Rules and Procedures of the Professional Researchers and Professional Specialists of Princeton University and Other Provisions of Concern to These Personnel

This revised edition of the Rules and Procedures of the Professional Researchers and Professional Specialists of Princeton University (formerly the Rules and Procedures of the Professional Research and Technical Staffs of Princeton University) defines the basic information of immediate interest and concern to members of the professional researchers and professional specialists and to other officers of instruction and administration. General information on the University's regulations may be found in Rights, Rules, Responsibilities.

Introduction

Disclaimer

Particular rules and procedures set forth in this booklet may be changed, supplemented, or rescinded from time to time by appropriate action of the board of trustees, or the body responsible for a matter in question. Such changes are effective as set forth upon enactment. Copies of the most recent rules and procedures may be obtained from the Office of the Dean of the Faculty. In addition, the most recent edition of the bylaws of the University's trustees may be obtained from the Office of the Vice President and Secretary.

The rules and procedures set forth in this booklet are not intended to address all aspects of employment with the University. The statements set forth in this booklet are not intended as contractual duties or obligations of the University. This booklet is not intended to create any legal rights between the University and its staff nor is it intended to confer any legal benefits to university staff.

Equal Opportunity Policy

Princeton University subscribes to a policy of equal opportunity. The University believes that commitment to principles of fairness and respect for all helps create a climate that is favorable to the free and open exchange of ideas, and the University seeks to reach out as widely as possible in order to attract the ablest individuals as students, faculty, and staff. For these reasons, decisions concerning admission to University academic and other programs, as well as employment decisions in all University departments and offices, are made on the basis of an individual's qualifications to contribute to meeting Princeton's educational objectives and its institutional needs. In applying this policy, the University is committed to the principle of not discriminating against individuals on the basis of personal beliefs or characteristics such as political views, religion, national or ethnic origin, race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability unrelated to job or program requirements.

In addition to the general policy just defined, Princeton also has specific legal obligations as a recipient of federal financial assistance and as a federal contractor. These obligations include the development and implementation of a plan to undertake appropriate forms of affirmative action to employ women, people of color, people with disabilities, and protected veterans. Princeton's affirmative action plan is available to employees and job applicants upon request for review between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. at the Office of the Vice Provost for Institutional Equity and Diversity, Princeton University, 205 Nassau Hall, Princeton, NJ 08544 or (609) 258-6110. You must schedule an appointment to view the affirmative action plan.

The University president and provost are responsible for overseeing the implementation of this equal opportunity policy and the affirmative action plan. The vice provost for institutional equity and diversity is responsible for monitoring University practices and procedures to ensure compliance with our policy and federal, state, and local laws and regulations, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Inquiries regarding these matters should be directed to the Office of the Vice Provost for Institutional Equity and Diversity, Princeton University, 205 Nassau Hall, Princeton, NJ 08544 or (609) 258-6110.

Preface

This revised edition of the Rules and Procedures of the Professional Research Staff and Professional Technical Staff of Princeton University defines the basic information of immediate interest and concern to members of the professional research and technical staffs and to other officers of instruction and administration. General information on the University's regulations may be found in Rights, Rules, Responsibilities.

The pursuit of new knowledge through research constitutes a central component of Princeton's excellence. The University has long recognized that the successful functioning of an organization as complex as a modern university is dependent upon the close cooperation of its component parts. In the professional area, these parts include the faculty, research staff, technical staff, library staff, and administration. The close association of these groups in a common task is a reflection of the close association of teaching and research in the higher levels of education. With sustained and mutual reinforcement among these essential elements, the vitality of the institution is maintained and the advancement of knowledge and the development of high talent are accelerated.

It is emphasized that the opportunities for advancement in each of the professional research and technical staff categories are primarily related to the capabilities and contribution of the individual staff member. While the magnitude of the research effort is dependent upon the amount of outside financing in many areas of research, the University assumes that the need for fundamental research will continue, and that the University will be called upon to participate in such research for the indefinite future.

This is a "University Confidential" document in the sense that no portion of it is to be published without the permission of the president of the University, or distributed outside of the Princeton University community.

 

Chapter I: Governance of the University

A. The Board of Trustees

The Charter specifies the name of the Corporation as THE TRUSTEES OF PRINCETON UNIVERSITY and states: "The purposes of the corporation are the conduct of a university not for profit, including colleges and schools affiliated therewith, in various branches within or without the State of New Jersey, both graduate and undergraduate; the promotion, advancement, evaluation and dissemination of learning by instruction, study and research in the humanities, religion, social sciences, natural sciences, engineering and applied sciences the awarding of certificates, diplomas and degrees; and engagement and participation in projects of instruction, study and research for the benefit of national, state, and local governments and for the general public welfare."

All the powers of the Corporation are vested in the board of trustees consisting of such number, not less than twenty-three nor more than forty, as shall from time to time be fixed by resolution of the board.

1. Membership

This section and the following section, regarding officers of the University, are taken from the bylaws of the trustees of Princeton University, which may be revised from time to time. A full current copy may be obtained from the secretary of the University.

The members of the board are classified as follows: (a) trustees ex officio: The governor of the State of New Jersey and the president of the University during their respective official terms. (b) charter trustees: Not more than such number as shall, when added to the numbers of trustees ex officio, term trustees, and alumni trustees, equal forty, who are elected by the board to serve for a term of ten years or until the June 30th following the trustee's seventieth birthday (whichever period shall be shorter) when the trustee shall become a trustee emeritus for five years. (c) term trustees: Not fewer than four and not more than eight in number, who shall be elected by the board, at least one but no more than two each year, to serve for terms of four years. (d) alumni trustees: Thirteen in number elected in accordance with rules established by the board, to serve for terms of four years, beginning on the July 1st following election (i) nine of whom are elected by the alumni of the University and (ii) four of whom are elected, one each year from among the members of the senior class at the time of election, by the members of the junior and senior classes and the two most recently graduated classes.

2. Meetings

In each academic year there are four stated meetings of the board: on the fourth Friday in October, the third Saturday in January, the third Saturday in April, and the Monday preceding the annual Commencement. Much of the business of the board is conducted through its standing committees, which meet more frequently.

3. Committees

The standing committees of the board are as follows: The Executive Committee, The Committee on Finance, The Committee on the Curriculum, The Committee on Grounds and Buildings, The Committee on Plans and Resources, The Committee on Student Life, The Committee on Health and Athletics, The Committee on Honorary Degrees. The board elects each year, subject to the provisions of the bylaws, trustees to serve as chairs and members of the standing committees. The Executive Committee has regular meetings at least six times a year, and the Committees on Finance, the Curriculum, Grounds and Buildings, and Plans and Resources at least four times a year; the other standing committees meet as necessary.

4. Statement of Policy on Delegation of Authority

In order to clarify the actual practice and procedures followed in the governance of the University, the board of trustees declares its intent, in matters of policy as well as of operations, to continue to delegate broad authority to the president and, through the president, to the officers of the administration, the faculty, and the students as more specifically set forth below. While the trustees may and do delegate authority in wide areas, they cannot either delegate it irrevocably or consign to any other parties their final responsibilities under the law and the terms of the Princeton Charter.

Policy initiative in almost all areas rests with the president and various members of the resident University community. Beyond this there have evolved, generally speaking, three modes by which trustees share or delegate, normally through standing or special committees, powers and responsibilities in University operations and decision making.

General review: In electing members of the faculty, the trustees are guided almost entirely by the recommendations of the president and the Advisory Committee on Appointments and Advance ments and exercise their responsibility through a continuing review of the quality of the president's leadership in the maintenance of a highly qualified faculty and by a periodic check of the integrity and efficiency of the procedures followed in the appointment and advancement of faculty members. In matters of curriculum, the creation and abolition of courses, the establishment of requirements for degrees, the prescription of academic procedures, and in most matters within the purview of the University Research Board, the trustees have delegated their authority to the president and faculty to be exercised through the appropriate bodies and officers of the University. Procedures for recruiting new students, criteria for admissions, and continuing relations with the leadership of schools are the responsibility of the president, the dean of the college, and the dean of admission acting pursuant to policies determined with the advice of faculty and student committees on admission, subject to the general review of the trustees. Oversight of student life and discipline, including the formulation of rules of conduct and dormitory regulations, has been delegated to the president and faculty to be exercised through various faculty and student groups in accordance with duly constituted procedures.

The functioning of the Library is supervised by the librarian under the direction of the central administration, with the advice of faculty and student committees, the trustees' concern being directed to the overall quality of the Library and the effectiveness of its operations. Likewise, in the areas of health and athletics the trustees exercise general oversight, together with occasional professional advice in matters of health and medical care. Requirements for physical space and services are formulated by the several departments in collaboration with the central administration and subject to general review by the trustees. Plant operations are entirely in the hands of administrative officers. The preparation of the annual budget proceeds through a complex process under the direction and supervision of the central administration, with detailed review by the trustees, largely through their Committee on Finance, in the light of available funds and previously established priorities.

Prior review: It is assumed that major changes in policy and any substantial new claims on funds will be brought to the trustees for review before final decisions or commitments are made. The trustees thus exercise a prior and general review in such matters as the allocation of a significant proportion of the University's resources, the setting of priorities for development, changes in instructional method of broad bearing for the institution, the determination of tuition and fees, steps to be taken to improve the social and living conditions of students, plans calling for new construction, the establishment or abolition of departments or schools, changes in admissions policies affecting sizeable categories of potential students, and changes in relations with outside educational and social institutions and governmental agencies.

