Senior Promotions

What is Senior Promotion?

Senior Promotion refers to the promotion to Associate Professor or Full Professor. Candidates are reviewed by the Department Appointments Committee (DAC).

Academic promotion is one of the most important ways in which the university can recognize the excellence of its faculty in terms of teaching, research, creative professional activity (CPA) and other professional activities, both within and outside the University. 

There are three ways candidates can be put forward for senior promotion (promotion to the rank of Associate Professor or Full Professor):

  • A review of CVs by the Department Chair
  • Proposals made by their site Anesthesiologist-in-Chief to the Chair, or
  • Written self-nomination by the candidate, addressed to the Chair.

It is a separate process from Junior Promotions.

Table of Contents

The Application Process

Faculty who feel they are strong candidates should first meet with their Site Chief and notify them of their intent to apply for promotion. 

Potential applicants are also encouraged to contact the Departmental Promotions Committee Chair, Dr. Frances Chung, early in the new year to conduct a preliminary review of their application documents prior to submission.

For a comprehensive review of the promotions process, please visit the Temerty Faculty of Medicine - Appointments & Promotions  web page. 

Additional details on the requirements are listed below.

What to Expect After Your Application is Submitted

  • The Departmental Promotions Committee reviews each candidate's dossier thoroughly and advises about any areas in their documents which do not conform with the Promotions Manual guidelines.
  • The Committee might recommend changes to enhance a candidate's chances at the next stage of the process.
  • Mentors are assigned to assist the candidates in building their dossiers and presenting them in the best possible way.
  • Candidates are also free to contact any of the Committee members for advice pertaining to their documentation and the promotions process.
  • Based on a timeline provided at the outset of the process, candidates will amend their submissions drawing upon the suggestions of their mentor and/or other committee members and submit the updated documentation for final review.
  • The committee then makes their recommendations to the Department Chair whether to move forward with the submission to the Decanal Committee.
  • Candidates not recommended for promotion by the DPC are provided reasons, along with feedback on how to improve their chances of promotion in the future. This is an important part of the Committee's role in Faculty Development.


The Department of Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine has established internal deadlines which may differ from those of the Temerty Faculty of Medicine.

Typically applications are due in the department (approximately) each May. If successful, the candidate's promotion will take effect on July 1st of the academic year following the application.

For the 2024-25 senior promotion cycle, the department’s application deadline is May 15, 2024.

Contact Us

For information regarding the senior promotions process, please contact us at

General Promotions Guidelines

General Promotions Guidelines: Associate and Full Professor


Academic promotion at the University of Toronto is based on accomplishment in scholarship (research and/or creative professional activity), teaching and service to the University.

We urge you to carefully consider completion of each of these dossiers, where applicable, but ALL candidates must submit a Teaching Dossier.

  • Research. Scholarship, as demonstrated by a Curriculum Vitae and supporting documents.
  • Creative Professional Activity. As demonstrated by a CPA Dossier and supporting appendices.
  • Teaching. A teaching dossier is mandatory for all applicants. One must be an effective teacher to achieve promotion (demonstrated by a Teaching Dossier, teaching evaluations, unsolicited teaching-related testimonials, etc.
  • Administration/Service. If applicable, and as demonstrated through the Administrative Dossier and supporting documents.

Activities in the scholarship category are given the greatest weight during the evaluations process, followed by the candidate's teaching ability and involvement in education, and, lastly, by their administrative contributions and leadership.

Activities which fall under the Research category include, but are not limited to presence of funding, publications, patents, presentations at local, national, or international meetings, as well as participation, leadership, and mentorship in the research community. 

Creative Professional Activity (CPA) can fall under one or more of the following subheadings: professional innovation and creative excellence, development of professional practices, and exemplary professional practice. 

Teaching and education includes undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate medical education, continuing education, faculty development, public education, etc.

Administration/service can take the form of outstanding leadership and administration contributions, such as involvement in leading change in program operations,or involvement in government / non-government organizations which impact your specialty, your site, the department and others. 

For promotion to Full Professor on the basis of Scholarship, the successful candidate will be expected to have established a wide reputation in his or her field of interest. The criteria are the same for promotion to Associate Professor, but with a lesser level of accomplishment.

Note that the greatest weight will be given to excellence in scholarly achievement (research and/or CPA), and to excellence in teaching:

“The successful candidate for promotion will be expected to have established a wide reputation in his or her field of interest, to be deeply engaged in scholarly work, and to show him/her-self to be an effective teacher. These are the main criteria. However, either excellent teaching alone or excellent scholarship alone, sustained over many years, could also in itself justify eventual promotion to the rank of Professor. Administrative or other service to the University and related activities will be taken into account in assessing candidates for promotion, but given less weight than the main criteria: promotion will not be based primarily on such service.” Policy and Procedures Governing Promotions, 1980, paragraph 7).

