Promotion guidelines: to Associate Professor and Professor

Academic promotion at the University of Toronto is based on accomplishments in:

  1. scholarship, which may be expressed as research and/or creative professional activity;
  2. teaching; and
  3. service to the university.

The greatest weight will be given to scholarship and teaching.

Long-term service in and of its own does not qualify for academic promotion. 

Keeping your profile up to date

We strongly recommend you keep your online profile up to date in the Faculty Directory.

You can update your profile at any time by completing the online form or emailing


For any questions about the process or documentation required, contact:

Patricia Cayetano

Senior Administrator, HR


Criteria for promotion

To be promoted to the Associate Professor level, you must supply evidence of an impact (recognition) at a national level.

To be promoted to the Full Professor level, you must supply evidence of an impact (recognition) at an international level. 



Successful research leads to the advancement of knowledge through contributions of an original nature.

To be promoted to Associate or Full Professor based on research, you must have a record of sustained and current productivity in research and research-related activities.

To meet the Temerty Faculty of Medicine excellent achievement in research criteria, your research should:

  • result in significant changes in the understanding of basic mechanisms of molecular or cellular function and disease, clinical care, health services delivery or health policy, or the social sciences and humanities as applied to health.
  • present creative insights, ideas or concepts, and must have yielded a significant quantity of information leading to new understanding. The new information may derive from the invention and/or application of new techniques, novel experimental approaches and/or the identification and formulation of new questions or concepts.
  • be communicated through the publication of papers, reviews, books and other scholarly works.

The quality of your scholarship in research will be judged in comparison to peers in the Temerty Faculty of Medicine and to others in the same field at peer institutions.

Research funding

Sources of funding may vary depending on the area of research. Not all research requires external funding.

However, as a general rule, if you are seeking promotion on the basis of achievement in research, you should have a strong and continuing record of external funding commensurate with the type and area of research.

Although usually recognition will be given to funding in the form of peer-reviewed grants, other sources may be appropriate. For instance, funding from industry may be a major source available to basic and clinical scientists performing clinical trials, studying new drugs and developing new technologies. This funding is expected to comply with the conflict of interest guidelines in the Temerty  Faculty of Medicine.

Funding from other agencies may be an appropriate source of support for population-based or health services researchers.

Whatever the source of funding, you must be able to show you have played a significant intellectual and administrative role in the research as evidenced by having a role in the design, analysis or publication of the study, or being part of a Steering Committee. For instance, individuals participating in collaborative group grants must be able to provide evidence of intellectual input into the research and not simply a technical contribution.


You must have a sustained record of scientific publications demonstrating your research has led to a significant source of new information in the field.

Publications should appear as:

  • articles in major peer-reviewed journals
  • books and as book chapters published by academic presses
  • published abstracts accepted for presentation at major national and international scientific conferences also provide evidence that the research in progress is being disseminated to the scientific community.

Scientific presentations

You should include:

  • presentations made at national and international meetings recognized as the significant academic venues for presenting research in that area.
  • invited presentations at other venues such as academic institutions, industry settings and outreach lectures to the lay community as these are an indicator of your reputation outside the university. 

Participation, leadership and mentorship in the research community

This category includes a range of additional research-related activities that contribute significantly to the relevant field of study in the scientific community.

Examples of such activities include:

  • organization of international research meetings or symposia
  • leadership in research committees at national or international levels
  • leadership in development or promotion of research infrastructure and support at university, national or international levels
  • leadership in group grants
  • participation on peer review grant panels
  • membership on research ethics or animal care committees
  • membership on editorial boards of scientific publications
  • participation in the peer review of scientific manuscripts
  • membership on consensus conferences, scientific advisory boards and councils
  • support and mentorship of young investigators.

Creative Professional Activity (CPA)

The Temerty Faculty of Medicine recognizes CPA under the following three broad categories.

1. Professional innovation and creative excellence

This may include developing:

  • or making an invention
  • new techniques
  • conceptual innovations
  • educational programs inside or outside the University (e.g. continuing medical education or patient education).

To demonstrate professional innovation, you must show an instrumental role in the development, introduction and dissemination of an invention, a new technique, a conceptual innovation or an educational program.

Creative excellence, in such forms such as biomedical art, communications media, and video presentations, may be targeted at various audiences from the lay public to health care professionals.

