Senior Promotions

Senior Promotions Criteria 

According to the University of Toronto Policy and Procedures Governing Promotions, promotion is based on demonstrated excellence in one or more of research, creative professional activity [CPA]), or teaching and service to the University.

· To be considered for the rank of associate professor, the candidate is required to have demonstrated a national reputation.
· To be considered for the rank of associate professor, the candidate is required to have demonstrated a national reputation.

Promotion can be justified based on sustained academic achievement in teaching and a consistent demonstration of teaching excellence over an extended period. Proof of national or international reputation is not required.

All candidates are expected to be effective teachers.

Below is the criteria for Senior Promotion. For a full description of requirements and criteria, candidates should refer to the Manual for Academic Promotion (need to link to our website).

Candidates should choose one category:

  • Excellence in Research
  • Excellence in CPA
  • Sustained Excellence in Teaching

For All Candidates:

  • Teaching Effectiveness
  • Administrative Service


Successful research leads to the advancement of knowledge through contributions of an original nature. Promotion to Associate Professor or Professor based on research requires that the candidate has a record of sustained and current productivity in research and research-related activities. For the criterion of excellent achievement in research to be met in the Temerty Faculty of Medicine, the research should result in significant changes in the understanding of basic mechanisms of molecular or cellular function and disease, clinical care, health services delivery or health policy, or the social sciences and humanities as applied to health. The researcher’s work should present creative insights, ideas or concepts, and must have yielded a significant quantity of information leading to new understanding. The new information may derive from the invention and/or application of new techniques, novel experimental approaches and/or the identification and formulation of new questions or concepts. It is expected that research advances will be communicated through the publication of papers, reviews, books and other scholarly works. The quality of the scholarship in research will be judged in comparison to peers in the Temerty Faculty of Medicine and to others in the same field at peer institutions.

Creative Professional Activity (CPA)

The Faculty of Medicine recognizes CPA under the following three broad categories: Professional Innovation and Creative Excellence, Contributions to the Development of Professional Practice and Exemplary Professional Practice.

Professional Innovation and Creative Excellence

Professional innovation in the Temerty Faculty of Medicine may include the making or developing of an invention, development of new techniques, conceptual innovations, or educational programs inside or outside the University (e.g. continuing medical education or patient education). Scholarly work focused on quality improvement (QI) is a specific type of CPA. Scholarly approaches apply QI science rigorously to implement a change and evaluate improvements in health care.

CPA may also include scholarly “products” that relate to Advocacy. This domain of scholarship may include the candidate having a leadership and proactive role in utilizing scientific and academic expertise to support policy development or implementation. Providing scientific expertise to legislators who create policy is important to prevent a policy-implementation gap or a delay in the establishment of important evidence-based policies that can improve public health. The scholarship involved in Advocacy involves a number of domains, including engagement, knowledge, dissemination, community outreach, and typically provides opportunity for teaching and mentorship, as well as leadership.

To demonstrate professional innovation, the candidate must show an instrumental role in the development, introduction and dissemination of an invention, a new technique, a conceptual innovation, a QI or an educational program.

Creative excellence, in such forms such as biomedical art, communications media, and video presentations, may be targeted towards various audiences, ranging from the lay public to health care professionals.

Contributions to the Development of Professional Practices

In this category, demonstration of innovation and exemplary practice will be in the form of leadership in the profession, or in professional societies, associations, or organizations that has influenced standards or enhanced the effectiveness of the discipline. Membership or the holding of office in professional associations is not itself considered evidence of creative professional activity. Sustained leadership and setting of standards for the profession are the principal criteria to be evaluated. Both internal and external assessment should be sought. (Modified from the Hollenberg Report, 1983)

The candidate must demonstrate leadership in the profession, professional organizations, government or regulatory agencies that has influenced standards and/or enhanced the effectiveness of the discipline. Membership and holding office in itself is not considered evidence of CPA.

Examples of contributions to the development of professional practice may include (but are not limited to) guideline development, health policy development, government policy, community development, international health and development, consensus conference statements, regulatory committees, and setting of standards.

