Pathways to Independence Instructors

Clinical and Non-Clinical

Here you will find a summary of resources and guidance for those interested in a new faculty appointment at the rank of Pathways to Independence Instructor as well as assistance for current Pathways Instructors who are interested in the process for appointment and reappointment.  Please reference the guidance below and seek assistance from our office or your department for additional information. Please note, these appointments are of a special nature and should not be confused with regular Instructor appointments. Promotion to Assistant Professor is not available on this track, but we welcome Pathways Instructors to apply for posted faculty positions.

The initial Appointment at the rank of Pathways to Independence Instructor is normally made for up to a 2-year term.

These appointments are for those who have completed postdoctoral training or clinical fellowship training, and aspire to academic faculty positions.  Appointments are intended to bring such individuals to the point where they are able to conduct their research independently and are competitive for major grant support and assistant professorships.

Prohibitions:  These appointments are not to continue postdoctoral or fellowship training, take the place of Research Associate appointments or Staff Scientist positions, or accommodate Visiting, bridging, or temporary appointments.

Eligibility: By the start of the appointment, the appointee must have a doctoral degree and have completed a research or clinical postdoctoral training program.  Minimum qualifications for application may vary; e.g.:

  • PhDs with research postdoctoral training:  (a) Three years of postdoctoral training; (b) A first-authored work based on postdoctoral research accepted for publication in a significant scholarly journal; (c) Having originated a research project they may own when independent; (d) Commitment  from prospective sponsor/mentor, also attesting to (c).
  • MDs with limited research training:  (a) Completion of clinical training; (b) Commitment from prospective sponsor/mentor/unit 


The first term of appointment as Instructor is ordinarily ~2 years. You may be reappointed as Instructor without a change in rank for up to two 1-year terms (for a total of 4 years at this rank). Contact your department or section office for the exact timetable.

Summary of Criteria for Reappointment

  • Sufficient quality and productivity in the performance of your clinical duties, meeting the expectations of your 'job description.'  
  • Sufficient quality and productivity in contributions to our educational mission and institutional citizenship, meeting the expectations of your 'job description'
  • Other contributions that establish you as 'on track' for timely promotion.  These typically include scholarly activity that is commensurate with your job description.
  • A thorough and explicit career development plan that will suffice for promotion in due course.

Obviously the above are mainly judgments made by your departmental faculty colleagues, for whom your chair or chief is the spokesperson.  For that reason, you should meet regularly with your chair, chief, departmental go-to person, and/or mentor(s) for insight into your progress and career advice.

There is no obligation to reappoint Pathways to Independence Instructors, even if they are making satisfactory progress.

Reappointment proposal--The department will prepare and submit a recommendation for the appointment that is reviewed by OAA for completeness, endorsed by the Dean and submitted to the Provost’s office for approval. An original recommendation should be submitted to OAA. A complete recommendation will include:

  • Chair’s letter to Dean 
  • Section Chief's letter to Chair (if customary in the department)
  • Updated CV & personal statements
  • Teaching evaluations (from the last term of appointment)
  • Draft letter to the instructor from the mentor with progress on goals
    • On the last year reappointment, the letter should clearly state ” This will be the final year of your eligibility for appointment as a Pathways to Independence Instructor. “


Faculty Resources

Content of this page is presented for information purposes only, is not intended to create any contract or agreement, and is subject to addition, deletion, and change without prior notice. For definitive information regarding processes, procedures, and policies, contact the BSD Office of Academic Affairs.