Professional Research Series

  1. Definition of the Professional Research Series
  2. Characteristics of Series
    1. Ranks and Steps
    2. Term of Service
    3. Limit on Terms of Service
    4. University and Public Service Requirements
    5. Tenure
    6. Limit on Funding
    7. Senate Membership
  3. Compensation
    1. General
    2. Off-Scale Salary Limitations
    3. Above-Scale Salary Limitations
  4. Employment
    1. Recruitment
    2. Criteria
    3. Categories of Personnel Actions
    4. Effective Dates of Personnel Actions
    5. Senate Review
    6. Approval Authority
    7. General Restrictions
  5. Advancement: Merits & Promotions
    1. Merit Increase
    2. Promotion
    3. Resubmission
  6. Fourth-Year Appraisal of an Assistant Researcher
  7. Eight-Year Limit Review of an Assistant Researcher
  8. Non-Renewal/Non-Reappointment of an Assistant Researcher as a result of a Personnel Review
    1. Senate Reviews
    2. Approval Authority
  9. Preliminary Assessment of Non-Renewal of an Assistant Researcher
    1. Formal Procedures
    2. Terminal Appointment
  10. Reconsideration of Terminal Appointment of an Assistant Researcher
  11. Non-Renewal of a Term Appointment for Budgetary Reasons, Programmatic Changes, or Lack of Work
  12. Termination of an Appointment
  13. Five-Year Review for an Associate Researcher or Researcher

Also see the Professional Research Series Transition Plan

See Academic Personnel Manual Section 310

Effective July 1, 2013

I. Definition of the Professional Research Series

The Professional Research Series is for appointees who engage in research equivalent to that required for the Professor Series. This series is not for appointees whose duties are limited to contributing high-level skills to a specific research or creative program (e.g. Project Scientist Series) or to providing technical assistance to a research activity. Appointees with Professional Research titles do not have teaching responsibilities. Nonetheless, they are governed by the rules and norms of the Faculty Code of Conduct, APM 015.

Appointees normally must possess a doctorate or its equivalent.

With approval of the Vice Chancellor for Research, appointees may be Principal Investigators and have the major responsibility and leadership for their research programs; but, if otherwise qualified, individuals may be appointed in this series who are not Principal Investigators and, who, for example, are funded from a large center or collaborative program grant on which many independent investigators work, or they may hold a Visiting title. The ability to secure independent funding does not automatically qualify individuals for appointment to the Professional Research Series.

Appointees may serve full-time, part-time, or without salary, provided they are actively engaged on a research project in accordance with APM 310-4-b. They may be supported by State and/or non-State funds.

II. Characteristics of Series

A. Ranks and Steps

Rank

Step

Assistant Researcher

I – IV

Associate Researcher

I – III

Researcher

I – IX

B. Term of Service

Rank

Maximum Term of Appointment

Assistant Researcher

2 years (or less) Eight-Year Limit

Associate Researcher

2 years (or less)

Researcher

3 years (or less)

When extending an offer of appointment or its renewal to individuals in this series, the Dean or Chair shall include the following statement in any correspondence regarding their offer:

"This appointment is for a specific term, with an ending date as herein set forth, and is not for a longer period unless express written notification is so given to the appointee. In the absence of such express notification, the appointment ipso facto terminates on the specified ending date.

C. Limit on Terms of Service

Assistant Researcher: An appointment or reappointment in the Assistant Researcher rank shall be for a period of two years or less.

Associate Researcher: An appointment or reappointment in the Associate Researcher rank at any one of the steps shall be for a period of two years or less.

Researcher: An appointment or reappointment in the Researcher rank shall be for a period of three years or less. The normal period of service at step is three years in each of the first four steps. Service at Step V may be of indefinite duration.

D. University and Public Service Requirements

An Assistant Researcher is not required to engage in service. An Associate Researcher and a Researcher are expected to engage in University and/or public service, such as service on research review boards. See Appendix 10 for a more detailed description of service.

E. Tenure

Tenure or Security of Employment is not granted in association with appointment to the Professional Research Series.

F. Limit on Funding

Each source of compensation must permit research. Utilization of departmental provisions (except when specifically assigned to this series) and of departmental General Assistance funding requires advance approval of the Chancellor.

