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FAQs

Which promotion series is right for me?


School of Medicine faculty members, in consultation with their mentors and chairs, must decide whether to seek promotion in the Regular Series, the Clinical Practice Series or the Research Professor Series. 

The Regular Series

This is the appropriate promotion pathway for the majority of School of Medicine faculty members, including basic scientists, clinician-scientists and clinician-teachers. Faculty members seeking promotion to Associate Professor must demonstrate excellence in one of the principal areas of accomplishment:  teaching, research or clinical practice. Importantly, at least meritorious achievements (the lower standard) must be demonstrated in scholarship, teaching and clinical work or service. “Scholarship” is broadly defined and includes not only research (the scholarship of “discovery”), but also the scholarship of teaching, application and integration. All faculty members in the Regular Series, who are employed by the University of Colorado, are eligible for tenure. Learn more.

Clinical Practice Series

This is an academic pathway designed for faculty members who focus the majority of their time on direct patient care and other activities related to improving health care quality (e.g., outcomes, access to care, outcomes, efficiency, patient safety or the health of populations). There is an expectation of greater clinical effort, and excellence in clinical work (as measured against the School of Medicine Promotion Matrix) is required. There is no requirement for written scholarship, although clinically-relevant scholarship is encouraged. Teaching (at least at the meritorious level) is required. Because scholarship is not required, faculty members in the Clinical Practice Series are not eligible for tenure.

Instructors, Senior Instructors and Assistant Professors may not be assigned to the Clinical Practice Series; rather, they will hold titles in the Regular Series. Prior to undergoing departmental review for promotion from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor, all faculty members who are clinicians, in consultation with their chair and mentor(s), must choose whether to seek promotion to Associate Professor in the regular or clinical practice series. Normally, they will make this election after undergoing a comprehensive mid-course review, based on their interests and accomplishments in clinical work, service, teaching and scholarship.

Research Professor Series

Faculty members who devote almost all their time to grant-funded research, with limited teaching and service responsibilities, may be appointed and promoted in the Research Professor Series.  Faculty members in the Research Professor Series will be supported by funds from external grants and contracts. They may be independently-funded or collaborative scientists, as defined in the Rules of the School of Medicine. Faculty in the research professor series are at-will employees and are not eligible for tenure, in accordance with Colorado law and University of Colorado policies. 

For more information about each of the promotion series, see Section II.G of the Rules of the School of Medicine.