Faculty Titles Dictionary – Temporary Non-Tenure Track Positions

For all Faculty and Staff in the AAUP Bargaining Unit.

This sections pertains to the following titles: Research Assistant I, II, III, Research Associate I, II, III (AAUP Article 24);Research Professor, Associate Research Professor, Assistant Research Professor, Research Instructor, Visiting Professor, Visiting Associate Professor, Visiting Assistant Professor, Visiting Instructor, Adjunct Faculty, Associate Research Scientist, Associate Research Scholar, Research Scientist, Research Scholar, Senior Research Scientist, Senior Research Scholar (AAUP Article 26).

Research Associate and Research Assistant

Research Associate and Research Assistant Titles include: Research Associate III (Senior Technical Specialist), Research Associate II (Intermediate Level Technical Specialist), Research Associate I (First Level Technical Specialist), Research Assistant III (Advanced Level Technician), Research Assistant II (First Working Level Technician) and Research Assistant I (Trainee).

Research Associates and Research Assistants, working under the direction of a Principal Investigator or faculty member who directs the research, are directly engaged in the research endeavor and are expected to make scholarly contributions to the research specialty by assisting faculty in identifying and selecting problems for investigation, planning experiments and evaluating, interpreting and publishing results. They may participate in aspects of teaching, but have no formal responsibility for teaching or course content. The job descriptions are intended to cover the sciences: natural or life sciences, physical sciences and social sciences.

The descriptions of their duties were drawn up with the underlying assumption that these jobs are a career in themselves. They are research support positions and do not lead to faculty rank. Individuals who hold these titles are not Principal Investigators, nor do they do self-directed research; however, at least at the Research Associate level, they are expected to make significant scholarly contributions. Even at the Research Assistant level, their work is intimately involved in the overall research effort and should be viewed as the training ground for an ever-broadening comprehension of, and contribution to, the research specialty.

These positions are normally funded by research grants; therefore, individuals who hold these positions have end-date appointments. As members of the AAUP their salary, leave time, and conditions of employment are established in Article 24 of the collective bargaining agreement.

Requests for reclassification (promotion) when the incumbent meets the minimum education and experience requirements of the next level, as identified in the criteria below, are forwarded through the supervisory channel to the Human Resources department. Salary increases which are approved for other than reclassifications are normally added when the scheduled collective bargaining increase occurs.

Credit for prior experience should be determined at time of hire.

Rresearch Associate III (Senior Technical Specialist)

Employees in this title are free to plan, develop and organize their work within broad objectives and the intent of their research. They work with a PI to discuss progress and difficult problems and to review results. In addition to carrying out the activities of the intermediate level, they are major participants in the overall research effort and contribute original ideas of major methodological significance to the investigation. They perform complex methods which may require extreme finesse, they select, organize and work out the techniques and methods most suitable for the project at hand. They call upon a broad body of knowledge and evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of various techniques, selecting those which will achieve the most valid results. They have a comprehensive understanding of the interrelationship of a series of complex steps and sequences, the skills to evaluate the validity of results and to modify methods where results seem questionable.

They may manage a lab, with formal responsibility for supervising technical staff and executing research projects, managing the lab budget, purchasing supplies and maintaining lab safety. In their area of expertise, they participate in training and teaching graduate and honors thesis students.

The position requires a Ph.D. with nine or more years of post-degree experience.

Research Associate II (Intermediate Level Technical Specialist)

Individuals in this title independently plan the day to day research activities for others, as well as for themselves. They are free to plan, develop and organize their work within broad guidance and may develop procedures and methods which do not conflict with research objectives. They periodically check with the PI to discuss progress and unusual problems and to review the results of their work.

They participate in the overall research effort, test and implement new methods, recommend changes in experimental design and protocols, and with some regularity, resolve new, unusual and difficult problems. Their level of work is more complex than the first level and their skills are generally gained through experience. They write scientific papers and progress reports for grants, contribute to grant proposals and present research results at scientific meetings.

They may manage a lab, with formal responsibility for supervising a technical staff and executing research projects. They manage the lab budget, purchase supplies, are responsible for lab safety. In their area of expertise, they participate in training and teaching graduate and honors thesis students.

The position requires a Ph.D. with five or more years of post-degree experience. Staff normally work four years in this position before they are considered for promotion to the next level.