It is the responsibility of each Department Chair (in cooperation with any employing Principal Investigator or Director) to assure that each appointee to this series is informed of the financial longevity of the source(s) of support for the appointment and the responsibility of each appointee to inquire about that longevity.

G. Senate Membership

Appointment to the Research Series does not confer membership in the Academic Senate.

III. Compensation

A. General

An individual who holds a salaried University appointment to this series is compensated based on the Salary Scale established for the Professional Research Series.

B. Off-Scale Salary Limitations

All Off-Scale rates must be in multiples of $100. Deans not serving as Chair have Off-Scale approval authority up to and including the next step, and the Chancellor has final approval authority for all other Off-Scale salaries; except that salaries exceeding the Regental threshold require Regental action (refer to annually published UC Salary Scales for Regental Thresholds). See Appendix 17 for "Summary of UCLA Policy on Off-Scale Salaries."

C. Above-Scale Salary Limitations

The Chancellor has the authority to approve Above-Scale salaries except that salaries exceeding the Regental threshold require Regental action (refer to annually published UC Salary Scales for Regental Thresholds).

IV. Employment

A. Recruitment

See Appendix 22, "Summary of Recruitment Policy" and Appendix 23, "Faculty Search Guidelines" regarding search requirements and required documentation.

B. Criteria

Criteria for assessment of individual qualifications are set forth in Appendix 10, "Criteria for Appointment, Promotion, and Advancement, and Instructions for Transfer of Series in the Professional Research Series."

C. Categories of Personnel Actions

A review and dossier are required for all personnel actions other than a simple renewal of appointment/reappointment. Please submit a statement from the Dean for all actions at the Associate Rank and above. Personnel actions consist of:

  1. Appointment
    Initial employment in the series or permanent intercampus transfer.
  2. Re-employment
    Appointment in the same series after a previous separation.
  3. Renewal of Appointment/Reappointment
    Subsequent appointment in this series without an intervening separation. Review and submission of dossier are not required, provided there is no proposed change in rank and step or Five-Year Review.
  4. Change in Series
    Except as provided in Appendix 10, Section II, Change in Series is not applicable to the Professional Research Series. Any subsequent appointment to another series is subject to the review and search requirements applicable to that series. Since a Researcher's approved rank and step is based on research qualifications without reference to teaching experience or competence, there is no presumption that the same rank and step would be appropriate in any series change. See Appendix 26 for further information.
  5. Change of Department
    Permanent transfer from one department to another.
  6. Split Appointment
    Where a salaried appointment is divided between two or more departments. See Appendix 15 for policies governing Interdepartmental Degree Programs and Centers for Interdisciplinary Instruction.
  7. Joint Appointment
    Appointment without salary to an additional department where the appointment remains based in the home department. See Appendix 15 on "Joint and Split Appointment" for instructions regarding secondary department participation in subsequent reviews.
  8. Temporary Appointments
    Temporary Appointments are not applicable to the Professional Research Series.
  9. Informal Extra-Departmental Affiliations
    See Section V below for further information.

D. Effective Dates of Personnel Actions

A Fiscal Year appointment has an effective date of the first day of the initial pay period.

E. Senate Review

The following tables apply to all Schools and Colleges.

1. Appointment, Re-employment and Change in Series

Rank

Review

Assistant Researcher

Senate Review waived

Associate Researcher

CAP (Review Committee will be appointed as appropriate)

Researcher

CAP (Review Committee will be appointed as appropriate)

2. Renewal of Appointment/Reappointment

Rank

Review

All Ranks & Steps

Senate Review waived

3. Change of Department and Split Appointment

RankReview

All Ranks & Steps

Senate Review waived

4. Joint Appointment (WOS Appointments)

Rank

Review

All Ranks & Steps

Senate Review waived

F. Approval Authority

Authority to approve or deny recommendations rests at the indicated administrative levels.

An Academic Year (9-month) appointment approved by the Dean after the first day of the service period requires Chancellor's approval for the retroactivity.

A Fiscal Year appointment approved by the Dean more than 6 months after the effective date of the appointment requires Chancellor's approval for the retroactivity.

