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Criteria for Tenure at the NIH

High Quality, Originality and Impact of Scientific Contributions to a Specific Field and Biomedical Research More Generally

  • Quality of studies, including scientific rationale and methodological rigor
  • Innovation and originality in the form of new ideas, approaches, discoveries and paradigms that open lines of further inquiry, including discovery and development of technological approaches, as well as design, development and implementation of clinical trials and population studies
  • Scientific, clinical and/or public health impact of published work
  • Upward trajectory of research contributions expected following tenure
  • For members of multidisciplinary teams, continued high quality, original research following tenure is expected even if the multidisciplinary team disbands

Independent Creative Effort

  • Independent research as evidenced by primary and senior authorship on original research publications
  • For team research, clear evidence of distinct intellectual contribution to the outstanding research of a multidisciplinary team, such as: independent publication of methodological or seminal contributions to the candidate's specific research area; where possible, explicit in-print acknowledgement of unique creative contributions in multi-author publications and/or selection for presentation of team findings at national and international scientific conferences; members of research teams should demonstrate peer recognition of their specific contributions and some publications should highlight their distinctive research; creative and unique contributions to team productivity should be documented in the reviews of advisory boards (internal, scientific, BSC) charged with program oversight and evaluations

Productivity Relative to Resources

  • Quality and quantity of publications (e.g., an original paper in a high-impact journal is considered more consequential than several papers in specialty, lower-impact journals; for members of multidisciplinary teams, primary or senior authorship on key publications from the team or middle-authorship in a paradigm-shifting paper from the team)
  • Reputation of journals in which peer-reviewed papers are published, including specialty journals appropriate to the candidate's field
  • Patents, CRADAs, bioinformatics tools for public use or public release of widely-used software even if not published in conventional journals, that constitute significant contributions to science
  • Timely deposition of data (in particular, large data sets) in freely available, public databases; recognition given to high-quality data made available electronically to the research community, in some cases not directly linked to conventional journal publication(s)

National / International Recognition and Leadership

  • Peer recognition for developing an important body of work with a unifying theme, evidenced in letters of recommendation from the leaders in the field; for team research, the letters should address the distinct contribution of the individual within the larger context of the multidisciplinary team effort
  • Invited lectures and review or commentary publications
  • Membership on editorial boards or as invited journal reviewer
  • Participation in grant review panels for NIH or other funding organizations
  • Ability to forge multidisciplinary partnerships, taking advantage of the breadth and depth of the NIH scientific and clinical environment
  • Honors and awards
  • Election to scientific societies
  • Institute or Center (IC) programmatic need that evidences distinct and important contributions to the mission of the NIH may be considered

Mentorship Abilities and Activities

  • Success in training and mentoring junior colleagues at all levels and from diverse backgrounds, as evidenced by their professional progress, competitive funding and/or publications

High Ethical Standards and Integrity in Directing and Conducting Research

NIH Citizenship, Collegiality, and Promotion of Diversity

  • IC or NIH-wide activity or committee participation (e..g., Scientific Interest Group, IRB, ACUC, WSAs, Faculties, etc.), clinical service and other activities that promote the scientific enterprise at the NIH and more broadly
  • Active promotion of diversity through training and mentoring and/or recruitment and retention of talented researchers from diverse backgrounds underrepresented in biomedical research, including US Citizens or US Permanent Residents who are from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups (African American, Hispanic or Native American Indian/Alaska Native), persons with disabilities, and women

The page was last updated on Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - 8:20pm