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Continued Principal Investigator Status Following Formal Separation from a Tenured Faculty Position

Applicability: This policy applies to Northwestern faculty members who have formally separated from their tenure track positions and are interested in continuing their externally funded research. Normally, they will also have been granted emeritus status.

Institutional Rationale: To facilitate the transition into research track positions for tenured senior faculty members with active research portfolios who wish to retire as faculty members.

Applicable Title: Senior research investigator

Qualifications: Separation from tenured faculty position plus current or guaranteed on-going external research support. (According to IRS guidelines, "separation" means: relinquishment of tenure, change in duties, reduction in time worked, and term-limited new activity.)

Institutional Support Requirements: Recommendation by department chair for a term-limited research appointment; approval of the appointment by the dean and vice president for research; and a commitment of laboratory and office space from the department chair and dean. No institutional financial support will be provided for salary or ancillary research costs.

Percent Appointment and Applicable Benefits: Senior research investigator appointment cannot exceed 48 percent FTE (Full Time Equivalent). Benefits associated with this appointment are equivalent to benefits provided to temporary staff employees.

Salary Consideration: Salary earned on grants and contracts will be based on an FTE salary which is not greater than the salary earned at the time of formal separation from a tenured position plus standard annual percentage increase for specific discipline/division/school.

Duties and Responsibilities: To serve as PI on externally supported research project(s). There are no institutional/departmental duties or teaching responsibilities associated with this appointment.

Length of Appointment: Upon recommendation by the chair, from one to three years, based on external funding commitment, Northwestern commitment to internal space and other resources, and approval of the dean and vice president for research. The appointment may be renewed.


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