Authority directly exercised: In matters concerning financial health and physical properties the trustees participate directly in the formulation of policy and the conduct of the business of the University. The Trustee Committee on Finance directs the investment of University funds and supervises the management of the off-campus real estate of the Corporation.

The trustees establish fund-raising policies, approve major development programs, help to identify important sources of potential financial support, and raise funds. Through the Committee on Grounds and Buildings, and with the advice of the president, the Faculty Advisory Committee on Architecture, and other resident members of the University with relevant interests and competence, the trustees actively supervise long-range physical planning, the determination of architectural styling and landscaping, and the general conditions of the University's physical plant.

In addition to what has been indicated above, it is understood more generally that the board may contribute advice and criticism to the shaping of academic programs and the conduct of affairs in the University. If the board is to assess general policies wisely, it must be fully and currently informed and be alert and sensitive to particular conditions and requirements. Members of the board often have experience and competence that can be helpful to the University in its dealing with specific problems, and their advice is most valuable in the early consideration of new policies.

It is the stated intent of the trustees to continue the general arrangements described above. Modifications of these arrangements may from time to time be adopted in order to improve the University's pursuit of its essential missions and to give the trustees the benefit of wider points of view in the exercise of the power and authority vested in the board by the law and the Charter of the University.

5. Recommendations of the Faculty on the Selection of the President

a. That there be at least one faculty representative from each division of the University and at least one nontenured member of the faculty on a committee elected to advise the board of trustees in any future search for a president of the University.

b.That representatives of the student body, and at least one elected member of the staff, participate in consideration of candidates for president of the University.

c.That the members of the faculty, student body, and staff so consulted by the board of trustees be elected by a procedure which will insure, insofar as that is possible, that they represent such diversity of opinion as may exist within the student body and the faculty.

B. The Officers of the University

The Charter as amended designates the President of the University as the chief executive and academic officer of the Corporation. A current list of the academic and corporate officers of the University is contained in the Bylaws and appended resolutions, as well as the current University Register. The academic officers include the Provost, the Dean of the Faculty, the Dean of the Graduate School, the Dean of the College and such other academic officers as the Board may elect. The corporate officers include the President, the Senior Vice President for Administration, the Treasurer, the Vice President and Secretary, and such other corporate officers as the Board may elect. The academic and corporate officers are elected by the Board on the nomination of the President, continue in office at the pleasure of the Board during terms of five years from the date of taking office, are eligible for re-election, and receive such compensation as the board may direct. Officers of the University serve, ex officio, and without vote, on committees of the Board as elected by the Board pursuant to the provisions of the Bylaws. The duties and responsibilities of the President and some of the academic officers are described below.

The Dean for Research

The Dean for Research is responsible for administrative and policy oversight of the organized research activities throughout the University and represents the University in research matters as they relate to external agencies and sponsors.  The Dean chairs two committees of the Faculty, the University Research Board and the Committee on the Appointments and Advancements for the Professional Researchers and Professional Specialists.  The Dean oversees the Office of Research and Project Administration, Office of Technology Licensing, Laboratory Animal Resources, Corporate and Foundation Relations, the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, and certain multidisciplinary research centers.

The Dean of the College

The dean of the college has administrative oversight of admission to the undergraduate college, of the curriculum of the College, and of the services and agencies designed to promote the academic development of undergraduates. The dean of the college is also charged with the application and enforcement of the rules and standards relating to undergraduate scholarship, standing, and attendance in the University.

The dean of the college is ex officio chair of the Faculty Committees on the Course of Study, Examinations and Standing, Continuing Education, and Undergraduate Admission and Financial Aid.

The dean of the college is an ex officio member of the Council of the Princeton University Community, the Faculty Committees on Discipline, Public Lectures, Schedule, and Undergraduate Life, and sits with the Faculty Advisory Committee on Appointments and Advancements.

The Dean of the Faculty

The dean of the faculty has administrative oversight of the departments and programs of instruction and of all such matters as pertain to the effectiveness and well-being of the faculty, the professional researchers, the professional specialists, and the professional librarians.

The dean of the faculty is an ex officio member of the Council of the Princeton University Community's Committee on Rights and Rules, and Priorities Committee, and serves as secretary of the Faculty's Advisory Committee on Appointments and Advancements and the Faculty's Advisory Committee on Policy. The dean of the faculty is an ex officio member of the Faculty Committees on the Course of Study, the Graduate School, the Library, and University Computing, and sits with the Committee on Committees.

The Dean of the Graduate School

The dean of the Graduate School has administrative oversight of graduate studies, of the curriculum of the Graduate School, of Graduate Student Affairs, and of the Graduate College.

The dean of the Graduate School is ex officio chair of the Faculty Committee on the Graduate School.

The dean of the Graduate School is an ex officio member of the Faculty Committees on Public Lectures, Continuing Education, Library, Schedule, and University Computing and of the University Research Board, and sits with the Faculty Advisory Committee on Appointments and Advancements.

The Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science

The dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science has administrative oversight of the School of Engineering and Applied Science.

The President

The president is charged with the general supervision of the interests of the University and has special oversight of the various departments of instruction. The president presides at all academic functions, whenever present, and represents the University before the public.

In the absence or disability of the president, the board or its Executive Committee may appoint an acting president, to have the powers and duties of the president. If no such appointment is made, the provost has the powers and duties of the president.

The president is a member of all standing committees of the board of trustees and is chair of the Committee on Honorary Degrees.

The president is ex officio chair of the Faculty Committee on Committees, the Faculty Advisory Committee on Appointments and Advancements, and the Faculty Advisory Committee on Policy, and by custom, has the right of sitting with any Faculty Committee.

The president is an ex officio member of the Council of the Princeton University Community, its Executive Committee, and its Committee on Governance, and is the presiding officer at meetings of the Council and of the Executive Committee.

The Provost

The provost is the general deputy of the president in the supervision of the University, giving, under the president's oversight, particular attention to the overall academic development of the University and to coordination among its various academic activities, departments, and programs. When requested, the provost either accompanies the president or represents the president at meetings of other standing committees and of the board of trustees.

The provost meets with or sits with, when desirable, the following faculty committees: Advisory Committee on Appointments and Advancements, Advisory Committee on Policy, Committee on the Library (of which the provost is an ex officio member), Committee on University Computing, and the University Research Board.

The provost is an ex officio member of the Council of the Princeton University Community and presides at its meetings in the absence of the president. The provost normally meets with the Executive Committee of the Council and is its presiding officer in the absence of the president, and the provost is chair ex officio of the Council's Committee on Priorities.

C. Excerpts from the Rules and Procedures of the Faculty

1. Membership

a. The faculty consists of the president, the academic officers, the professors, the associate professors, the assistant professors, and when on full-time appointment as such, the lecturers and the instructors. All members of the faculty are entitled to vote at meetings of the faculty and in any circumstances where votes of the faculty are taken (pursuant to the bylaws of the board of trustees).

b. When on full-time appointment, holders of visiting faculty appointments and professional researchers, professional specialists, and professional librarians are entitled to attend each meeting of the faculty but they are not entitled to vote, except that research appointees in the upper two research ranks who are assigned teaching duties and given the additional designation of "lecturer with the rank of professor" re entitled to vote during the period of such additional designation (pursuant to the bylaws of the board of trustees).

c. Professors, associate professors, assistant professors beyond their first term appointments, and members of the University staff designated as holding rank equivalent to that of members of the faculty, shall be elected by the board upon the recommendation of the Academic Affairs Committee. Assistant professors in their first term appointment, lecturers, instructors, holders of visiting faculty appointments, and members of the professional library, research and technical staffs are appointed by the dean of the faculty on behalf of the president, subject to review by the Academic Affairs Committee and by the board (pursuant to the bylaws of the board of trustees).

d. A member of the faculty may not substitute or appoint anyone to perform his/her teaching duties who is not a member of the faculty, unless prior approval is obtained from the chair of the department or from the dean of the faculty.

Chapter II: The University Research Organizations

A. University Research Board (URB)

The University Research Board (URB) is advisory to the president on all matters concerning research performed at the University. Its primary responsibility is to make policy for the solicitation, acceptance, and administration of research grants and contracts, and to monitor the implementation of such policies. The URB meets on a regular basis during the academic year.

The University Research Board consists of six members of the faculty. Two faculty members are elected by the faculty at large by a system of the alternative vote and four faculty members are appointed by the president. Each of the University's four divisions is represented by at least one member. Faculty members normally serve four year terms and are not eligible for immediate re-election or reappointment after serving a full four year term, except in unusual circumstances.

The dean for research serves as chair and the director of the Office of Research and Project Administration serves as administrative officer. An administrator from the Office of the Dean for Research serves as secretary. The treasurer and dean of the Graduate School also sit on the committee. When necessary, the provost, dean of the faculty, vice president for development, general counsel, and director of Environmental Health and Safety meet with the board. Other individuals may sit with the board as needed. The URB advises the dean for research and the president on matters pertaining to research administration and policy.

B. Office of the Dean for Research

The dean for research oversees the solicitation and administration of external funds through the Office of Research and Project Administration and the Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations.
 
