Quick reference summary of Academic Research titles:
Specialist Series (APM 330)
Bachelor’s degree is required
Limited to 2 years
Not an Academic Federation member
No search or search waiver is required
Faculty vote is optional
Brief letter from the chair indicating the results of faculty
consultation (if any), source of funding, and qualifications of the
individual is required
Biography form and publication list is required
Assistant, Associate, Full Specialist
Any “Appointment via change in title” to the titles below would require a search or
search waiver and all other documentation listed in the Academic Federation
Need not have a Doctoral degree
Will possess technical or specialized expertise in the planning and
execution of a research project; perform work more technical in nature;
need not have as broad a range of knowledge and competency as
appointees to the Project Scientist or Professional Research series or
have an independent research program; may request Principal
Investigator status as an exception.
May be ongoing members of a research team or may be employed for a
short or limited period of time; may contribute skills to multiple projects.
Will work under the Direction of an ORU Director, Professor, Professional
Researcher, Specialist in Cooperative Extension, ____ in the A.E.S. or
A Specialist differs from a Staff Research Associate title (or any other staff title)
in that Specialists are required to be actively/significantly involved in publishable
research activities as documented through publications or other methods; are
required to maintain/enhance their professional competence; are required to
show leadership in their technical expertise; and as in the case in other academic
series, mere length of service and continued meritorious performance are not
sufficient justification for advancement.
Project Scientist (APM 311)
Doctoral degree required
Makes significant and creative contributions to a research project; must
possess high-level research skills, not simply technical expertise;
expected to be able to work independently and to have a higher level of
independence than required for those in the Specialist series. However,
there is no expectation that he/she will have/develop an independent
research program; usually supervised by a Professor or Professional
May be an ongoing member of a research team or can be employed for a
short period of time.
May serve as Co-PI (Investigator) with Professors or Professional
Researchers; may serve as PI by exception.
Is eligible for off-scale salaries for recruitment or retention.
Professional Researcher (APM 310)
Doctoral degree required
Engages directly in independent research and functions as an
independent investigator; has the major responsibility and leadership for
his/her research program; has a research program that is equivalent to
that expected of a professorial appointee at the same rank/step.
Has PI status.
May remain in the Assistant rank for no more than 8 years. Those
currently in the Assistant rank for more than 6 years have two years to
achieve promotion to Associate rank or to transition to another series.
Subject to review on the same schedule as those in the professorial
series, including review at least once every 5 years.