2. Contributions to the development of professional practices

  • "In this category, demonstration of innovation and exemplary practice will be in the form of leadership in the profession, or in professional societies, associations, or organizations that has influenced standards or enhanced the effectiveness of the discipline. Membership or the holding of office in professional associations is not itself considered evidence of creative professional activity. Sustained leadership and setting of standards for the profession are the principal criteria to be evaluated. Both internal and external assessment should be sought". (Modified from the Hollenberg Report, 1983)

You must demonstrate leadership in the profession, professional organizations, government or regulatory agencies that has influenced standards and/or enhanced the effectiveness of the discipline. Membership and holding office in itself is not considered evidence of CPA.

Examples of contributions to the development of professional practice may include (but are not limited to):

  • guideline development
  • health policy development
  • government policy
  • community development
  • international health and development
  • consensus conference statements
  • regulatory committees
  • setting of standards.

3. Exemplary professional practice

  • "Exemplary practice is that which is fit to be emulated; is illustrative to students and peers; establishes the professional as an exemplar or role-model for the profession; or shows the individual to be a professional whose behaviour, style, ethics, standards, and method of practice are such that students and peers should be exposed to them and encouraged to emulate them". (Modified from the Hollenberg Report, 1983)

To demonstrate exemplary professional practice, you must show that your practice is recognized as exemplary by peers and has been emulated, or otherwise had an impact on practice.

In assessing CPA in the Temerty Faculty of Medicine, you should keep the following mind:

  • Being a competent health care practitioner, while valuable to the public and profession, and for educational role-modelling, is not sufficient to meet the criterion of excellence in CPA.
  • The Faculty expects that most candidates for promotion will be engaged to some degree in CPA as part of their scholarly life. Such baseline activity does not constitute grounds for promotion.

CPA in education can include:

  • instructional innovation/creative excellence: teaching techniques, educational innovations, curriculum development, course planning, evaluation development
  • leadership in the development of professional practice in health professional education

Teaching and Education


You need to contribute in a meaningful way to the achievement of the Faculty’s and the University’s educational mission to achieve promotion to Associate Professor or Professor.

The nature, quantity and quality of these contributions are evaluated with reference to:

  • departmental and hospital norms
  • expectations consistent with job descriptions and career pathways
  • academic responsibilities
  • where applicable, clinical responsibilities.

In the Temerty Faculty of Medicine, teaching and education can encompass the following components:

  • formal teaching: situations in which responsibilities and expectations for both the teacher and the learner are set in advance, such as lecturing, activity in seminars and tutorials, individual and group discussions, laboratory teaching, and clinical teaching
  • informal teaching: more spontaneous (e.g. role modelling and mentoring)
  • curriculum and course development, and development of effective educational materials
  • application of information technologies for local and distance education
  • educational leadership and administration
  • faculty development
  • scholarship in education
  • research in education
  • quality assurance and evaluation of educational process and outcomes
  • assessment of learners

You can show evidence of excellence or competence at one or more of the following levels:

  1. Undergraduate education
  2. Graduate education
  3. Postgraduate medical education
  4. Post-doctoral training
  5. Continuing education and faculty development
  6. Patient/public education

Details of teaching and teaching evaluations must be part of your Dossier, because you must be at least an effective teacher to be considered for promotion.

Excellence in education

If you are seeking promotion on the basis of excellence in education and teaching, you must demonstrate significant and high quality contributions to teaching and/or other education related activities in at least one of the following:

  • Sustained excellence in teaching. Generally, a number of years are required to establish a noticeable presence and reputation as a teacher and as a valued contributor to other education activities. No minimum number of years at a specific rank is specified.
  • Participation in educational or curriculum development activities such as the planning of new curriculum or educational programs, and the production of new educational materials such as textbooks, syllabi, videotapes or computer programs. You should have been a significant participant in the planning and development of major curricular or educational offerings and/or in the development of original educational materials (texts, syllabi, video materials, computer programs etc) and/or educational innovation. External educational peer review processes may be utilized to provide evidence to the DPC and DecPC.
  • Contribution to the field of health professional education, through participation in professional associations dedicated to educational development, research in education and contributions to the education literature. For promotion to Professor, you need to evidence a national/international reputation in the field of health professional education due to sustained participation in research in education, contributions to the medical/health professions educational literature or active leadership in professional associations dedicated to educational development.
  • Education leadership in faculty, department, division or hospital. This includes significant roles in educational administration where, under your direct leadership, innovative programmes or curriculum have been developed.