1. Appointment, Re-employment, Change in Series, and Five-Year Review

Employing units which do not report to a Dean of a School or College

Rank

Authority

All Ranks & Steps

Chancellor

All Other Schools and Colleges

Rank

Authority

Assistant Researcher

Dean

Associate Researcher and Above

Chancellor

2. Renewal of Appointment/Reappointment

All Schools and Colleges

Rank

Authority

Assistant Researcher

Dean

Associate Researcher and Above

Chancellor

3. Change of Department and Split Appointment

Dentistry, Law and Nursing

Rank

Authority

All Ranks & Steps

Chancellor

Arts and Architecture, Education and Information Studies, Engineering and Applied Science, Letters and Science, Management, Medicine, Music, Public Health, Public Affairs, and Theater, Film & Television

Rank

Authority

Assistant Researcher

Dean

Associate Researcher

Chancellor

Researcher I - IX

Chancellor

Researcher Above-Scale

Chancellor

4. Joint Appointment (WOS Appointments)

Dentistry, Law and Nursing

Rank

Authority

All Ranks & Steps

Chancellor

Arts and Architecture, Education and Information Studies, Engineering and Applied Science, Letters and Science, Management, Medicine, Music, Public Health, Public Affairs, and Theater, Film & Television

Rank

Authority

Assistant Researcher

Dean

Associate Researcher and Above

Chancellor

G. General Restrictions

The following restrictions govern all employment:

  1. Any action involving employment of near relatives in the same department or unit requires approval of the Chancellor (see Appendix 21, "Employment of Near Relatives");
  2. Compliance with recruitment and search requirements; and
  3. Any exception to policy governing the series requires advance approval of the Chancellor.

V. Advancement: Merits & Promotions

Advancement refers to merits, merits to Above-Scale and further Above-Scale, and promotions. Advancements become effective July 1st. In all cases, funding must be provided from the source(s) which support(s) the individual's appointment. See APM 200-17a (regarding the payment of salary increases associated with merits and promotions).

When an appointee becomes eligible to be considered for a normal merit or promotion, the department shall review the record to determine whether or not to recommend the advancement. Advancement follows only upon demonstration of qualification following review.

A dossier must be submitted whether or not Senate Review is waived. See Summary 9, "Dossiers for the Professional Research Series," for procedural requirements associated with each category of advancement.

The responsibilities of Recommending Officers are set forth in Appendix 1, "Guidelines for Department Chairs and Other Recommending Officers" and Appendix 2, "Synopsis of Academic Personnel Manual Section 220." For an individual with a Joint or Split Appointment, see Appendix 15.

When an appointee has an informal relationship (not a Joint or Split Appointment) with a University Organized Research Unit, research center, or interdepartmental teaching program for the purposes of advising or conducting research, the head of such unit shall submit to the department, at the appointee's request, an evaluation of the appointee's contribution (and, where appropriate, an evaluation of the appointee's research and names of appropriate members of a campus Review Committee and external reviewers), for inclusion in the dossier in any personnel action. See Appendix 37 on Interdisciplinary Activity.

A. Merit Increase

Advancement in step not involving change in rank. Review and submission of a dossier are required for merit increase and normally occur during the year prior to advancement. Review for merit increases through Researcher V and to Researcher VII, VIII and IX involves evaluation of performance during the full period of service in the current step. Review for merit increases to Researcher VI and Researcher Above-Scale involves evaluation of performance during the individual's entire academic career.

1. Normal Merit Increase

All personnel completing the requisite number of years of service in the indicated steps of this series are eligible to be considered for normal merit increase to the next higher step effective July 1st:

Current Status

Normal Merit Increase after requisite years at step

Assistant Researcher

2

Associate Researcher

2

Researcher I - IX

3

Researcher Above-Scale

4

Note: If service began on or before January 1 for a Fiscal Year appointee, the full year is credited toward eligibility.

2. Accelerated Merit Increase

Advancement in step in advance of eligibility or to a higher step than normal constitutes acceleration and requires evidence of exceptional achievement.

3. Deferred Merit

Merit increases that are deferred by one or more years are not subject to Senate Review unless requested by the candidate. For the Five-Year Review requirement, see Section XIII below.