The term “wide reputation” is interpreted as meaning national recognition for promotion to the rank of Associate Professor, and international recognition for promotion to the rank of full Professor (FoM Manual for Academic Promotions, July 2018).

Breadth of reputation is most clearly demonstrated through invited lectures, invitations to sit on journal editorial committees, and the strength, calibre and range of external referees. Note that promotion on a single criterion can be achieved in the Faculty of Medicine, however, this generally requires 'sustained excellence' in that aspect. “Sustained” as defined by the University, translates to at least 10 years (FoM Manual for Academic Promotions July 2018). 

A summary and timeline of the Sr. Promotions process will be emailed department-wide early in the new year to help prepare you for each step. The guide outlines the responsibilities and deadlines for candidates requesting promotion to Associate Professor or Full Professor. 

Please note that these deadlines are firm.

Detailed Promotion Criteria for Each Category


As defined in the University of Toronto Policy and Procedures Governing Promotions,promotion is based on demonstrated excellence in one or more of researchcreative professional activity (CPA), or teaching and service to the University.

  • To be considered for the rank of associate professor, the candidate is required to have demonstrated a national reputation.
  • To be considered for the rank of full professor, the candidate is required to have demonstrated an international reputation.

All candidates are expected to be effective teachers

Academic achievement in teaching - demonstration of teaching excellence - that is sustained over many years can in itself justify promotion.  In this instance, proof of a national/international reputation is not required and the candidate is strongly encouraged to request a Waiver of External Review.

Additional details can be found below.

Excellence in Research


Successful research leads to the advancement of knowledge through contributions of an original nature. Promotion to associate or full professor based on research requires that the candidate have a record of sustained and current productivity in research and research-related activities.

For the criterion of excellent achievement in research to be met, the research should result in significant changes in the understanding of basic mechanisms of molecular or cellular function and disease, clinical care, health services delivery or health policy, or the social sciences and humanities as applied to health. The researcher’s work should present creative insights, ideas or concepts, and must have yielded a significant quantity of information leading to new understanding. The new information may derive from the invention and/or application of new techniques, novel experimental approaches and/or the identification and formulation of new questions or concepts.

It is expected that research advances will be communicated through the publication of papers, reviews, books and other scholarly works, and had a demonstrated impact on the field. The quality of the scholarship in research will be judged in comparison to peers in the Temerty Faculty of Medicine and to others in the same field at peer institutions.

Please see the Manual for Academic Promotion for a full description of requirements and criteria.

Excellence in Creative Professional Activity (CPA)

The Temerty Faculty of Medicine recognizes CPA under the following three broad categories:

Contributions to the Development of Professional Practices

Innovation and exemplary practice may be in the form of leadership in the profession, in professional societies, associations, or government and regulatory agencies, that has influenced standards or enhanced the effectiveness of the discipline. Membership or the holding of office in professional associations is not in itself considered evidence of CPA. Sustained leadership and setting of standards for the profession are the principle criteria to be evaluated. 

Examples of contributions to the development of professional practice may include (but are not limited to) guideline development, health policy development, government policy, community development, international health and development, consensus conference statements, regulatory committees, and setting of standards.

Exemplary Professional Practice

Exemplary practice is that which: is fit to be emulated; is illustrative to students and peers; establishes the professional as an exemplar or role model for the profession; or shows the individual to be a professional whose behaviour, style, ethics, standards, and method of practice are such that students and peers should be exposed to them and encouraged to emulate them.

To demonstrate exemplary professional practice, the candidate must show that his or her practice is recognized as exemplary by peers and has been emulated or otherwise had an impact on practice.

CPA under this category can include:

  • Teaching techniques
  • Educational innovations
  • Curriculum development,
  • Models of care innovations (role of EMR prompts, standardized pathways, pre-printed patient ‘order sets’, on quality and safety of inpatient care or resident experience)
  • Leadership in the development of professional practice (tools to enhance physician communication, professionalism)

Professional Innovation and Creative Excellence

Professional innovation may include the making or developing of an invention, use of digital technologies or other devices to improve care and outcomes, development of new techniques, conceptual innovations, or educational programs inside or outside the University (e.g. continuing medical education or patient education).

Creative excellence, in such forms as biomedical art, communications media, and video presentations, may be targeted at various audiences from the lay public to healthcare professionals.

In assessing CPA, the following should be kept in mind:

  • CPA does NOT need to be described under the above three headings. Rather, the University has provided these headings as examples of the types of activities that CPA would encompass.
  • Being a competent healthcare practitioner, while valuable to the public and profession, and for educational role-modelling, is not sufficient to meet the criterion of excellence in CPA
  • The Faculty expects that most candidates for promotion will be engaged to some degree of CPA as part of their scholarly life. Such baseline activity does not constitute grounds for promotion.
  • Contributions must be relevant to the candidate’s U of T appointment and may link to research and/or teaching and education.​

The impact of CPA outside of the local environment may be demonstrated many ways. These include awards and honours, invited presentations,  testimonials/letters of recognition provided by recognized leaders, invitations to consult/advise (e.g., with a quality improvement project or educational curriculum at another institution), appointment to decision making bodies, advisory committees, or task forces related to the focus of one’s CPA.  