Competence in teaching

If you are seeking promotion on the basis of excellence in teaching, you need to show greater evidence of three or more of these attributes:

  • Mastery of the subject area
  • Skill in one or more of:
    • lecturing to large groups
    • facilitation of small groups
    • one-to-one teaching
    • supervision and mentoring
  • The ability to effectively employ appropriate educational methods
  • The ability to stimulate and challenge the intellectual capacity of learners
  • The ability to influence students’ intellectual development and development of critical skills
  • Be a professional and educational role model
  • Professionalism in teaching that includes respect for students and colleagues, sensitivity to diversity; ability for self-assessment and participation in ongoing professional development and accessibility to learners.

Administrative service

According to the University of Toronto Policy and Procedures Governing Promotions :

  • "Service to the University means primarily administrative or committee work within the University. Consideration will also be given to activities outside the University, which further the scholarly and educational goals of the University. Such activities might include service to professional societies directly related to the candidate’s discipline, continuing-education activities, work with professional, technical or scholarly organizations or scholarly publications, and membership on or service to governmental committees and commissions. Outside activities are not meant to include general service to the community unrelated to the candidate’s scholarly or teaching activities, however praiseworthy such service may be". (paragraph 13a)

Service within the University and to external agencies forms an important, and often time consuming, aspect of many faculty members’ academic careers.

In providing this service, they contribute to the continued excellence of the academic environment and allow the University a voice and visibility in external agencies.

Although service in itself cannot be the main criteria for promotion, Promotions Committees may consider service as defined above in support of achievements in Teaching and Education or Scholarship (Research and/or CPA).

It is your responsibility to clearly establish the link between such service and your academic mandate and responsibilities.

You may choose to include documentation of service activities in your dossier in one of two ways:

  1. as part of the sections on Creative Professional Activities and/or Teaching and Education, or
  2. as a separate section.

In either case, you should include a detailed description of the service activities as well as an assessment of the impact of these activities on academic, professional, government or other communities.

Significant service contributions may include (but are not limited to) service to:

  • the department that goes beyond what is normally expected of a faculty member
  • the Temerty Faculty of Medicine: committee chair, lead coordinator of a special project, lead developer of faculty policies
  • the university: committee chair, lead coordinator of a special project, significant role in developing university policies or initiatives
  • the professional, clinical or research discipline: president of national or international organizations, committee chair, conference organizer, policy development
  • municipal, provincial or federal governments or non-government organizations.

Timeline for promotions 2021-2022

Timelines might be adjusted pending Decanal Promotions Committee deadline.

February 2021

Call to submit Letter of Intent (LOI)

March 2021

LOI deadline: March 22, 2021

Department Chair and Departmental Promotions Committee (DPC) Co-Chairs conduct LOI review:  March 30, 2021

April 2021

Notification to faculty to prepare promotion dossier for departmental review

May 2021

LOI deadline (2nd call):  May 28, 2021
Dossier deadline (Option 1): May 28, 2021

June 2021

Department Chair and Departmental Promotions Committee (DPC) Co-Chairs conduct LOI review (2nd call):  June 18, 2021
LMP Promotions Committee adjudication meeting: June 18, 2021
Candidates notified of DPC's recommendation (possible outcomes: to proceed (ie. request reference letters) or delay

September 2021

Dossier deadline (Option 2): Sept 3, 2021
LMP Promotions Committee adjudication meeting:  Sep 20, 2021

October 2021

Deadline to upload final version of promotion dossier in Laserfiche: October 29, 2021

November 2021

LMP solicits reference letters

January 2022

LMP Promotion Committee reviews reference letters and makes final recommendation to the Department Chair

February 2022

LMP submits documentation to Faculty of Medicine Decanal Committee: February 28, 2022

April 2022

Temerty Faculty of Medicine Decanal Committee review:  April 5-8, 2022

May 2022

Deferral meeting:  May 3-4, 2022

July 2022

Effective date of promotion: July 1, 2022

Deadline 1: Promotion dossier to be submitted by May 28, 2021/ September 3, 2021


  • Option 1 Friday, May 28, 2021 or
  • Option 2 Friday, September 3, 2021

Submit documents by email to Patricia Cayetano

You can download the below as a PDF for printing

1. Checklist & Table of Content

Submit checklist (word doc).
Include a Table of Content for large dossiers, i.e. if you have many attachments.

2. Cover letter

Address the following points in your letter (~3-5 pages):


  • reason for seeking promotion (e.g. excellence in research and competence in teaching)
  • short narrative of your academic career history
  • for faculty with clinical duties, briefly describe your job description with percentage split between clinical and academic activities.
  • brief summary of your accomplishments and its impact since your last promotion or since your appointment (please list your most significant accomplishments first):
    • research, if applicable
    • creative professional activity, if applicable
    • teaching
    • administrative service
    • outline future direction.

