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The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research is responsible for the oversight, review and approval of all "research faculty hiring" on the Boulder Campus. We hope that the following information will facilitate ease in working with already-established, as well as upcoming, campus policies and procedures. Boulder Campus Research Associate Faculty Series (referred to as “Research Faculty”) include the following titles:

  • Professional Research Assistants (PRAs)
  • Sr. Professional Research Assistants (Sr. PRAs)
  • Research Associates
  • Sr. Research Associates

They are employed by tenure-track faculty who serve as PI’s (Principal Investigators) for their research grants.

The Boulder Campus Research Faculty and the Research Professor Series (Research Assistant Professors, Research Associate Professors and Research Professors),  proposed by Bruce R. Ekstrand, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs in June 1985, was approved by the Boulder Faculty Assembly (BFA), the Boulder Campus Administration, the University of Colorado President and the Board of Regents, and implemented in June 1986.

Research Associate Faculty Series

The Research Associate Faculty Series consists of the following job titles: Professional Research Assistants/PRAs, Sr. Professional Research Assistants/Sr. PRAs, Research Associates and Sr. Research Associates. Individuals holding titles in this series are not involved in an instructional program at the University.

Professional Research Assistant (PRA)

This title is held by individuals competent to carry out research or scholarly work of a quality comparable to that produced by a graduate student research assistant. Other persons eligible to be considered for appointment to the PRA title would be individuals, such as Graduate Student Teaching Assistants, who possess professional skills and competencies that can be applied to assist the professor directly in the support of the research program. A PRA works in a collaborative role with the principal investigator and contributes substantively to the investigation and analysis of the project. As a collaborator on the project, the PRA may receive full credit as co-author of publications and technical reports, and shares responsibilities in the research setting. A bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience is required for appointment to the Professional Research Assistant title.

Senior Professional Research Assistant

This title is held by individuals to carry out research or scholarly work of a quality comparable to that produced by an advanced Graduate Student Research Assistant. Appointment to this title is regarded as a promotion above the rank of PRA. The master’s degree or equivalent experience is required for appointment as a Senior PRA.

Research Associate

This title is granted to persons holding the doctor’s degree or its equivalent and whose academic qualifications may be comparable to the regular faculty ranks of Associate Professor or Assistant Professor.

Senior Research Associate

This title is granted to persons who, because of demonstrated superior service and performance, are recognized by the University as outstanding researchers in their field. Appointment to this position is to be regarded as a promotion above the existing rank of Research Associate, and may be comparable to the regular faculty rank of Professor.

…. including information on required training, benefits & leave, and the merit increase cycle.

Research Professor Series

(Research Professor, Research Associate Professor, Research Assistant Professor): These titles are used for persons with qualifications similar to the Professor, Associate Professor, and Assistant Professor, respectively. These faculty are involved in research and have limited involvement in the instructional programs at the University.

…. including information on required training, benefits & leave, and the merit increase cycle.

Post-doc Fellowships

These are restricted to individuals who have obtained “post-doctoral fellowship” funding directly from a federal agency, rather than being hired by a PI (Principal Investigator) who has funding for his or her lab. Post-doc fellowship recipients are ineligible for vacation and sick leave earnings, as well as being ineligible to contribute to retirement plans.

University Staff (formerly Exempt Professionals)

Hiring of University Staff (formerly Exempt Professional staff) funded by grants are overseen and administered by the Department of Human Resources, and involve the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research with regard to approval of the funding, and the offer letter processes.

Payroll Liaison Information

The information included in this section is focused on hiring policies, procedures and processes used by departmental payroll/personnel liaisons to hire research faculty on the Boulder Campus.

…including information on the JobsatCU Processes

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