Academic Research Job Family

The Academic Research Job Family (ARJF) is a set of 12 generic titles for the appointment of non-faculty academic researchers at Boston University.

This project was launched by the Provost’s Office to address the long-standing need to more accurately define the duties, education and skill requirements, employment policies and procedures, and eligibility for accruing sick and vacation leave for individuals participating in the research and training programs of the academic units of the University, and to provide a broader selection of positions to support career advancement for our researchers.

Hiring into these positions follows the procedures specific to each individual school or college. The 12 generic titles are described in the “Non-Faculty Academic Research Job Family Matrix”. This document serves as a road map for researchers and PIs, schools and departments, and employment administrators across the university to provide guidance for non-faculty research positions. Individuals joining BU are now being hired into the new ARJF position titles.

One major consequence of this change is that the catch-all titles of Research Associate and Senior Research Associate will no longer be used.

All current academic research positions, compensated or not, are to be mapped into one of the 12 new job titles.

The supporting documents and information to assist the Boston University community with this task are: the ARJF Title Mapping Chart, the ARJF Job Summaries, the ARJF Matrix, the ARJF Glossary, and Instructions for Processing the Electronic Turnaround Forms (please refer to Related Documents section at the top of this page).

  • ARJF Title Mapping Chart maps the previous BU job titles to the new titles in the Academic Research Job Family.
  • ARJF Job Summaries document contains a brief summary of the primary purpose of each of the new Academic Research jobs.
  • ARJF Glossary contains descriptions and definitions for each term used in these documents.
  • ARJF Matrix specifies the different job critical knowledge, skills, and abilities as well as pre-requisites, benefits eligibility, education, and experience required for each position. This document is downloadable in two formats. One format is a complete spreadsheet view and the second is a print-friendly version of the document.

Please note, that the ARJF Matrix includes guidelines for Post-Doctoral fellows (trainees) who are paid from training grants. As such, post-doctoral fellows are not university employees.

As an outcome of this project, you will see the long needed changes in the way Boston University hires, evaluates, and compensates the Academic Research Staff.

These will include: clearly described position and job expectations; the same eligibility for sick, vacation, and maternity leave benefits as for salary grades 73 and above; transparent, consistent and fair policies for appointment, annual performance review, career advancement, and notification of re-appointments; and common employment guidelines that can accommodate the diverse needs of the university’s research enterprises.