ARG ECSA presentation 11/12/13

NCAR Scientific and Research
Engineering Staff Appointments
Bill Randel
2014 Appointments Review Group (ARG) Chair
November 12, 2013
Appointments Review Process
• What is the Ladder-track?
• What is “ the clock”? What is “stopping the clock”?
• How many years do you need to spend between
Scientist I and Scientist II? What about Scientist III and
Senior Scientist?
• What is the ARG?
• Who should you talk to if you have any questions?
NCAR Position Types
• Two types of positions –
– “Job-based” classification is based on the duties relating
to that job; ex. Administrators, Project & Associate
Scientists, Software Engineers. (~690 FTE in NCAR)
– “Person-based” classification applies only to “laddertrack” appointments and is determined by the
qualifications of the individual holding the position,
based on the university tenure model ; (~120 FTE in
• Scientists I, II, III and Senior Scientists and
• Research Engineers I, II, III and Senior Research Engineers
NCAR Ladder-Track Scientific and Research
Engineering Appointments
• Governed by the NCAR Scientific and Research Engineering
Appointments Policy 7-1
See also ARG Charter and Bylaws:
Ladder-Track Appointment Process
Level I Ladder-Tract (L-T) position  Level II L-T position
(5 year term, up or out, decision at the Lab Level)
Level II L-T position  Level III L-T position
(5 year term, up or out, nomination at the Lab level, review by
NCAR Appointments Review Group (ARG), decision by NCAR
Director, approval by Board of Trustees)
Level III L-T position  Senior Level L-T position
(No term, nomination by the Lab, review by ARG, decision by
NCAR Director, approval by Board of Trustees)
We have procedures for “Stopping the Clock” in special
(family leave, medical leave, instrument development, model
development, etc.)
Ladder-Track Appointments
• Levels I & II are term appointments with an “up or out”
decision. However, if out, can compete for other NCAR
positions not on the ladder-track.
• The NCAR Director with the approval of the Board of
Trustees makes Level III and Senior Level appointments.
• If a Level III incumbent is not promoted after a full review
by the ARG, the incumbent remains in his/her Level III
position and is eligible for future nominations and review
for promotion to the Senior Level.
• In addition to annual performance reviews, level III and
senior level staff have a Post-Appointment Review (PAR)
every 5 years.
Ladder-Track Appointments
L-T Hiring, Performance Appraisal, Promotions/Reclassifications and Post
Appointment Reviews are all based on the NCAR Scientist and Research
Engineer Appointment Criteria:
– Lists the three major criterion areas
• Science/technical contributions (journal papers, books,
patents, etc.)
• Contributions to NCAR Programs (CCSM, Field
program support, etc.)
• Community Service (editorship, thesis committees,
committee membership, etc.)
– Provides examples of typical measures for each area
Ladder-Track Appointments Criteria
Scientific research
contributions/technical excellence
Quality, breadth and impact of work
National and International Reputation
Contributions to NCAR Programs
Community Service
Level III vs. IV (examples)
Scientific/Technical Contributions
– Level III - The candidate is nationally recognized in the relevant
community for high scientific and research engineering
competence and productivity, as well as for skills in managing
scientific or engineering research programs and service activities
when required by the position.
– Senior Level - The candidate is internationally recognized in the
relevant community for the quality of an individual's theoretical,
technical, and numerical work; the extent that the work is set
apart from, or above that of others in similar fields; and the
impact or significance of the work in the field.
– Leadership (Level III—National, Senior Level—International)
• Refer to the Criteria for
– Examples for Contributions to NCAR Programs
– Examples for Community Service
Lab Reviews and Nominations
• Involves supervisors, lab senior scientists and research
engineers, and lab senior management.
• Level I to II promotion decision is made solely at the lab
• If nominated by lab for level III or senior level promotion,
the lab may call on the candidate to contribute to the
nomination materials.
• Nomination materials include reference letters from
outside reviewers.
NCAR Appointments Review Group
•A group of Senior Level Ladder-Track Staff
•Charged by the NCAR Director to:
–Conduct a review of level III and senior level scientific and
research engineering candidates for promotion.
–Perform a uniform and rigorous review of their
accomplishments within NCAR policy and procedures.
–Make recommendations for/against promotion to the NCAR
Appointments Review Group (ARG)
• First meeting (Nov) - set up Investigative Committees (3 Senior
Scientist members, ARG member is chair)
• Second meeting (Jan) - preliminary review of nomination
materials and ARG list of (additional) external referees to provide
• Investigative committee interviews candidates, other internal
people (collaborators) as needed, produces a summary Report
• Final Review Meeting (April) -
– Review of Nomination Materials, Investigative Subcommittee
Report and Referee Letters
– Deliberation by ARG and vote
– Recommendation to NCAR Director
NCAR Director and the UCAR Board of
• A Level III or Senior-Level appointment is conferred by the
NCAR Director following:
1) an evaluation and report to the NCAR Director by the
Appointments Review Group (ARG);
2) a recommendation for appointment by the NCAR Director
to the UCAR Board of Trustees; and
3) approval of the appointment by the UCAR Board of
More information on the Process
• NCAR Scientific and Research Engineering Appointments Policy 7-1
• The 2014 Ladder-Track Appointment Review Process
• Lab Review Process Information –
Contact your Lab Director or Administrator
• Presentations on the ARG Process–
Made annually by the ARG Chair to the NSA and ECSA
Now that the L-T Moratorium has been lifted:
Procedures in Policy 7-1 “NCAR Scientific and Research Engineering
“E . All ladder-track positions will be competed (as recommended by LT
Workforce Planning subcommittee). Recruitment includes efforts to attract
a diverse applicant pool. Prior to engaging in all the standard UCAR hiring
procedures, the hiring manager prepares a memo to the NCAR Director and
the cognizant Associate Director for review and approval. The memo
1. The rationale for the proposed ladder-track hire,
2. A statement regarding the position’s alignment with the NCAR or
Lab/Obs Strategic Plan,
3. A proposed five-year budget plan for funding the position, including a
breakdown of anticipated NSF Base and Non-Base support,
4. The position description as an attachment.
The cognizant Associate Director briefs the NCAR Executive Committee about
the hiring plans.”
For rare exceptions, an AD may request of waiver of search and selection
(Policy 6-3)
Some Suggestions for early career L-T staff
• Become familiar with your lab/division’s review
process as well as NCAR’s process. Focus on progress
towards promotion at annual review time
• Seek out advice and council from Senior Ladder-Track
staff/Lab Directors early and often
• Utilize on-line tools for self-evaluation of your career
(impact of publications)
• If you wrote a letter of recommendation for yourself,
what would it include? Would such a letter be likely
to come from leading scientists/engineers in your
Consider the impact of items you would put in
a promotion package
• Conference proceedings vs. peer reviewed
article, quality of journals, etc.
• Importance of NCAR programs that you are
contributing to (e.g. specific examples of how
the community has benefited from your work)
• International and local impact
• Productivity
– Number, rate of pubs, service
– Impact/Quality of each
Thank You!

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