Importantly, to have impact through CPA, an individual’s CPA activities should have a thematic connection. For example, if a faculty member has as his/her focus, “addressing low value care" (i.e., something related to Choosing Wisely he/she might list a publication describing a project on this theme, membership on a national committee for his/her specialty related to Choosing Wisely, teaching on this topic, and some invited presentations in other provinces). In total, these activities can provide a substantive picture of impact under CPA because they have a clear thematic connection. 


CPA Workshops are periodically offered by the Centre for Faculty Development at St. Michael’s Hospital. Check their website for workshop listings.

Sustained Excellence in Teaching/Teaching Effectiveness

While all candidates must demonstrate Teaching Effectiveness, academic achievement in teaching alone, sustained over many years (sustained excellence in teaching) may be grounds for promotion.

Excellence in Teaching

An outstanding teacher is a “master clinician-teacher” who has been recognized for their teaching excellence, leadership and/or innovation in education/teaching through honours and awards at the University/divisional, provincial and/or national levels. Candidates seeking promotion and other forms of recognition on the criteria of excellence in education and teaching must demonstrate significant and high quality contributions to teaching and/or other education related activities in at least one of the following areas:

  • Sustained excellence in teaching. Generally, a number of years are required to establish a noticeable presence and reputation as a teacher and as a valued contributor to other education activities. No minimum number of years at a specific rank is specified – however, ten years is an approximate benchmark.
  • Educational or curriculum development activities such as the planning and development of major curriculum or educational programs, and the production of new educational materials such as textbooks, syllabi, video materials or computer programs, and/or educational innovation.
  • Contribution to the field of health professional education. Evidence is required of a national/international reputation in the field of health professional education due to sustained participation in research in education, contributions to the medical/health professions educational literature or active leadership in professional associations dedicated to educational development.
  • Education leadership in faculty, department, division or hospital. This includes significant roles in educational administration where, under the candidate’s direct leadership, innovative programmes or curriculum have been developed.
  • A Waiver of External Review should be sought when the predominant criteria for promotion is sustained excellence in teaching unless the candidate has a clear national or international reputation in education.

Teaching Effectiveness

All candidates must demonstrate teaching effectiveness through the following:

  • Quantity of teaching/educational activity: documented hours, levels, formal and informal as per the candidate's academic position description.
  • Quality of teaching/educational contributions: demonstrated by teaching evaluations, student testimonials, and students’ achievements
  • Relative activity and evaluations in comparison to peers (of similar position description and stage of career)
  • Educational scholarship – e.g., curriculum development
  • Educational leadership

Administrative Service

All faculty members are expected to provide service in the form of committees and other roles and responsibilities to the University and/or their field. However, service in itself cannot be the main criteria for promotion.

Candidates should document administrative or committee work in their CVs, both within the University and to external agencies that further the scholarly and educational goals of the University. Where appropriate, quality and impact of such activities should be noted.

This may include:

  • Establishment of new programs within the Faculty or University
  • Successful fundraising activities that benefit the department, Faculty or University
  • Development of new or revised departmental, Faculty or University policies and procedures
  • Invitations to serve a leadership function in the Faculty or University
  • Representation and active involvement on boards and other organizational committees
  • Significant contributions while serving in a leadership role in discipline or professional organizations
  • Significant contributions to the development of policies or procedures within a discipline, profession or relevant organization

Promotions Committee Members

Department Promotions Committee Members (as of July 2024)

  • Frances Chung (Committee Chair), Professor, Toronto Western Hospital
  • Annette Vegas, Professor, Toronto General Hospital
  • Fiona Campbell, Professor, Hospital for Sick Children
  • Lisa Isaac, Associate Professor, Hospital for Sick Children
  • Stephen Choi, Associate Professor, Sunnybrook Health Science Centre
  • Jane Heggie, Professor, Toronto General Hospital
  • Tumul Chowdhury, Associate Professor, Toronto Western Hospital
  • Lakshmikumar Venkat Raghavan, Toronto Western Hospital
  • Mrinalini Balki, Professor, Mount Sinai Hospital
  • Ilavajaday Srinivasan, Associate Professor, Hospital for Sick Children
  • Duminda Wijeysundera, Professor, St. Michael's Hospital


Upcoming important dates and deadlines.

Promotion Dossier Requirements (Associate and Full Professor Rank)

How to ensure your dossier stands out.

Choosing referees is perhaps one of the most critical aspects (and least controllable) of the promotions process. 

Presentations from past workshops.