Academic Review Process

Starting in FY24, Project Scientists will no longer participate in the annual Staff Performance Management Process (PMP). Going forward, Project Scientists will participate in an Academic Review Process guidelines are outlined below. Applicable contract provisions are detailed in the UC system-wide RA contract (Article 22) and LBNL Sideletter. 

If you have questions about the Project Scientist Academic Review process, please contact the respective HR Division Partner or the Career Pathways Office (

Academic Review Timeline

The following outlines the 2024 timeline for the Academic Review process:


May 1, 2024- June 14 

June 17- July 15

July 16- July 23

July 24- August 31

Mid- Late October 

Academic Review Terms

The following terms are used and referenced throughout the Academic Review process:

Normative Period: The term “normative” refers to the normal amount of time that the project scientist must work before they’re eligible for a merit review.

Rank: There are three ranks in the project scientist series: Assistant, Associate and Full rank.

Steps: In each rank, the project scientist can move to different steps after undergoing a merit review. The Assistant rank has 6 steps, Associate rank has 5 steps, and Full Project rank has 9 steps.

Normative time at each step: The normative time for Assistant rank 1-6 and Associate rank 1-3 is two years. Associate rank 4 through Full rank 4 has a three-year normative period. Associate rank 5 and up need to be reviewed at least once every five years.

Merit Reviews: Review for the normative period, project scientist is being evaluated to go from one step to the next (2 ,3 , or 5 yr review)

Promotion Review: Review for the full life-cycle as a project scientist and move in rank (e.g., Assistant to Associate or Associate to Full)

Eligibility for Reviews 

Evaluation Criteria

A candidate for merit increase or promotion in this series shall be evaluated on the basis of the following criteria: 

Merit & Promotion Materials- Project Scientists

Project Scientists will gather the following materials in preparation for the Merit and Promotion process:

Merit & Promotion Materials- Supervisors

Supervisors will be responsible for evaluating the Project Scientist's materials and assembling the evaluation memo.

Note: Supervisors will be advised in the SmartSheet form if the review is for merit or promotion. Please consult your HR Division Partner for questions.

 The evaluation memo will include how the Project Scientist meets the below criteria. 

Project Scientist Salary Ranks and Steps

The LBNL Project Scientist Salary Rank and Steps are on the Compensation website (page 4).