4. Merit Increase to Researcher VI, VII, VIII, IX and Above-Scale

There is no specific normal period of service at the steps above IV and eligibility based on years of service does not apply to advancements beyond Step V. Service at Steps V and above may be of indefinite duration.

a. Advancement to Researcher Step VI, usually will not occur before three years of service at Step V. This involves an overall career review and will be granted on evidence of sustained and continuing excellence in scholarship or creative research achievement and service involving great academic distinction recognized nationally or internationally. Service at Researcher, Step VI, or higher may be of indefinite duration.

b. Advancement from Researcher, Step VI to Step VII, from Step VII to Step VIII, and from Step VIII to Step IX usually will not occur after less than three years of service at the lower step, and will only be granted on evidence of continuing achievement at the level required for advancement to Step VI.

c. Advancement to an Above-Scale rank involves an overall career review and is reserved only for the most highly distinguished Researchers whose work of sustained and continuing excellence in scholarship or creative research achievement and service has attained national and international recognition and broad acclaim reflective of its significant impact. Except in rare and compelling cases, advancement will not occur before four years at Step IX. Moreover, mere length of service and continued good performance at Step IX is not a justification for further advancement. There must be demonstration of additional merit and distinction beyond the performance on which advancement to Step IX was based. A further merit increase in salary for a person already serving at an Above-Scale level must be justified by new evidence of merit and distinction. Continued good service is not an adequate justification. Intervals between further advancement may be indefinite, and only in the most superior cases where there is strong and compelling evidence will increases at intervals shorter than four years be approved. Researchers who have attained the rank of Above-Scale may use the title "Distinguished Researcher" as a working title.

5. Senate Review

All Schools and Colleges

Rank

Merit Type

Review

Assistant Researcher

All

Senate Review waived

Associate Researcher

Normal or one year of Acceleration

Senate Review waived

Associate Researcher

Two years or more of Acceleration

CAP (Review Committee
will be appointed as appropriate)

Researcher I - V,
VII, VIII & IX

Normal, one or two years of Acceleration

Senate Review waived*

Researcher I - V,
VII, VIII & IX

Three years or more
of Acceleration

CAP (Review Committee
will be appointed as appropriate)

Researcher VI & Above-Scale

All

CAP (Review Committee
will be appointed as appropriate)

Further Above-Scale

All

CAP Review waived

*Senate Review is waived except where the action involves the second consecutive two-year acceleration.

5. Approval Authority

Authority to approve or deny merits rests at the indicated administrative levels except that:

  1. Any merit increase involving compensation at an Off-Scale rate requires Chancellor's approval for the Off-Scale rate (unless authority has been delegated to the Dean, see Section III. B above); and
  2. Any merit increase for a Fiscal Year appointee approved by the Dean after September 1st, requires Chancellor's approval for the retroactivity.
  3. The Dean has final approval authority for any merit increase involving a two year acceleration (except Researcher Step VI), except when the action involves the second consecutive two-year acceleration, the Chancellor has final approval authority.

Employing units which do not report to a Dean of a School or College

Rank

Authority

All Ranks & Steps

Chancellor

All Other Schools and Colleges

Rank

Authority

Assistant Researcher

Dean

Associate Researcher and Above

Chancellor

B. Promotion

Advancement in rank within series. Review and submission of dossier are required for Promotion and normally occur during the year prior to advancement. Review for Promotion involves evaluation of performance since appointment, with emphasis on the period of service at the current rank of Associate Researcher.

1. Normal Promotion

All persons completing the requisite number of years of service in the indicated steps are eligible to be considered for normal promotion to the next rank and step effective July 1st. Advancement follows only upon demonstration of qualification following review:

Current Status

Years at Step

Normal Promotion

Assistant Researcher IV

2

Associate Researcher I

Associate Researcher III

2

Researcher I

Note: If service began on or before January 1 for a Fiscal Year appointee, the full year is credited toward eligibility.

2. Accelerated Promotion

Promotion in advance of eligibility or to a higher rank or step than normal constitutes acceleration and requires evidence of unusual achievement and exceptional promise.

