Junior Faculty Resources

Junior Faculty Resources

Information on this page serves to balance the demands of academic work and other life needs for junior faculty. Below, there is information about tenure clock interruptions, child care and schooling, and other resources useful to junior faculty. 

In addition to these resources, the Junior Faculty Advisory Board (JFAB) is the committee dedicated to providing support and addressing the needs of junior faculty. Visit the committee site to view members, board communication and provide comments through the feedback form. 

For more information on competing for fellowships and grants, you may download a copy of New Faculty Guide to Competing for Research Funding here (CUID needed to download)

For questions, please contact the Office of Academic Affairs at [email protected] or [email protected]. For questions about Faculty Development and Diversity, please contact [email protected]

Lenfest Junior Faculty Development Grant Program

The Lenfest Junior Faculty Development Grants were established in 2015 to provide additional financial support to junior faculty to help complete projects to meet the expectations for tenure. Untenured associate and assistant tenure-track professors, not being reviewed for tenure in the current academic year, are eligible to apply.  

See the most recent call for proposals are available here. Fall Proposals are due October 30th. 



Hettleman Junior Faculty Summer Research Support Program for the Humanities and Social Sciences

The Arts and Sciences provides small grants to support summer research by its junior faculty in the Division of the Humanities and the Division of Social Science. The grants are designed to help non-tenured faculty complete work that might otherwise be delayed by a lack of resources or time. Although modest in size, the stipends can be used to defray the costs of travel, research assistance, equipment, materials, or to reduce financial pressures during the summer, including childcare expenses. 

The next deadline for applications is Monday, April 24, 2023.

2023 Guidelines and Application Form 

Faculty in any of the 13 Humanities departments and in the School of the Arts should send program inquires applications to Jessica Lilien, Director of Decanal Affairs in the Humanities, at [email protected].

Faculty in any of the 6 Social Science departments should send program inquiries and applications to Jack Reilly, Director of Decanal Affairs in the Division of Social Science, at [email protected].

There are three eligibility requirements for workload relief in addition to holding an appointment in a Faculty that has adopted the plan. An officer must

  1. be a full-time officer of instruction;
  2. hold an appointment with one of the following titles:
    • professor, associate professor, or assistant professor, including those with the clinical or practice modifier but excluding those in a visiting rank;
    • instructor; or
    • senior lecturer, lecturer, or associate, including those with the modifier “in (discipline)” provided that the faculty member has taught full-time at the University in one of those two ranks for at least two years; and
  3. be primarily responsible for the care of a newborn child or a newly adopted child of less than school age or if the child is disabled or meets New York State’s legal definition of “hard-to-place,” less than 18 at the time the leave begins. For the purpose of this policy, an officer is the “primary parent” if he or she is a single parent or, where there are two parents, if the other is working full-time or is enrolled as a full-time student. Faculty may employ a day-care provider and still qualify as the primary parent. When both parents work at the University, only one may be considered the primary parent at any given time.

Eligible faculty members may receive workload relief for one term at full salary or one year at half salary. The period of workload relief must begin within the first year after the birth or adoption of the new child but may continue beyond that year. During the period selected, faculty are excused from teaching and from serving on administrative committees. They are, however, expected to make themselves available for consultations with students and to continue their research. Eligible faculty may also elect a year of workload relief at full salary by agreeing to teach half of their normal course load in each term and continuing to make themselves available for a comparable portion of the administrative assignments they normally perform as well as continuing to meet with students and conduct research.

While on workload relief, faculty are not permitted to accept assignments, either with or without compensation, outside the University.

The workload relief plan is designed to replace the combination of medical and/or child care leaves for individuals who meet their eligibility requirements. However, eligible faculty may still elect to take those leaves rather than ask for workload relief if they wish, for example, to provide no service while taking care of their new children.

If workload relief is not preceded by other periods of leave covered by the FMLA, the first 12 weeks are deemed to meet the requirements of that Act.

