Procedures Manual for Academic Appointments in the Faculty of Medicine

Introduction to Academic Appointments at the Faculty of Medicine

One of the important responsibilities of the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Medicine is to appoint its clinical faculty members. Clinical faculty are responsible to both the University and a relevant site, and the relationship between University and hospital governance from the perspective of the individual faculty member has not always been clear. The University recognizes that the inherent complexity surrounding issues of governance and finances with respect to clinical faculty has contributed to a long-standing University policy vacuum in this area. The Relationship Committee that was mandated to assess and address issues rooted in the relationship between the Faculty of Medicine and its clinical faculty members is pleased to present a new Procedures Manual for Academic Appointment in the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Medicine based on new appointments principles.

Preamble

Purpose of this Manual

This manual provides an introduction to academic appointments in the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Medicine and outlines the general principles for appointing clinical faculty members. In addition, the guide assists in determining the appropriate category for an individual interested in applying for an academic appointment outlines the minimum requirements for appointment at each rank and outlines the application requirements. 

These procedures concern clinical faculty (MD) and clinical scientists (PhD) at the Faculty of Medicine. Refer to the Key Definitions section below.

Key Definitions

  • Academic Mission: The University’s written goals and objectives.
  • Academic Rank: The rank of a faculty member as Lecturer, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor or Full Professor.
  • Adjunct: A scholar, artist or a professional may be appointed as an Adjunct Professor in a University of Ottawa academic unit for the purpose of performing a specific and valuable academic function - such as supervising trainees, research or theses, or conducting seminars, workshops or special classes – which is not in the circumstances performed by members of the academic staff. Appointments at the Adjunct level reflect the time commitment made toward academic work, rather than academic rank. There is no career path associated with an Adjunct appointment. 
  • The term of an Adjunct appointment shall not exceed thirty-six (36) months, but there shall be no limit on the number of reappointments. The process of reappointment for Adjunct Professors is governed by the Department Chair, who makes a written request to the Dean. Any issues with regards to decisions made on reappointment can be brought forth by the applicant to the FAAC. 
  • Affiliated teaching hospital: A hospital, community hospital or other medical facility that is affiliated to a medical school and provides trainees with teaching and supervised practical experience. 
  • Alternate Funding Plan (AFP): A multi-party financial and resource sharing agreement that recognizes and supports the academic contribution of physicians working in an AHSC.
  • Academic Health Science Centre (AHSC): The University and the Hospital undertaking the functions of education and clinical services as well as research in a research institute or department.
  • Chair: Chair of the University Department in which the faculty member has a primary appointment.
  • Clinical (MD) faculty: Academic physicians, licensed to practice in Ontario, who hold joint appointments between a clinical entity (fully-affiliated hospital, community-affiliated hospital, or an affiliated community practice with a relationship with the University of Ottawa), and a Clinical Department in the Faculty of Medicine. 
  • Clinical Scientists (PhD): Scientists involved in the process of patient care. 
  • Distributed Medical Education (DME): Medical education outside the usual tertiary care setting. Educational sites may be in small or rural communities, while others may be in larger centres or small cities.
  • Impact Analysis: A form circulated through senior management of the affiliated teaching hospital that outlines specific resources required to support the appointment.
  • Letter of Agreement (LOA): A letter signed by the physician or the clinical scientist (PhD), Head of the Division, and Chair the Department that defines the research and educational responsibilities of the faculty member along with any associated academic and administrative functions. The LOA details accountabilities, financial support, stipends, and awards etc. that apply to the appointment.
  • Memorandum of Agreement (MOA): An agreement that stipulates the career path and/or academic job description, working conditions and expectations of the appointment. It is prepared by the Head of the Division and/or Chair of the Department, and signed by the physician or the clinical scientist (PhD), the academic head of the applicable Division and Department and the Dean.
     
Academic Appointment Principles

The following key points outline general provisions and principles for appointing clinical faculty members under a new and improved appointments process. It is anticipated that the appointments process will be in continual evolution and periodic reviews will be in place to ensure continuous improvement of the policy to be developed. 

