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 in rank as Research Scientist II if no PhD; or
- 2 years in rank as Research Scientist II if a PhD (note that 4 years of relevant overall experience is still required)
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 2023/2024 would count from the date of hire up to July 1, 2024
Additional Criteria for Promotion
In addition to the years in rank requirement, each level of promotion requires the following additional experience:
- 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 and competencies for promotion.
Important Clarifying Notes on the Process for the Candidate
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, which has historically been a 6% increase.
Contact the HR administrator in your school to review your eligibility. The school’s promotion administrator (RPT administrator or HR manager) will also inform you of the due date for submission of your materials.
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. Additionally, this needs to be noted by marking the correct exception in Promote.
A candidate going up for promotion to Principal Research Scientist will submit three names of external reviewers via PROMOTE. Please take note of these important guidelines for external reviewer suggestions:
- These reviewers should not be employed at Georgia Tech.
- The reviewers should be highly qualified in the candidate's field to assess the candidate's contributions.
- The Chair will solicit external reviewers for letters via PROMOTE, never the candidate.
For the Candidate: Preparing the Promotion Package
Please see the templates and institute guidance on GTRI’s website. Note, you will need to be logged in to the GT VPN to access this site.
- Required: Summary for Institute Review
A one-page summary stating how the candidate has met each of the criteria for promotion. Consider bolding the criteria phrases that you address from the handbook
- 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 criteria, you should demonstrate that your experience makes up for the missing criterion/criteria. Exception examples include: you fall short of the required time in rank; you fall short of the required years of full-time experience; and/or you don't have an advanced degree.
Use the GT style template (found from GTRI’s website) when preparing your CV. Please note that the template was updated in spring 2023.
Required: Covid Impact Statement
This statement can be as short as one sentence or as long as two pages. If you had no Covid impacts, state that. If you had Covid related impacts, describe what they were. This will go in Additional Documents.
Required for Principal ranks only – External Evaluator
Candidates need to propose 3 external (external to GT) reviewer names by entering their names in Promote via +Add.
Optional: Supervisor Letter of Support
Candidates have the option 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. This will go in Additional Documents.