Guidelines for Non-tenured Faculty

Building a Successful Career at Yale

Yale University is a vibrant scholarly community, home to world-class research activity and the school of choice for many of the brightest undergraduate and graduate students from around the world.  The challenges of developing a cutting-edge research agenda are daunting, but Yale is an unsurpassed setting for launching a scholarly career.

The strategy for succeeding at Yale—becoming an excellent scholar and teacher—is the same strategy for succeeding elsewhere.  A non-tenured faculty member’s mentors are key contributors to this strategy, providing feedback and perspective.  Strategies and best practices for building a successful mentoring partnership are outlined below, and can also be downloaded as a one-page PDF document for easy reference (see right-hand sidebar).

Setting and Meeting Expectations

  • Create a list of goals you wish to achieve, and be prepared to discuss priorities.
  • Learn about review and promotion criteria at Yale, including scholarship, service, and teaching.
  • Familiarize yourself with the procedures and timelines for paid leave periods (the Junior Faculty Fellowship and Research Leave for Associate Professors).
  • Take advantage of opportunities to get involved in the community, to learn more about the University, and to engage in professional development and service to your department.
  • Keep in touch with your mentor(s), and with your department chair, DUS, DGS, and other colleagues; be proactive in articulating your needs and questions to them.
  • Add new faculty members to your support network as you move through your career.  Make the effort to reach out and be active in creating a professional network, both within your department and in other parts of the University.

Key Issues to Address

  • Time management
  • Expectations of the department
  • How to negotiate opportunities, and when to say no
  • Prioritization of responsibilities as a non-tenured faculty member
  • Development of professional skills including lab management and grant proposal writing
  • Issues related to gender, race, and sexual orientation in the workplace

Points to Remember

  • Ask peers and leaders for help when needed, including those outside the department.
  • Become familiar with resources available to you.
  • Be aware of working within your new department to improve the department as whole.
  • Familiarize yourself with Yale’s Faculty Timeline and Mentoring Plan (see sidebar), and employ it in discussions with your faculty mentor as an opportunity for clarifying practices and mutual expectations.