Handbook of Operating Procedures 7-1020

Research Titles

I. Policy Statement 

It is the policy of The University of Texas at Austin (“University”) to assign appropriate research titles to individuals whose primary activities are to conduct research at, or on behalf of, the University. These titles apply to research professionals, temporary/visiting researchers, and research affiliates. Hiring criteria, responsibilities and further descriptions of the research titles associated with this policy may be found in Section VII below.

II. Reason for Policy 

To clarify professional research titles and appropriate use for individuals assigned to conduct research at, or on behalf of, the University.

III. Scope & Audience 

This policy applies to all employees and affiliates engaged in professional research activities at, or on behalf of, the University.

IV. Definitions (specific to this policy) 
Mentorship:

postdoctoral mentoring is a personal, voluntary, one-to-one relationship between a more experienced scientist/scholar and a junior scientist/scholar through which the junior scientist/scholar receives guidance and encouragement that contributes to the junior scholar’s professional development.

Principal Investigator (PI):

a status assigned to the lead scientist for a particular well-defined science or academic project with direct responsibility of a funded project, directing the research and reporting directly to the sponsor.

Regular Research Professional Positions:

positions with research titles of senior research scientist (0701), research scientist (0702), senior research engineer (0703), research engineer (0704), research associate (0708), and senior engineering scientist (0707).

Temporary/Visiting Research Positions:

positions with research titles of senior research fellow (0705), research fellow (0706), and postdoctoral fellow (0712).

Research Affiliates:

positions with titles of research affiliate-senior research fellow (A012), research affiliate-research fellow (A011), research affiliate-postdoctoral (A010), and visiting researcher/scholar (A006). These are unpaid non-employee positions for individuals who have relationships with the University outside of traditional employment. They may hold research affiliate positions in addition to other positions at the University.

V. Website (for policy) 
http://www.policies.utexas.edu/policies/hop/7-1020
VI. Contacts 
Contact Details Web
Office of the Vice President for ResearchPhone:512-471-2877Fax:512-471-2827Website:
Office of the Executive Vice President and ProvostPhone:512-471-4363Fax:512-475-7385Website:
VII. Responsibilities & Procedures 

GENERAL BACKGROUND


Research titles referenced in this policy are not academic titles within the meaning of Board of Regents’ Rule 31001 - Faculty Appointments and Titles. Individuals assigned to any of these research titles are not eligible for the award of tenure within the meaning of Board of Regents’ Rule 31007 - Tenure.

 

Individuals assigned to the research titles covered by this policy are subject to and are required to observe all applicable federal, state, and local laws, including, but not limited to, export control laws and regulations, University policies and procedures, and The University of Texas System Board of Regents’ Rules and Regulations, including Regents’ Rule 90102 - Intellectual Property Rights and Obligations. Other  UT System and University policies related to positions covered by these research titles are noted in Section X of this policy, however, those policies are not all inclusive of compliance obligations of each individual researcher.

 

RESEARCH TITLES AND FUNCTIONS

 

  1. Paid Employee Positions – Regular
  1. Senior Research Scientist (0701)

Senior Research Engineer (0703)
 

These titles:

  • qualify the individual to serve as principal investigator (PI) on research grants/contracts and submit research proposals to outside funding agencies.
  • require documentation of research accomplishments and professional experience equivalent to a full professor, including supervision of research programs/projects as a PI.

To hold a senior research engineer title, the individual must be a registered professional engineer in the State of Texas.

                       

  1. Research Scientist (0702)

Research Engineer (0704)


These titles:

  • qualify the individual to serve as PI on research grants/contracts and submit research proposals to outside funding agencies.
  • require documentation of research accomplishments and professional experience equivalent to an established assistant professor or new associate professor. The individual must have an established record as an independent research scientist/engineer.

To hold a research engineer title, the individual must be a registered professional engineer in the State of Texas.

 

  1. Research Associate (0708)

Upon approval by the vice president for research or delegate, a research associate may submit research proposals as a PI or co-PI.

Research associate is an entry-level research professional position.

