Virginia Tech®home

Types of Appointments

Below you will find more information regarding each rank of research faculty.

Click the respective rank you want to learn more about.

Types of Research Faculty Appointments

All research faculty appointments fall into one of two categories: Regular or Restricted.

The terms "regular" and "restricted" apply to both faculty and staff positions. Typically a regular position is one that is on-going, renewable, and supported by more permanent funding.

A "restricted" position will have a limited duration and/or a less-permanent source of funding (such as sponsored grants or contracts). Research faculty positions are typically restricted, being given a specific end date at the time of employment.  Critical differences between restricted and regular appointments are explained in detail in the faculty handbook, in section 2.4.

Restricted Positions:

Initial or original appointments for (salaried) restricted research faculty positions must be for at least twelve (12) months and can be up to three years.

All departments are required to provide restricted research faculty employees Terms of Faculty Offer Reappointments prior to the end date on their original or current Terms of Faculty Offer. Reappointments can be made for one month or up to three years. For the template for the reappointment please visit the Employee Resource Guide under Forms Library.

Obtaining Approval to Make Regular Research Faculty Appointments:

Departments who wish to make regular research faculty appointments should review the criteria and expectations for regular appointments in the Policy on Regular Appointments for research faculty.

If all criteria are met, the department should submit a Request for Unit Authorization to Make Regular Appointments for research faculty.  Authority is given at the departmental level rather than by individual and may be approved for up to five (5) years. 

Once your request is approved OVPRI will notify you by sending you a signed copy of the request form. 


Academic Year vs. Calendar Year Appointments for Research Faculty

Academic year (AY) appointments are those that are 9 months at a time in duration.  These positions usually work 9 months, 10 months, or 11 months during the academic school year of August 10 through May 10, June 10, or July 10.

Calendar year (CY) appointments can begin any time throughout the year and are positions that work 12 months during the year.

The continuous nature of research generally dictates that research faculty positions are calendar year (CY) appointments. However, there are situations where an AY appointment is justifiable for research faculty. Annual leave is not accrued in AY positions. Those employees in AY REGULAR appointments will have 1040 hours of paid sick leave upon employment. Those employees in AY RESTRICTED appointments earn and accrue sick leave at a rate of 5 hours per pay period during the course of the academic year. 

Research faculty employees who are on AY appointments may have summer employment within the university on a wage basis (Form SS). Employees in these types of appointments who have secured full summer funding from sponsored grants or contracts for multiple years may be considered for a calendar-year research conversion. 

See policy 6200 for detailed information on calendar-year research conversions. 


Salaried full-time appointments are those that are at 100% effort or one full-time equivalent (FTE). 

All appointments at or above 50% effort are considered part-time salaried. There are specific Terms of Faculty Offer (TOFO) and TOFO Reappointment templates for part-time salaried positions. Salaried positions below 50% are not allowable and are considered wage appointments. These appointments should be approved and entered using the P-14. 

For more information please visit the Employee Resource Guide under My Next Hire.