General Provisions

  • Clinical faculty are essential to the University of Ottawa’s academic mission. 
  • Clinical faculty appointments exist within a framework of governance by the University, teaching hospitals, and practice plans/individual plans.
  • Teaching hospitals and practice plans are autonomously-governed entities that associate with the University for mutual benefit. 
  • It is recognized that the career of many full-time clinical faculty are supported by practice plans/individual plans that allocate clinical earnings among individuals to enable promotion of academic pursuits. The University acknowledges the fundamentally important role that practice plans play in supporting the joint academic mission with the affiliated hospitals.
  • The commitment of clinical faculty members to the integration of clinical care, teaching, administration and research in the affiliated hospitals and research institutes is recognized as being central to the fulfillment of the vision, mission and values of the Faculty of Medicine.

Principles

  • The following four (4) areas must be addressed for each faculty member upon appointment: 
    • Department
    • Category (Full-time/Part-time). Each of the categories of academic appointment will be differentiated by the amount of time dedicated to academic work on average over the course of the year:
      • Full-time: The physician or clinical scientist (PhD) spends four (4) full days or greater per week in academic activities as approved by the Department Chair and the Dean (and as defined by an academic job description), at the University, a research institute, or a fully affiliated hospital, community affiliated hospital or an affiliated community practice with a relationship with the University of Ottawa.
      • Part-time: The physician or clinical scientist (PhD) spends between one (1) and four (4) days per week in academic activities as approved by the Department Chair and the Dean (and as defined by an academic job description), at the University, a research institute, or a fully affiliated hospital, community affiliated hospital or an affiliated community practice with a relationship with the University of Ottawa. The number of days per week shall be agreed to in the Letter of Agreement (LOA). 
    • Rank ( Lecturer, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Full Professor)
    • Academic Job Description / Career Path
  •  Appointment at an academic rank is aimed at the component of the clinician or researcher work that is specifically focused on furthering the University of Ottawa’s academic mission. All clinicians appointed at the rank of Lecturer engage in activities that are vitally important to the University. There are two (2) groups of clinicians encompassed within the rank of Lecturer: those who intend to leverage the rank as a stepping stone to further advancement; and those who participate in teaching students but do not intend to pursue academic promotion. The work of Lecturers who do not intend to pursue academic promotion is essential to the mission of hospitals and community institutions. The value that these clinicians bring, through their teaching of medical students and residents, and their clinical contributions, is paramount.
  •  Clinical and university roles are seen as interdependent and mutually beneficial and are considered to be essential to the fulfilment of the academic mission. All clinical academic appointees will have explicit academic job descriptions, which will potentially be related to career path designations, with specific clinical and academic responsibilities. Academic job descriptions will be agreed to at the time of the appointment between the individual faculty recruit, the University Clinical Department Chair and relevant site chief.
  •  The progress of each faculty member must be periodically reviewed against the established Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). Lecturers will be reviewed after the first three (3) years, or earlier as needed, and every five (5) years thereafter. All other categories will be annually reviewed for the first three (3) years, after which they will be reviewed every five (5) years. A more frequent review can be conducted at the discretion of the Department Chair and/or Division Head.
  •  Departments and/or divisions must have economic mechanisms that support and reward academic activity. The nature of these mechanisms is left to each Department and/or Division so that they may respond to market forces and local need.
  •  Every clinical faculty member must follow the policies and procedures of the university and the institution as outlined. 
  •  This agreement would apply to all institutions with a University of Ottawa Faculty of Medicine affiliate agreement.
  •  Because an intimate connection between clinical role and academic appointment is fundamental to the definition of a clinical faculty appointment, those holding a clinical academic appointment must remain on Medical-Dental staff holding an active appointment at the relevant site where applicable, or maintain arrangements that are explicitly agreed and approved as equivalent in a community clinical setting. The Public Hospitals Act sets out steps and appeal procedures for termination of an appointment to the Medical-Dental Staff of any public hospital in Ontario. In the event that the university terminates an academic appointment, the affiliated hospital must be informed and is expected to review the staff appointment.
  •  Faculty appointments are required for all faculty who supervise core/mandatory clerkship/residency rotations.
  •  Physicians supervising and evaluating students for core/mandatory rotations at sites outside the AHSCs must have a faculty appointment, however not everyone involved in contact with the clerk must be a faculty member as long as there is another faculty member who is responsible, who carries out the evaluation, and who supervises the other physicians in their training roles. 
Primary Appointment Categories

Introduction to Academic Appointments

This section of the manual provides an introduction to academic appointments in the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Medicine assists in determining the appropriate category for an individual interested in applying for an academic appointment outlines the minimum requirements for appointment at each rank and outlines the application process and requirements.


