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Criteria and Objectives

It is essential that each new appointee has clarity about what the University expects from the appointee in respect of research, teaching and engagement in order to be granted tenure. This clarity will be provided by the Head of School at the start of appointment and should have two strands:

  • the immediate priorities and objectives for the first year, and
  • guidance on what the formal Tenure Review will entail.

The criteria for tenure will focus on excellence in education, research and engagement.  These criteria will be expressed in a discipline-relevant way and in a manner appropriate to this career-stage and will require: originality, rigor and significance in research; commitment and innovation in teaching and impact in engagement and service, both to society and to the University, at a level appropriate to the grade. The discipline-specific expression of these criteria will be agreed by the Head of School, with the candidate on appointment.

Research and Scholarship

Research metrics have been developed by a working group convened by the Dean of Research, and signed off at Faculty level and by each Faculty Dean.

Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

  • Measures of assessment must be broad-based and flexible. They are about measuring outputs, not activities or impact, and in this regard Trinity College is committed to encouraging quality research performance, which includes publication with top academic publishers where appropriate or in journals of high standing. Recognising, however, the ever-changing nature of research in AHSS, the outputs considered shall be diverse and not limited to published material.
  • In the immediate past six-year period, be the author or co-author of a book, published by a recognised publisher. The definition of a book includes a major scholarly edition with a significant introduction. The six-year period is chosen to reflect the time taken to write a book of high quality.
    In the immediate past four-year period, have four outputs of demonstrable high quality in research. A four-year period is chosen because it is recognised that there may be times in an academic career when research is under preparation or awaiting publication and four years is considered an appropriate 'averaging' period. See attached appendices for more detail.
  • PI on a major grant application appropriate to the relevant discipline.

Engineering, Mathematics and Science

Sustained, high-quality, peer-reviewed publication record. This should include:

  • 4 high-quality peer-reviewed publications (e.g. journal article, conference paper, book chapter, book, patent and/or other recognised research outputs appropriate to the discipline. [Note a book will equate to 3 publications].
  • At least 2 publications as first or senior/corresponding author.
  • Publications in at least 2 different calendar years.
  • At least 1 publication without previous PhD or postdoc supervisors.

Due to large differences in publishing norms between disciplines, publishing only four papers may be deemed underperformance in some fields and thus make it unlikely for the candidate to be confirmed in the position; whereas in other disciplines circumstances may mean that fewer publications may still be considered productive.

  • Track record of application for research funding as PI or co-PI (e.g. a H2020 grant such as ERC or its successors).
  • Success in obtaining external grant funding as PI or co-PI of the order of €100,000.
  • 1 PhD student progressing.

Health Sciences

The expectation of what would be delivered would differ from School to School and in different disciplines; thus the importance for evaluation within the norms of the field. The numbers for publications and grants are only indicative.

  • At least 4 high-quality, peer-reviewed publications (journal article, conference paper, book chapter, book, patent, and other high-quality, peer- reviewed material as appropriate to the discipline); at least 2 of which should be as first or last author. [1 x patent application may count as 2 x original research articles.]
  • At least one publication without previous PhD or postdoc supervisors.
  • Should have made at least 2 applications for externally-funded competitive grants, at least one of these being to H2020 or its successors (e.g. ERC) or other high-level national or international funding authority, as relevant to the discipline. These should result in at least one success in grant funding (as PI, Co-PI or Funded-Investigator) totaling >= €100K to the Ussher.
  • An Ussher working in an applied or commercial area will be expected to make at least one IDF.
  • At least 1 x invited talk at local (national, or international) conference or event and 1 x invited talk at international conference or event.
  • Evidence that the candidate has built up a network of International Collaborators; academic, industry and/or clinical as appropriate to the research area of the Ussher.
  • Evidence of patient and public involvement is expected as appropriate to discipline.
  • Invited reviewer for at least 8 x papers for well-respected journals in the discipline.


Academics are expected to be effective and committed teachers, to support student learning and to develop and evidence their skills as educators. This normally involves:

  • co-ordination, preparation and delivery of lectures, labs, seminars, tutorials, professional-clinical programmes;
  • supervision or co-supervision of masters and doctoral students;
  • development and re-development of the curriculum;
  • introduction of new methods of teaching and assessment;
  • contribution to the enhancement of high quality teaching in the subject area;
  • advice and support to students;
  • reflection on how teaching and assessment practices can promote advanced student learning in higher education;

Recognising that it is neither possible nor desirable to define a universal standard of measurement that will fully capture the quality of these activities, the assessment of the level of achievement in education will be informed by a combination of

  • student evaluation (sustained over time);
  • feedback from external examiners;
  • peer review (where this is used in Schools);
  • curriculum re-design, e.g. new modules, programmes, pedagogies;
  • teaching portfolio;
  • awards/commendations for teaching;
  • innovation grants for teaching/curriculum design;
  • publication of educational texts/resources;
  • participation in U-LEAD’s programme of events;

Contribution to College/Discipline/Society

Engagement with external bodies (local, national and international), and with disciplinary and professional communities are well recognized as important components of academic activity. Increasingly, there is an emphasis on contributing to public life, through the dissemination of research outputs to a non-specialist audience and by creating valuable partnerships outside the academy, including with industry, business and cultural institutions. Of importance too is sustained and significant involvement in the development of one’s discipline. The university is committed to increasing these forms of engagement in mutually beneficial ways and the level of achievement will be informed by:

  • significant involvement with external communities of a sustained and mutually beneficial kind;
  • engagements with disciplinary and professional bodies, including accreditation bodies, scholarly societies and professional organizations etc.;
  • invited public addresses;
  • significant media contributions and involvement in public fora which enable wider dissemination of research outputs etc.;
  • conference presentations, key-note lectures, participation in networks of collaborators, review panels, editorial boards, external examining etc.;
  • external consultancies, membership of boards etc.;
  • policy development and advice to governmental and other bodies;

Service to the university's internal activities and organization is also captured and assessed under this heading. Service to the university involves any administrative or management activity at discipline, School or university level.

PDF version of these criteria.