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Important Definitions & Information Pertaining to Academic Staff Classifications

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Definitions

Clinical Tenure-Stream (GFT-U) and Clinical CAS (GFT-H) In the Faculty of Medicine hundreds of medical doctors provide their time and energy in delivering medical student education. McGill Teaching Hospital-based clinicians who are primarily practicing doctors (Geographical Full-time – Hospital: GFT-Hs) are denoted with the descriptor “Clinical”. Those medical doctors who pursue a tenure track career, usually as what are known as “clinician-scientists”, are called GFT-Us (Geographical Full-time - University) at McGill. Despite their name, GFT-Us spend most of their time at one of McGill’s Teaching Hospitals carrying out important teaching and/or research functions.

The allocated number of clinician appointments is tightly controlled by the Ministère de la Santé et des Services Sociaux (MSSS), however, the University has the prerogative of choosing the distribution between the university-based and hospital-based, the former being tenure-track and the later contract academic staff (CAS).

The academic duties of CAS Clinical staff are governed by the Regulations Relating to the Employment of Contract Academic Staff and further determined by the Faculty of Medicine and by the regulations and by-laws of the McGill Teaching Hospital in which they hold their appointment.

Contract Academic Staff (CAS) Not in the tenure stream. A contract academic staff appointment refers to an appointment for a definite or indefinite term that does not lead to tenure.

Cross Appointment There is no such official terminology in the McGill Regulations pertaining to academic staff classifications. An academic appointment of substantial weight in another academic unit can be as a "joint" appointment. Other units where an affiliation is desired can be done so via an "Associate Member" (for internal staff) or "Affiliate Member" (for external staff) appointment.

Indefinite Term Appointment Pertaining to Contract Academic Staff (CAS), an appointment of unlimited duration without a fixed end date. This does not lead to or equate to tenure. May be removed with sufficient notification as per the Regulations Relating ot the Employment of Contract Academic Staff.
See Important Additional Information & FAQ and note on Processing CAS Indefinite Term Appointments in Minerva where Soft-Funding or Grants pay or contribute to the Salary.

Joint Appointment An appointment in more than one Department and/or Faculty as indicated in the official letter of appointment. All units are equally responsible at time of review for reappointment, promotion, etc.

Reduced Load Refers to anyone in the tenure stream who is appointed less than full-load. What is meant by full-load can vary from Faculty to Faculty. More information on temporary Reduced Load appointments can be found on our page containing information on Temporary Reduced Load Appointments.

Tenure Stream This is an appointment of ranked academic staff either in the tenure-track (an appointment with a definite term that may lead to tenure), or with tenure (meaning the right of a staff member to hold his/her appointment and not to be removed therefrom except for just cause).

Important Additional Information & FAQ

Processing CAS Indefinite Term Appointments in Minerva where Soft-Funding or Grants pay or contribute to the Salary


The CAS Regulations provide for indefinite term appointments for ranked or unranked CAS “…who have been continuously employed in the same Department for six (6) years …”.

Such appointments must be processed via a Minerva Appointment Form with no end-date on the position.

The only instance where an end-date is allowed on indefinite appointments is for non-Canadians who are obligated to hold a work permit, and where Canadian law obligates us to have an end-date on the appointment matching the date on the work permit.

If a soft funded Grant is paying for this appointment, in part or in entirety, then please follow the procedure below:

  • The end-date on the soft-fund in the FOAPALS section of the appointment form should be the end-date on the grant/soft-fund,
  • An extra FOAPAL component needs to be added assigning a new FOAPAL to begin the day after the grant’s end-date has occurred.
  • This must be a valid Departmental FOAPAL.
  • You then have three choices:
    (i) Continue to pay the indefinite term appointment from the hard fund,
    (ii) If new soft funding comes in, send in a new FOAPAL Change appointment form and repeat all of the steps noted above in their entirety.
    (iii) Terminate the appointment with the required notice (as per the CAS Terminations page on this site), and continue to pay the salary from the hard fund until the termination date arrives. Be prepared as you might have to pay severance (please visit the Severance of Contract Academic Staff page on this site).
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