If the total period of child care leave, including medical leaves required by pregnancy and childbirth, is at least two months in length, the Provost’s Office will exclude the term in determining the maximum period of time a nontenured faculty member may serve in a full-time instructional capacity at the University. The faculty member does not need to ask for the exclusion. 

Tenure Clock Stoppage

If a nontenured faculty assumes primary responsibility for the care of a child less than a year old, the Provost may stop the tenure clock.  This can occur without taking a leave of absence or participating in the University’s workload relief program(if eligible).  

An officer is considered the “primary parent” if:

  • She or he is a single parent
  • There are two parents, but the other is working full time or enrolled as a full-time student.

To assist full-time officers of instruction who must prepare for a tenure review while raising a family, the University allows those who are subject to the limits on nontenured service and have young children to retain their full-time status, and its associated benefits and privileges, while providing part-time service. Because of the purpose for which it was created, faculty with tenure and those who are exempt from the limits on nontenured service may not hold this type of appointment.

To be eligible for the part-time career appointment, the faculty member must be primarily responsible for the care of a child under the age of nine and plan to devote the time freed up by the appointment to that responsibility. For the purpose of determining eligibility, the University follows the definition of a primary parent described earlier in this section of the Handbook.

Each year of a part-time career appointment is treated as a half-year in determining the officer’s up-or-out date, thereby providing additional time before the officer must be reviewed for tenure. Full-time service, either before or after holding such an appointment, is counted in the normal manner.

While they are on a part-time career appointment, faculty perform half of their normal responsibilities and are paid half of their normal salary but remain eligible to participate in the University’s benefits programs. Faculty on such an appointment may not work for compensation outside of the University.

A part-time career appointment is authorized by the Provost on the recommendation of the department chair and dean or vice president. Faculty may hold such an appointment as long as they meet the eligibility requirements for it and annually inform their chair and dean or vice president of their intention to continue to serve in a part-time capacity. They may return to full-time service upon providing timely written notice to their chair and dean or vice president.

Occasionally, an interruption in full-time service will occur that has a bearing on the limits on nontenured service. Such a break may result from any of the following:

  • nonrenewal of a full-time instructional appointment;
  • resignation;
  • service as a full-time officer of research or administration of the University, provided that the individual has no instructional responsibilities;
  • appointment to the special instructional faculty with a title containing the modifier “in (discipline)”; or
  • a change from full-time to part-time instructional service (except in the case of the part-time career appointment for parents).

Under the provisions of the University Statutes, the eight-year limit is recalculated from the date on which the officer is reappointed in a full-time instructional capacity whenever a break in service occurs. However, in keeping with the spirit of the statutory provisions, the total period of the full-time instructional appointment, including any time as a full-time faculty member in a rank that is not subject to the limits on nontenured service, normally does not extend beyond eight counted years.

Some periods of instructional appointment are not counted toward the eight-year limit, and in some instances this causes the up-or-out date of the officer to change. Except as noted below for officers who are primarily responsible for children under the age of one, the officer does not need to apply for those exclusions. The Office of the Provost will automatically make the appropriate adjustment and inform the officer and his or her department chair and dean or vice president.

Up to one full year of appointment in a nonprofessorial rank (i.e., instructor, senior lecturer, lecturer, associate, or assistant) or one year of a leave of absence is routinely excluded from the eight-year limit. Semesters of partial leave in which the officer performs 50 percent or less of normal service are treated as if they were half semesters of full leave. A single such partial leave does not affect the limits on nontenured service. Two or three are treated as a one-semester leave and four as one year of leave. Semesters of partial leave in which the officer performs more than 50 percent of normal service are counted toward the eight-year limit.

Ordinarily, no more than one year of full-time appointment may be excluded in determining the limits on nontenured service. However, when a leave of absence is granted for medical reasons, child care (including exemptions from teaching duties under the workload relief plan), military service, or personal hardship, the Provost may rule that it will not be counted in calculating the up-or-out date, regardless of whether periods of service have been excluded for other reasons. As a general rule, the Office of the Provost excludes leaves for these purposes in determining the officer’s up-or-out date as long as they are at least two months in length.