Write your letter so that a non-specialist in your field could understand.

To be promoted to the Associate Professor level, you must supply evidence of an impact (recognition) at a national level.

To be promoted to the Full Professor level, you must supply evidence of an impact (recognition) at an international level. 

3. Curriculum Vitae

Use the Temerty Faculty of Medicine CV template (word doc).  Review your CV and make sure that citations are complete.

4. Most significant publications

List your five most significant publications, including a short paragraph describing the significance and your contribution.

Include copies of these publications in your dossier.

These papers must be since your appointment to LMP.

5. Research documentation

Research Statement and impact (as a pdf document), if applicable.

Your Personal Citation Report: use Web of Science or Scopus, via The UofT Gerstain Science Library (UTORid needed)

Attach Data Summary Sheets where applicable (use the templates below)

6. Creative Professional Activity (CPA) documentation, if applicable

If this section applies to you, please read the LMP Promotions Task Force - CPA report.  

It is important to write a compelling narrative to describe your activities. 

Your report must give the reader a clear and concise view of your accomplishments, the impact and the evidence of this impact.  

The report should:

  • describe your key accomplishment(s) since your last promotion (describe each accomplishment separately), stating clearly your role in the accomplishment. It may be necessary for you to provide some background for reviewers who are non-specialist in your field. 
  • explain the level of impact or influence – local, national or international position, and affected stakeholders (clinicians, hospital staff, public).
  • include a brief description of how this accomplishment showed exemplary professional practice (e.g. was it adopted by other institutions, etc.).
  • address the sustainability of the work. What is the vision for the future? Address funding sustainability, if applicable.
  • include evidence/proof of impact. For example attach:
    • letter(s) of support from other organizations who have adopted your initiatives
    • invitations to address major conferences
    • conference organization activities
    • peer-reviewed publications
    • website
    • workshops
    • uptake of your program
    • new collaborations
    • editorials that illustrate international impact of publication
    • review articles referring to work
    • symposium presentations
    • samples of media reports and news clippings
    • membership in think-tank organizations
    • special awards and recognition received as a result of your work.

Attach supporting documents for each CPA activity. For each CPA activity, collate supporting documents into one pdf.

For Quality Improvement activities that have not been published, it is highly recommended that you submit a QI report, e.g. Standards for Quality Improvement Reporting Excellence template on the Squire website.

7. Teaching and education documentation

Complete a Teaching and Education Report.

Your report must include:

  • a statement of your teaching philosophy, including an assessment of the impact of teaching activities. See Developing a Statement of Teaching Philosophy on the Centre for Teaching Support and Innovation website.
  • all your activities related to the administration, organizational and developmental aspects of education. Describe the nature and extent of your involvement and level of responsibility, clearly indicating when you had a major responsibility for the design of a course.
  • a summary of your teaching goals within the next 5 years.
  • teaching evaluation reports or assessments. For example:
    • summaries of course assessments, per course, per year
    • results of peer assessments of teaching effectiveness
    • solicited and unsolicited testimonial letters from colleagues
    • letters from senior members of the Faculty who have made personal observations at national meetings
    • CE courses and/or seminars and symposia (if applicable).
  • Attach supporting documentation such as course and lecture outlines, letters of invitation to teach at other centres, etc.
  • Data Summary Sheet, Teaching using the template (word doc).
  • Data Summary Sheet, Mentorship using the template (word doc).

7. Administrative service documentation

Write a brief outline of your service activities for:

  • the department;
  • the Temerty Faculty of Medicine;
  • the University;
  • your discipline; and
  • your professional community or other targeted communities.

Attach supporting documentation such as relevant documents that demonstrate the nature and impact of your service achievements.

8. Referee lists

The Chair may seek assessments from other departments at the University of Toronto where you hold cross-appointments, as well as other referees.

External referees

Complete the external referee form (word doc), ensuring contact information is up to date.

Submit a maximum of three referees.

These referees must be:

  • external to the University of Toronto and its affiliated hospitals.
  • arms-length referees: no former supervisors, collaborators (within the last 5 years) or students. They cannot be co-authors, co-investigators or co-applicants on grants.
  • Their academic rank must be equal to, or greater than, the rank you are seeking for promotion.

Internal referees

These are no longer mandatory, but you may submit these if you wish.

Internal referees will be sought beyond your local institution and will not necessarily be those you submit.

Complete the internal referee form (word doc), ensuring contact information is up to date.

