Instructional Appointments

       Officers of research may teach in an educational program of the University as long as their instructional duties do not interfere with their primary responsibilities, teaching assignments are permitted by their funding agency, and their assumption of teaching responsibilities does not conflict with federal regulations. No promises of an instructional assignment may be made until all of the necessary approvals have been obtained (see below for a list of the people who must approve the instructional appointment). No one may begin teaching in anticipation of those approvals.

       Officers of research offering instruction are given an additional appointment as a lecturer or in one of the adjunct professorial ranks for the period of their teaching responsibilities. These appointments are governed by the University’s policies for part-time officers of instruction (see Officers of Instruction). These appointments end with the completion of the officer’s instructional assignment.

       Subject to these limitations, officers of research may teach one course per term up to a maximum of two during an academic year. The two-course limit applies to all classes, regardless of whether they are offered for credit or not, are offered for part or all of a term, or are offered during a regular term or the summer. These limitations also apply regardless of whether the officer of research is the sole instructor or co-teaching with a member of the faculty or another officer of research.

       Because postdoctoral research scientists/scholars and postdoctoral research fellows seek opportunities to expand their teaching experience, the University has established general guidelines to ensure that opportunities for this population to teach are offered and managed in accordance with applicable governmental regulations, funding agency requirements, and University policies. The eligibility of a postdoctoral officer to teach is determined in part by the type of sponsor that supports them (e.g., external agencies, including federal government agencies and other external sponsors), as well as University departments and schools. For purposes of determining eligibility to teach and receive compensation for teaching, postdoctoral officers fall into one of the following categories:

  1. postdoctoral officers whose duties include teaching as part of their training programs;
  2. postdoctoral officers whose salaries are funded from sponsored research, including federal grants, where the terms of the grant and the principal investigator permit teaching but where the postdoctoral officer cannot receive additional salary for teaching over and above their postdoctoral salary;
  3. postdoctoral officers who are funded from a fellowship whose terms permit the individual to teach and may permit the officer to receive salary for teaching;
  4. international postdoctoral research scientists/scholars and postdoctoral research fellows whose funding and visas allow them to teach.

       Instructional assignments for all officers of research require the written permission of the principal investigator, the approval of the chair or director and dean or executive vice president of the researcher’s administrative department, and the endorsement of the chair and dean or executive vice president of the Faculty in which the instruction will be offered. Since teaching may not be permitted under the terms of the officer’s grant or visa, or, in the case of postdoctoral research fellows, under the terms of the officer’s training program, the proposed assignment may be subject to a further review by the International Students and Scholars Office and by the Office of Sponsored Projects Administration, as indicated on the form that officers of research seeking permission to teach are required to submit. In those cases where the officer of research is a key person on a sponsored project and is reducing their effort on the project by 25 percent or more, prior approval must also be obtained from the funding agency through the Sponsored Projects Administration.

       The Office of the Provost provides the final authorization when the officer of research holds an appointment and teaches on the Morningside or Manhattanville campuses. The Provost has delegated that responsibility to the Executive Vice President for Health and Biomedical Sciences when the officer is both appointed in and teaches at the Irving Medical Center. When an officer of research appointed on one campus is asked to teach on another, both the Executive Vice President and the Provost must approve the assignment.

       Only some officers of research may be compensated for providing instructional services, as described in a later section of the chapter (see Compensation).

Updated October 28, 2022