Contingent to Tenure Track for PhD Scientists

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Policy: Contingent to Tenure Track for PhD Scientists
Policy Nr: Sec 07 - 01
Target Review Date: 2020-05-29
Main Stakeholder: Department Head


The Department of Internal Medicine currently has PhD contingent appointees conducting research in the Faculty of Medicine who are funded in part by Manitoba Health dollars, University baseline dollars and by the Department of Internal Medicine Practice Plan. Annual economic salary increases and requests for consideration from anomalies funding has resulted in the Practice Plan incurring additional costs. All of these individuals are contributing to the academic mission of the University of Manitoba.

Because these individuals do not hold COPSE baseline-funded tenure track positions with the University of Manitoba we are at risk of losing our “best” researchers to other Universities who do have tenured track positions available.

Collective Agreement

The Collective Agreement between the University of Manitoba and the University of Manitoba Faculty Association UMFA provides a framework for probationary and tenured positions. However, in order to be considered for tenure, there must be baseline funding.

The UMFA collective agreement further allows individuals who hold contingent appointment to transition to an appointment with tenure in cases where special circumstances seem to them to justify it. However this requires the Dean’s approval as well as that of the Vice President Academic. Details are available in section 19.C.4 Probationary Appointments of the agreement.


Step 1

Department of Internal Medicine approaches the Contingent appointee to determine if they are interested in pursuing a tenure position.

  • If not interested, the process stops.
  • If interested, the process moves to #step 2.

Step 2

Department of Internal Medicine conducts a minimum of 2 internal reviews to determine suitability of Contingent appointee for a probationary position. This internal review will be consistent with the established policies and procedures for research reviews within the Department of Internal Medicine and Faculty of Medicine. These reviews are in a 3 year cycle. As a result, no one would be eligible for a probationary appointment until they had been employed for a minimum of 6 years from initial appointment.

  • If not deemed suitable, the process stops and the incumbent is terminated with 6 months notice.
  • If deemed suitable the process moves to #step 3.

Step 3

The Department of Internal Medicine will meet with the Associate Dean (Research) to ensure there is baseline funding in the department for a probationary appointment. This could include new funding for a position or the redirection of existing funding from contingent to operating. The Associate Dean (Research) will discuss this with the Dean and the Vice-Provost Academic.

The UMFA Collective Agreement requires a search process be undertaken even though the incumbent has been employed with the University for at least 6 years. The composition of the search committee is outlined in the collective agreement. The position must be advertised also as proscribed in the collective agreement.

A request for waiver may be initiated. These are normally granted by UMFA if there is clear demonstration that there are no other members at the University who would be qualified for the position. To assess this, UMFA requires a copy of the position description, which must include a description that involves teaching, service and research. However, it should be noted that there is no generic position description for PhD faculty.

Probationary appointments are for 6 years, at which time the incumbent must apply for tenure. However, this may be reduced by 1 or more years, provided that no such reduction shall be greater than the actual period of prior service. This must be noted at time of hire in the probationary appointment.

The incumbent may apply for early tenure at the end of 3 years. When the faculty member applies for early tenure consideration the applicant is expected to meet the same criteria and have achieved the same level of competence who has completed his/her maximum untenured period, regardless of the number of years of probation served.

Alternatively, the incumbent may elect to wait until the last academic year in the probationary period - 6 years.

In either case, if he or she is successful, tenure is awarded. If he or she is unsuccessful, the individual is terminated in accordance with the collective agreement (six months’ notice).

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