Please review this with the appropriate administrative staff person in your department. This generally will include your UR ID card, keys, and any other UR-owned property (such as computers purchased with UR funds). For clinicians, this also includes any paper charts or other records kept on patients seen as part of your UR employment; you must return these before you depart.

Q: Is there any kind of “exit interview”?

A: The answer is “yes, if you wish.” While the School does not formally require such an exit interview, you are welcome to contact Dr. Jeffrey Lyness (Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs) to set up an appointment for an exit interview; we are always interested in your appraisal of what we do well and what we can do better for our faculty and our institution. We also hope that you will take the chance to let your department chair, or other relevant supervisor or mentor, know your candid assessment of your work experiences at URMC.

Q: What else do I need to do before I leave?

A: All faculty should discuss this with the appropriate administrative staff person in your department (ask your chair's office if you are uncertain who this is). All faculty must return their UR ID card, keys, and any other University-purchased or University-owned property, such as computers or technical equipment purchased with sponsored research funds. As well, discussions for all faculty should include consideration of the future plans for personnel in your area (staff, trainees, and faculty colleagues), and for your supervisory, teaching, and administrative roles. For clinicians, you must return any paper charts or other records kept on patients seen as part of your UR employment before you depart. For funded investigators, please work with the departmental administrator, chair or chair designee, ORPA-assigned administrator, and any funding agencies to plan for the timely close-out and subsequent transfer of grants or contracts, a process that may take several months. Other research-related issues may include coordination with your new institution of transfers of grants, the disposition of equipment, protocols, requirements, record retention, material transfer agreements, or intellectual property, and discussion with the RSRB and UCAR regarding human subject and animal use approvals/closeouts and the disposition of data deriving from human or animal research.

Faculty Information Form

Thank you for being a member of our voluntary clinical faculty! You have joined a community of approximately 1100 professionals who, despite being busy in clinical practice or other environments, volunteer their time to support the teaching, research, and/or clinical missions of the University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry. Your time and effort in support of our missions is greatly appreciated.

Here are a few FAQs about voluntary clinical faculty appointments:

Q: What titles are used to denote voluntary clinical faculty?

A: At our School, all voluntary faculty appointments are preceded by the term "Clinical," with ranks from Instructor through Professor. Thus a typical title would take the form of, for example, "Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics." (Please note the difference compared with a title such as "Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics," the latter being an example of a professional appointment, that is, a UR-employed faculty member whose principal responsibilities are in patient care.)

Q: Who decides whether I get my voluntary faculty appointment established or renewed? Who decides if I can be promoted in rank?

A: While the Office of Academic Affairs processes all faculty appointments, all appointments and promotions originate as proposals to the Dean's Office from the various departments of the medical school It is therefore up to the chair of your home department to determine whether someone's contributions are consistent with that department's expectations for a voluntary faculty appointment, and at what rank. We are always glad to answer general questions, but will refer you to your department chair office for more specific questions about such expectations or about the internal department processing of your faculty appointment, reappointment, or promotion in rank.

More senior faculty ranks (e.g., Clinical Associate Professor, Clinical Professor) require approval of the school-wide promotions committee ("Steering Committee") and the University of Rochester Board of Trustees, again based on proposals originating from the department chair.

Q: Are there any "perks" that come with my voluntary faculty appointment?

A: We of course hope that the teaching or other contributions you offer are personally rewarding to you in and of themselves! But, yes, there may be additional things you can gain. At your request and at your primary department's discretion, you may be given:

  • A UR ID, giving you access to the University of Rochester and URMC premises
  • A URMC email address, generally taking the form of This gives you a secure email account on the URMC Exchange email server.
  • The ability to login to the URMC network while offsite using VPN (Virtual Private Networking). This may give you access to web resources kept securely behind the URMC firewall, including:
    • The URMC Intranet
    • Miner digital library, with online access to a wide range of licensed reference and reading materials. (N.B. – your UR ID card also gives you physical access to the Miner Library and its hard copy resources.)
  • Having a role at the medical school, and a ".edu" email address, may allow you to access educator discounts offered by a number of companies, including software products from Microsoft and Adobe, and hardware and software products from Apple; many such products and discounts are also available to faculty through the UR Tech Store

Q: What CME/educational activities are available to me as a voluntary clinical faculty member?


  • You are able to attend departmental Grand Rounds and the majority of other, free, regular clinical and scientific conferences and presentations at URMC
  • Access to CEL Activities
  • Some conferences may offer reduced fees to faculty, at the discretion of the conference activity director

Q: Do the URMC conflict of interest policies apply to me?