These referees must be:

  • internal to the University of Toronto and its affiliated hospitals but NOT a faculty member of Laboratory Medicine & Pathobiology (no cross-appointed LMP faculty). See the directory for a list of LMP appointed faculty.
  • arms-length referees: no former supervisors, collaborators (within the last 5 years) or students. They cannot be co-authors, co-investigators or co-applicants on grants.
  • Their academic rank must be equal to, or greater than, the rank you are seeking for promotion.

Colleague referees

Complete the colleague referee form (word doc), ensuring contact information is up to date.

Colleague referees should be able to understand your scholarly contributions and its impact in the field.

It can be a current or previous collaborator (i.e. co-author on papers or co-PI/ co-applicants on grants).

Colleague referees can be:

  • LMP faculty;
  • affiliated with UofT; or
  • external to UofT.

Preferably their academic rank should be equal to, or greater than, the rank you are seeking for promotion.

Student referees

Complete the student referee form (word doc), ensuring contact information is up to date.

Student referees can be current or former students.

Sample dossiers

You can review sample promotion dossiers from the LMP Office. Contact Patricia Cayetano to request access

Deadline 2: Final promotion dossier to be submitted by October 29, 2021

Deadline: Friday, October 29, 2021

LMP deadline might be adjusted pending Decanal Promotions Committee deadline.

Submit documents: via Academic Promotions Laserfiche (online submission)

You can download the below as a PDF for printing. 

1. Review your web profile

Review your research profile on the LMP website.

We will send your profile to potential referees to give them a brief background on your academic activities.

You can update your profile at any time by completing the online form or emailing

2. Submit documentation via the Academic Promotion System

If the LMP Departmental Promotions Committee (DPC) recommends you move forward in the promotion process, you will need to submit your final dossier electronically using the Temerty Faculty of Medicine online academic promotion system, Laserfiche.

You will receive an email with your unique Promotion ID.

Upload documents as PDF with a maximum file size of 10MB. Separate large documents if necessary.

File names should not contain spaces, hyphens, commas, brackets or extra dots. Follow the naming convention as noted below in the table.


Submit under Laserfiche document category

File should be named as

1. Table of Content (recommended for a large dossier)

Curriculum Vitae


2. Cover letter

Curriculum Vitae


3. Curriculum Vitae

Curriculum Vitae


4. Summary of 5 most significant publications, including a short paragraph describing the significance and your contribution

Curriculum Vitae


5. Copies of your 5 most significant publications

Curriculum Vitae


6. Research Statement



7. Data Summary Sheet, Research Awards (if applicable)



8. Data Summary Sheet, Refereed Publications  (required for all promotion candidates)



9. Data Summary Sheet, Research Supervision (if applicable)



10. Citation Report



11. Creative Professional Activity Report

Creative Professional Activity


12. CPA attachments. Organize your attachments so that all related documents are combined as one file. 'Bookmark' large PDF files.

Creative Professional Activity


13. CPA appraisal letters from community agencies, colleagues, etc. (if applicable)

Creative Professional Activity


14. Teaching and Education Report

Teaching and Education


15. Data Summary Sheet, Teaching

Teaching and Education


16. Data Summary Sheet, Mentorship (if applicable)

Teaching and Education


17. Teaching Evaluation Scores (TES)/ other evaluations. Upload all evaluations as one file, if possible or combine TES scores per level, e.g. all undergraduate medical TES scores as one file.

Teaching and Education


18. Administrative Service Documentation (highly recommended to submit even a brief report)

Administrative Service



The LMP Promotions Workshop

Promotion workshops are offered in late Fall. Dates for upcoming workshops will be posted here when available.

Learning objectives

At the end of the workshop, you will be able to:

  • identify the different promotion pathways
  • understand the criteria for promotion
  • define Creative Professional Activity
  • understand the steps in the promotion process
  • learn how to prepare a successful promotion dossier

LMP promotion workshop: video

This 1.5 hour video is for LMP faculty who are considering promotion to Associate or full Professor. Recorded on April 13, 2015.

Previous LMP promotions

View who was promoted:

Promotions Q&A: advice from LMP faculty

Vice-Chair, Promotions & Mentorship/ Full-Time Clinical faculty

Part-Time Clinical faculty

Full-Time Clinical faculty (promotion based on work as Part-Time Clinical faculty)

Full-Time Clinical faculty

Status-Only faculty

Tenured faculty

Full-Time Clinical faculty

Full-Time Clinical faculty

Senior scientist/ faculty

Full-Time Clinical faculty

Status-Only [PhD Researcher] faculty