The Office of Research and Project Administration provides central administration services for all sponsored research projects, including proposal reviews and submission, grant and contract negotiations, and sponsored research award management and maintenance. The Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations provides central support for developing and stewarding proposals for research funding and gifts from corporations and private foundations.
 
Four committees of the faculty are organized under the dean for research to perform oversight mandated by the federal government.
 
Committees Governing Research
 
The committees charged with oversight of research projects and their compliance with federal, state, and University regulations report to the dean for research.  This reporting structure facilitates the development of an integrated and effective institutional compliance program covering all facets of research. The committees are comprised in compliance with federal regulations and consist of faculty members, staff members with expertise in the particular area of each committee, and, where appropriate, community representatives. Please refer to the Office of the Dean for Research for current committee membership. New members are recruited through the Office of the Dean for Research in consultation with the chair of the relevant committee and are appointed by the dean for research. Committee terms are normally for three years.
 
In addition to oversight responsibilities in their respective areas, these committees advise the dean for research on relevant policy. The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, Biosafety Committee, and Institutional Review Board for Human Subjects are administered through the Office of Research and Project Administration. The Radiation Safety Committee is administered through the Office for Environmental Health and Safety.
 
Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee
 
The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee is responsible for ensuring appropriate care and use of animals involved in the University's research, educational, and training activities. The committee is also responsible for University compliance with federal policies and procedures governing the care and welfare of animals. The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee is comprised in a manner that complies with current federal regulations and that provides the breadth of expertise necessary for adequate review of the range of research involving animals at the University. At the discretion of the committee, appropriate individuals, including the University sanitarian, are invited to sit with the committee without a vote.
 
Biosafety Committee
 
The Biosafety Committee is responsible for the review and oversight of a variety of projects that involve biological materials, including recombinant DNA, infectious agents, and biohazardous material. The Biosafety committee is comprised in a manner that complies with current federal regulations. There must be sufficient collective expertise on the committee to conduct an effective review of the full range of projects at the University that involve recombinant DNA, infectious agents, and other biohazardous material. The review should ensure that the project is conducted with appropriate containment levels, practices, facilities, and expertise. The committee should also have expertise in the risk to the environment and to public health. At the discretion of the committee, appropriate individuals, including departmental safety officers and individuals with specific appropriate expertise, are invited to sit with the committee without a vote.
 
Institutional Review Board for Human Subjects
 
By federal mandate, the Institutional Review Board for Human Subjects (the IRB) is responsible for reviewing research projects involving human subjects to ensure that such research activity at the University does not expose any research subject to an unjustifiable risk or unduly invade their privacy. The IRB ensures that each research proposal contains provisions for securing the informed consent of participants, free from undue pressure, prior to the start of research. All members of the University community, including students, must obtain approval from the IRB before initiating any research project involving human subjects. The Board also ensures that the policies and procedures of the University with regard to research involving human subjects comply with federal and other government requirements. The membership of the IRB is composed in a manner that complies with current federal regulations. At the discretion of the board, appropriate individuals, including ad hoc experts or consultants, may be invited to sit with the board without the ability to vote.
 
Radiation Safety Committee
 
The Radiation Safety Committee is responsible for oversight of the University's radiation safety program. It grants authorization to principal investigators and other senior staff members who plan to work with radioactive materials, reviews incidents involving radioactive materials, sets policies for the use of sources of radiation, and gives general supervision for the implementation of those policies. The Radiation Safety Committee is chaired by a senior faculty member and is composed of various faculty members, the director of Environmental Health and Safety, the University’s radiation safety officer, and other relevant personnel.

C. Committee on Appointments and Advancements for the Professional Researchers and Professional Specialists

The Committee on Appointments and Advancements for the Professional Researchers and Professional Specialists (C/7) advises the dean of the faculty on policies relating to the appointments, promotions, salaries, and terminations of professional researchers and professional specialists. In particular, the committee reviews and advises the dean of the faculty on all appointments and promotions to positions carrying continuing appointment and reviews the salaries of individuals with the rank of senior research (by discipline), research (by discipline), and senior professional specialist. Its members are ex officio members of the Professional Researcher and Professional Specialist Grievance Panel to review and advise the dean of the faculty on any grievances concerning appointment, reappointment, promotions, and salary changes.

The committee has six members appointed by the dean of the faculty, selected from among members of the faculty, the professional researchers, the professional specialists, and members of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory scientific staff. The six appointed members serve for staggered three-year terms and there must be at least one member from each of these three groups. The dean for research serves as chair, and an assistant dean of the faculty serves (without vote) as secretary.

Chapter III: Professional Researchers

A. Ranks and Terms of Appointments

Depending upon their ranks, professional researchers may be appointed with or without continuing appointment. In the case of termination or reduction in duty time, they are entitled to notice as specified in the termination policy below.

All professional researcher appointments that do not carry continuing appointment are reviewed for continuation during the annual salary review, normally each spring. While initial appointments are normally without specific end date (except for senior research (by discipline) who are appointed with continuing appointment) they may be made for specified periods of any length up to one year.

In certain instances (generally limited to appointments which are not expected to be renewed), appointments at ranks below senior research (by discipline) may be made for a minimum of one five-month academic term or the two-months summer period, or for terms corresponding with the expected duration of a project rather than for a full year.

Professional researchers whose appointments carry continuing appointment serve with the understanding of continued employment, with salary adjustments and promotions when appropriate, until retirement so long as (1) they are able to, and do in fact, perform satisfactory work, and (2) research within their departments or programs requiring their professional skills continues to receive external funding, and (3) the projects on which they are employed remain central to the interests of their departments or programs. In the event a professional researcher's appointment must be terminated or his/her duty time reduced, he/she is entitled to a notice period specified in the termination policy below. University funds are not ordinarily available to support professional researchers.

1. Senior (by Discipline)

Individuals appointed to this rank have retired from distinguished scholarly/scientific careers in academia, in research institutions, in public service or in industry.  They pursue their own scholarly research either individually or in collaboration with Princeton University faculty members and researchers.  Facilities and resources may be provided for them by the sponsoring academic unit.

Emeritus Princeton faculty members may be appointed as Senior (by discipline) if they serve as principal investigators on sponsored research projects and/or maintain active research programs at the University.  Other distinguished retirees may be appointed to this rank on the recommendation of a department, center or institute and with the approval of the Committee on Appointments and Advancements for the Professional Researchers and Professional Specialists (C/7).

Senior (by discipline) normally have no specific responsibilities in teaching or research but are encouraged to participate in department, center and/or institute programs and to interact with faculty members, researchers, and students in informal settings. They ordinarily do not receive salaries from the University. However, on those occasions when a Senior (by discipline) is asked to provide a specific service to the University arrangements must be made in advance, through the Office of the Dean of the Faculty, to compensate him/her appropriately.  Such compensation will normally be provided through a research project grant (when the service involves participation in a sponsored research project) or a part-time teaching appointment (see Rules & Procedures of the Faculty of Princeton University). Requests for compensation must also be accompanied by the Senior Scholar Compensation Agreement. Senior (by discipline) are not eligible for stipend payments from the University.

During any semester when he/she is appointed to teach, normally a Senior (by discipline) will temporarily also hold the rank of Lecturer with Rank of Professor (if a an emeritus Princeton University faculty member) or Lecturer (otherwise).  The duty time for total compensated service is expected to be nominal and may not exceed 49%, with the exception of our emeritus faculty members who can support themselves on research project grants. Normally, those holding this rank are not eligible for Princeton University employee benefits, with the exception of those emeritus faculty members who can support themselves at 50% or greater duty time. Like other dean of the faculty appointees, those at the rank of Senior (by discipline) may not be compensated by Princeton University as consultants or short-term professionals.

Emeritus Princeton faculty members who hold the rank of Senior (by discipline) may serve as principal investigators on sponsored research projects.  Others at this rank may not do so without the prior approval of the University Research Board.

Term of Appointment: Appointments/reappointments to the rank of Senior (by discipline) are normally for renewable one year terms. The appointments of emeritus Princeton University faculty may be renewed annually by the Dean of the Faculty on the recommendation of the sponsoring department. Other appointments may be renewed on evidence of continued scholarly productivity, if recommended by the sponsoring academic unit and approved by the C/7 at the time of the initial appointment and every third year thereafter.  Intervening reappointment requests may be approved by the Dean of the Faculty. However, these appointments/reappointments may be made for a term of three years on the request of the sponsoring academic unit and with the approval of the C/7. Requests for renewal that require C/7 approval should be submitted at least three months in advance of the termination date of the existing appointment.

2. Senior Research, Research, and Associate Research (by Discipline)

The three professional researcher ranks reflect increasing attainment and distinction in research scholarship, independence of research activities, and ability to guide and direct others in programs of research. A doctoral degree or its equivalent in the appropriate field is required for appointment to these ranks.

a. Senior Research (by discipline)

Staff members of this rank, whether promoted or appointed from outside the University, ordinarily serve with continuing appointment.

b. Research (by discipline)

Researchers promoted to this rank ordinarily serve with continuing appointment. When an initial appointment is made at this rank it may be either with or without continuing appointment.  If the latter, the appointment shall be reviewed by the department and/or program, and by the C/7 during the third year of appointment to consider continuation of the appointment, salary level, and promotion. A research (by discipline) continued (or promoted) at the review will ordinarily serve with continuing appointment.

c. Associate Research (by discipline)

Ordinarily, appointees and those promoted from the postdoctoral ranks to the rank of associate research (by discipline) serve without specific end date.  Initial appointments may be made for specific periods of up to one year.