3. Senate Review

All Schools and Colleges

Rank

Review

Associate Researcher

CAP (Review Committee will be appointed as appropriate)

Researcher

CAP (Review Committee will be appointed as appropriate)

4. Approval Authority

All Schools and Colleges

Rank

Authority

All Ranks & Steps

Chancellor

C. Resubmission

In a case in which there was a final negative decision, resubmission of a departmental recommendation for advancement or promotion of an Associate or Full Researcher may be made, after appropriate departmental review of the resubmitted dossier, in any year succeeding the year in which the original submission was made. A resubmission will not be approved without sufficient new evidence in the dossier.

VI. Fourth-Year Appraisal of an Assistant Researcher

Fourth-Year appraisals are not applicable to the Professional Research Series.

VII. Eight-Year Limit Review of an Assistant Researcher

There is an Eight-Year Limit for an appointee with the Assistant Researcher title, either in that title alone or when combined with a Visiting Assistant Researcher title, with or without salary. The Chancellor may grant an exception to the Eight-Year Limitation of service.

VIII. Non-Renewal/Non-Reappointment of an Assistant Researcher as a result of a Personnel Review

Though an appointment expires by its own terms on its end date, a recommendation not to renew on the basis of performance can only occur as the result of a review. See Section XI if Non-Renewal is due to budgetary reasons, programmatic changes, or lack of work.

A. Senate Reviews

All Schools and Colleges

Rank

Review

Assistant Researcher

CAP (Review Committee will
be appointed as appropriate)

B. Approval Authority

All Schools and Colleges

Rank

Authority

Assistant Researcher

Chancellor

Note: The final decision by the Chancellor not to renew, cannot be made without the appropriate Preliminary Assessment process. See Section IX for process.

IX. Preliminary Assessment of Non-Renewal of an Assistant Researcher

If as a result of a review of an Assistant Researcher, the Chancellor's preliminary assessment is to make a terminal appointment, is not to renew or promote, or is contrary to the departmental recommendation, the Department Chair and the candidate shall be notified of this in writing by the Chancellor.

The final decision, made by the Chancellor to not renew or promote, shall not be made without providing the candidate the appropriate preliminary assessment notification process and opportunity to respond.

A. Formal Procedures

  1. The Department Chair and the candidate shall be notified of this in writing by the Chancellor and be provided with all records placed in the dossier subsequent to the departmental review.
  2. The candidate shall have the opportunity to provide additional information and documentation and may respond in writing either to the Department Chair or directly to the Chancellor.
  3. The Chair, after appropriate consultation within the department, shall have the opportunity to respond in writing and to provide additional information and documentation.
  4. The dossier, as augmented by the added material, shall then be considered in any stage of the review process as designated by the Chancellor before a final decision by the Chancellor is reached.

B. Terminal Appointment

When a personnel review results in a final decision (1) not to renew the appointment of an Assistant Researcher, or, (2) not to promote to Associate Researcher as the result of an Eight-Year Limit Review, the Chancellor will provide the individual with written notification of a terminal appointment.

The individual may request of the Chancellor that a written statement of the reasons for the Non-Renewal or decision not to promote be provided.

X. Reconsideration of Terminal Appointment of an Assistant Researcher

Reconsideration of terminal appointments are not applicable to the Professional Research Series.

XI. Non-Renewal of a Term Appointment for Budgetary Reasons, Programmatic Changes, or Lack of Work

For policies regarding layoffs or involuntary reduction in time due to lack of work, lack of funds, or programmatic change, see Appendix 33, "Policy Governing Layoff of Non-Senate Academic Appointees."

XII. Termination of an Appointment

All appointments to this series are self-ending.

For policies regarding dismissal prior to an ending date, see Appendix 34, "Non-Senate Academic Appointees Corrective Action and Dismissal."

XIII. Five-Year Review for an Associate Researcher or Researcher

Every appointee shall be reviewed at least every five years. In the absence of an earlier review, a Five-Year Review shall be conducted with a dossier, in a manner similar to the procedures applicable to faculty members in Appendix 12. In exceptional circumstances, the Chancellor may defer the review one year.

 


 

Revised 12/22/15

Web page updated 1/26/16