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Faculty Titles


A committee was formed by the Provost Office in 2014 to review commonly used titles elsewhere in the world and make recommendations for potential new faculty titles at Bilkent University. The following is a subset of these recommendations for immediate implementation. The recommendations do not propose any changes to the current ranks specified by the Council of Higher Education (CoHE – YÖK) that the University uses, including Research Fellow and Specialist, except to clarify research faculty appointments and promotions.

Additional New Titles

Visiting Faculty members are those who come to the University to spend a predetermined period of time, not to exceed two years. Visiting faculty titles may be awarded to those individuals who wish to spend sabbatical leaves to conduct research or assist in teaching or performance. An exception to the two-year limit could be made in cases when the promotion process of a new faculty takes longer than two years. Since visiting faculty members are expected to stay for a limited period, a promotion within the rank is not considered except for new faculty hires described above and previous cases that had been agreed upon.

Professor-in-Residence describes faculty members who have qualified for the academic title elsewhere but have elected, by mutual consent, to not follow the promotion process at Bilkent.

(Expert/Professional)-in-Residence titles may be accorded to those individuals with professional experience but without the traditional academic record necessary for regular academic appointments. Such titles may be modified to suit the needs of the profession such as Architect-in-Residence, Artist-in-Residence, Designer-in-Residence, Writer-in-Residence, and others. These appointments may be full-time or part-time. A PhD degree is not a requirement for (Expert/Professional)-in-Residence.

(Assistant, Associate) Professor of (Profession) Practice titles are accorded to those individuals who have made significant contributions to their professions through their professional practice who also satisfy the CoHE requirements. Examples of such appointments may be Associate Professor of Communication Practice, Professor of Design Practice. Promotion in the rank may be possible depending on their professional accomplishments.

Appointments may be made up to 3 years and are renewable. Positions that are in-residence and of practice do not have sabbatical leaves associated with them.

Adjunct Faculty is one who normally has a regular position elsewhere but whose academic association with the University is desirable. Such associations can involve teaching, research or performance. The title of Adjunct (Assistant, Associate) Professor may be accorded according to the academic accomplishments of the individual. Adjunct faculty members are not registered with CoHE and they may not supervise graduate students. Adjunct appointments may be made for up to 3 years and may be renewed upon recommendation by the Dean of the Faculty.

Research Faculty titles are accorded to the individuals whose primary responsibility is to conduct research and acquire research funding to support their research. Research faculty is normally supported by research funds and not by the regular university funds. Research faculty titles also follow the Research Assistant Professor, Research Associate Professor, and Research Professor ranks; the lower ranks can also be promoted following university promotion processes. Expectations from research faculty largely focus on research accomplishments and funding record. Research faculty position should not be viewed as a path to faculty appointments in the departments. However, research faculty can compete for open positions at the University.

Lecturer Track Faculty members make significant contributions to the education provided by the University. Lecturer track faculty ranks are Instructor, Lecturer, and Senior Lecturer. Expectations for promotion in this track are based on in-class teaching as well as publications on education.

Research Staff are increasingly becoming essential to the research enterprise at the University. They are supported by research projects and bring expertise to the projects. There is a need to recognize their accomplishments and experience, as they continue often beyond a postdoctoral position. Research staff can be at levels of Research Associate, Research Scientist, Senior Research Scientist, and Visiting Scientist.

  1. Research Associate
    Research Associate positions are sponsored through fellowships, grants or projects and are term-appointments. Research Associates are expected to conduct post-doctoral research with the goal of further developing their scholarly competence under the supervision of one or more faculty members at the University.The Research Associate appointment is not intended as a long-term, indefinite, or a career appointment. Such appointments are made to academic departments or laboratories/centers upon the recommendation of the Sponsoring Supervisor(s) and require the approval of the Department Chair or laboratory/center director and the Dean.Research Associates do not have teaching responsibilities. They may not consult or be Principal Investigators in projects.
  2. Research Scientist
    Research Scientist positions are sponsored through projects and may be longer-term research positions and may be renewed indefinitely, constituting a career path. Research Scientist positions may be awarded to researchers holding an advanced degree (normally a Ph.D. degree) and a demonstrated high level academic performance as well as capacity for conducting a partially independent research program. Research Scientists can be co-Principal Investigators in grants and projects. While all Research Scientist appointments are affiliated with Sponsoring Supervisors, their supervisors should allow a degree of academic independence commensurate with their experience and seniority.Research Scientists may not act as academic advisors but can assist in directing student research in collaboration with academic advisors. Research Scientists do not have teaching responsibilities and may not consult.Research Scientist appointments are made to academic departments or laboratories/centers upon the recommendation of the Sponsoring Supervisor(s) and require the approval of the Department Chair or laboratory/center director and the Dean, as well as the Provost’s Office.

    Senior Research Scientist 
    Senior Research Scientist positions are similar to Research Scientist positions but with a higher degree of autonomy and responsibility.Senior Research Scientists have nearly complete independence from the supervising faculty member(s) in terms research activities. They are expected to provide funds for their research and staff.

    Senior Research Scientists may direct the research activities of all those supported by their projects but may not act as Academic Advisors.

    Senior Research Scientists do not have teaching responsibilities and may not consult, although they may do so upon the approval of the Provost’s Office following recommendation of the sponsoring supervisor to the chair/director and the dean.

    Appointment to a Senior Research Scientist position requires demonstration of competence and expertise comparable to that of a faculty member at the rank of associate or full professor in terms of significant scholarly recognition, excellence in the leadership of technical projects, or other significant research impact.

    Appointments/promotions to this rank normally require successful completion of a minimum of five years in the position of a Research Scientist at the University or a comparable position at another institution.

    Senior Research Scientist appointments are made to academic departments or laboratories/centers upon the recommendation of the Sponsoring Supervisor(s) and require the approval of the Department Chair or laboratory/center director and the Dean, as well as the Provost’s Office.

    In all of the appointments, regardless of the duration of the appointment, there is a mandatory one-year notice of termination, the funding of which must be guaranteed by the supervising faculty member and/or the department or laboratory/center that is the home of the appointment. An appointment may be terminated for cause at any time.

  3. Visiting Scientist Visiting Scientist title designates visitors working at the University for a specified period ranging from one week to one year. The position can be renewed on an annual basis. The Visiting Scientist title is reserved for visitors who have been holding non-faculty positions prior to the commencement of their stay at the University.


  1. Implementation: The titles described above will be implemented for new hires and retroactively for the present faculty on a case-by-case basis.
  2. Graduate student supervision: Should a visiting faculty member be reported to CoHE as having a rank equivalent to Assistant Professor, Associate Professor or Full Professor and assigned to a Graduate School, that faculty member can supervise graduate students of the Graduate School (Institute) in which the assignment is made.
  3. Sabbatical leave: Time spent at a visiting position does not qualify for sabbatical leaves.
  4. Use: Faculty members affiliated with the University in any capacity should refrain from using this affiliation for any reason, e.g., business, consulting, etc., other than for academic purposes,
  5. Since many of these titles do not have a precise counterpart in Turkish, they will be used within Bilkent and internationally to distinguish among various appointment types.  We will only use those titles accepted by CoHE for individuals that meet the respective requirements.