|T H E N I H C A T A L Y S T||M A R C H A P R I L 2004|
CTC CLARIFIES CRITERIA FOR TENURE AT NIH
"To ensure a strong tenure system that provides the intramural research program with creative and productive scientists, an NIH-wide Tenure Committee, advisory to the Deputy Director for Intramural Research . . . should be established to review and recommend for approval (or rejection) all potential appointments to tenure."
NIH IRP Report of the External Advisory Committee, Directors Advisory Committee, Nov. 17, 1994
On January 5, 2004, nearing the 10th anniversary of its inception, the NIH Central Tenure Committee (CTC) conducted its first-ever retreat for a look back and a future vision. Invitations to all past and present CTC members, scientific directors, and members of special panels advisory to the CTC were extended, and fully 70 percent gathered together enthusiastically for a meeting in Building 1, Wilson Hall.
Michael Gottesman, deputy director for intramural research (DDIR) and CTC chair, presented summary data on the tenure rate at NIH since 1994.
For the cohorts of investigators who started on the tenure track in 1994 and 1995, 56 percent and 58 percent, respectively, achieved tenure. Since more than 20 percent of investigators who started in 1996 and subsequent years are still on the tenure track, the overall tenure rate for those cohorts is still changing.
Review by the CTC is the last step in the review process for tenure, and nearly all candidates who reach that point are indeed approved for tenure: 90 percent of all tenure-track investigators reviewed by the CTC since 1994 received tenure (in the same period, 91 percent of all outside candidates reviewed by the CTC for tenure also received it). Thus, nearly all individuals who do not achieve tenure from the tenure track fail to do so before they are reviewed by the CTC.
After questions on the data, the DDIR introduced an outline of criteria for tenure that the CTC has traditionally valued as fundamental. The ensuing thoughtful exchange and lively dialogue produced a draft that ultimately resulted in the consensus document printed on this page.
High quality, originality, and impact of scientific contributions to a specific field and biomedical research more generally
Productivity relative to resources
National/international recognition and leadership
Mentorship abilities and activities
High ethical standards and integrity in directing and conducting research
NIH citizenship and collegiality
Updated and accurate C.V. and bibliography, including all necessary information that addresses the criteria for tenure
Letters of recommendation from the leaders in the field (at least six from noncollaborators)
BSC reports, with particular emphasis on the most recent one (must be within the past two years for the Central Tenure Committee)
Recommending memorandum from the Laboratory/Branch Chief or Scientific Director, through IC Director, specifically addressing the recommendation for tenure
Report of the IC Promotion & Tenure Committee (only for tenure-track candidates)
Report of the DDIR-approved Search Committee (only for outside candidates)
The five publications that the candidate considers most important
Description of future research plans by the candidate (no more than five pages)
Detailed description of the resources (budget, personnel, space, other) available to the candidate from the beginning of the tenure track to date, with a timeline of changes during the tenure track (only for tenure-track candidates)
Return to Table of Contents