AMC Tenure Track

Introduction

The AMC aims to belong to the top-10 university medical centres in Europe. Therefore, in 2011 the AMC Tenure Track programme for very talented researchers was launched and has become a component of research policy and personnel policy. This document explains the tenure track programme.

Admittance

The tenure track is open to a limited group of very talented researchers. Eligible candidates are researchers who have successfully concluded their VENI, AMC post doc grant or equivalent prestigious personal grant (for example from a foreign funding agency) and/or have acquired a VIDI, ERC Starting or Consolidator Grant or other prestigious personal grant. In addition, candidates have acquired research funding to cover their own salary costs for the initial 3 years period or researchers have acquired an AMC fellowship. A person will be accepted in the tenure track only if there is a shared expectation that he or she will advance to full professorship within eight years. An assessment might be part of the selection procedure. Both internal and external candidates are eligible.

The ‘traditional’ track for staff members who do not have a predefined career path will remain in place. It is also possible to enter the tenure track at a later phase, or to switch towards ‘traditional track’ when a suitable tenured position becomes available. In the case of part-time appointments and special leave (maternity leave, parental leave, etc.) it is possible to extend the time between the assessment stages.

In order to be able to optimally respond to opportunities, candidates can apply at any moment and a tailor made time schedule for evaluation will be provided when appropriate. On average it is expected that 0 till a maximum of 3 candidates per year will be accepted.

Phases

The tenure track consists of a single period of five year with a mid term evaluation after 3 years. The mid term evaluation equals an AMC PI assessment. The final evaluation after 5 years comprises a tenured position. The minimal requirements per phase are as follows:

Phase 1 Phase 2 End
Eligible candidates Successful (near) completion of VENI, AMC post doc grant or equivalent personal grant and salary costs covered for three years; or mid career laureate (VIDI or equivalent) and salary costs covered for three years; or AMC fellow. PIs
Position Assistant professor (UD A) or equivalent (temporal) Assistant professor (UD B) or equivalent (temporal) Assistant professor or equivalent (UD B) (tenured)
Assesment Initial assessment PI assessment Final assessment
Extra Participation in Teaching accreditation programme. Participation in Management Development programme
Period 3 years 2 years

Financing

Tenure trackers get an appointment at the AMC for three years, with the possibility to terminate or continue the appointment for an additional two years after the mid term assessment. After the final two-year period, again the appointment can be terminated or continued depending on the assessment. The objective is that tenure trackers ultimately fit into the formation of the department. Therefore, the nomination of a candidate should be supported by the head of the department. Often the tenure tracker will be able to gain (part of) his or her own salary costs and the required additional financing with research grants. Note that a tenured formation seat can also come from another department (from the same division).

Role of the Executive Board of the Research Council

The Executive Board of the Research Council advises the Executive Board of the AMC on the admittance of candidates and on renewal of the contract. A personnel consultant from the AMC HR department will also join the meetings on tenure track as an advisor. The immediate superior (usually the head of the department) is consulted as an informant.

The procedures and criteria per career phase follow below. The Executive Board of the Research Council is free to impose stricter requirements, under the condition that the candidate considered is aware of the higher requirements at the beginning of the assessment period. The Executive Board of the Research Council is also free to advise positively about candidates who do not meet a certain criterion, on condition that the candidate more than satisfies the other criteria and that the Executive Board of the Research Council has detailed and convincing arguments as to why failure to meet the particular criterion is nevertheless acceptable.

Procedures and criteria

Admittance - Procedure

  1. Potential candidates must be nominated by the department head to the Executive Board of the Research Council and formally reported to the Executive Board of the AMC (by means of a cc. of the nomination) and chair of the Division. The nomination is accompanied by the candidate’s CV and research plan, as well as his/her planned position in the department; see the AMC tenure track application form.
  2. The Executive Board of the Research Council advises about the nomination on the basis of the CV; if eligible (see criteria below), the Executive Board of the Research Council produces a definite advice based on the CV, the research plan of the candidate, minimally 3 referees from within and outside the AMC, the candidate’s rebuttal to the referee reports, and an interview. The Executive Board of the Research Council can also ask the candidate to give a short presentation about his/her research plan. The Executive Board of the Research formally reports its advice to the Executive Board of the AMC.
  3. After formal approval by the AMC Executive Board, the candidate is appointed to the position of assistant professor (UD A) or equivalent. Written agreements are made about the appointment, tenure-track system and assessments stages by the HR department.