At the sole discretion of the Provost, an additional year may also be excluded when a faculty member has been denied tenure after an ad hoc review and grieves the decision to the Faculty Affairs Committee of the University Senate if the Committee needs additional time in order to complete its investigation.

Under Section §71c(2) of the University Statutes, the Provost may stop the tenure clock of nontenured faculty if they assume the primary responsibility for the care of a child less than a year old, even if they do not take a leave of absence for that purpose or participate in the University’s workload relief program. An officer is considered the “primary parent” if she or he is a single parent or, where there are two parents, if the other is working full-time or is enrolled as a full-time student. Faculty may employ a day-care provider and still qualify for this exclusion. When both parents work at the University, only one may be considered primary at any given time.

Faculty may have the tenure clock stopped in this manner for up to one year of appointment for each of two children. To be eligible for an exclusion under these provisions, officers of instruction must be the primary parent for a minimum of three months. If they take a child care leave or participate in the parental workload relief program, the maximum time that can be excluded from the tenure count for any combination of those options and these statutory provisions is one year for each child.

The Office of the Provost does not have access to information on when faculty become new parents. Therefore, it is incumbent upon the faculty member to request time off of the tenure clock under these provisions. They should write as early as possible directly to the Senior Vice Provost for Academic Administration to request the exclusion and affirm that they meet the eligibility requirements for it. The letter should state that the faculty member will be the primary care giver, indicate that the other parent is either working full-time or is a full-time student, and include the date of the child’s birth or adoption. On receipt of the request the Office of the Provost will change the faculty member’s up-or-out date and inform the appropriate department chair and dean or vice president as well as the individual.

Since it is in the interest of neither the individual nor the University for an appointment to end mid-year, every up-or-out date is set at June 30. Applying the principles set forth above, most individuals will have completed eight years of counted service on that date. Some, however, will have served for eight-and-one-half years, given the manner in which the limits on nontenured service are calculated. In such cases, the officer does not receive tenure as a result of the additional half year of appointment.

Each spring the Office of the Provost sends the vice presidents, deans, and department chairs a summary report of the appointment histories of the full-time officers of instruction in their respective units whose appointments are subject to the limits on nontenured service. For each officer listed, the report includes the up-or-out date. It is the responsibility of the deans and department chairs to convey this information to their junior faculty. It is also their responsibility to provide nontenured faculty whose appointments will be terminated with written notice of nonrenewal that is clear, unambiguous, and timely (see “Termination,” below). Officers with questions about the limits on nontenured service should consult their dean, vice president, or chair. They may also contact the Assistant Provost for Academic Appointments.

Assistant professors and non-tenured associate professors in the Humanities and Social Sciences are entitled to a one-semester ETD at full salary after their first six semesters of full-time teaching in a professorial rank or as an instructor upon successful passage of the Third Year Review, provided that they have been reappointed for the period during which the leave will be taken and will return to the University for at least one year of full-time service after its completion. Normally, the leave is taken during the fourth year of counted service, but it may be deferred with the approval of the department chair and the Executive Vice President for Arts and Sciences. These leaves, like sabbaticals, have priority over other types of research leaves.

Arts and Science Mentoring Proposal


We propose that issues of mentoring and of feedback from the formal review process (1st, 3rd, and 5th year reviews) be kept separate.  Although the mentoring program should help junior faculty navigate Columbia’s A&S review system, the mentoring process should not substitute for, nor be formally involved in, the established review system.


Separate from the mentoring proposal laid out below, A&S should work to strengthen and regularize the feedback that junior faculty members receive after reviews, particularly but not only, the 3rd year review.  To that end, we propose that information on both mentoring and providing feedback to junior faculty as part of the review system should be provided to department chairs, including at the orientation and information programs for new (and ongoing) chairs that A&S has recently established.


