Section IV: Faculty Membership

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Membership categories

There are two faculty membership categories in MCDB, Mentoring and Non-Mentoring:

Mentoring Faculty are active participants in the MCDB Program and are expected to accept rotating students in their laboratories with the possibility of becoming their permanent advisor.  In addition, as a student’s advisor, Mentoring Faculty are expected to fund their student advisees through graduation.

Non-Mentoring Faculty are active participants in the MCDB Program and have all the same rights and responsibilities as Mentoring Faculty except that they may not accept rotating students and may not serve as a student’s advisor.  This category may include faculty who retire with Emeritus status (see Section 15.1 of the Graduate School Handbook).  Examples of ways in which Non-Mentoring Faculty may contribute to the Program include teaching in MCDB core courses or approved electives, serving as MCDB faculty on a student’s Candidacy or Dissertation Committee, serving on the Molecular Life Sciences Seminar Committee, or serving on the MCDB Graduate Studies Committee. 

Faculty appointments

MCBD faculty are appointed to the Graduate School with Category P status (see Section 15 of the Graduate School Handbook).  Faculty that hold a salaried appointment as a regular, tenure-track Professor, Associate Professor, or Assistant Professor are eligible to apply to be Mentoring Faculty with Category P status in MCDB.  If such faculty have clinical duties, most of their time should be devoted to research.  Faculty that hold an MD, DVM, DDS or equivalent professional degree but no PhD degree must demonstrate that they understand the nature and expectations of doctoral training and are sufficiently prepared to mentor doctoral students.  Evidence of such preparation may include service on doctoral dissertation committees, research mentoring experience, and demonstration of a substantive independent and productive research program.   Faculty that hold a salaried appointment as a research-track Professor, Associate Professor or Assistant Professor are eligible to apply to be Non-Mentoring Faculty with Category P status in MCDB.  MCDB does not accept applications for Category M status.  MCDB Faculty may hold additional memberships in other graduate programs.  Faculty that hold appointments on the clinical track are not eligible to serve as MCDB faculty. 

Under certain circumstances, faculty that hold a salaried appointment as a research-track Professor, Associate Professor or Assistant Professor may be eligible for Mentoring status.  In addition to the materials outlined below, research-track faculty seeking Mentoring status must also submit a letter from their department chair detailing the extent and duration of institutional support.  To approve Mentoring status for a research-track faculty member the Graduate Studies Committee will need to see evidence of a long-term institutional commitment to the faculty member comparable to that of a tenured/tenure-track faculty member of equivalent rank, evidence of independence comparable to that of a tenured/tenure-track faculty member of equivalent rank, evidence of institutional commitment in terms of salary support and space, and start-up or extramural funds to enable the PI to take on and fund a graduate student throughout the course of that student’s study. 

Application process

To apply for MCDB membership, faculty must submit the following application materials to the MCDB Program Office via email at mcdb@osu.edu:

  1. A letter of application. In the letter, candidates should explain how their membership in MCDB will be mutually beneficial to the candidate and the Program.  Candidates should also indicate what they intend to contribute in terms of research expertise, collaborative ventures, student advising, serving on Program committees, hosting seminar speakers, moderating student seminars, teaching in courses, etc., and how they expect to benefit from MCDB faculty membership.  Candidates should also include information regarding previous experience mentoring and/or advising graduate students.
  2. A current curriculum vitae.
  3. A completed Category P Status application form to affirm that they understand the requirements and responsibilities of MCDB Program faculty membership and that they have read the relevant sections of the Graduate School Handbook and the MCDB Program Handbook.

The Graduate Studies Committee will review the application materials and vote on membership.  The vote shall be based on the applicant’s qualifications, research expertise and experience.  Tenured faculty should meet or exceed the expectations for funding and scholarly productivity detailed below, and junior faculty should demonstrate strong potential to meet or exceed those expectations.   For Mentoring Faculty, their potential to serve as mentors and to enhance the training opportunities available to MCDB students will be paramount.  Admission requires a simple majority vote.  If approved, the MCDB Program will submit a nomination for Category P Status to the Graduate School.  The applicant will receive notification from the Graduate School once the nomination is approved.

Faculty expectations, rights and responsibilities

Both Mentoring and Non-Mentoring MCDB faculty are expected to participate in the intellectual, administrative and curricular activities of the Program including research seminars, research days, recruitment events, student seminars and courses, and/or serving on Program or Advisory Committees.  Mentoring Faculty are also expected to be actively engaged in scholarly research.  Only Mentoring Faculty are eligible to take on students for laboratory rotations and to serve as a student’s advisor.