Research Associate I (First Level Technical Specialist)

Employees in this title will plan and carry out assignments with little supervision. They work closely with a PI on a research plan and report to the PI by means of occasional conferences to discuss work progress or new problems which require advice.

They participate in the overall research effort, test and implement new methods, recommend changes in experimental design and protocols and resolve new, unusual or difficult problems in consultation with the PI. They are expected to weigh and determine the most appropriate approach to the project at hand and they may custom-design and modify extremely complex lab equipment. This position requires the ability to perform difficult techniques and procedures, the skill to make good judgments when conditions require modifications and problem solving and where errors may be difficult to detect or resolve.

Incumbents must be able to apply beginning Ph.D. level principles and theories, be broadly familiar with the pertinent literature, understand the effect of various techniques on the accuracy of results, conduct in-depth literature searches and write scientific papers. They operate, maintain, calibrate, trouble-shoot and resolve major problems with lab instruments and equipment which require extreme finesse and prolonged training to use safely and proficiently.

These individuals supervise small groups of student assistants and oversee lab operations. In their area of expertise, they participate in training and teaching graduate and honors thesis students, as well as instruct students and staff in research techniques and methods.

The position requires a Ph.D. and from no experience to one year of post-degree experience or, in extraordinary circumstances, an M.A. or M.S. with eight to ten years of post-degree experience. Staff normally work four years in this position before they are considered for promotion to the next level.

Research Assistant III (Advanced Level Technician)

Employees in this position receive a general outline of duties and are usually free to plan and arrange their own work within a wide range of practices and procedures. Their work is periodically checked for progress and conformance to established objectives.

They independently test and modify established methods, develop new procedures under guidance and modify or custom-design lab equipment which is highly specialized and complex. They are expected to perform highly specialized tasks and laboratory techniques of moderate difficulty. Their work requires precision and accuracy and involves repeatable results which require frequent problem solving. They have sound knowledge of scientific principles and must be able to conduct literature reviews, write comprehensive analytical reports for inclusion in publications and write grant progress reports. They operate, maintain, calibrate, trouble-shoot and resolve difficult problems with sophisticated or sensitive lab instruments and equipment, which requires a finesse as well as prolonged training in order to use them safely and proficiently.

They ordinarily supervise other technical staff and assist in instructing students and technical staff in practical research methods through informal methods and demonstrations. They are responsible for lab safety and for maintaining an adequate inventory of supplies. In some departments they may manage a lab with formal responsibility for supervising staff and for executing research projects, managing budgets, making lab purchases and handling lab safety.

The position requires a B.A. or B.S. and four to five years of post-degree experience or an M.A. or M.S. and two to four years of post-degree experience. Equivalencies with no degree will only be considered in the most extraordinary circumstances. Individuals normally work six years in this position before they are considered for promotion to the next level.

Research Assistant II (First Working Level Technician)

Employees in this title receive general instructions and independently carry out established methods; their work is periodically checked for accuracy and progress. They test and modify established methods under guidance and may modify or custom-design specialized equipment under guidance. They perform a variety of specialized tasks and standard laboratory techniques of ordinary difficulty and finesse; the need for accuracy and repeatable results in their work requires the application of problem-solving skills with some regularity.

The position requires a working knowledge of scientific principles and the ability to conduct literature searches, write routine analytical reports, operate, maintain, calibrate, trouble-shoot and resolve ordinary problems with complex lab instruments and equipment which require substantial training and judgment to use safely and proficiently. They may supervise other technical staff and assist in instructing students and technical staff in practical research procedures through informal methods and demonstrations. Their responsibilities include ensuring lab safety and maintaining an adequate inventory of supplies.

The position requires a B.A. or B.S. and two to three years of post-degree experience or an M.A. or M.S. and from no experience to one year of post-degree experience. Equivalent specialized training and experience may be considered for those without a degree. Staff normally work two years in this position before they are considered for promotion to the next level.

Research Assistant I (Trainee)

Employees in this title receive explicit instructions for their work and follow well-established methods. The results of their work are regularly reviewed for accuracy and completeness. They may offer suggestions regarding minor modification of techniques and may assist in modifying or custom designing specialized equipment. They generally perform standard repetitive operations of limited variety which require little or no finesse. Accuracy and repeatable results are easily obtained in their work. They are able to apply basic knowledge of scientific principles, but require training in more difficult procedures. They may operate, calibrate, maintain and trouble-shoot routine problems with lab instruments and equipment which are standard to the research specialty, but require some training to use with proficiency. They have no supervisory responsibilities.

