Writing promotion and tenure evaluations for life scientists: thoughts on structure and content



Experts in a discipline are frequently called upon to provide external evaluations of promotion and tenure (P/T) candidates at other universities and research agencies. Nonetheless, there is scant published information on the techniques and strategies used to produce a thorough and insightful P/T evaluation. External P/T evaluations must be matched to the candidate’s specific promotion criteria, and to their faculty appointment, both of which may vary substantially among institutions. A P/T evaluation letter should be based on independent and objective standards. Evaluation of the research dossier is typically easiest because of the many quantitative tools available (e.g., citation frequency, impact factors and h–index). Assessment of teaching performance should be based on comparisons of quantitative evaluation data compared to departmental means and standard deviations, although these metrics are not error–free. Written comments by students are also informative, as is evidence of successful mentoring of graduate students. Documentation of the successful use of innovative science pedagogy (e.g., flipped classrooms and active learning) also provides helpful evidence for evaluation of a teaching dossier. Finally, outreach faculty may be evaluated on the basis of: 1) publications, and 2) quantitative evaluations of workshops or other presentations.

Key words

Promotion process, Tenure process, Academia, Reviewing colleague

Reception date: 08 V 18  |   Acceptation date: 26 VI 18  |   Publication date: 19 X 18

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Índex de Volume 42.1 (2019)