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Promotion & Tenure

The Department of Pediatrics Office of Faculty Development (OFD) offers promotion planning, application and individual promotion review. We also provide an optional review of curricula vitae for style and readiness prior to submission as part of the promotions packet and review.

Faculty are encouraged to regularly assess their promotion preparation, planning and readiness by meeting with their mentor or an OFD advisor. Further guidance on promotion preparedness may be obtained by contacting the Dept of pediatrics Office of Faculty Development at 


Promotion Tracks

Frequently Asked Questions about the Clinical Promotion Pathway

 What is the Clinical Promotion Pathway of the PFF?

All physicians in the Pediatric Faculty Foundation of Lurie Children's have an academic appointment through the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. As of 2015, Feinberg School of Medicine (FSM) policy is that all physicians based solely at outreach hospitals are appointed as Health System Clinicians. Faculty who practice at the main campus have an appointment within the Feinberg Clinician-Educator promotion track (Instructor, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, or Professor).

Traditionally, the Department of Pediatrics has used the medical school’s annual academic promotion system to award stepwise career advancement for all physicians. The PFF Clinical Promotion Pathway provides an alternative for clinically intensive faculty members who do not qualify for advancement in the conventional academic promotion system.

 Who qualifies for advancement in the Clinical Promotion Pathway?

The faculty member will have a career development plan and/or job description focused primarily on clinical activities (baseline 0.9 cFTE), and therefore unlikely to lead to promotion in the NU-FSM academic system. Eligible faculty have a minimum 0.5 FTE  holding appointment as a Health System Clinician, Instructor, Assistant or, rarely, Associate Professor on the Clinician-Educator track.   Faculty continue to be eligible for the CPP pathway as they take on leadership responsibilities with commensurate FTE support (e.g. a faculty member with 0.2 offset as a director for a clinical program is eligible if their baseline clinical distribution was 0.9 cFTE, and is now 0.7cFRE due to leadership offset).

 As of 2015, Feinberg School of Medicine (FSM) policy is that all physicians with most of their clinical activities at outreach hospitals are appointed as Health System Clinicians. Faculty with most of their clinical activities at the main campus have an appointment within the Feinberg Clinician-Educator promotion track.  Both types of physicians are eligible to apply for advancement in the Clinical Promotion Pathway. Although it would be unusual for a faculty member to pursue advancement in both systems, advancement in the PFF Clinical Promotion Pathway does not impact future advancement in the Feinberg system.

 Participation in educational activities for medical students, other trainees, and other hospital staff members is expected of all faculty members, and will be viewed favorably. Consideration of advancement will be possible at predetermined intervals:

  • Assistant Clinician (recognizes institutional commitment). Appointment generally requires at least 3 years of service in the Lurie Children's system. Fellowship‐trained faculty members may be considered after 1 year.
  • Associate Clinician (recognizes activity/innovation/emerging leadership): At least 4 years at rank of Assistant Clinician.
  • Master Clinician (recognizes senior leadership, exceptional clinical expertise): At least 5 years at rank of Associate Clinician.

 Exceptions to above may be discussed for those coming from other institutions or other special circumstances.

It is important to note that beyond the rank of Assistant Clinician, advancement on the clinical promotion pathway will require documentation of programmatic contributions beyond direct patient care. As indicated in the list of examples, these could be educational, clinical, quality, or other activities. Please note that the length of service described here at each rank represents a minimum and that significantly longer intervals may be required for activities to merit promotion to the next rank.

 How do I apply?

Faculty will apply for advancement by providing the following:

  1. A complete CV submitted in the NUFSM format (Feinberg CV template)
  2. Personal statement (1-3 pages) summarizing the applicant’s accomplishments, why the applicant meets criteria for advancement, and describing short‐ and long‐term career goals. Personal statement should concentrate on activities since the last promotion (e.g. Master Clinician personal statement should concentrate only on activities since promotion to Associate Clinician).
  3. Letters of support are solicited by the faculty member; however, the author should send the letter directly to staff at Letters should address the applicant’s clinical skills and contributions, communication and consultative abilities, and other mission-based contributions that exceed basic clinical duties.  (See the Application Checklist for the number of letters required.)  The referees can be site, clinical or administrative leaders who can attest to the applicant’s qualifications. They should have CPP or FSM ranks at or above that sought by the candidate, or have responsibilities that provide important perspectives on the candidate’s work. 

 What is the timeline for this year’s Clinical Promotion Pathway process?

Applications should be reviewed with the Candidate’s Division Head for clarity and quality before being submitted electronically to The submission deadline is July 1, 2024; letters of support are due July 15, 2024. Approved promotions will become effective on September 1, 2024.

 How will applications be reviewed?

The advancement cycle occurs annually. A Departmental faculty committee will review the Candidate’s qualifications and vote on each application. Documentation of activities is important. For example, if the Candidate led a Quality activity, was a document produced describing the impact on patient care? If an abstract was presented at a national meeting, where and when was it presented? If the Candidate participated in teaching, what was their role and how did it compare with those of others in the group? What were the productivity indices to support the Candidate’s clinical contribution? The materials themselves do not have to be submitted, but data clearly defining accomplishments and activities that are described in the application will help support the Candidate’s case for appointment/promotion. Note that active leadership, rather than general participation, in a group activity will be expected for promotion beyond the level of Assistant Clinician.

 What are the benefits of advancement?

Promotions will be made public following completion of the review cycle, and will become effective after the committee's work is complete and recommendations are reviewed by the Chair. As of 2022, salary increases are administered in alignment with the model for academic promotions. Those promoted from Assistant to Associate Clinician will typically receive an approximate 10% increase in base salary. With promotion from Associate to Master Clinician, you will typically receive an approximate 10% increase in base salary. Please note those who advanced under the previous model and received a 5% increase from Instructor to Assistant Clinician will receive a 5% increase when they advance from Assistant to Associate Clinician. The table below further explains the breakdown:

Promotion Pathway Current model beginning 2022 Old Model
Instructor to Assistant Clinician 0% 5%
Assistant Clinician to Associate Clinician 10% 5%
Associate Clinician to Master Clinician 10% 10%

 How can I learn more about the Clinical Promotion Pathway?

Your Division Head and site leader will be familiar with the PFF Clinical Promotion Pathway advancement process. If you have questions about your career path, you may contact to be connected with an advisor for a promotion-readiness review session. 

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