Senior Promotion  

Senior Promotion Process

The process towards a successful promotion is a step-wise process involving our Department, the Faculty of Medicine, the Dean, and the University President. The candidates for senior promotion (promotion to the ranks of Associate or Full Professor) are reviewed by our Department's Promotions Committee (DPC). The candidates recommended for promotion by our Department are then reviewed by the Faculty Decanal Promotions Committee which makes its recommendations to the Dean. The Dean, in turn, forwards recommendations to the University Vice-President and Provost and, ultimately, the University President. If approved by the University, the promotions are effective on July 1st of the same year.  

The DPC is established annually by the Chair of the Department. The Committee is composed of no less than 5 members of senior rank (Associate or Full Professor). The Committee Chair serves as the Departmental Chair's designate.

Each year, the Departmental Chair tables the names of all Assistant and Associate Professors before the DPC for preliminary consideration. There are three ways that faculty can become candidates for promotion: 

  • Reviews of the CVs of Assistant and Associate Professors by the Department Chair; 
  • Proposals made by Hospital Chiefs in writing directly to the Department Chair; or
  • Written self-nominations by the candidates are made to the Department Chair.  

Faculty who appear to be strong candidates for promotion are asked if they wish to go forward in the current year and, if so, they are required to submit all supporting documentation as outlined in the Faculty Promotions Manual as well as declare the specific pathway on which promotion is sought.

The DPC reviews each candidate's dossier thoroughly and advises the candidates about any areas in their documents which do not conform with the Promotions Manual guidelines. The Committee might also recommend some changes to enhance the candidates' chances at the next stage of the process. The Committee then makes its final recommendations to the Departmental Chair for submission to the Dean and the Decanal Committee. Of note, Associate Professors may also directly request that they be considered in any given year, in which case the DPC is obliged to give the individuals detailed consideration along with any other candidates under review.

Candidates not recommended for promotion by the DPC are given reasons along with suggestions on how to improve their future chances. This is an important part of the Committee's role in Faculty Development. The candidates are also free to contact any of the Committee members for ongoing advice or feedback pertaining to their documentation and the promotions process.

Promotions Timeline 

The general timeline, including several deadlines, within the steps involved in the promotions process are outlined in the following table: 

Date Actions
March 1 Department's Promotions Committee established
May 1 Department Chair assembles the list of Assistant and Associate Professors for preliminary consideration by the DPC
May 30 DPC reviews the CVs of all candidates to identify those for preliminary consideration; 
Candidates recommended for full review are asked to submit a complete Promotion Dossier
July 11 DPC reviews the Promotion Dossier and suggests alternations, if required;
If promotion is supported, the candidates are asked to submit the list of potential internal and external referees and student assessors
August 29 Candidate uploads revised Dossier and submits referee names 
September 26 Department Chair requests letters of reference 
October 10 Final deadline for Associate Professors to request consideration for promotion in writing to the Chair 
October 24 Deadline for Department Chair to request Waiver of External Review
Nov-Dec The Chair submits Promotion Dossiers to the Decanal Promotion Committee for consideration; 
Candidates not recommended for promotion are given suggestions for future reapplication
January 12 All materials are submitted to the Decanal Promotion Committee by the Chair 
Feb-March Decanal Promotion Committee Review;
Dean's Review 
April-May Provostial Review 
July 1 Approved promotions take effect 

Criteria for Senior Promotion

Candidates seeking promotion from Assistant to Associate Professor, or from Associate to Full Professor, at the University of Toronto's Faculty of Medicine are evaluated based on the following 3 areas of academic performance:

  • Scholarship (Research and/or Creative Professional Activity) 
  • Teaching and education 
  • Service (Leadership and/or Administration) 

Activities in the Scholarship category are given the greatest weight during the evaluations process, followed by the candidate's teaching ability and involvement in education, and, lastly, by their administrative contributions and leadership. Activities which fall under the Research category include, but are not limited to presence of funding, publications, patents, presentations at local, national, or international meetings, as well as participation, leadership, and mentorship in the research community. Creative Professional Activity (CPA) can fall under one or more of the following subheadings: professional innovation and creative excellence, development of professional practices, and exemplary professional practice. Teaching and education includes undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate medical education, continuing education, faculty development, public education, etc. Lastly, service can take the form of outstanding leadership and administration roles, such as involvement in program administration, government, non-government organizations, and others. 

For promotion to Full Professor on the basis of Scholarship, the successful candidate will be expected to have established a wide reputation in his or her field of interest. The criteria are the same for promotion to Associate Professor, but with a lesser level of accomplishment.

For a detailed review of the promotions process, please see the Academic Promotions Manual of the Faculty of Medicine and the University Policies and Procedures governing promotions. You can also find more information on the Faculty of Medicine website

Dean's Waiver of External Review 

It is understandable that some faculty members are fully committed to clinical practice and teaching, at the expense of their CPA and research. To recognize their contributions to the University of Toronto, these individuals can be promoted based solely on their sustained excellence in teaching at undergraduate and/or postgraduate levels. Such faculty need not have established a national or international profile to be eligible for the promotion to Associate or Full Professor, respectively. In this case, the Chair can request a "Dean's Waiver of External Review" which eliminates the need for referees external to the University and Canada. 

Promotions Dossier

Applicants who decide to proceed with the promotion based on the recommendation made to them by the Department's Promotions Committee are required to submit a Promotions Dossier which will be forwarded to the Dean for review. The Dossier must contain the following: 

  • Candidate's Curriculum Vitae 
  • Documentation of Activities (Research, CPA, Teaching, and Administrative Service, where applicable)
  • Letters of Reference  

Junior Promotion   

The promotion process from lecturer to Assistant Professor is an internal process. The Department Appointments Committee reviews faculty interested in being promoted to Assistant Professor based on the following criteria:

1) Sustained commitment to recognized academic contributions to the Faculty of Medicine over a minimum of three years at the rank of Lecturer. Academic contributions should showcase impact, importance and innovation. Areas of recognized academic contribution include:

  • Teaching - Participation in  the mentorship and training  of undergraduate and graduate trainees. Involvement in the design and development of curricula or educational offerings and/or in the development of education materials.
  • Research - Leading and participating in research projects and grants. Publication of research work.
  • Creative Professional Activity - Examples include the setting of practice standards. 

2) Advanced  Education - accomplishing academic programs in the form of advanced degrees as well as professional continuing education programs will also be considered for promotion. In the case of continuing education programs, candidates will still need to demonstrate sustained commitment to academic contributions.

Application for Junior Promotion - To apply for promotion to Assistant Professor, please include an academic activity record highlighting your sustained contribution to academic activity in addition to the documents required by the Faculty of Medicine.

For a comprehensive review of the promotions process at the Faculty of Medicine, please visit the Faculty's Appointments & Promotions webpage

For information regarding the promotions process, please contact Kristen Gane at

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