The position requires a B.A. or B.S. with no post-degree experience or equivalent specialized training and experience. Staff normally work two years in this position before they are considered for promotion to the next level.

Research Faculty Titles

Research Faculty titles include: Research Professor, Associate Research Professor and Assistant Research Professor.

These internal titles are used for temporary, non-tenure track faculty appointments paralleling regular faculty ranks. Faculty members in these titles are primarily responsible for research. For the most part, these positions carry no formal teaching obligations, although qualified individuals may on occasion be requested to teach courses in a department.

Research faculty must meet the same professional criteria as the tenure track faculty for research and service contributions, including the ability to serve as a Principal Investigator (Appendix A). The term of appointment may be for nine or twelve months on an end-date basis, usually, although not always, on grant funds. Research faculty may be reappointed.

Evaluation of research faculty for reappointment and promotion is done by means of the PTR procedure, but persons holding this appointment are not eligible for tenure and do not accumulate time toward tenure. Reappointment following a review is always contingent upon funding being available.

Research Scientist/Scholar

Research Scientist/Scholar titles include: Senior Research Scientist/Scholar, Research Scientist/Scholar and Associate Research Scientist/Scholar.

These internal titles are used for appointments associated with the conduct of self-supported research. Individuals holding these titles are expected to apply for grants as Principal Investigators and support their own research activities through such grants.

The work of the Research Scientist and the Research Scholar is similar. The choice of whether to use “Scientist” or “Scholar” depends on which is the more commonly used term for the discipline. “Scientist” is usually preferred in the physical or biological sciences and “Scholar” in the humanities.

Since these are not faculty appointments, responsibilities do not include an educational role, such as serving as a major advisor or on graduate committees. While members of the professional staff are frequently involved in student training to some limited degree, student training is not a formal responsibility of the Research Scientist/Scholar, nor should it be an expectation on the part of the individual or the University.

These titles may be used by academic departments, as well as by centers and institutes. Appointments must be approved by the appropriate department head and dean or director, as well as the dean of The Graduate School and the provost. Approvals of these appointments are based on the nature and merits of the research, the qualifications and past record of the individual, and the availability of University resources such as space, equipment, support staff, funds for cost-sharing or other similar grant requirements.

These are non-tenure track, end-date appointments, ordinarily confined to a maximum of three years, paid from the research grants generated by the incumbents. Appointment dates will coincide with the granting period. The University has no obligation to continue these employees if they cannot attract research funds.

Individuals in these ranks are expected to have research credentials equivalent to those of Assistant Professor (Associate Research Scientist/Scholar), Associate Professor (Research Scientist/Scholar), and Full Professor (Senior Research Scientist/Scholar). Promotion and reappointment should be modeled after the faculty PTR process and thus depend on the quality of the research, productivity, publication record, experience of the individual and other relevant criteria. Responsibility for evaluation and oversight rests with the department head in instances of appointments to an academic department and with the director for appointments to a center or institute.

Adjunct Faculty

This title is used for individuals employed part-time during the academic year as the Instructor of Record for credit courses, up to a maximum of eight (8) credits a semester. These positions are paid through the University’s special payroll and are normally one-semester appointments. The eight-credit maximum for an academic semester refers to the total course load for all departments in which they teach. Any increases above the eight-credit limit are permitted in rare circumstances only with the approval of the Department of Human Resources and the AAUP. The University determines the minimum enrollment requirements and informs the UConn-AAUP.

Adjunct faculty are paid on a per credit basis, at a rate defined in the current AAUP collective bargaining agreement (Article 19.7). Employees in this title are eligible for faculty parking permits, an e-mail account and faculty library privileges.

See AAUP Article 26.7.C for information on Adjunct Faculty: Multi-year Contracts.

Visiting Titles

“For the purpose of signifying the temporary nature of any title in the bargaining unit or that an appointment is funded by a grant or contract, the word "visiting" may precede the title. Temporary “visiting” appointments, unless funded by a grant or contract, shall be limited to a maximum duration of three (3) years. The duration of a visiting appointment may be extended beyond three (3) years for good cause with the agreement of the UConn-AAUP. If a visiting appointment is converted to a continuing appointment covered by Article 13, all years of prior service as visiting shall be credited to eligibility for multi-year appointments” (AAUP Article 26.1).