Associate research (by discipline) are reviewed annually to consider continuation and salary level. During the sixth year in the rank (or earlier in exceptional cases) they are reviewed by their departments or programs for promotion to research (by discipline) with the provision of continuing appointment. Recommendations for promotion with continuing appointment are reviewed by the C/7. Associate research (by discipline) not recommended for promotion at the time of this review may be appointed for a terminal year at the request of the appointing department/center/institute and with the approval of the C/7 and the dean of the faculty.

3. Visiting Research Ranks

Visiting Senior Research (by discipline)
Visiting Research (by discipline)
Visiting Associate Research (by discipline)
Visiting Postdoctoral Research Associate

Scholars who hold faculty or professional research positions at other institutions and who will be associated with a research project at the University, normally with salary, for a limited period of time may be appointed to a visiting rank equivalent to the regular rank for which they would be qualified.

Term of Appointment - Appointments to these visiting ranks, either with or without salary, are made for periods of up to one year. Such visitors may be reappointed for succeeding periods so long as the total term of appointment does not exceed three calendar years. All visitors must provide confirmation of employment and salary which meets the Office of the Dean of the Faculty’s minimum requirement. If a visitor’s home institution salary is below the minimum requirement, the hosting academic unit must supplement up to the minimum.

4. Senior Visiting Fellow and Visiting Fellow

The University will extend its hospitality to visiting scholars who wish to spend a limited time at Princeton for the purpose of study, scholarship, and research. Depending on their stature, credentials, and reasons for visiting, they will be appointed as senior visiting fellows or visiting fellows.

a. Senior Visiting Fellow

Appointment with the title of senior visiting fellow is exceptional. Such appointments are reserved for visitors who are scholars of international distinction, or recognized international leaders in non-academic fields. Senior visiting fellows normally receive no stipends or salaries from the University and have no specific responsibilities.

Term of Appointment - Appointments of senior visiting fellows are normally for one full year. In some cases, appointments may be renewed for a second full year, but only when the case is made that such a renewal is in the best interests of the fellow and of the University. Reappointment beyond two full years is not ordinarily granted. Exceptions will be made rarely and then only in most unusual circumstances.

b. Visiting Fellow

The title of visiting fellow is appropriate for faculty members visiting from other academic institutions and for established, independent scholars. They are considered professional colleagues of the Princeton faculty. Facilities and resources may be provided for them by the sponsoring department.

Visiting fellows have no specific responsibilities in either teaching or research and normally do not receive stipends or salaries from the University.

Term of Appointment - Appointments of visiting fellows are normally for one semester or for one full academic year. Departments whose intellectual activities continue on campus through the summer may wish to appoint visiting fellows for a full calendar year. In some cases, appointments may be renewed for a second year, but only when the case is made that such a renewal is in the best interests of the fellow and of the University. Reappointment beyond two full years is not ordinarily granted. Exceptions will be made rarely and then only in most unusual circumstances.

5. Visiting Research Collaborator

When activity on a specific research enterprise requires frequent short-term visits to the campus by an outside scholar or researcher who is contributing to research on campus, the department may request an appointment to the rank of visiting research collaborator. This courtesy appointment is for individuals from other institutions who are directly associated with the research or scholarship of a center, consortium, or an individual research project and which is expected to result in joint publications or research proposals with University faculty members or researchers, when the anticipated stays on campus would normally be for less than one month on each occasion and when no remuneration is provided. Visiting research collaborators are not benefits-eligible but will have access to University facilities. Regular visitors whose activities are not expected to result in joint publications or research proposals may be considered for Departmental Guest status through the TigerCard Office.

Term of Appointment - Appointments at this rank are made for a period of one academic year or less, but are renewable by formal reappointment if the collaboration continues.

6. Policy Concerning Notice of Termination

Except in the event of dismissal for cause, researchers whose appointments include a specific end date will, unless reappointed, terminate at the specified date without further notice or severance pay.

For those whose appointments do not include a specific end date, the University's policy is to provide notice and not severance pay for terminated employees. In the unusual instances where it is not possible to provide the required notice, pay equal to the number of months of required notice less the number of months of actual notice times the monthly salary rate will be provided in lieu of notice. Time spent on temporary disability (or such benefits received) may count towards satisfaction of this obligation.

The duration of notices by rank as follows:

Rank

Years of University Service

Notice Period

Senior Research (by discipline)

n/a

One year

Research (by discipline)

n/a

Six months

Associate Research (by discipline)

Less than one:
One or two:
Three or four:
Five or six:
Seven

One month
Two months
Three months
Four months
Five months

 

The same notice period will apply for reductions in duty time or other changes that substantially affect the conditions of employment.  Researchers dismissed for cause are entitled to neither notice nor severance pay.

B. Responsibilities

(1) Professional researchers are primarily involved in adding to knowledge by participation in one or more of the research programs of the University.

(2) Although the majority of professional researchers are engaged in basic research programs conceived and directed by members of the faculty, they have the opportunity to lead research programs that are of interest to the University community as described by the University Research Board (see here).

(3) Professional researchers may also from time to time be invited to teach in one of the academic departments of the University and take on the additional title of lecturer under conditions described in Section C.

C. Procedures for Appointments, Promotions, Terminations, and Changes in Salary

All appointments, promotions, terminations, and changes in salary for professional researchers will be recommended by the chair of the departments (or directors of designated programs) concerned in accordance with procedures approved by the dean of the faculty.

Such recommendations are submitted to the dean of the faculty for approval. Recommendations relating to the ranks of senior research (by discipline) and research (by discipline) will be submitted by the dean of the faculty to the C/7 for advice.

Except in rare and unusual circumstances, all recommendations for promotions and changes in salary are submitted during the spring as part of the annual review of rank and salary levels for all professional researchers. Topics of review include responsibilities, performance, and research contributions. The fair and frank assessment of an appropriate supervisor should be formulated and transmitted to each researcher. The method by which this communication takes place may vary with supervisors and departments. Each researcher is entitled to an appraisal statement that reflects what is submitted to the dean of the faculty as part of the annual salary review. The review provides a natural occasion for considering continuation of appointment for researchers serving without continuing appointment and to ensure that salary levels and ranks are appropriate. Associate research (by discipline) who are entering the final years of eligibility for this rank should be given a realistic assessment of the probability of promotion to the rank of research (by discipline) with continuing appointment.

Appointment or promotion to the research (by discipline) and senior research (by discipline) ranks is based primarily on excellence in original and creative research as demonstrated by the individual's publications, by letters of recommendation from authorities in his/her area of competence outside the University, and by the vote of the tenured faculty members of the department according to procedures approved by the dean of the faculty.

Appointment or advancement (from the postdoctoral ranks) to the rank of Associate research (by discipline) is similarly based primarily on demonstrated research skills as demonstrated and on the recommendation of the department head or center/institute director.

Skill in the administration/coordination of research programs or in the design, maintenance, and operation of instrumentation and equipment does not constitute a basis for appointment to any researcher rank. The predominance of such skills is more appropriately recognized by appointment or advancement (from the postdoctoral ranks) to a professional specialist rank.

Although recognized as important to the successful operation of a department, center, or institute, demonstrated ability in teaching, whether in a laboratory or classroom, does not constitute a basis for appointment or promotion to any researcher rank. Competence in teaching is more appropriately recognized by appointment to the teaching faculty. Members of the researcher ranks are also occasionally invited to teach in one of the academic departments of the University.

In accordance with the University's commitment to equal opportunity and affirmative action, all initial appointment recommendations must be accompanied by documentary evidence that a thorough search has been made to locate the most qualified applicant for the position. Departments, projects, and programs are also urged to review their promotion decisions in the light of the University's commitment to equal opportunity/affirmative action principles.

Researchers who combine teaching with their research duties are given the additional title of Lecturer during the semester when they are assigned to teach and upon recommendation of the department chair and approval of the dean of the faculty.

D. Grounds for Termination and Other Disciplinary Action

Any professional researcher may be terminated prior to expiration of his/her term of appointment or subjected to other disciplinary action for cause, which consists of (a) continuing unsatisfactory performance after due notice; or (b) conduct which is shown to violate the University rules and procedures applicable to researchers, or substantially to impair the individual's performance of his/her responsibilities as a researcher.

E. Retirement

Retirement from the University is a voluntary termination. A researcher who wishes to discuss retirement should consult with his/her supervisor, the chair of the department or director of the center/institute, the Office of the Dean of the Faculty, and the Office of Human Resources.

Chapter IV: Professional Specialists

A. Ranks and Terms of Appointments

1. Senior Professional Specialist

Appointment to the rank of senior professional specialist is reserved for individuals who have made outstanding achievements in their fields of expertise and/or who have been assigned major administrative responsibilities for technical efforts of their departments or programs. While they may be productive scholars, other responsibilities of their positions do not allow them to devote the majority of their time to independent scholarship.  An advanced or professional degree in the designated specialty is normally required.

Senior professional specialists who serve at this level because of their technical achievements have broad and intensive professional abilities that have made them innovators in their fields. They often share in the formulation of problems on which they work, and they usually determine the procedures used to reach solutions. They deal with novel and unusual problems whose solutions require the development of new techniques and procedures. Their advice may be sought by other members of the University community. They are given determinant responsibility for the technical progress of projects which cannot be completed without their contributions.

