Resources for New and Junior Faculty

Getting Started

Two consistent recommendations for faculty members staring out in academic medicine are to have a career plan and to identify a mentor or mentors.

Career planning is an ongoing process that begins with self-reflection, followed by researching options, developing a strategy, implementing that strategy, followed by review and reassessment. When starting the process some questions you might consider are:

1)    What are your skills?

2)    What do you value?

3)    What are your interests?

4)    How do these fit with the Department’s & the Institution’s values/goals/vision?

career planning processThis planning tool (pdf) will guide you through this process.

Mentoring by definition is “a process for the informal transmission of knowledge, social capital, and the psychosocial support perceived by the recipient as relevant to work, career, or professional development; mentoring entails informal communication, … during a sustained period of time, between a person who is perceived to have greater relevant knowledge, wisdom, or experience and a person who is perceived to have less" [Bozeman, B.; Feeney, M. K. (October 2007). "Toward a useful theory of mentoring: A conceptual analysis and critique". Administration & Society 39 (6): 719–739.].

A mentor(s) can help guide you in your career planning and oftentimes assist you in forming important connections/relationships to facilitate your professional development. 


Tracks and Missions

As you develop your career plan it is important to consider the expectations of the Department and Institution that were outlined in your appointment letter. Faculty appointments are to one of four tracks clinical, medical educator and service, research, or tenure. Tracks differ primarily with regard to the focus across three academic missions which are: 1) generation of new knowledge or scholarship; 2) exchange of knowledge or teaching; and 3) service including service to patients, the institution, and/or the field. Contributions to each mission vary by track (Table 1) and progression to Associate Professor/Professor involves demonstration of an increasing level of contribution and responsibility across time that is considered to be of regional, national, and international significance. The full guidelines for appointment, promotion and tenure with detailed track descriptions can be found on the School’s web-page.

Table 1: Comparison of Clinical, Medical Educator and Service, Research, and Tenure Tracks

Clinical (CT)

Medical Educator & Service (MEST)

Research (RT)

Tenure (TT)

strong records of

-- teaching and clinical/citizenship service &

-- funded clinical research/clinical trials

-- leadership & volume in teaching & clinical/citizenship service

-- participation in scholarship

-- strong record of funded, original, independent research

--may participate in some teaching & citizenship service

strong records of

-- funded, original, independent scholarship;

-- teaching; and

--clinical/citizenship service

Activities can take many forms, are often highly individualized depending upon a faculty member’s interests, strengths, and skills, and frequently overlap missions. Table 2 includes a sampling of activities that reflect contributions to each mission. The department regularly collects this information for the academic scorecard, annual report, and the website.

Table 2: Examples of scholarship, teaching, and service activities




- Demonstration of a scientific, scholarly approach to a major field of clinical or basic science research

- Obtaining extramural research (grant) support

- Primary authorship status in peer‐reviewed publications with consideration of quality as well as quantity

- Authorship and publication of research projects, clinical trials, and/or team-based investigation in leading medical journals

- Participation in clinical trials, i.e. assistance in recruiting human subjects, interviewing subjects as part of the protocol, or providing specified clinical protocols to human subjects

- Ability to stimulate trainees toward scholarship in medicine and medical practice i.e., RRD research mentor

- Service on national and regional panels and boards i.e. study sections that advise federal and private funding entities on research proposals.

- Contributions to team science, such as being a Core Facilities Director who contributes both ideas and technical services to research projects

- Authorship of important review articles, chapters, and/or books

–  Service on national board examining committees and/or preparing questions for national boards

–  Development and leadership in educational workshops and training programs at the local, regional, or national level; may include students, trainees, other faculty, patients, or community; sometimes as part of the meetings of national professional and/or scientific societies.

–  Receipt of teaching honors, awards, and prizes at the institutional and/or national level.

–  Participation in the design, organization, and/or presentation of a major course, clinical rotation, or residency program

–  Development of innovative, creative, and effective new teaching methodology, implemented in the SOM, regionally, or nationally

–  Leadership in a portion of new curriculum development or major curriculum change

–  Service as a faculty advisor for SOM societies

–  Inspires students, residents, and fellows as exemplary role models across SOM missions

–  Consistent positive evaluations of teaching content and style by students, residents, and/or fellows

–  Membership, participation, and leadership in the committees and governance of regional or national professional societies

–  Participation in committees and bodies advisory to govt. agencies and foundations

–  Referral of patients from local, regional, national, and international sources

–  Receipt of honors, awards, and prizes from the institution, national entities, or the community for service

–  Leadership in Dept., School, and University committees, EHC committees, and affiliate hospital committees

–  Participation on search committees for SOM leadership positions

–  Service as director of a major clinical care activity, i.e., director of a clinical laboratory or service or chief of a hospital specialty

–  Leadership/governance roles in the department, i.e., vice chair, service chief, or division director

–  Provision of an exceptionally large volume of high quality clinical care, compared to similar other faculty

–  Additional specialty board certification

–  Provision of high‐quality patient care that is recognized locally and also regionally, nationally, and/or internationally

The Faculty Portfolio is a collection of documents where your professional activities/contributions are recorded. This portfolio is an essential element of the promotion process.  Keeping in mind that being promoted from Assistant to Associate Professor takes many years (6-8 is typical), having a strategy to maintain a record of your professional activities starting at the outset of your career will serve you well over the long-term.

Faculty Portfolio

Curriculum Vitae (CV) – is a comprehensive overview of your professional experiences and qualifications. This is the primary document that will follow you throughout your academic career. The key to a comprehensive CV is to develop the habit of scheduling regular time to update the document. Update your CV regularly and follow the SOM standard CV template that is required for all faculty. 

Teaching Portfolio – includes evidence to support your entire teaching career. Information and materials presented in the portfolio may include curriculum development, participation on educational committees, lectures and CME activities, mentoring, teaching evaluations, and educational scholarship. A teaching portfolio template is available on the SOM website.

Service Portfolio – chronicles your citizenship and professional service. The service portfolio provides an outlet for you to elaborate on unique and exceptional contributions in the area of professional service. The School of Medicine has also developed a service portfolio template.

Habits to Adopt

1)    maintain your CV- schedule a time on your calendar monthly to update your CV;

2)    follow the Emory CV template; and

3)    create an archive folder and keep copies of your teaching and lecture evaluations, letters, invitations, acknowledgements, etc. to document teaching and service

Ongoing Reviews

Career Development Reviews

The Department follows the recommended timelines established by the SOM for faculty career development conferences (Table 3). During these conferences, you will have the opportunity for discussions with the Chair and/or the chair’s designee to develop and refine your career plan, review progress toward professional goals, and identify opportunities for continued development that will be both personally and professionally rewarding and support academic advancement which includes academic promotion.

The Career Development Conference Report (CDCR) tool was developed by the SOM to assist faculty and department leaders in career planning and development discussions. The tool is web-based and guidelines on completing the CDCR can be found on the SOM’s Faculty Development website.

Table 3: Evaluation timelines



Instructor & Assistant Professor

End of the 1st and 4th academic years; 3 year intervals thereafter

Associate Professor

End of the 3rd academic year; 5 year intervals thereafter


5 year intervals after appointment or promotion to rank of Professor

To print this information as a PDF: Handout