Many departments currently have well-functioning mentoring programs in place, and departmental needs for the composition and structure of mentoring committees will differ.  We therefore do not propose a one-size-fits all system, but rather provide elements that all mentoring programs should contain, and provide a sample program to serve as the “default” mentoring program.

Requirements for Departmental Mentoring Programs:

Every department should have a mentoring program in place for junior faculty members who have not yet been promoted to tenure.  


Mentoring programs should be established (or revised) in consultation with junior faculty in the department.  We encourage departments to allow anonymous feedback during this process.


All programs should: 

• provide support and advice on how to succeed at Columbia and in academia

• serve as a sounding board as an advocate (if necessary)

• provide feedback on research

• help orient the junior faculty member within Columbia (e.g., on finding available resources for research and teaching)


Mentoring programs are NOT intended to provide a critical evaluation or an assessment of progress. The junior faculty member is not obligated to follow any advice, nor does the advice constitute a roadmap for or guarantee of promotion or success.


Evaluation of mentoring programs:

Departments should provide a copy of their mentoring program to their Divisional Deans by May 1, 2015.  


Divisional Deans should review mentoring programs and make suggestions for improvements, and/or share information about mentoring initiatives in other departments, as relevant.  Review of mentoring should become an integral part of the ARC review process.


All department mentoring programs will be posted on the Arts and Sciences website. 

Sample/Default Mentoring Program

Composition of the Mentoring Committee:

Two tenured faculty, normally one from within the department and one from outside. 


Appointed by the Department Chair, in consultation with the junior faculty member during his/her first semester at Columbia.  The committee can change year-to-year. 



• provide support and advice on how to succeed at Columbia and in academia

• serve as a sounding board and advocate (if necessary)

• provide feedback on research

• help orient the junior faculty member within Columbia (e.g., on finding available resources for research and teaching)

Topics mentors might discuss with mentees include:

• General research agenda and how to prioritize among research projects

• Obtaining funding and/or opportunities for research leaves

• Suitability of publication outlets and formats 

• Gaining visibility in the field

• Balance of research, teaching, and service, strategies for teaching, and for advising graduate students

• Work/life balance issues (including “infrastructure” issues such as dealing with the Columbia housing office, schools, etc.).

Departments are encouraged to develop more specific lists of “sample questions” tailored to their own discipline. (One such list is provided as an example in the appendix).  Such a list should not be seen as a mere check-list, nor as a constraint on discussions, but rather as a way to foster a broad-ranging conversation.



Mentors meet at least once annually with the junior faculty member (all together, or individually, as the junior faculty member prefers). Mentors should meet with an incoming faculty member during her or his first semester.


Mentors should inform the department chair that this meeting has taken place, but should not report on the substance of the meeting, nor provide an evaluation of the junior faculty member. The junior faculty member should feel free to ask mentors for feedback and advice at other times when needed.


Mentoring meetings should be informal and collegial conversations; junior faculty should feel free to request that conversations, or sensitive aspects thereof be kept confidential.


Appendix:  Sample list of questions to guide meetings between mentors and junior faculty members (from the Political Science Department).  Departments should adapt this to fit their own needs.



• What books/papers are under review?  Where?

• What specific plans do you have to submit work for review in the future?  Where?

• Are there co-authors on your work?  Who, for what papers/books?  Are your co-authors senior to you, junior to you, or peers?

• What do you see as the overarching theme or contribution of your research?

• Are there infrastructural problems (e.g., IRB approvals, need for RAs or travel money, need to identify research assistants) that are making progress on research difficult?

• If you are writing a book, what are your plans to organize a mini-conference around the book?  Note the department has funds to support this.

• Do you have questions about whether it’s better to write a book or a series of articles? 

• What efforts have you made (and do you plan to make) to seek outside support for your research?  Do you have questions about the process of seeking outside support or have you faced issues in doing so?

• What opportunities have you had or will you have to present your work outside Columbia (in department seminars, major conferences, small-scale conferences, etc.)

