Section III: Faculty Membership

Basic Graduate School policies are stated in the Graduate School Handbook. 

This document conforms to: "Standardized principles and guidelines for membership and participation in the Life Sciences Interdisciplinary Graduate Programs (IGPs)," finalized April 9, 2012. 

MCDB Faculty Application Process
Persons that hold an appointment as a regular, tenure-track Professor, Associate Professor, or Assistant Professor are eligible to apply for MCDB Faculty membership.  There are two membership categories:  Mentoring Faculty and Participating Faculty.  Mentoring Faculty members are expected to accept rotating students in their laboratories with the possibility of becoming their permanent advisor.  In addition, as a student's advisor, the faculty member is expected to fund the student through graduation.

A graduate faculty member with a salaried appointment in an academic department requesting appointment to the MCDB faculty must submit a letter of application and a current curriculum vita to the Program Director to be distributed to the Graduate Studies Committee (GSC).  In their letter of application, candidates who are already members of the graduate faculty should indicate the departments (and/or programs) to which they belong and at which level (Category M or P). Explicit indication of how membership in MCDB will be mutually beneficial to the candidate and the program should be included.  The candidate should indicate what he/she intends to contribute in terms of research expertise, collaborative ventures, student advising, serving on program committees, hosting seminar speakers, moderating student seminars, etc., and how the candidate expects to benefit from MCDB faculty membership.  Candidates should also include information regarding previous experience advising graduate students.

The GSC will review the application materials.  It is the general policy to admit to membership only those who are qualified to serve on the faculty.  A decision to admit a new member is equivalent to a majority vote by the GSC to appoint the candidate to the faculty. 

All nominees for Category P will sign the Category P Qualifications Form to affirm that they have read relevant sections of the most recent Graduate School Handbook and the MCDB Graduate Program Handbook.  The signed document will be appended to the nomination paperwork.

Principles for Membership
MCDB has two categories of participation: Mentoring Faculty and Participating Faculty.  Faculty membership in an IGP requires faculty who are active participants and provide mentorship and education to achieve the following:

  1. Recruit the highest quality graduate school applicants
  2. Retain graduate trainees in the program
  3. Graduate PhD candidates in a timely manner (target ~5 years or less)
  4. Compete successfully for national, state, and intramural graduate education and research funding.

Mentoring Faculty Status
Privileges of the Mentoring Faculty status in an IGP include eligibility to rotate and serve as the primary advisor of graduate students.  The Faculty Mentor is expected to provide the primary source of support for the graduate student after their first year in the program.  At least two years of funding is to be established by the Faculty mentor at the time a graduate student is accepted into the lab.  Newly employed Assistant Professors with funds to support a graduate student are encouraged to serve as Faculty Mentors.

To serve as a Faculty Mentor requires:

  1. Activity as a PI or Co‐PI on an extramural grant for IGP‐related life sciences research during any of the 5 years since the last review by the GSC.
  2. A productive research program.  To satisfy this criterion, a faculty member regularly publishes peer‐reviewed articles on IGP‐related topics.  The expectation is an average of 2 or more publications per year during the 5-year review period.  Graduate student contributions should be recognized by authorship.
  3. Engagement in at least two of the following activities during any part of the 5-year review period:

a. Serve as an advisor and/or co‐ advisor to one or more IGP graduate students
b. Participate in IGP recruiting events
c. Serve on an IGP candidacy/dissertation committee
d. Direct a seminar series or moderate Student Seminar
e. Host seminar speakers, judge IGP Symposium abstracts, posters, or presentations
f.  Direct a course or give one or more lectures in a graduate‐level course
g. Serve on a Graduate Studies, Curriculum, or Seminar Committee

Faculty applying for IGP membership who does not meet these criteria are eligible for Participating Member status in the program.

Participating Faculty Status
Participating Members make specific contributions to graduate education and/or administration in the IGP without serving as primary advisor to graduate students.  To serve as a Participating Member, a faculty member must engage in at least two of the following activities during any part of the 5‐year review period:

a. Serve as a co‐advisor to one or more IGP graduate students
b. Participate in IGP recruiting events
c. Serve on an IGP candidacy/dissertation committee
d. Direct a seminar series or moderate Student Seminar
e. Host seminar speakers, judge IGP Symposium abstracts, posters, or presentations
f.  Direct a course or give one or more lectures in a graduate‐level course
g. Serve on a Graduate Studies, Curriculum, or Seminar Committee

Participating faculty who wish to serve as the primary advisor to one or more IGP graduate students is eligible to convert to Faculty Mentor status upon fulfilling the eligibility criteria, as delineated above.

Faculty Review
Every five (5) years, the Graduate Studies Committee will review each faculty member to determine whether or not they are active and productive in the program and to determine their membership status. Assistant Professors, who may not have had sufficient time to obtain national funding, may be exempted.

The purpose of this periodic review is to maintain the highest standard of quality in the categories of scholarship, training, and productivity.  Materials necessary for the review will be requested every five years by the Life Sciences Network (LSN) Executive Director in support of the review by the Graduate Studies Committee of the IGP.  The format will be compatible with the LSN database.  Individual faculty members are responsible for providing the requested materials.

If the Graduate Studies Committee determines that a faculty mentor has satisfied the Faculty Mentor criteria listed above, that person will continue as a Faculty Mentor of the IGP for an additional five years.

If the Committee determines that a Participating Faculty member has satisfied two of the six review criteria for Participating Member listed above, that person will continue as a Participating Faculty member of the program.

If the Committee determines that a faculty member has not satisfied the review criteria, that faculty member will not retain membership in the IGP.

 

Rev:  October  2013

0