Expectations of Mentoring Faculty

Mentoring Faculty are expected to provide financial support (stipend, fees and tuition) for MCDB graduate students once those students have joined their laboratory.  Normally faculty should have sufficient funding to support a graduate student for at least two years at the time that the student is accepted into their lab.  Newly employed Assistant Professors with sufficient startup funds to support a graduate student are encouraged to take on students.

Mentoring faculty should be engaged in an active and productive program of scholarly research in the area of molecular, cellular and/or developmental biology and should be active participants in the intellectual life of the Program. As evidence of this, Mentoring Faculty must meet the following criteria when they initially apply and at the time of review to receive or maintain Mentoring status:

  1. Funding: At a minimum, Mentoring Faculty should have served as a PI or Co‐PI on an extramural grant in the broad area of molecular, cellular or developmental biology during the past 5 years. Assistant Professors that have not yet obtained extramural funding may be exempted, at the discretion of the Graduate Studies Committee, if they satisfy the other criteria enumerated below.
  2. Scholarly productivity: Mentoring Faculty are expected to publish their work annually in peer-reviewed journals and should have published an average of at least 1 paper per year (i.e. at least 5 papers in total) during the past 5 years.  Graduate student contributions should be recognized by authorship.
  3. Engagement in Program activities:  Mentoring Faculty should have engaged in two or more of the following activities during the past 5 years:
  • Served as a dissertation advisor to one or more MCDB graduate students
  • Hosted one or more MCDB students for a laboratory rotation
  • Participated in an MCDB recruiting event
  • Served on one or more MCDB candidacy or dissertation committees
  • Hosted one or more seminar speakers in the Molecular Life Sciences seminar series
  • Judged abstracts, posters, or presentations in the Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Graduate Program Symposium
  • Directed, or given one or more lectures in, an MCDB core course or approved elective
  • Served on an MCDB committee such as the Graduate Studies Committee or Molecular Life Sciences Seminar Committee

These criteria may be waived, at the discretion of the Graduate Studies Committee, for Assistant Professors that are on the tenure track.  Faculty that are not Assistant Professors on the tenure track and that do not meet these criteria for Mentoring Faculty status may be eligible for Non-Mentoring Faculty status.

Expectations of Non-Mentoring Faculty

Non-Mentoring Faculty have all the same rights and responsibilities as Mentoring Faculty except that they may not take on rotating students or serve as dissertation advisors.  To be eligible for Non-Mentoring status, faculty must have met two or more of the following criteria when they initially apply or at the time of review:

  • Participated in an MCDB recruiting event
  • Served on one or more MCDB candidacy or dissertation committees
  • Hosted one or more seminar speakers in the Molecular Life Sciences seminar series
  • Judged abstracts, posters, or presentations in the Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Graduate Program Symposium
  • Directed, or given one or more lectures in, an MCDB core course or approved elective
  • Served on an MCDB committee such as the Graduate Studies Committee or Molecular Life Sciences Seminar Committee

Non-Mentoring Faculty who wish to take on rotating students or serve as the dissertation advisor to one or more MCDB students may apply to be converted to Mentoring Faculty status upon fulfilling the eligibility criteria described above.

Faculty Review

Every five (5) years, the Graduate Studies Committee will review all Mentoring and Non-Mentoring Faculty to determine whether or not they meet the above criteria.  This review will apply to all Mentoring and Non-Mentoring Faculty who have been part of the Program for more than one year.  The purpose of this periodic review is to ensure that the faculty are engaged and contributing to the mission of the Program and that faculty who wish to accept students into their laboratories have active, funded and productive research programs.   Individual faculty members are responsible for providing the requested materials.

If the Graduate Studies Committee determines that a faculty member has satisfied the relevant criteria listed above, their status will be renewed for another 5 years.  If it is determined that a Mentoring Faculty member does not meet the criteria for Mentoring status but does meet the criteria for Non-Mentoring status, they will be transferred to Non-Mentoring status. 

Pursuant to Section 15.6 of the Graduate School Handbook, if the Graduate Studies Committee determines that a faculty member has not satisfied the relevant criteria listed above or has failed to provide the requested materials in a timely manner, after reasonable accommodations have been made, the Committee may recommend to the Graduate School that Category P status in the MCDB Program be revoked or made probationary until certain specified conditions are met.  Faculty will be notified before any such action is taken and will be allowed to respond in writing within a reasonable timeline specified by the Graduate Studies Committee. The faculty member’s response, if any, will be included in the information sent to the Graduate School. The Graduate School will review the recommendation and forward its findings to the dean of the Graduate School for final action.

 

Rev: May, 2019