Exemplary Professional Practice

Exemplary practice is that which is fit to be emulated; is illustrative to students and peers; establishes the professional as an exemplar or role-model for the profession; or shows the individual to be a professional whose behaviour, style, ethics, standards, and method of practice are such that students and peers should be exposed to them and encouraged to emulate them. (Modified from the Hollenberg Report, 1983)

To demonstrate exemplary professional practice, the candidate must show that his or her practice is recognized as exemplary by peers and has been emulated or otherwise had an impact on practice. To have impact through CPA, an individual’s CPA activities should have a thematic connection.

Candidates going forward on Excellence in CPA should reference the CPA Checklist included in the Manual for Academic Promotion.

Sustained Excellence in Teaching

The Temerty Faculty of Medicine recognizes the fact that some faculty may spend a large portion of their time in clinical work and teaching as opposed to scholarship and therefore are not known nationally or internationally. In this circumstance, a candidate may go forward for promotion to Associate Professor or Professor on the sole basis of excellence in teaching sustained over many years. Decanal Promotion Committees view the term ‘sustained’ to normally mean at least ten years, unless a strong case can be made for an exception well-positioned with a rationale in the Chair’s letter. On this basis, the promotion dossier is not required to include documentation for Research, Creative Professional Activity nor Administrative Service.

This basis for promotion does not require a national nor international review, therefore candidates should request a Waiver of External Review.

To establish sustained excellence in teaching for the purpose of achieving promotion, there should be evidence of:

  • Exemplary knowledge level and commitment to the subject area (evidence of being a master teacher)
  • Strong communications skills
  • Longitudinal pattern of teaching evaluation scores consistently above the acceptable standard in the department
  • The ability to stimulate and challenge the intellectual capacity and development of students
  • Mentoring and role modelling that fosters critical and reflective thinking
  • Being accessible to students
  • Fair and ethical dealings with students that recognize the diverse needs and backgrounds of our student population
  • Creation of supervisory conditions conducive to an undergraduate/graduate student’s academic progress, intellectual growth
  • Recognition of teaching through nomination for or receipt of awards/honours

Teaching Effectiveness

All candidates must demonstrate a minimum of competence in teaching through the following:

  • Mastery of the subject area
  • Strong communication skills
  • The ability to stimulate and challenge the intellectual and scholarly capacity and development of students
  • Being accessible to students inside and outside the classroom
  • Fair and ethical dealings with students that recognize the diverse needs and backgrounds of our student population
  • Creation of supervisory conditions conducive to an undergraduate/graduate student’s academic progress, intellectual growth and the development of research skills.
  • Professionalism and adherence to academic standards and administrative responsibilities as defined by University policy.

In addition to demonstrating the criteria listed above, to be judged competent, candidates should also demonstrate that they:

  • Use meaningful methods of assessment that reflect and contribute to student learning (e.g. the use of formative and summative assessment)
  • Engage students in the learning process
  • Reflect on, and strive for, improvement in teaching-related activities
  • Create opportunities that involve students in the research process, where appropriate (e.g. presenting or publishing with students, mentoring/coaching students)
  • Actively integrate one’s own research, into teaching practice and curriculum
  • Ensure course content reflects current and relevant research and practice in the field.

Administrative Service

All faculty members are expected to provide service in the form of committees and other roles and responsibilities to the University and/or their field. However, service in itself cannot be the main criteria for promotion.

Candidates should document administrative or committee work in their CVs, both within the University and to external agencies that further the scholarly and educational goals of the University. Where appropriate, quality and impact of such activities should be noted.

Significant service contributions may include but are not limited to:

  • Service to the department that goes beyond what is normally expected of a faculty member
  • Service to the Temerty Faculty of Medicine (committee chair, lead coordinator of a special project, lead developer of faculty policies)
  • Service to the University (committee chair, lead coordinator of a special project, significant role in developing university policies or initiatives)
  • Service to the professional, clinical or research discipline (president of national or international organizations, committee chair, conference organizer, policy development)
  • Service to municipal, provincial or federal governments or non-government organizations

Senior Promotion Resources


The Manual for Academic Promotion to Associate and Full Professor (most recent Sept 2023 version)

The CV Format, from the Manual for Academic Promotions

The Teaching Dossier template (recommended by the Faculty of Medicine) 

Faculty of Medicine Appointments and Promotions Website

Procedures Manual for Policy for Clinical Faculty
Policy for Clinical Faculty

University of Toronto Policy and Procedures Governing Promotions Memorandum of Agreement between The Governing Council of the University of Toronto
The University of Toronto Faculty Association The Hollenberg Report (pdf)