Senior professional specialists who serve at this rank because of managerial responsibilities are required to motivate and manage groups of professional and non-professional personnel. Under their supervisors (normally department chairs or program directors), they are given determinant responsibility for projects of small or medium size, or they share responsibility for the management of large projects.

Term of Appointment - Individuals promoted or appointed to the rank of senior professional specialist normally serve with continuing appointment that is, with the understanding of continued employment, with salary adjustments when appropriate, until retirement so long as (1) they are able to, and do in fact, perform satisfactory work, and (2) research within their departments or programs requiring their professional skills continues to receive external funding, and (3) the projects on which they are employed remain central to the interests of their departments or programs. At the time of appointment or promotion to this rank, the sponsoring department or program may request that the senior professional specialist be granted permission to serve as principal investigator for grants and contracts without specific approval of the University Research Board.

2. Professional Specialist

Individuals are appointed to the rank of professional specialist because they have exceptional competence in their fields and/or have important managerial responsibilities. Normally they receive directions from their supervisors only about the results they are expected to achieve, and their efforts are essential to the progress of projects on which they work. In some cases, they may devote part of their time to independent scholarship.  An advanced or professional degree in the designated specialty is normally required.

Those who reach this rank because of their technical expertise have advanced professional knowledge and skills. They are expected to solve problems that require the extension of conventional theories or practices or the development of new techniques. They are normally given determinant responsibility for technical aspects of projects or parts of projects and consult with their supervisors only about unusual developments or problems in the progress of those projects.

Those serving at the rank of professional specialist because of managerial responsibilities have mastered the knowledge and skills of their disciplines and, in addition, have the managerial skills necessary to motivate others and manage the schedule for a group of professional and support personnel. They may also share the responsibility for fiscal management of projects.

Term of Appointment - A professional specialist normally serves at the pleasure of the University. Initial appointments may be made for specific periods of up to one year after which the reappointment will be without specific end date. There is no limit to the amount of time an individual may serve in this rank.

3. Associate Professional Specialist

Individuals appointed at the rank of associate professional specialist normally have an advanced or professional degree in the designated specialty. In fulfilling the responsibilities given to them by their supervisors, they manage their own time, integrate their efforts with the efforts of others and normally receive only general directions about the results they are expected to achieve. Their work requires the substantial adaptation of conventional methods and procedures to obtain solutions of problems which are diverse, but have precedents. Their supervisors may give them technical guidance on unusual or complex problems. They may lead small groups of research and/or technical specialists or support personnel and/or have primary responsibility for the maintenance and operation of major pieces of equipment. Their work is central to the ability of departments or programs to meet deadlines or complete projects. Term of Appointment - An associate professional specialist normally serves without specific end date. Initial appointments may be made for specific periods of up to one year after which reappointment will be without specific end date. There is no limit to the amount of time an individual may serve in this rank.

4. Visiting Senior Professional Specialist, Visiting Professional Specialist, Visiting Associate Professional Specialist

Individuals who hold positions at other institutions, in industry or in independent professional fields of endeavor and who visit the University to work for limited periods, either with or without salary, in positions appropriate for  professional specialists are appointed to the visiting rank equivalent to the regular rank for which they would normally be qualified.

Term of Appointment - Appointments of visiting professional specialists are made for specific periods of any length, not to exceed one year. Reappointments may be made for periods of up to one year, so long as the total term of appointment does not exceed three years for any individual.

5. Policy Concerning Notice of Termination

The University's policy is to provide notice and not severance pay for terminated employees. In the unusual instances where it is not possible to provide the required notice, pay in lieu of notice will be provided at the individual's base salary rate for the amount of time by which the actual notice period falls short of the required notice period. Time spent on temporary disability (or such benefits received) may count towards satisfaction of this obligation.

Except in the event of dismissal for cause, individuals in the professional specialist ranks whose appointments include a specific termination date will, unless reappointed, terminate at the specified date without further notice or severance pay. In the event that an individual on an appointment with a specific term is not to be continued after the termination date of his/her appointment, an effort will be made to notify him/her at the earliest possible date.

Except in the event of dismissal for cause, a professional specialist whose appointment does not include a specific termination date will be entitled to notice of termination of appointment of at least the following duration:

Rank

Years of University Service

Notice Period

Senior Professional Specialist

n/a

Six months

Professional Specialist

n/a

Six months

Associate Professional Specialist

Less than one:
One or two:
Three or four:
Five or six:
Seven or eight:
Nine or more:

One month
Two months
Three months
Four months
Five months
Six months

The same notice period will apply for reductions in duty time or other changes that substantially affect the conditions of employment.  Individuals dismissed for cause are entitled to neither notice nor severance pay.

6. Reviews for Continuation of Appointments, Salary Changes, and Promotions

The ranks and salary levels of individuals in the professional specialist ranks are meant to recognize their professional standing in their disciplines, their technical knowledge and skills, their creativity and productivity, and their technical and supervisory responsibilities. The performance and responsibilities of each professional specialist are reviewed at least annually, normally during the "merit review" each spring.

The purposes of this review are to consider continuation of appointment for professional specialists serving without the provision of continuing appointment, to ensure that salary levels and ranks of professional specialists are appropriate, and also to give a fair and frank assessment of his/her performance as judged by his/her supervisor and department chair or program director. The methods by which this assessment is communicated to each individual vary with different supervisors and departments or programs, but each individual is entitled to a statement of the appraisal of his/her performance that is submitted to the Office of the Dean of the Faculty as part of the annual merit review each spring. Individuals at the ranks of associate professional specialist and professional specialist may be reviewed for promotion concurrently with any annual merit review.

B. Responsibilities

Individuals in the professional specialist ranks perform professional work in the academic departments, institutes, centers, research programs, the Art Museum, the Library and other units of the University under the direction of members of the faculty, department chair, and/or unit directors. They may be engaged in work demanding special knowledge and training in any of a number of disciplines, including but not limited to scientific and engineering disciplines, research computation, and arts and letters. They may also be given responsibilities for managing, supervising, or advising other professionals, students, or members of the University's support staffs.

Individuals at the professional specialist ranks have normally completed an advanced (e.g., Ph.D., M.D., J.D., M.A., M.S.) or professional degree (e.g., B.E., B.Arch.) in a discipline relevant to their work. The descriptions of the three ranks (above) give minimum levels of achievement and responsibility expected of those appointed or promoted to each rank.

While encouraged to make original contributions in the area of research for which they are employed, those at the professional specialist ranks are less likely to have opportunities to pursue independent research work which might lead to publications than individuals in the research ranks (see Chapter 3). Consequently changes in salary and promotions are based chiefly on their contributions to the programs in which they work, rather than on their contributions of new knowledge in their disciplines.

In some instances those in the professional specialist ranks are called upon to instruct, advise, and supervise students in their areas of responsibility. However, any formal teaching assignment requires recommendation of the department or program and approval of the dean of the faculty.

C. Procedures for Appointments, Promotions, Terminations, and Changes in Salary

All appointments, promotions, terminations, and changes in salary for individuals at the professional specialists ranks are recommended by the chair or director of the appropriate unit according to procedures approved by the dean of the faculty.

Such recommendations are submitted to the dean of the faculty for approval. Recommendations relating to the rank of senior professional specialist will be submitted by the dean of the faculty to the Committee on Appointments and Advancements for the Professional Researchers and Professional Specialists for advice.

Except in rare and unusual circumstances, all recommendations for promotions and changes in salary are submitted during the spring as part of the annual review of rank and salary level.

In accordance with the University's commitment to equal opportunity and affirmative action, all initial appointment recommendations for the professional specialist ranks must be accompanied by documentary evidence (Affirmative Action/Search Report form) that a thorough search has been made to locate the most qualified applicant for the position. Departments, projects and programs are also urged to review their personnel for promotion decisions in the light of the University's commitment to equal opportunity/affirmative action principles.

D. Grounds for Termination and Other Disciplinary Action

The employment of any individual at the professional specialist ranks may be terminated prior to expiration of his/her term of appointment or subjected to other disciplinary action for cause, which consists of (a) continuing unsatisfactory performance after due notice; or (b) conduct which is shown to violate the University rules and procedures applicable to individuals at these ranks, or substantially to impair the individual's performance of his/her responsibilities.

E. Retirement

Retirement from the University is a voluntary termination. An individual at a professional specialist rank who wishes to discuss retirement should consult with his/her supervisor, the chair or director of the appropriate unit, and the Office of the Dean of the Faculty. The individual should also consult with the Office of Human Resources for information on the status of his/her benefits upon retirement.

Chapter V: Postdoctoral Researchers

A. Ranks and Terms of Appointments

The postdoctoral researcher ranks are used for temporary appointments enabling recent Ph.D. recipients to develop professional maturity, judgment, and experience through close association with the faculty, more senior researchers and professional specialists on research projects. Normally, researchers who serve in these ranks in the humanities and social sciences have received the Ph.D. degree not more than three years prior to appointment, five in the natural sciences and engineering. Except in the event of dismissal for cause, postdoctoral researchers (whose appointments will include a specific termination date) will, unless reappointed, terminate at the specified date without further notice or severance pay.

All postdoctoral researchers in the social sciences, natural sciences, and engineering are required to complete a course in Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR). Our policy for RCR training may be found here.

1. Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Postdoctoral research fellows are supported by Princeton University-sponsored training grants or fellowships from external agencies and may also receive salary supplements from the University. The University may or may not be given the responsibility of administering the disbursement of their stipends; this will not affect their appointment rank. They carry out their research and training programs in University facilities using resources allocated by the sponsoring department, institute, center or program. Postdoctoral research fellows must have completed all requirements for the Ph.D. before their appointments are approved.

Term of Appointment - Appointments at the rank of postdoctoral research fellow (PDRF) are normally for one full year and may be renewed annually for the term of the fellowship. Normally, an individual may hold appointments as a postdoctoral research associate and a postdoctoral research fellow for no more than a combined total of three years in the humanities and social sciences; five in the natural sciences and engineering. However, when a postdoctoral research fellow succeeds in obtaining two successive three-year postdoctoral fellowships, he/she will be permitted to remain at this rank for six years.  Tax and earnings code regulations require that transfers from, or revisions in, rank to or from PDRF must occur on the first of the month.  Additionally, transfers or revisions may not cross either the calendar or fiscal year. At the conclusion of the final appointment as a postdoctoral research fellow, the individual must be promoted to the appropriate associate research (by discipline) or professional specialist rank or be terminated.

Institutional Allowance - It is important that prospective postdoctoral research fellows understand the policy (below) concerning institutional allowances at the time of application. They should also be informed that the University will contact the foundation, government agency, or other sponsor to seek the allowance before the fellow can be appointed, if such an allowance is not automatically granted by the awarding agency.

  1. The University will charge an institutional allowance for all postdoctoral research fellow appointments.
  2. The institutional allowance is charged at the time of appointment.
  3. Appointments that are renewed are subject to the rate in effect at the time of each renewal.
  4. The amount of the institutional allowance is set for each academic year by the Office of the Dean of the Faculty in consultation with the Office of Finance and Treasury.

2. Postdoctoral Research Associate

The rank of postdoctoral research associate is typically used for postdoctoral appointments that are supported by external project grants or University (department, institute, center or program) funds. Researchers at this rank are expected to contribute their skills to the research programs of the appointing unit and/or supporting project.

Postdoctoral research associates are expected to have a completed Ph.D. degree by the time of appointment. If that is not the case, the appointment must instead be a one-year appointment as senior research assistant at a reduced salary which meets the current University minimum salary for exempt employees. If the Ph.D. is obtained and the dean of the faculty is so notified before the starting date, the initial appointment will normally be changed to the rank of postdoctoral research associate. If the Ph.D. is obtained after the start of the appointment, the senior research assistant may be transferred to the rank of research associate and with the appropriate salary for the remainder of the existing term.  The senior research assistant appointment is not renewable for a second term.

Term of Appointment – Researchers at the rank of postdoctoral research associate are ordinarily appointed for one year at a time. Appointments are reviewed annually to consider reappointment and salary level. Promotion or reappointment can be made on an anniversary date cycle (e.g. 10/01/2017 - 10/01/2018). After the first full-year appointment, subsequent renewals are normally made for one-year periods. In cases where funding is limited or other unusual circumstances exist, the dean of the faculty may permit renewal for less than one year; if such a truncated renewal is to be further extended, it must bring the renewed term to a full year. Postdoctoral research associates appointed in the humanities and social sciences normally serve for a maximum of three consecutive years; five years in the natural sciences and engineering. 

Postdoctoral research associate candidate being recommended for appointment in the natural sciences or engineering who join the University having already completed a three-year postdoctoral appointment elsewhere, may be appointed at Princeton as a postdoctoral research for a maximum of three years, thus bringing the total years in rank to six year.  Individuals joining Princeton from a second postdoctoral term elsewhere who are five years beyond Ph.D. will not be eligible for appointment as a postdoctoral research associate.  Postdoctoral research associates not advanced to the rank of associate research (by discipline) or professional specialist (depending upon their ongoing job responsibilities) after three years of service in the humanities and social sciences or five years of service in the natural sciences and engineering will ordinarily not be reappointed.

3. Senior Research Assistant

The rank of senior research assistant is used for individuals who have been offered and have accepted positions as postdoctoral research associates and who have submitted the final draft of their dissertation/thesis. The salary for this appointment will meet the University minimum requirement for exempt employees and normally be at a rate that is 10% below the salary offered/accepted for the postdoctoral research associate position.

Term of Appointment – Appointment at the rank of senior research assistant is limited to a single term of one year. Senior research assistants who provide acceptable proof of the successful completion of all requirements for the PhD from an institution’s Registrar or Graduate School during this term will be promoted to the rank of postdoctoral research associate for the remainder of the existing term and may be reappointed at the postdoctoral rank.

4. Visiting Postdoctoral Research Associate

Individuals who hold positions equivalent to the rank of postdoctoral research associate at other institutions and who will be associated (typically because they are involved in joint Princeton University – home institution research projects) with a project at the University or who are supported by grants and/or fellowships sponsored and/or administered by another institution, are appointed to the rank of visiting postdoctoral research associate.

Term of Appointment - Appointments to this visiting rank, either with or without salary, are made for terms of up to one year. They may be reappointed for succeeding periods so long as the total term of appointments does not exceed three years in the humanities and social sciences; five in the natural sciences and engineering.

B. Procedures for Appointments, Promotions, Terminations, and Changes in Salary

All appointments, reappointments and terminations of postdoctoral researchers will be recommended by the chair or director of the sponsoring department, institute, center or program (as will changes in salary for postdoctoral research associates) in accordance with procedures established by the dean of the faculty.  Such recommendations are submitted to the dean of the faculty for approval.

Except in rare and unusual circumstances, all recommendations for reappointments, promotions and changes in salary should be submitted at least one month prior to the end of the current appointment term. Topics of review prior to making a recommendation include responsibilities, performance, and research contributions. The fair and frank assessment of an appropriate supervisor should be formulated and transmitted to the postdoctoral researcher. The method by which this communication takes place may vary with supervisors and departments. Each staff member is entitled to an appraisal which reflects what is submitted to the Office of the Dean of the Faculty.

When a postdoctoral research associate has reached the end of his/her eligibility to remain at that rank, (s)he may be advanced to the rank of associate research (by discipline) (if the majority of his/her time will be devoted to scholarly pursuits expected to result in publication) or to the rank of professional specialist (if the majority of his/her time will be devoted to solving problems that require the extension of conventional theories or practices, to the development of new techniques or to managerial and/or fiscal responsibility for research projects). A postdoctoral research fellow or visiting postdoctoral research associate who has reached the end of his/her eligibility for a postdoctoral rank may be appointed into either of these ranks if (s)he has been identified as the most qualified applicant for the position as the result of an authorized search and successful completion of a background check.

In accordance with the University's commitment to equal opportunity and affirmative action, all initial appointment recommendations supported by University (department, institute, center or program) funds must be accompanied by documentary evidence that a thorough search has been made to locate the most qualified applicant for the position. Departments, projects, and programs are also urged to review their staffs for promotion decisions in the light of the University's commitment to equal opportunity/affirmative action principles.

Under certain circumstances, postdoctoral researchers may be allowed to combine teaching with their research duties; this time is limited to 50% duty time as the primary responsibility of a postdoctoral researcher is research.  If approved, they are given the additional title of Lecturer upon the recommendation of the department chair and approval of the dean of the faculty for the semester(s) during which they have teaching assignment(s).

C. Grounds for Termination and Other Disciplinary Action

Any postdoctoral researcher may be terminated prior to the expiration of his/her term of appointment or subjected to other disciplinary action for cause, which consists of (a) continuing unsatisfactory performance after due notice; or (b) conduct which is shown to violate the University rules and procedures applicable to staff members, or substantially to impair the individual's performance of his/her responsibilities.

Chapter VI: Graduate and Undergraduate Students, Non-Academic Employees, Consultants, and Part-Time Employees

A. Graduate Students

Graduate students enrolled in the Graduate School may be appointed to the position of Assistant in Research for work on sponsored projects. Any such appointment is subject to the approval of the dean of the Graduate School to insure that such appointment will not prevent reasonable progress towards degree completion. Individuals who are still candidates for a graduate degree, whether or not they are enrolled in the Graduate School, will not normally be appointed to one of the professional researcher or professional specialist ranks.

B. Undergraduate Students

Undergraduate students may be employed on sponsored research through the Office of Student Employment. Special agreements to comply with pertinent provisions of the contract or grant may be required of the student in certain instances.

C. Non-Academic Employees

All non-academic employees in sponsored research are employed through the Office of Human Resources and governed by the same conditions of employment as those which apply to similar personnel employed for other University work, except to the extent that the conditions of the contract or grant covering the project requires otherwise.

As a general rule, no purchase orders are issued, nor payments made, to non-academic employees, or to organizations in which such employees have a substantial interest, for services furnished to the University except on an overtime basis as prescribed by the Office of Human Resources.

D. Consultants

Any person who is not directly employed by the University and who is acting in a professional capacity and being reimbursed for services and/or for travel expenses under a sponsored research program at Princeton must be formally engaged by the University through the Office of Finance and Treasury as a consultant. A consultant is an independent contractor and not an employee or agent of the University. A consulting agreement is intended to cover situations in which a specific skill or expertise requiring a high level of independence in the performance of the task is needed for a relatively short period of time.

