Frequently Asked Questions: Junior Specialist Recruiting and Hiring

Recruitment questions

  • Who approves the Search Committee Members for a pool recruitment?
  • The dean holds approval authority for search committee membership and the search plan.
  • Does approval authority for the recruitment of Junior Specialists remain redelegated to the Dean?
  • The delegation is unchanged at this time.
  • For the departments that have a year-long open recruitment with dates of 7/1/XX - 6/30/XX, what should the letter state to applicants not chosen but you would like to keep in the pool?
  • You do not need to notify applicants who were not chosen from every pool review. However, if you wish to provide the courtesy you can explain they were not selected but will remain in the pool. At the end of the year, you may want to notify all applicants that they were not selected but they may apply again if a new pool recruitment is opened the following year.

    Just FYI: Applicants do not receive any notifications from Recruit regarding their application status other than the initial automatic email confirming their application is complete. The applicant does not know when/if their application is reviewed and they cannot see the changes to their status.
  • Can departments have multiple pools for some of their Jr. Specialist hires? If another PI in the department does not want to go through the pool can he/she have a separate recruitment?
  • Yes, a department may choose to have multiple pools for different specialties/disciplines/etc.

    Individual recruitments may be conducted if the PI does not feel the pool is adequate for their needs or they want to be more specific in their search.

    Units are not required to use pool recruitments for junior specialists. The guidance is offered solely to speed up the hiring process, especially since the search waiver criteria "uniquely qualified" is not available for this title (and it will soon be unavailable for all titles).
  • Is a Shortlist report required? If so who approves it? Who approves the Search Plan?
  • Yes, a shortlist report is required. The Search Plan, Shortlist Report and Search Report are all approved by the Dean.
  • Is a new conflict of interest form required for each shortlist report?
  • Yes, a new conflict of interest form is required with every pool review.

Search Waiver questions

  • Is the Search Waiver for the Jr. Specialist being redelegated to the Dean?
  • There are only four areas in which a junior specialist can be hired via a search waiver: emergency hire, spousal/partner hire, continuation of training, and research team.

    The search waiver criteria “part of a “research team” is within the Dean’s approval authority (i.e., named in the grant). The other three areas required approval from the Vice Provost-Academic Affairs, just as they are in every other title series.

Appointment/Reappointment questions

  • Is approval authority for the appointment/reappointment of Junior Specialists remaining redelegated to the Dean?
  • Yes, the Dean has approval authority for the appointment and reappointment of Junior Specialists.
  • Do we use Forms Online for the appointment/reappointment process?
  • No. For the appointment/reappointment process, you will use MIV and the action types of redelegated appointment or redelegated reappointment. Checklists for Junior Specialist Appointments and Reappointments are available at:

Advancement questions

  • Is the Junior (Jr.) Specialist rank eligible for promotion? 
  • Yes, the Jr. Specialist (Step 2 only) is eligible for promotion to Assistant Specialist (Step 1 only) provided: 
    • They were initially hired and appointed as a Junior Specialist as a result of an open recruitment. 
    • They meet the expectations for appointment to the Assistant Specialist rank. For example, they must either have five-years’ of experience demonstrating expertise in the field of research or relevant specialization, and/or they may have obtained a Master’s degree.
  • Is the Jr. Specialist rank eligible for Step Plus consideration?
  • No, the Jr. Specialist rank is not eligible for Step Plus consideration because they are not members of the Academic Federation. Step Plus consideration becomes possible after attaining the Assistant Specialist rank.