In order to be assigned as a research associate, the individual must possess the professional qualifications to conduct independent research and have the potential to become an established researcher. Research associate candidates should hold a degree considered terminal for the discipline.

 

  1. Senior Engineering Scientist (0707)

Upon approval of the vice president for research or delegate, a senior engineering scientist is eligible to serve as a PI on a case-by-case basis. 

Senior engineering scientist is the advanced level in the career path of the classified engineering scientist title group (4204-Engineering Scientist, 4205-Engineering Scientist Associate). An individual recommended for this position title must possess the professional qualifications to conduct independent research. This title is generally restricted to individuals who are highly qualified in their field but do not hold a terminal degree in their discipline.  

 

  1. Paid Employee Positions – Temporary
  1. Senior Research Fellow (0705)

Research Fellow (0706) 


These titles are used for temporary employment, not to exceed two years and apply to:

  • a visiting scientist/engineer permanently based at another institution who plans to return to it after a limited stay at the University
  • an individual from another institution or from industry invited to collaborate on University sponsored activities and who is established professionally in their field.
  • other conditions deemed appropriate by the provost or vice president for research. 

Recruitment for positions with these titles does not require posting through Human Resources nor implies an expectation of reassignment beyond the stated period of assignment.

Upon approval by the vice president for research or delegate, individuals assigned to these titles may submit research proposals as a PI or co-PI.

 

  1. Postdoctoral Fellow (0712)

This title is used for the traditional postdoctoral assignment intended to provide a training program of advanced academic preparation and research training under mentorship of a more experienced scientist/scholar. Assignments are for one year and may be renewed on an annual basis up to a maximum of five years. 

Upon approval by the vice president for research or delegate, individuals assigned  this title may submit research proposals as a co-PI.

 

  1. Unpaid Positions - Temporary

These titles are used for research affiliate positions in cases where the individual is not an employee and receives no pay from the University. 

The research affiliate will continue to be the assignee and employee of the permanent home institution or company at all times or be otherwise supported by external funding for the duration of the assignment. The University will exercise administrative control and technical supervision over the research affiliate’s activities during the assignment.

The permanent home institution or company or external funding entity shall be responsible for all costs and expenses incurred by these researchers, including, wages, fringe benefits, medical expenses, travel and living expenses. Any taxes on the researcher’s stipend or company benefits due the State of Texas or the United States are the direct responsibility of the researcher and the home institution or company or external funding entity. Any unemployment insurance claims that arise from this affiliation are the responsibility of the home institution or company or external funding entity.

 

  1. Research Affiliate-Senior Research Fellow (A012)

Research Affiliate-Research Fellow (A011)

These titles are unpaid positions for researchers invited to collaborate on University sponsored activities.

Individuals assigned to these titles are not authorized to submit research proposals as a PI or co-PI.

 

  1. Research Affiliate - Postdoctoral (A010)

This title is used when a junior scientist/scholar has been awarded a fellowship or traineeship from an external agency or organization based on individual merit and for the specific purpose of individual development.

The award may be paid directly to the recipient from the grantor or administered through a University account by the Office of Sponsored Projects according to the requirements of the fellowship. Payments are not made through the University payroll system and there is no employer/employee relationship between the University and the fellowship recipient. These scholars may be paid a stipend to pursue an individually defined training program according to the requirements of the fellowship. The assignments are intended to provide a full-time training program of advanced academic preparation and research training under the mentorship of a more experienced scientist/scholar.

Individuals assigned to this title are not authorized to submit research proposals as a PI or co-PI.

 

  1. Visiting Researcher/Scholar (A006)

The visiting researcher/scholar title is used for a visitor seeking to pursue individually defined research or scholarly activities on the University campus.

This title requires a University sponsor and is an unpaid position.

Visiting researcher/scholars cannot request PI status.

Additional information about the University Affiliate-Visiting Researcher/Scholar Program may be found at: http://www.utexas.edu/research/resources/visiting-scholar-researcher-program.

XI. History 

Last reviewed: January 28, 2014

Next scheduled review: January 2016

Previously HOP 7.23