The tenure system at NCBS is a key and integral part of efforts to constantly improve its overall research performance and is used to decide whether to continue an initial 6-year appointment of a faculty member to a continuing one.
It is the policy of NCBS that each new appointee be supported very strongly in every way so that an independent programme can be started in the shortest possible period. In return, NCBS expects that the appointee perform at a level equivalent or better than peers in the best departments elsewhere in the world. Given the stringent selection procedure for faculty at NCBS, the high quality of those recruited and the level of support provided, we reasonably expect that most of our colleagues can meet the very high standards required.
The Tenure Advisory Committee: The Dean will appoint a tenure advisory committee to advise each new faculty member, in matters related to research progress and scientific output. We stress that the committee has a purely advisory capacity, and its views are not binding. The purpose of this committee is to serve as an official sounding-board to the faculty member, in addition to the several informal interactions that take place. The faculty member will arrange to meet with this committee about once a year, or more frequently if so desired. The faculty member is encouraged to bring to the attention of the committee, any special problems or requirements. The tenure advisory committee may choose to express its views in writing to ensure that its views and concerns, if any, are clearly conveyed. The tenure advisory committee will continue to function until the tenure decision.
Grant of Tenure: To be granted tenure, the faculty member must demonstrate the establishment of a successful research programme which address well thought out, important research questions.The single most important measure of this is research publications of quality. New appointees, at the level of Fellow or Reader, will be assessed for tenure according to the schedule detailed in the sections below. The level of performance expected from a new appointee to be granted tenureis being continuously ratcheted upwards. Hence it is not advisable for a new appointee to go by what has happened in the past for others. Others currently at similar levels, in best institutions anywhere, would be a wiser measure of comparison.
The faculty members will receive an initial contract of 6 years. At the 5-year point, the Dean will write to the candidate advising submission of formal application for tenure. This application should include a report of work done in the last 5 years, reprints of publications and a curriculum vita. This report must be submitted no later than 5.5 years from joining. The application should also be accompanied by a list of atleast 10 reviewers who are familiar with the area of their work. The Dean may also request the faculty member to present an open research talk summarizing accomplishments at NCBS.
On the approval of the Centre Director, NCBS, the Dean will forward the tenure application to the reviewers (from the submitted list as well as others) in order to assess the work of the faculty member. On receipt of the reviewers reports (at least 8 are needed), the Dean in consultation with the Centre Director, NCBS will appoint a committee to assess the proposal and the recommendations of the candidate. This committee will typically include the Dean, the NCBS Centre Director, chosen scientific members of the Board and experts who can analyze the candidate's work as needed. The views of this panel will be presented to the NCBS Management Board, which will take a final decision.
The review is typically done at the end of 5.5 years. The maximum period within which a tenure application is to be submitted can be extended only in exceptional circumstances (e.g.health problems, maternity/paternity leave, family crisis). This request, unless extenuated by an emergency, must be made well in advance, typically before the end of the first five-year contract. Promotion decisions may be considered simultaneously with the tenure decisions.
If however, tenure is not granted, the faculty member will be given a new contract to plan a transition for an additional year, and extendable by at most another year, on reasonable grounds,to allow transition to a position elsewhere.