Monitoring Academic Progress

We would suggest developing and maintaining a personal record of your progress in your academic career. It is extremely helpful and therefore advisable to maintain a detailed record of your academic activities. In the process of application for promotion and tenure, we are frequently faced with candidates who have forgotten some of the academic activities they engaged in during the years of their service to the UT Health Science Center. Also, it is a frequent occurrence that the candidate performs some scholarly and exemplary activities and the person(s) who witnessed and evaluated these activities cannot be located to write a letter of support for the candidate or he/she does not remember.

Examples of letters you should place in your personal monitoring file are:

  • If you served on an ad hoc committee which has completed its mission and is about to be disbanded or has been disbanded, it is appropriate to ask the chairman of that committee to write a letter describing your exemplary performance in the work of the committee
  • If you presented a lecture or seminar and the attendees evaluated your performance, it is appropriate to include the letter you receive with your scores from the leader of the conference or seminar
  • If you reviewed articles for a journal and the editor sends you a letter expressing his/her gratitude and appreciation for a job well done.
  • If you counseled a student or a resident and you receive a letter of thanks.
  • If you received a letter from your chairman or division chief recognizing you for a task well done
  • If you served in a Study Section or similar grand review committee and you feel that you served in an exemplary fashion, do not hesitate to ask the leader of that group for a letter of evaluation
  • When you complete your annual evaluation by your division or section chief, ask for a copy of this evaluation
  • If it is permissible, academically appropriate, and advisable, if you had a student or resident in your clinic or laboratory for an extended period and helped that person in an exemplary way, ask him/her to write a letter about his/her experience while working with you
  • If you did something extraordinary for a professional organization and you receive a letter of commendation. It is acceptable to ask for such a letter if you did an exemplary job.
  • If you receive a letter of approval of grant funding from a federal or state agency and particularly if the letter is complimentary of your research or service work
  • If your did something important to help colleagues in another department and you receive a note of thanks and appreciation
  • Place a list of articles published during a given year in your personal monitoring file.

There are many more circumstances where you could document excellence in your academic performance. Anything you document in writing beyond your electronic curriculum vitae (e-CV) is going to help you when you become a candidate for promotion and/or tenure at the UT Health Science Center.

Consider organizing your personal file to include:

General Documentation:

  • Honors and Awards Received
  • Documentation of activities other than those listed under teaching, research, or service


  • Documentation of excellence in teaching performance, such as through evaluations and awards
  • Documentation of all teaching: classroom, clinical, invited, CME, etc.
  • Documentation of all formal mentoring of students, house staff, etc.
  • Formal studies to improve teaching. If you feel your performance during the studies was exemplary, you may ask the instructor to write a letter to that effect
  • Successes in research and bibliography regarding teaching
  • Special achievements: teaching media, instructional videos, etc. If your efforts were evaluated and appreciated, ask for a letter documenting your performance.


  • Any work that you have done for a professional or scientific organization should be documented and placed in your file.
  • If you were in a leadership position of such an organization, ask the appropriate person to write a letter about your performance and place the letter in your file.
  • Document any activity in the care of patients above and beyond your regular responsibilities. Make your special time and effort count!
  • Document key administrative responsibilities.
  • Service on committees just as a list in your curriculum vitae is less helpful than committee leadership or service on a few key committees Make sure your performance is scholarly and exemplary and it is documented in writing.
  • Time/effort in community service. Make sure you are recognized for these efforts and that you document recognition in your personal monitoring file.


  • A list of special achievements in research, and where possible, documentation.
  • Research abstracts, presentations at scientific meetings
  • Publications for the year.
  • Current research projects and grant support. Note if any major successes occurred during the year.
  • A list of notable presentations and contributions to collaborative work with investigators in this and other institutions. Even if the work may not result in a publication, create documentation of your efforts in the form of a letter and file it in your personal monitoring file.