These procedures concern clinical faculty (MD) and clinical scientists (PhD) at the Faculty of Medicine. Refer to Key Definitions for more information. Academic appointments for clinicians (MD) and clinical scientists (PhD) are governed by the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Medicine Appointments Policy.

The following four areas must be addressed for each faculty member upon appointment: 

  • Department
  • Category
  • Rank
  • Academic Job Description / Career Path

Primary Appointment Categories

There are two categories of appointment for Clinical Faculty Members: Full-time Clinical Academic Appointment; and Part-time Clinical Academic Appointment. Each of the categories of academic appointment is differentiated by the amount of time dedicated to academic work on average over the course of the year, as described below: 

  • Full-time: The physician or clinical scientist (PhD) spends four (4) full days or greater per week in academic activities as approved by the Department Chair and the Dean (and as defined by an academic job description), at the University, a research institution, or a fully-affiliated hospital, community-affiliated hospital, or an affiliated community practice with a relationship with at the University of Ottawa.
  • Part-time: The physician or clinical scientist (PhD) spends between one (1) and four (4) days per week in academic activities as approved by the Department Chair and the Dean (and as defined by an academic job description), at the University, a research institution, or a fully-affiliated hospital, community-affiliated hospital, or an affiliated community practice with a relationship with the University of Ottawa. The number of days per week shall be agreed to in the Letter of Agreement (LOA).

Volunteer (but not paid) activity at other academic institutions may qualify as approved academic activity. Secondment to another employer is at the discretion of the Department Chair, and any changes to the appointment category will be addressed by the Academic Leave Policy. 

Approval Process for Appointing Clinical Faculty

The Faculty Appointments Advisory Committee (FAAC) advises the Dean concerning faculty appointments for clinicians (MDs) and clinical scientists (PhDs) specifically involved in the process of patient care. The FAAC does not review basic scientists with appointments at research institutes who are not involved in patient care. Their review will be streamlined through the Basic Sciences Departments and plans are underway to formalize their review process in parallel with this work.

The FAAC is responsible for approval of all University clinical academic appointments (new full-time and part-time appointments) with the exception of adjunct professors (appointments at the Adjunct level will not include a professorial rank), as well as recommending academic rank of candidate for appointment not already determined by the Promotions Committee. 

The FAAC performs a documentary review of applications submitted by the Department Chair or applicable academic head, applying sector-specific standards to judge fairly and consistently the merits of the appointment applications. The FAAC will either: recommend/not recommend an appointment to the Dean; or request further information on an application. Decisions to defer an application are achieved by consensus or vote. Decisions to accept an application will be recommended to the Dean.

The Committee will communicate with the Department Chair throughout the application process. Any questions and concerns with the application will be directed to the Department Chair, and he/she will be copied on any recommendation to the Dean. There will be a free flow of information from the Committee Chair to the Dean. 

The Department Chair, or applicable academic head, may at any time appeal to the Dean the FAAC’s recommendation on an application, or re-submit the application to the FAAC with additional information. 

Requirements for Appointment

The ranks of academic appointment are as follows:

  • Lecturer
  • Assistant Professor
  • Associate Professor
  • Full Professor

Appointment to an academic rank is aimed at the component of clinician or researcher work that is specifically focused on furthering the University of Ottawa’s academic mission. All Clinicians appointed at the rank of Lecturer engage in teaching activities that are vitally important to the University. There are two (2) groups of clinicians encompassed within the rank of Lecturer: those that intend to leverage the rank as a stepping stone to further advancement; and those who participate in teaching students, however, do not intend to pursue academic promotion. The work of Lecturers who do not intend to pursue academic promotion is essential to the mission of hospitals and those serving in community settings. The value that these clinicians bring, through their teaching of medical students and residents, and their clinical contributions, is paramount.

Criteria for Decision on Rank

Applicants that are engaged in academic work for greater than one (1) day a week on average over the course of the year of their professional time could be considered for an appointment at the Lecturer, Assistant or Associate level and exceptionally at the Full Professor level.

Lecturer

An initial appointment at the rank of Lecturer requires:

  • An MD with a license to practice, or a PhD;
  • Required clinical training; and
  • Required credentials as pertinent to the specific hospital site or community setting. Specific required credentials, such as the CMPA, are defined by the Department.