• Who do you think is the main audience for your work, and based on this who do you think are likely external evaluators should you come up for tenure at Columbia?

• What do you hope to have achieved vis-à-vis concrete research outputs by the time (a) of your next A&S review, and (b) you are scheduled to come up for tenure

• Are there particular parts of your work that you would like more substantive feedback on from your mentor and/or from other faculty?



• What courses have you taught?

• What has been the feedback from the students?  (Consult course evaluations where available)?

• How many grad students are you advising formally?  How many informally?

• How much time do you spend talking to students (graduate or undergraduate) about issues other than their research (eg personal problems)?

• During the past semester, what proportion of your work time do you estimate was devoted to any aspect of teaching?

• Are there aspects of your teaching assignments that you feel are unduly burdensome?  If so, why?

• Have you had an issues or problems in working with TAs (or know how to utilize them)?

• Have you had any issues or problems in assigning grades to students?



• What service have you provided in the department?

• What service have you provided at Columbia but outside the department?

• What service have provided outside the University?

• Are there any specific requests for service that you would like to say no to or that you worry are putting undue burden on your time?

• More generally, do you feel you can say no to service requests when you need to?

• Approximately how many articles do you review for journals a year?  Do you feel like you know when to say yes and when to say no to such requests?



• What are your leave plans in the coming year?

• Are there issues not covered above that affect your ability to achieve your goals?

• Are you facing any work-life issues (housing, schooling, day care, etc.) that make it difficult for you to do your job well.

Parenting Resources

This section includes information on being a parent in the greater New York Metropolitan Area. 

Through these links below, you can learn more about: programs supporting parents, child care, and schooling needs

  • Back-up Care - Eligible Columbia University faculty, staff, and students can use subsidized back-up care for the children and adults/elders when normal care is interrupted but you still need to attend to your Columbia responsibilities.
  • School and Child Care Search Service - This service provides information and individual guidance to parents exploring all types of child care, including Columbia University's Affiliated Child Care Centers, educational opportunities within public, parochial, independent and special needs schools, and after school and out-of-school-time programs.

Early Child Care: Birth - Age Five 

Types of Child Care

General Licensing Requirements and Inspections

Selecting child care that meets your family's needs is important for you as a parent and can be a very difficult decision. You are considering the development and needs of children who are very young and may be separating from one-to-one care for the first time. How soon you will be returning to work or school, if on leave, plays a critical part of when to begin the search for child care. In addition to the child care options and information listed below, you may also want to consider reviewing the section on our website that covers public pre-k.

Lists of Early Child Care and Education Programs in the Vicinity of Columbia University Manhattan Campuses

The school and child care programs and websites listed are provided for informational purposes and do not constitute a recommendation of these locations or programs.  Columbia University assumes no responsibility in connection with any of these programs and recommends that information listed therein be independently verified. 

Please feel free to download and save these spreadsheets on your computer so that you can manipulate them as desired. 

Additional resources on early child care:

Independent Schools

The term Independent School is interchangeable with Private School. There may be some slight distinctions in governance between them. Such schools are funded by tuition, fund-raising, endowment income and entrepreneurial activity. Unlike public schools, they are not funded by tax dollars.

Public Schools

The School at Columbia 

The School at Columbia University, located on 110th Street and Broadway, opened its doors in September 2003.  The School is a kindergarten through eighth grade independent school created by Columbia University to serve children of neighboring families and those of eligible Columbia University employees.   Primary entry points of The School are Kindergarten and Sixth Grade, though spaces occasionally become available in other grades.   Columbia-affiliated families, other than those in Columbia bargaining units, must be eligible for the Primary Tuition Scholarship in order to be eligible to attend The School.

Spaces for neighborhood children (those living in Public School Districts 3 and 5 but not affiliated with Columbia University, except those in bargaining units) are allocated through a random lottery and tuition is need-blind.  The Provost's Office allocates the spaces for Columbia officers, however priority for open seats is for faculty recruitment and retention. 

For more information, please visit the website for The School at Columbia University.