Admittance - Criteria

  • Candidates might be either:
    • midcareer laureates (i.e. have acquired VIDI, ERC Starting or Consolidator grant, AMC fellowship, or other prestigious personal grant such as Landsteiner fellowship, senior NHS Dekker fellowship, KWF personal grant, Diabetesfonds fellowship and ZonMw Clinical fellowship); or
    • researchers that have (nearly) successfully completed a VENI, AMC post doc grant or equivalent prestigious personal grant. For VENI laureates, AMC post docs grantees or researchers that have had another prestigious personal grant (for example from a foreign funding agency), the success of this first postdoctoral period preceding the entry into the AMC tenure track must be documented by several high impact publications as first or senior author.
    • All candidates must have their salary costs covered for at least three years by a personal grant (only in the case of an AMC fellowship this will be covered by the AMC).
  • Alignment with the AMC research institute profile.
  • Management skills, proven affinity with education and experience abroad will count in the candidate’s favour.

Mid term assessment - Procedure

  1. After three years, the Executive Board of the Research Council investigates the results and performance of the research, by asking the tenure tracker to submit a Researcher Evaluation Form. The tenure tracker is asked to give a short presentation about his/her current research and future perspectives, including information about the progress in education and/or management skills.
  2. The Executive Board of the Research Council advises the Executive Board of the AMC on two alternatives
    • the researcher is promoted to assistant professor B (UD B). A Management Development course for research leaders is offered to the tenure tracker.
    • the researcher does not fulfil the criteria. The contract is not renewed and runs off. HR offers the candidate an outplacement trajectory.
  3. The AMC Executive Board shall decide no later than 4 months before the end of the contract.
    The Executive Board of the Research Council must base its advice on the assessment results for the following criteria

Mid term assessment - Criteria

The candidate has to meet the requirements for AMC Principal Investigator with the exception of having been ‘co-promotor’. As such, the requirements to remain within the tenure track are:

Research performance: The tenure tracker has carried out independent research resulting in high impact publications as first or (preferably) as senior author

Research coordination: The tenure tracker is building up his or her own research group with PhD students, postdocs and/or research technicians.

Fund raising capacity: The researcher has obtained one or more additional grants as main applicant that allow for maintaining and further developing his/her own research line.

The following aspects will count in the candidate’s favour:

Education affinity: The researcher has shown affinity with education and has acquired the teaching accreditation.

Management skills: The researcher successfully has participated in the Management Development programme.

Assessment at the end of the 5-year tenure track

For this phase an associate professor of professor from the same or a related scientific discipline will join the meeting of the Executive Board of the Research Council.

Procedure

  1. The Executive Board of the Research Council investigates the results and performance of the research programme by asking the tenure tracker to submit Reseracher Evaluation Form and by determining the PI scores that are used in the research evaluations. The Executive Board of the Research Council obtains information from at least 5 referees (professors) from within and outside the AMC. The tenure tracker is asked to give a presentation on his or her current research and future perspectives.
  2. The Executive Board of the Research Council advises the Executive Board of the AMC on two alternatives:
    • the researcher is promoted to a tenured position.
    • the researcher does not fulfil the criteria. The contract is not renewed and runs off.
  3. The AMC Executive Board shall decide no later than 4 months before the end of the appointment.

The Executive Board of the Research Council must base its advice on the assessment results for the following criteria.

Final assessment criteria

The criteria are set as a minimum level of what is expected from an excellent tenure Track candidate. The first three criteria form the core of the evaluation. The last four criteria are considered additional criteria.

Main criteria:

Research performance: The tenure tracker has carried out independent research. His or her contribution is visible in publications in peer reviewed scientific journals as first or last author. Considered as outstanding contributions are at least two publications in the best 10% journals of the specific subfield. All five referees must give a positive assessment of the candidate’s research performance.

Research coordination: The tenure tracker is in charge of the coordination and alignment between different research lines, or is responsible for a longer term specialist research line. The candidate has been ‘copromotor’ of at least 1 completed PhD trajectory within the period of the Tenure Track. The current research group consists of at least 3 investigators (PhD students and/or postdocs).

Fund raising capacity: The researcher has a minimum active funding of 200 k€ as main applicant for maintaining and further developing these research lines, excluding the initial financing of the Tenure track.

Additional criteria:

Teaching performance: The researcher has shown to have affinity with education and has acquired the teaching accreditation.

Curriculum development: The researcher has introduced demonstrable improvements in learning materials or working methods or, on the basis of a careful analysis, has reached the conclusion that this was not appropriate in the period under consideration.

Organization: The researcher has taken on executive and/or managerial tasks that extend beyond the own research group.

Future perspectives: The researcher is embedded in the AMC organization, evidenced by collaborations with other PIs. The researcher has a promising vision on the future perspective of his/her research lines.


AMC Fellowships

Once a year there will be an awarded tenure track available: The AMC Fellowship. The fellowship will follow the abovementioned criteria of the AMC Tenure Track. More information on the page of AMC Fellowships.

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