A: The URMC policy on interactions with industry applies to voluntary clinical faculty when on URMC premises or conducting activities on behalf of URMC, such as teaching URMC trainees in one's clinical practice. You may familiarize yourself with URMC policies collated in the above 'Conflicts of Interest Policies and Resources section'. The policy specifically on industry interactions with industry is linked from that Academic Affairs site, or may be viewed directly on the Quality site along with its own FAQs.

To celebrate the importance of faculty serving as mentors for more junior colleagues, the Dean presents awards for mentoring at the SMD Convocation annually.

The call for nominations will go out each year in the spring.

Fall, 2022, Call for Nominations

University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry

Nominations for 2022 Academic Mentoring Awards

Please submit nominations by November 18, 2022

Mentoring can be a powerful force in the personal and professional development of an individual. It benefits not only the mentee, but also the mentor and the University. To recognize mentoring as a valuable contribution to the University of Rochester, we will honor individuals who excel in this important endeavor. There are three awards, one for mentoring junior faculty, one for mentoring pre-doctoral trainees and post-doctoral trainees/fellows in basic science research, and one for mentoring residents, fellows, or other clinical trainees in clinical care or clinical research. These awards will be presented at the Professorship Ceremony on June 8, 2023.

Characteristics of the Ideal Mentor

(recognizing that no one person may have all of these skills):

Critical traits of the mentor

  • Accepts responsibility for being a mentor
  • Gives time and is approachable
  • Respected, well-established, secure; not threatened by success of a junior person
  • Altruistic; able to invest in the success of another’s career
  • Objective and insightful; can evaluate new ideas free of bias
  • Capable of empathy and caring; respectful of diversity and differences among people; able to appreciate mentee despite possible differences

Role of the mentor

  • Role model
  • Teacher
  • Support and challenge the person being mentored, balancing the two to promote personal and professional development
  • Counselor and advisor
  • Sponsor, advocate, and ally, including facilitating and helping establish additional skills, collaborators, mentors, and role models, as needed
  • Motivates excellence

Knowledge and skills of the mentor

  • Understands the science of hypothesis development and testing and how to guide a mentee to what is important scientifically
  • Able to listen, critique, and communicate effectively and constructively
  • Knowledgeable about different career tracks, stages of a faculty career, markers of development and progress, criteria, and systems for promotion, informal and formal expectations of faculty development
  • Knowledgeable about scientific writing, grant writing, choice of grants, choosing journals in which to publish, time management, human resource management/supervision, team management, budgeting, etc.
  • Knowledgeable about balancing multiple professional demands, including service to the Division/Department/School/University

Nature of the relationship between mentor and mentee

  • Regard for the individual, recognizing the multiple personal and professional roles he or she may be balancing against professional goals
  • Fair, honest, respectful, and ethical relationship
  • Proactive, with explicit goals, agendas, and timelines

More information, including a list of prior award recipients, may be found on our mentoring page.

Eligibility and Submissions of Nominations:

There will be THREE AWARDS, presented to the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry faculty members:

  • Faculty Academic Mentoring Award – for a faculty member who has mentored one or more junior faculty (Assistant Professor or Senior Instructor).
  • Trainee Academic Mentoring Award in Basic Science – for a faculty member who has mentored pre-doctoral trainees and post-doctoral trainees/fellows in basic science research.
  • Trainee Academic Mentoring Award in Clinical Programs – for a faculty member who has mentored residents, fellows, or other clinical trainees in clinical care or clinical research.


  1. Initial nominations will consist only of a letter from the Chair or Unit Director, and the nominated mentor’s Curriculum Vitae.
  2. The Mentoring Awards Committee will select a small number of candidates in each category, at which time we will ask the Chair or Unit Director to provide additional letters of recommendation.


  1. One letter of recommendation from the nominated mentor’s Chair or Unit Director, summarizing the extent and impact of the nominee’s accomplishments as a mentor
  2. The nominated mentor’s complete Curriculum Vitae
  3. Please do not include any additional materials; to ensure fairness, additional materials will not be considered at this stage of the process

Please combine the application materials into a single pdf with searchable text (i.e., convert Word to pdf rather than scanning hard copies) and deliver by email no later than 6 p.m. November 18, 2022 to:

In the subject line of the email, please include the nominee’s name and which award the nomination is for.

Questions regarding the nomination process may be directed to the Office of Academic Affairs at (585) 275-3030 or via email at

Recipients of Mentoring Awards 2000 - Present

Mentoring Awards List

JAMA Paper on Mentoring

JAMA Mentoring article


Please also visit our Faculty Career Flexibility page.