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Advice for Junior Faculty Regarding Academic Promotion: What Not to Worry About, and What to Worry About

Authors Mbuagbaw L, Anderson LN, Lokker C, Thabane L

Received 26 November 2019

Accepted for publication 22 January 2020

Published 31 January 2020 Volume 2020:13 Pages 117—122


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

Lawrence Mbuagbaw, 1–3 Laura N Anderson, 1 Cynthia Lokker, 1 Lehana Thabane 1, 2, 4 

1Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence and Impact, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada; 2Biostatistics Unit, St Joseph Healthcare - Hamilton, Hamilton, ON, Canada; 3Centre for Development of Best Practices in Health, Yaoundé Central Hospital, Yaoundé, Cameroon; 4Departments of Paediatrics and Anaesthesia, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada

Correspondence: Lawrence Mbuagbaw
Biostatistics Unit/FSORC, 50 Charlton Avenue East, St Joseph’s Healthcare - Hamilton, 3rd Floor Martha Wing, Room H321, Hamilton, ON L8N 4A6, Canada
Tel +1-905-522-1155 ext 35929
Email [email protected]

Abstract: Junior faculty in many universities must go through the promotion process to advance from entry level, e.g., assistant professorship to associate Professor, and ultimately to professorship. The process may often be stressful for some junior faculty, mostly due to some uncertainty about how to optimise their chances of successful promotion. In this paper, we summarise some strategies that would enhance their chances of a smooth promotion based on experiences from junior faculty and senior faculty who have served on tenure and promotion committees. These strategies include understanding the promotion process at your institution; optimizing publications as first or senior author, securing research funding as principal investigator, teaching effectively, providing service efficiently; developing good time management and priority setting skills, finding excellent mentors, and targeting opportunities for collaboration. We also encourage junior faculty to be pro-active about promotion.

Keywords: junior faculty, advancement, promotion, academic, research, publishing, mentorship

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