Brandeis University recognizes that it is important to appoint certain senior research professionals to research positions of highest rank to encourage them to undertake research careers at Brandeis University.

While the concept of careers independent of classroom teaching and supported entirely from research grants is not a new one for American research universities, Brandeis views this mode of research with professionals working in departments, laboratories, and centers as an additional important mechanism for the University to maintain research viability, enter new fields, and bring new researchers to the campus.

This policy details the appointments of Senior Scientists at Brandeis University. Senior Scientists may be appointed in the School of Science, the Heller School and, in exceptional circumstances, in the School of Social Sciences. Senior Fellows may be appointed to any academic unit of the University.

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I. Appointments
Appointments to the senior positions in the campus research staff structure are to be designated academic staff positions with special status and prerogratives. Persons holding such appointments can conduct independent investigations with the ability to direct the work of others. They possess a demonstrated research competency. Appointment or promotion to this rank evidences wide external and internal recognition of independent contribution to research in the individual's field. Such contributions may be evidenced by traditional scholarly recognition, excellence in leadership of technical projects, or other significant research impact.

Appointments to these positions are in an academic department whenever possible. When there is no appropriate department or affiliation, appointments may be made directly in an interdepartmental program, laboratory, center or professional school (hereinafter called the "operating unit"). Appointments or promotions are made on the recommendation of the department with the final authority of the Provost on presentation of supporting documents, including outside letters. If the appointment is made directly in an operating unit, it will be on the written recommendation of an ad hoc faculty committee appointed by the Provost or his/her delegated representative. The ad hoc committee will consist of at least three members of the appropriate operating unit.

The total number of such appointments will not exceed 20% of the tenured faculty in a specific academic department. For operating units including professional schools, limits will be determined by the Provost. These are normally full-time academic staff positions and are on a 12-month appointment basis. Funding for these positions is the responsibility of the individual, department, or operating unit which is the focus of the appointment. University general funds or funds made available through indirect cost recovery may not be utilized in support of the appointments. Appointments to these positions will only be considered if the individual is currently supported from sponsored program funding and is likely to be supported in the future. The appointment will automatically terminate with the cessation of funding.

II. Reappointments

Appointments to these positions are for three years with review and notification at least six months before the expiration of the appointment. Appointees are to be apprised of the outcome of the review. The review is conducted by an ad hoc committee composed of members of the department or operating unit. The ad hoc committee is advisory to the Provost. The decision for reappointment is made by the Provost or his/her delegated representative upon review of the written recommendation of the ad hoc committee and must take into account University needs, planning and goals.

The head of the department or operating unit will determine the most appropriate way to conduct three-year periodic reviews and make sure they are carried out. Their purpose will be to determine whether the individual's appointment should be continued either from the standpoint of the quality of his/her work or the further need for individual services. Reappointment to these positions will only be considered if the individual is currently supported from sponsored program funding and is likely to be funded in the future.

III. Termination

The Program Director or Department Chair will conduct a yearly performance review in accordance with the personnel policies of Brandeis University. The appointment will terminate at the end of the third year unless a decision is made within the three-year period to continue the appointment. An appointment can be terminated at any time, in accordance with the personnel policies of Brandeis University, based on gross misconduct, gross negligence by the individual, failure to perform, or academic dishonesty.

IV. Benefits
  1. A renewable three-year appointment instead of a one-year appointment. These appointments may be renewed on a three-year basis, after periodic review by the Provost or his/her delegated representative on advice of an ad hoc committee.
  2. Appointment to these senior research positions provides eligibility to University fringe benefits, including the faculty children's educational assistance benefit (full-time only), retirement plan, life and long-term disability (full-time only), and health and dental insurance benefits. Sabbatical leaves are not possible because of the nature of the appointment.
  3. Funding for all fringe benefits must be available from individual, department or operating unit funding from outside research grants in accordance with the University's modified fringe benefits rate for this category of employee.