Research Appointments

University Policy 101.16, Research Appointments

Executive Summary: 

This policy provides concise definitions for each type of research appointment which may be made for faculty members, post-doctoral fellows, staff members, and students, and provides a reference to the procedures to be followed in making each type of appointment.

The University of North Carolina at Charlotteincludes in its mission the functions of teaching, research and service to the community. While members of the faculty holding professorial rank regularly contribute to the fulfillment of all three of these functions, it is also appropriate that appointments be granted to other persons engaged primarily in research. In view of the diversity of research activities, it is anticipated that most, but not necessarily all, of these research appointments will fall into the categories listed below.

Faculty

Research Professorships.Research professorial appointments are special faculty appointments made in a three rank system with designation of discipline and possible prefatory indications of visiting or adjunct status. Traditionally, faculty members have preferred to be identified with their discipline and, if intending only a brief stay, to be designated as visiting which differentiates this position from a regular or permanent one at a home academic institution. The term adjunct is applied to individuals whose primary affiliation is with a non-academic institution. The three ranks of Assistant Research Professor, Associate Research Professor and Research Professor require a terminal degree or the equivalent in the appropriate field and research qualifications at least equal to those expected of faculty members at corresponding academic ranks. (See Academic Personnel Procedures Handbook)

The following are examples of the system of research ranks and titles:

  • Assistant Research Professor of Electrical Engineering

  • Associate Research Professor of History

  • Research Professor of Educational Administration

  • Visiting Research Assistant Professor of Architecture

  • Visiting Research Associate Professor of  Health and Human Services

  • Visiting Research Professor of Business Administration

  • Adjunct Research Assistant Professor of Computer Science

  • Adjunct Research Associate Professor of Physics

  • Adjunct Research Professor of Finance 

Staff

  • Research Postdoctoral Fellow. A Research Postdoctoral Fellow is an employee engaged in research of an original nature who functions with a considerable degree of independence but as a colleague of a regular faculty member. He or she should hold a doctoral degree or the equivalent and possess excellent research qualifications. (See University Policy #102.10, Employment of Postdoctoral Fellows.)

  • Research Associate. A Research Associate is an employee engaged in research of an original nature who requires guidance but not supervision and who is usually not working towards a degree. He or she should hold a doctoral or a master's degree and possess research qualifications at least equal to those expected of a faculty member at the rank of Instructor. (See Academic Personnel Procedures Handbook )

  • Research Assistant. A Research Assistant is an employee, usually not working toward a degree, who has a high level of competence and experience in research but requires both guidance and supervision while assisting a faculty member in the conduct of research. He or she should hold a bachelor's or master's degree.

Students

  • Graduate Research Associate.A Graduate Research Associate is an enrolled graduate student who has research experience and demonstrates high research potential, is seeking a degree at the master's or doctoral level and is assisting a faculty member in conduct of research.

  • Graduate Research Assistant. A Graduate Research Assistant is an enrolled graduate student who demonstrates good research potential, is seeking a degree at the master's or doctoral level and is assisting a faculty member in conduct of research.

  • Undergraduate Research Assistant. An Undergraduate Research Assistant is an enrolled undergraduate student who shows research promise, is seeking a bachelor's degree and is assisting a faculty member to a substantial degree in the conduct of research.  

Procedures

  1. Research faculty appointments are made in accordance with Section 3.4 (Special Faculty Appointments) of the tenure policies and special faculty appointment procedures. See the EPA Handbook.

  2. Research staff appointments are made in accordance with appropriate EPA and SPA staff appointment procedures.

  3. Graduate Research Associates and Assistants are appointed by the Dean of the GraduateSchoolupon recommendation by the appropriate department and are subject to the regulations of the GraduateSchool.

  4. Undergraduate Research Assistants are appointed by the appropriate dean of a college upon recommendation by a department and are subject to the regulations governing undergraduate students.

  5. Certain graduate and undergraduate students, who do not come under the above titles and are termed Student Assistants, are employed through the Center for Student Employment and Career Services on temporary payroll status.  

Revision History: 
  • Initially approved May 24, 1999
  • Revised February 26, 2001
  • Revised December 26, 2002