E. Part-Time Employees

The rules, procedures, and other arrangements described in this publication apply in various ways to part-time employees. Those contemplating part-time employment should consult with department heads, project heads, and the dean of the faculty for specific questions of concern. In general:

  1. All part-time professional researchers and professional specialist employees are subject to the definitions and provisions of Chapters III and IV.
  2. All part-time employees have the benefit of the service arrangements described in Chapter VI, except that reimbursement for moving expenses (Section A) will not normally apply to those employed for less than 50% duty time or appointed less than five months.
  3. Normally, visiting researchers, postdoctoral research fellows, visiting fellows, and visiting professional specialists whose appointments are 50% or greater duty time for five months or more and receiving pay from Princeton are eligible to receive a simplified University employee benefits package. Detailed information on this package is available through the Office of Human Resources.
  4. Most services and facilities are available to part-time employees.

Chapter VII: Other Service Arrangements

A. Moving and Relocation Expenses

Professional researchers, except those holding the rank of senior research assistant, and all professional specialists may be provided with a contribution toward moving and relocation expenses when first employed in accordance with policies approved by the dean of the faculty and acceptable to the outside sponsor of the research involved.

B. Leaves of Absence

Following faculty practice, a professional researcher or professional specialist wishing to be absent from the campus for a period of time during his/her normal duty period should discuss well in advance with his/her department chair or immediate supervisor the need for the absence and possible arrangements to fulfill the member's responsibilities. Following such a conversation, the department chair or program or project leader should write to the dean of the faculty, explaining the circumstances and requesting approval for the proposed absence. Except where noted, in general, benefits-eligible staff members who have regular appointments of at least 50% duty time for five months or more and who have completed a minimum of one year of service are eligible for leaves of absence.

1. Paid Periods of Absence

Jury Duty and Court Appearance - Individuals called for Jury Duty or subpoenaed as witnesses will continue to receive normal pay. It is expected they will be available for work when their presence at court is not required.

Military Reserve Training - During periods of annual military reserve training, the University will underwrite the difference between military and University pay for up to 15 days.

Vacation - Vacation is paid time away from the workplace that is provided for the health and well-being of employees. Supervisors should make every effort to accommodate the preference of the employee. However, the University has the right to require individuals to take vacation at specified times for work schedules or budgetary reasons. Professional Researchers and Specialists earn vacation at a rate of two work days for each month of service, resulting in 24 vacations days during each year of service. Part-time staff members accrue vacation at a rate that is prorated according to their work schedules. Up to 48 days may be accrued. Scheduling of vacation time is dependent on approval of the department chair, project leader, or supervisor, and recording the time is managed through the Human Resources self-service website. Staff members who terminate employment with University and who have earned vacation which has not yet been taken will receive pay in lieu of vacation up to a maximum of 30 days unless they are supported on term funding. Individuals who leave without giving appropriate notice may forfeit this pay.

Temporary Disability - A temporary disability leave is a leave for a maximum of twenty-six weeks because of accident, illness, or injury that is not job related. All regular full-time non-exempt employees are eligible for comparable re-employment upon returning within 26 weeks from a temporary disability. Supervisors should make every effort to hold positions open and available to temporarily disabled employees. If the disability extends beyond 26 weeks, re-employment eligibility is lost.

Long-Term Disability - An employee may be eligible for long term disability insurance plan coverage after one year of service. (S)he should consult with the Office of Human Resources to determine his/her eligibility. If the employee was enrolled in a long term disability plan with the prior employer, then the one year waiting period is waived. The prior employer is defined as the staff member's most recent employer prior to joining the University. However, employment at the prior employer will not be credited if employment was terminated more than six months before the individual was appointed as a staff member at Princeton. Benefits are retained while receiving long term disability insurance plan benefits.

Workers' Compensation - Workers' compensation provides paid leave for eligible employees up to 26 weeks because of injury or illness due to, or arising out of, the individual's employment. All regular, full-time, non-exempt employees are eligible for comparable re-employment upon returning within 26 weeks from a workers' compensation leave. Supervisors should make every effort to hold positions open and available to employees. If a workers' compensation leave extends beyond 26 weeks, re-employment eligibility is lost.

Other paid absences due to marriage, death in the family, or illness in the immediate family may be authorized by the supervisor or department chair. No absences described in this section will reduce the amount of vacation time to which the individual is entitled.

2. Leaves Without Pay

Leaves without pay may, under appropriate circumstances, be recommended to the dean of the faculty by the department or project concerned. If such leaves are for the purpose of scholarship, the University will continue coverage under the Health Care Plan, Long Term Disability Insurance Plan, Life Insurance Plan, Health Benefit Expense Account Plan, Dependent Care Expense Account Plan, Children's Educational Assistance Plan, and Staff Educational Assistance Plan, provided the staff member pays his/her regular contributions, if applicable, when due. The staff member will be sent a billing packet for direct payment of the applicable contributions. The University will not make contributions to the Princeton University Retirement Plan during the member's leave of absence without pay and the member cannot make pretax contributions to the Tax Deferred Annuity Plan. In addition, coverage under the University's Temporary Disability Plan will cease during this time.

Parental Leave - Under the provisions of the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA), a staff member who has completed at least one year of service may take unpaid leave for the care of a newborn, adoption, or placement of a child for approved foster care. This leave must be taken within the first year of birth, adoption, or placement and normally in one continuous period of up to 12 weeks. The University also provides up to two weeks’ paid leave at 100% base pay, provided it is taken within the first year of the event.  This time will count concurrently against the federal FMLS and the New Jersey Family Leave Act (NHFLA).  With department approval, this two week leave is available on an intermittent basis in two on-week increments. In addition, benefits-eligible staff members who work 50 percent or greater duty time of five months or more are entitled to apply for a leave of absence without pay in connection with the rearing of a child (parental leave) whether or not there is a recent birth or adoption. Upon the recommendation of the department, these leaves are approved by the dean of the faculty for one year, although a second year can be approved if appropriate. Individual arrangements for a parental leave should also be arranged directly with the department chair, who, when necessary, will consult with the dean of the faculty.

Military Leave (extended service) - Federal law provides that employees who are drafted or have enlisted in the Armed Forces of the United States or who are called to active duty from the Reserves for extended periods (more than six months) be granted a leave without pay for a period of up to four years. All benefits coverage is suspended according to the rules governing the particular benefits coverage. The law also requires that employees who wish to return to the University after active duty be guaranteed the same or equivalent position with similar rank and benefits.

In order to be eligible for reinstatement, an employee must:

  1. Present a certificate of satisfactory completion of service;
  2. Apply for reinstatement within 90 days of discharge from active duty, or within one year if hospitalized after discharge;
  3. Have been employed in other than a temporary position, and would not have been laid off if employment had not been interrupted by military service.

Determinations of the terms and conditions of re-employment (rate of pay, seniority status where appropriate, length of service for benefits eligibility purposes, etc.) will be made by the supervisor and the dean of the faculty on a case-by-case basis. Generally, the individual must be treated as having been on leave of absence, and be given credit for military service in determining service for seniority and benefits plan purposes. All unused accrued vacation time is paid to the employee prior to the start of military duty.

Leave for Religious Observances - Individual employees may have religious needs which, according to both federal and state laws, must be reasonably accommodated by an employer. "Reasonable accommodation" means such accommodation to the employee's needs "as shall not cause undue hardship in the conduct of the employer's business." An employee may elect to charge such absences for religious observances to vacation or personal days.

3. Leaves for Research and Scholarship and Detached Service Agreements

Professional researchers or professional specialists who have regular appointments of at least 50% duty time with at least one year of service may be eligible for research leaves or detached service agreements.

It is believed that under certain circumstances professional researchers or professional specialists and the University can mutually benefit from these staff members' being relieved of regular responsibilities--for example, to enable them to pursue new or unusual projects or to bring together the accomplishments of several related programs. Such activities, like projects regularly carried out by members of the staff, should normally be funded from grants, contracts, or fellowships. In those instances where leaves for research are approved and external support is not available, paid leaves for members of these staff may be granted for up to six months at full salary or up to 12 months at half salary.

Professional researchers or professional specialists may be assigned to projects at laboratories not affiliated with the University. Detached service assignments are not leaves with pay. Salaries to staff members on detached service will be charged to projects at the University in proportion to the time spent for the benefit of those projects during the staff members' periods of detached service. The balance of the staff members' salaries, if any, should be paid by the host institution or by other sources external to the University. The periods of detached service assignments vary and depend on the requirements of the projects involved. All arrangements for detached service are subject to the approval of the relevant sponsoring agencies and should be made only after consultation with the Office of Research and Project Administration as well as the Office of the Dean of the Faculty.

C. Outside Professional Activities

The general propriety of outside professional activities by Princeton University professional researchers and professional specialists is recognized, subject to the responsibility for timely and successful completion of the contract with which the individual is involved and the fulfillment of his/her other University responsibilities. For this reason, the following principles and procedures must be applied to decisions on outside professional activities.

