Areas of Excellence

An area of excellence represents a Weill Cornell Medicine (WCM) faculty member’s major area of achievement and impact, including the quantity as well as quality of contribution. The area of excellence forms the basis of the candidate’s reputation, is consistent with the focus of their scholarship, and also represents the activities to which the faculty member has devoted a substantial proportion of time and academic effort. A department chair (or designee) and faculty member together determine the best area of excellence for that faculty member’s academic career.

In most cases, a WCM faculty member will maintain a consistent academic focus over time. If a substantive change in activities occurs, their area of excellence and significant supporting activities may change as well, and the faculty member would be expected to meet the standards of their new area of excellence.

Faculty members will generally be evaluated in a single area of excellence. Only rarely, when both the quality and quantity of a candidate’s contributions are comparable in two areas, should two areas of excellence be proposed.

The majority of full-time and regular part-time faculty members of Weill Cornell Medical College choose an area of excellence. While some faculty appointments are not associated with a pathway and area of excellence, most reside on one of four academic pathways.

The three WCM areas of excellence are:

Clinical Innovation & Expertise

Clinical excellence, leadership and scholarship define this area of excellence. Written scholarship, a commitment to education and clinical field research are expected.


Investigational faculty spend the majority of their time performing research - individually, within a small group or within large collaborative multicenter teams. Scholarship is expected, including original research and/or publication from large multidisciplinary studies.

Educational Leadership

Educators are faculty who take a scholarly approach to their learning mission, developing curricula, creating assessment tools and managing learning systems. Educational faculty must demonstrate scholarship, which may include publication of original research, reviews, educational materials and/or methods, policy statements and assessment tools. 

For more information, please refer to the Guidebook: Criteria for Faculty Appointment and Promotion.

Office of Faculty Affairs
575 Lexington Ave., Suite 640
New York, NY 10022
Phone: (646) 962-8770
Fax: (646) 962-0685

Office of Faculty Development
1300 York Avenue, Suite F-108
New York, NY 10065
Tel: 646-962-5737
Fax: 212-746-8424