This page clarifies the promotion process for research faculty in the College of Sciences at Georgia Tech. Research faculty titles include Research Scientist, Research Engineer, Research Technologist, and Research Associate.
The ranks of research faculty at Georgia Tech include:
- Research Scientist/Engineer/Technologist/Associate I
- Research Scientist/Engineer/Technologist/Associate II
- Senior Research Scientist/Engineer/Technologist/Associate
- Principal Research Scientist/Engineer/Technologist/Associate
Faculty should consult the Faculty Handbook for all institute requirements regarding promotion. The Faculty Handbook section 3.2.1 discusses this process in detail.
Required Years in Rank
The following years-in-rank requirements apply to Research Scientists, Engineers, Technologists, and Associates.
- Research Scientist II: 3 years as Research Scientist I
- Senior Research Scientist:
- 4 years as Research Scientist II if no PhD; or
- 2 years as Research Scientist II if a PhD
- Principal Research Scientist: 5 years as a Senior Research Scientist
Years in rank are calculated as of July 1 of the year in which the promotion would take effect. For example, a candidate inquiring about promotion in academic year 2020/2021 would count from the date of hire up to July 1, 2021
The School’s Role
Talk with your supervisor (PI) about your plan to apply for promotion. PIs need to be aware that a promotion will automatically come with a raise, historically 6%.
Reach out to the HR administrator in your school (or the Faculty Affairs Manager in the College of Sciences) to help review your eligibility. The school’s promotion administrator will also inform you of the due date of your materials.
The school will organize a committee to review the promotion application. The committee will vote and then the package will be sent to the Chair for review and a vote. The school promotion administrator will then route the package up to the college. When there is an exception to the normal criteria for promotion (i.e., time in rank, advanced degree, years of full-time experience), the committee and Chair letters must address how a candidate's experience makes up for any missing criteria.
A candidate going up for promotion to Principal Research Scientist will submit three names of external reviewers to the school. These reviewers should not be employed at Georgia Tech and should be highly qualified in the candidate's field to assess the candidate's contributions. The Chair can propose additional names to contact. The Chair will solicit external reviewers for letters via PROMOTE, never the candidate.
Preparing the Promotion Package
Please see the templates on this webpage for further details. There is guidance in the templates.
- Required: Summary for Institute Review
A one-page summary stating how the candidate has met the criteria for promotion.
- Required: Qualification Statement
A narrative of 5 pages or less, adding context and detail about how you meet (and exceed) the promotion criteria. This is your chance to present your achievements to a committee of non-experts. If your dossier is missing an aspect of promotion critiera, for example, you fall short of the required time in rank or years of full-time experience, or you don't have an advanced degree, you need to demonstrate that your experience makes up for the missing criterion/criteria.
- Required: CV
Use the GT style template when preparing your CV. Please note that those candidates seeking promotion to the rank of Principal have a different template.
- Optional: Supervisor Letter of Support
Candidates have the opportunity to include in their promotion package a signed letter from the supervisor that addresses the candidate’s qualifications and appropriateness for promotion. Supervisors should refer to Georgia Tech’s rank-specific promotion criteria at https://policylibrary.gatech.edu/faculty-handbook/3.2.1-research-faculty-hiring-and-promotion-guidelines. When there is an exception to the normal criteria for promotion (i.e., time in rank, advanced degree, years of full-time experience), the PI should address how a candidate's experience makes up for any missing criteria.
Additional Criteria for Promotion
In addition to the years in rank requirement, each level of promotion requires the following additional criteria:
- Research Scientist II:
- a master’s degree and 3 years of relevant full-time experience after completion of the master’s; or
- a master’s degree and 5 years of relevant full-time experience after completion of a bachelor’s degree; or
- a PhD.
- Senior Research Scientist:
- a master’s degree and 7 years of relevant full-time experience after completion of the master’s; or
- a master’s and 9 years of relevant full-time experience after completion of a bachelor’s degree; or
- a PhD and 4 years of relevant full-time experience after completion of a bachelor’s degree.
- Principal Research Scientist:
- a master’s degree and 11 years of relevant full-time experience; or
- a PhD and 7 years of relevant full-time experience.
Please see the handbook for further clarification of the expected achievements for promotion.