  1. The primary obligation of the professional researchers and professional specialists is to carry out that part of the program at Princeton for which they are responsible. Their obligation is not merely to work during particular hours on particular days, but is professional in character. No other work activity, whether gainful or not, which conflicts with this obligation may be undertaken.
  2. Time devoted to outside professional activities may not exceed two days per month without prior approval of the dean of the faculty. The duty terms for part-time service may be obtained from the Office of the Dean of the Faculty.
  3. The term "outside" refers to professional activities not directly associated with the fulfillment of an individual's teaching, research, and administrative commitments to the University. Such activities generally bring into play the expertise of the individual and often bring professional benefits to the individual and the University. They may or may not involve compensation. Before undertaking such activities, individuals should satisfy themselves that the activities contribute: (a) to teaching and scholarship at Princeton, (b) to communicating and applying special knowledge outside the University, and/or (c) to furthering the common good.
  4. In outside professional activities, whether compensated or not, an individual shall not: (a) violate the University's patent policy, (b) permit an outside agent to have a preferred position with respect to information emanating from University activities, and/or (c) negotiate or influence the negotiation of contracts between the University and organizations with which they have consulting or other significant relationships.
  5. In outside activities, whether professional in nature or not, an individual shall not commit University materials, facilities, students, or personnel for the gain or benefit of an outside enterprise. However, limited use may be made of materials, facilities, and secretarial assistance for service to professional societies in the individual's discipline and in connection with nonpartisan public service. The chair of the department and the dean of the faculty shall be kept informed of such activities. Questions arising out of special circumstances shall be reviewed by the dean of the faculty.
  6. In outside professional activities, an individual member shall take care not to affect adversely the individual's own independence or the integrity of the University. For example, an individual may not accept a regular and continuing position with significant responsibility for the management of an outside enterprise. Also, an individual may not become a regular and continuing employee of any outside organization, either part-time or full-time, or accept any outside position that would tend to create conflicts of interest with the position in the University. Any request for an exception to this policy must be approved by the immediate supervisor and the dean of the faculty. Exceptions are rarely granted and only in the most unusual circumstances.
  7. An individual shall inform the departmental chair annually, in writing, of all outside professional activities as part of the regular report on scholarly and other activities. An individual shall also consult with the chair whenever considering significant new outside professional activities. The chair shall consult with the dean of the faculty concerning any exceptions to these rules and forward for consideration any special circumstances that may arise.
  8. Only the dean of the faculty may approve exceptions to, or exemptions from, these rules concerning outside professional activities.

D. Security Clearances

Professional researchers and professional specialists whose employment will require access to government classified security information shall be informed at the time employment is discussed that any appointment will be conditional upon receipt by the University of an appropriate notice of individual clearance from the cognizant government agency and upon execution by the individual of a Princeton University Security Agreement. The Committee on Appointments and Advancements for the Professional Researchers and Professional Specialists will recommend to the dean of the faculty whether employment should be terminated or extended for any such individual whose clearance has not been received within six months from the date of employment, or whose clearance has been denied or revoked.

E. Health and Safety

University safety policy is the responsibility of the Environmental, Safety, and Risk Management Committee, appointed by the executive vice president. The University undertakes to provide a safe and healthful working environment for all its employees. Further, the University complies with all governmental regulatory safety requirements and with accepted safety and health standards.

Professional researchers and professional specialists are, as are other employees, responsible for observing the health and safety policies in the area where they are working and are subject to disciplinary action in cases of non-compliance. Professional staff members are also, in conjunction with the Office of Environmental Health and Safety, responsible for the development and maintenance of appropriate health and safety regulations in their areas of principal responsibility. The procedure for reporting injuries, unless the injury is unquestionably trivial, is as follows:

  1. When immediate, emergency medical attention is necessary, contact Public Safety at 911 from any campus phone or 609-258-3333 from any mobile phone.
  2. Employees must report to the Office of Employee Health at McCosh Health Center for evaluation, treatment, consultation, and/or referral to an approved physician for all work-related injuries.
  3. If an individual calls from home to report a work-related injury or illness, their supervisor must inform them to contact Employee Health.
  4. Time away from the workplace for a work-related injury or illness must be authorized by Employee Health.
  5. Employee Health also provides the required return-to-work clearance for individuals who have been away from work for more than eight days due to any injury or illness.

F. Patents and Publications

Individuals will be appointed for work on a particular project subject to their acceptance of the patent and publication provisions of the contract or grant which covers the project. Except as modified by those provisions, they shall be subject to the University’s patent and publication policies.

G. Grievance Procedures

It is expected that most job-related issues will be resolved by bringing them to the attention of the staff member's supervisor, or where appropriate, the supervisor's supervisor or department head. If a satisfied resolution is not obtained and the staff member wishes to file a formal grievance, a copy of the grievance procedure is available on the Office of the Dean of the Faculty's website at http://dof.princeton.edu/policies-procedure/policies/grievance-procedures.

Appendix A: The Council of the Princeton University Community

The Council of the Princeton University Community has authority to:

  • consider and investigate any question of University policy, any aspect of the governing of the University, and any general issue related to the welfare of the University; and to make recommendations regarding any such matters to the appropriate decision-making bodies of the University or to the appropriate officers of the University;

  • make rules regarding the conduct of resident members of the University community, which rules shall be binding on them; but the Council may delegate authority to make rules, and, with respect to matters mainly of concern to a particular group within the University community, the authority to make rules shall normally be delegated to a body representing that group or shall be exercised in a manner otherwise acceptable to the members of that group;

  • oversee the making and the applying of rules regarding the conduct of resident members of the University community, whether such rules shall have been made by other bodies within the resident University community, or by the Council itself, or by officers of the University; such oversight shall be exercised for the purpose of insuring that such rules protect the rights of individuals and the legitimate interests of the University, and that they are clear in meaning, fair, enforceable and in conformity with the law;

  • adopt such bylaws and rules of procedure as are necessary or convenient for the exercise of its authority.

The membership of the Council includes one membership each from the Professional Research Staff and the Professional Technical Staff. The Council carries out its mandate through a number of standing committees which include council members and other members of the University Community. Members of the Professional Research and Technical Staffs are often called upon to serve on these committees.

Appendix B: Summary of Rank Descriptions

Researchers:

RankDegree or equivalentLength of AppointmentMaximum time at rankReviewsDescription / Comment

Senior Research (by discipline)

Doctorate

continuing appointment

n/a

n/a

guide and direct others in program and research; can be principal investigator

Research (by discipline)

Doctorate

if promoted to rank then with continuing appointment; new hires may be given a 3-year appointment without continuing appointment

n/a

if without continuing appointment, reviewed annually; in third year must be granted continuing appointment, promoted, or terminated

guide and direct others in program and research; can be principal investigator

Associate Research (by discipline)

Doctorate

without specific end date

six years; without continuing appointment

reviewed annually; in 6th year must be promoted with continuing appointment or terminated

perform independent research; can be principal investigator

Post-doctoral Research Associate (PDRA)

Recent recipient of doctorate

one year; renewable

three years (five years in life sciences)

annually; in third year must be promoted or terminated

develop professional maturity, judgment, and experience to successfully complete research projects

Senior Research Assistant

PhD candidate near completion of degree

one year (temporary rank for PDRA awaiting defense)

one year, non-renewable

n/a

see PDRA

Post-doctoral Research Fellow (PDRF)

Recent recipient of doctorate

one year; renewable

three years (five years in life sciences)

n/a

Supported by external post-doctoral fellowship; institutional allowance required

Visiting Researchers:

RankDegree or equivalentLength of appointmentMaximum time at rankReviewsDescription / Comment

Visiting Senior Research (by discipline)

Doctorate

one year

three years

n/a

associated with a PU research project; normally with salary

Visiting Research (by discipline)

Doctorate

one year

three years

n/a

associated with a PU research project; normally with salary

Visiting Associate Research (by discipline)

Doctorate

one year

three years

n/a

associated with a PU research project; normally with salary

 

Visiting Post-doctoral Research AssociateDoctorateone yearthree yearsn/a(1) Holds post-doctoral appointment at another institution or (2) supported by external post-doctoral fellowship with non-PU sponsor.

Senior Visiting Fellow

Doctorate (or equivalent for PU tenure-track faculty in field)

one year

two years

n/a

Scholars (or recognized leaders in non-academic fields) of unique international distinction; normally receive no stipends or salaries from the University; no specific responsibilities

Visiting Fellow

Doctorate (or equivalent for PU tenure-track faculty in field)

one year

two years

n/a

Faculty or researchers on leave from other institutions or established, independent scholars; normally receive no stipends or salaries from the University; no specific responsibilities

Visiting Research Collaborator

Doctorate (or equivalent for PU tenure-track faculty in field)

one year

no limit

n/a

Collaboration with PU faculty member leading to joint publications and/or grant proposals

 

Professional Specialists:

RankDegree or equivalentLength of appointmentMaximum time at rankReviewsDescription / Comment

Senior Professional Specialist

master's or PhD in related field

continuing appointment

no limit

annually

outstanding achievements in their fields; assigned major responsibilities for the management of small or medium size projects

Professional Specialist

master's or PhD in related field

Without specific end date

no limit

annually

exceptional competence in their fields or have important managerial responsibilities; normally given determinant responsibility for projects

Associate Professional Specialist

Master’s or PhD in related field

without specific end date

no limit

annually

manage own time; may lead small group or have primary responsibility for major equipment

Visiting Professional Specialists:

RankDegree or equivalentLength of appointmentMaximum time at rankReviewsDescription / Comment

Visiting Senior Professional Specialist, Visiting Professional Specialist, Visiting Associate Professional Specialist

n/a

one year

three years

n/a

Holds equivalent position at another institution; with or without salary