Assistant Professor

An initial appointment at the rank of Assistant Professor requires:

  • An MD with a license to practice, or a PhD;
  • Required clinical training;
  • Required credentials as pertinent to the specific hospital site or community setting. Specific required credentials, such as the CMPA, are defined by the Department;
  • Further training of at least one (1) year (post-residency) in areas such as, but not limited to: Clinical Fellowship; Research; Education; and/or Additional Degree OR at least one (1) year of experience as a Faculty Lecturer; and
  • Evidence of scholarship and clear intention to pursue academic promotion. 

In situations where the member has completed equivalent fellowship training but is currently enrolled in a graduate studies program, the appointment will be as Lecturer until completion of that degree program.

Associate Or Full Professor

Applicants that hold an appointment at the rank of Assistant, Associate or Full Professor at another university will be reviewed by the FAAC to ensure that they meet the University of Ottawa Faculty of Medicine standards for the requested rank. Applications for promotion at the time of initial appointment must be directed by the Department Chair to the Dean on the recommendation of the Departmental Teaching Personnel Committee (DTPC).

Application Requirements

Lecturer, Assistant, Associate And Full Professor


Initial requests for a clinical appointment at these levels require the following documents to be submitted to the FAAC:

  1. Application for Clinical Academic Appointment Form signed by the Department Chair (refer to Appendix A);
  2. Updated Curriculum Vitae (short form CV; refer to Appendix C);
  3. Academic Job Description, where applicable;
  4. Letter of Support from the Department Chair;
  5. Memorandum of Agreement (refer to Appendix D);
  6. Letter of Support from the Chair of the Departmental Teaching Personnel Committee (DTPC), or equivalent, or excerpt from minutes of meeting;
  7. Internal letters of reference (2-3), where applicable; and
  8. External letters of reference (2-3), where applicable. In cases where only internal letters may be available, 3-4 letters will be required. External letters of reference are those provided in support of the candidate application by references from departments other than hospital-based department where the candidate holds the appointment.

Refer to Appendix B for the academic appointment application checklist template. 

Adjunct Professor

Appointments at the level of Adjunct Professor will be made by the Department Chair with involvement of the Departmental Teaching Personnel Committee (DTPC) as needed. These appointments will be evaluated after thirty-six (36) months or earlier as defined by the academic job description.

The following are minimum application requirements:

  1. Updated Curriculum Vitae (refer to Appendix C);
  2. Letter of support from the Department Chair;
  3. MOA stating expected academic contributions to the Faculty (refer to Appendix D); and
  4. A letter from the Program Director of the DME may be included.

Refer to Appendix B for the academic appointment application checklist template. 

Advancement From Lecturer To Assistant Professor

Advancement from Lecturer to the status of Assistant Professor is a simplified process that will be addressed by the FAAC. This can commence after one (1) year in the position of Lecturer, or at any point thereafter, provided the candidate has demonstrated evidence of commitment to the University’s academic mission and clear intention to pursue academic promotion.

The following application requirements apply to achieve advancement: 

  • Application form signed by the applicant (refer to Appendix A); 
  • Updated Curriculum Vitae (refer to Appendix C); 
  • Updated academic job description;
  • Letter of support from Department Chair;
  • Letter of support from the Chair of the DTPC; and 
  • Undergraduate and graduate reviews, and research reviews, as needed. 

Refer to Appendix B for the academic appointment application checklist template. 

Faculty Appointment Of Physicians Who Are Appointed As Locum Tenens In Affiliated Institutions/Clinic

Due to the temporary nature of the locum tenens appointments, it is not necessary or advisable to have a regular appointment as FTA or PTA with academic rank of Lecturer or above. However, since many of these individuals may have encounters with our learners, it may be necessary to have faculty affiliation and supervision. In order to ensure a proper academic environment and supervision of these individuals, the following guidelines should be used in seeking faculty affiliation for these appointments.

If the appointment is for a short duration (e.g. less than one year), appointments will be  as Adjunct Professor, with a specific list of academic activities that the individual is expected to undertake while employed as locums provided in the MOA (MOA for Adjunct Professors to be used). If the appointment is converted to a regular appointment, application for faculty appointment on the regular stream will be considered by the FAAC. 

If the appointment is for more than one year’s duration a regular appointment may be considered. 
If there is any special reason to provide a regular appointment (Lecturer or above), the reasons should be clearly stated and a regular application with appropriate MOA should be forwarded to the Office of Professional Affairs. 
 

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