Information for Junior Faculty

The Department of Physics, in an effort to provide each of our junior faculty members with every opportunity to succeed in meriting the position of full professor, has created the following guidelines to clarify the promotion process and the policies governing it.

Role of the Division Head

Division Heads are the primary supervisors for faculty members in their division. They represent and advocate for their division on the Physics Council. They oversee the searches and new appointments; oversee the promotion process for members of their division; annually review faculty members in their division with the Department Head and have input on the ranking that impacts individual salary increases. Finally, they assist members of their division when problems arise.

Division Heads are also responsible for providing guidance and acting as mentors to the junior faculty members in their division. They must meet annually with all non-tenured members of their division. During this annual review process, among other topics, they discuss mentoring, teaching, community contributions, publications, teaching, research progress, and prospects for future and permanent appointment at the Institute. A report based on these discussions is made to the Physics Council at the annual retreat and submitted to the Dean of Science during the spring.


A temporary mentor will be assigned to each junior faculty member for his or her first year at the Institute. This mentor commits to mentoring the junior faculty member for one year. By the end of that year, the junior faculty member should choose a long-term mentor who may, but need not, be the senior faculty member assigned by the Department. The junior faculty member will notify the Department Head and the Division Head the name of his/her mentor at the end of his/her first year of employment.

The mentee has primary responsibility for contacting his/her assigned mentor and seeking out their guidance on aspects of teaching, research, and Institute policy. As mentioned above, a discussion regarding how well the mentor relationship is working should be held during the annual review with their Division Head. Finally, they may add another mentor at any time or change mentors without need to state the reason.

More information on the Department's mentoring policy is online at and available from the Human Resources Administrator in 6-114.

Promotion Procedures

The Institute's faculty promotion process is governed by the Institute's Policies and Procedures Manual. Promotion cases are created by the Department for their review and approval. Approved cases are then sent to the School's Science Council where the case is reviewed and a recommendation is made to the Dean. The Dean is then responsible for presenting the approved cases to the Institute's Academic Council for review and approval. Upon Academic Council approval, the cases are sent to the MIT Corporation for review and approval.

Overview of Promotion Proceduresexternal link icon

Administrative Support

The Department provides two hours per week of administrative support to each faculty member. In addition, the Course Web Administrator is responsible for creating and supporting course websites, and the Course Manager in the Physics Academic Programs Office is responsible for coordinating and providing administrative support for courses. Members of Headquarters can provide additional information on sources of support at the Institute.


Faculty members are expected to teach students in formal classes and laboratories, in informal groups and conferences, and by collaboration on research projects. They are expected to prepare for teaching by keeping abreast of current developments and studying ways to present subject matter more effectively and to improve teaching skills. They also participate in curriculum development and in preparation of syllabi, laboratory manuals, texts, and other material written primarily for their value to teaching. In addition, they are expected to provide counsel, guidance, and example to students in relation not only to their academic programs but also to their professional standards and general welfare.

Faculty members are expected to teach the equivalent of one lecture course each term except during periods when they request and receive permission for a research or sabbatical leave. Information on leave policies and a request form are online here.

MIT Faculty Resources

There is a wealth of information regarding teaching, advising, governance, research, and many other areas online at link icon.


There are several orientation meetings for new faculty members. New faculty members should meet with the Administrative Officer to get orientation information regarding the Department and the Institute. In addition, new faculty members should attend the orientation provided by the Human Resources Office to enroll in the Institute's benefits program. There is also an annual Institute wide orientation for all new fauculty members typically held in September.


Faculty members are paid their nine-month salary over a twelve-month period. Salary payments for the academic year beginning in September start during the previous July. Each month they receive 1/12 of their nine-month salary. Faculty members who begin their appointment in January, officially start on 16 January and are paid ½ of their nine-month salary during the period January through June.

Faculty members who are eligible for summer salary will be contacted at the end of the spring semester to provide the Department with their summer plans. All summer salary is paid in the July check. Each month of summer salary is paid at a rate equal to 1/9th of the nine-month salary for the fiscal year beginning on July 1.


Please contact the Department's Administrative Officer with questions regarding administrative matters.