ARG Standing Rules

ARG Standing Rules

Article I.  Name and Purposes

The ARG Standing Rules are specific rules and procedures by which the ARG conducts its activities. These Rules are consistent with the ARG Charter and ARG Bylaws, and are under the control of the ARG. In the absence of specific guidance in the ARG Charter, Bylaws, or the Standing Rules, Roberts Rules of Order will apply. The process for adoption and amendment of the Standing Rules is given in the ARG Bylaws.

Article II.  Overview and ARG Nomination Material

The promotion process for level-III and senior-level Ladder-Track staff begins with a review in the Laboratory/Observatory.  If the Laboratory/Observatory decides to nominate a candidate for promotion, the candidate’s name together with initial nomination material is submitted in response to the NCAR Director’s annual call for nominations.  This starts the ARG process for the candidate. 

The primary activities of the ARG are conducted at three standard meetings in each annual cycle, as follows: In the first, the ARG finalizes ARG Investigative Committee (AIC) membership for each candidate. In the second, after the Laboratory/Observatory submits the final nominations, the ARG reviews the full nomination packets and determines additional referee letters to be solicited by the NCAR Director, and specifies issues for the AICs to investigate. In the third, the ARG hears the reports of the Investigative Committees, discusses each nomination, and then votes and makes recommendations to the NCAR Director.

A.   ARG Nomination Material 

The NCAR Director determines the standard content of the nominations for level-III and senior-level scientist or research engineer appointments, and receives the nomination packets from Lab/Observatory Directors via the web-based NCAR Appointments Review Tool. The initial nomination packet for each candidate (normally due about the first of October) contains a curriculum vitae including publication list, two publications selected by the candidate with a discussion of their significance, a candidate bio, a list of potential referees, and identification of a resource person for the AIC. The final nomination package (due by mid December) must also include a narrative describing how the candidate's qualifications satisfy the NCAR Appointments Criteria, and an assessment of the case by the nominating NCAR Associate Director that summarizes the strengths and weaknesses of the candidate and the rationale for the positive recommendation to promote. The detailed requirements for nomination materials are available in the Director’s Standing Roles, section on Nomination materials.   Following submission of the full nomination package, a publication citation analysis will be conducted and a seminar scheduled for each candidate.

B.   Referee Letters

External referee letters are a critically important component of each candidate’s nomination material. Suggestions for referees may be submitted by the candidate’s Lab/Observatory, ARG members, or members of the candidate’s AIC. Outside of the referees required by the Lab/Observatory (see below), final selection of referees is made by the ARG. All requests for letters and communication with external referees are conducted by the NCAR Director.  The NCAR Director and Ladder Track Appointments Review Administrator ensure that the minimum number of letters required by the NCAR Director for promotion consideration is received.   This minimum is defined in the Directorate Standing Rules.

  1. At a minimum, a referee must have achieved a position equivalent to or more senior than the position for which the candidate is nominated.
  2. The initial list of external referees for each candidate is submitted by the Lab/Observatory as part of the initial nomination packet. For Level-III/Senior-Level candidates, this list will contain 4/5 required names (1/2 international referees and 3/3 domestic referees), plus an additional 4/5 suggested names (2/3 international referees and 2/2 domestic referees).
  3. For the first round of referee letters, the NCAR Director will solicit letters from the required referee list for each candidate. If a required referee declines, the nominating NCAR Associate Director, in consultation with the NCAR Director, will select an alternate referee from the suggested list of names.
  4. Following submission of the full nomination package, ARG members are asked to contribute a minimum of three additional referee recommendations (in total, not per candidate) prior to the meeting via the NCAR Appointment Tool to augment the list of referees submitted with the nomination.
  5. AIC members are encouraged to contribute referee suggestions for their candidate following the same procedure as for ARG members.
  6. ARG members may contribute additional referee names during the second ARG review meeting by completing the Referee proposal form on-line or hard copy.  In order to submit a referee name for consideration, the contact information, a brief bio, qualifications and relationship (if any) with the candidate is required in order to be considered for the final referee list.
  7. Full disclosure of any relationship between a proposed referee and the candidate is required.  It is a conflict of interest for a proposed referee to be a thesis advisor of the candidate. At the ARG’s discretion, the ARG may allow members of the candidate’s graduate school department faculty, collaborators, or former supervisors of a candidate to be selected as a final referee as long as there is a balance of objective referees on the list.
  8. At the second ARG meeting, the ARG will finalize the list of external referees selected for each candidate. Including letters received in the initial solicitation, the final list for each Level-III/Senior-Level candidate will consist of a minimum of 8/10 referees, with a minimum of 3/5 international referees and a minimum of 5/5 domestic referees.  If a referee declines, the ARG chair and the AIC, in consultation with the NCAR Director, will select a replacement referee in consideration of the original list.
  9. All referee communications with the NCAR Director regarding declines and recommendations will be posted to the NCAR Appointments Review Tool.


A.   First ARG Review Meeting:  Selection of ARG Investigative Committees

Section 1.  Purpose

The purpose of this meeting, typically held in November, is to select the members of ARG Investigative Committees. The ARG convenes an Investigative Committee for each candidate nominated.  Investigative Committee members must meet qualifications as specified in article IV section 1 and are selected as follows:

  1. The ARG Chair and ARG Vice Chair develop a draft Investigative Committee membership list, including chairs who are ARG members, and distribute that list to the ARG members along with a list of current NCAR Senior Scientists and Senior Research Engineers prior to the November meeting.
  2. ARG members may suggest changes to this list prior to the November meeting, via a web-based form.
  3. The ARG is responsible for final selection of Investigative Committee membership at the November meeting, subject to the requirements for membership stated in ARG Bylaws.
  4. The ARG Chair and Vice-Chair will appoint alternate AIC members if any suggested members can't serve.

Section 2.  Attendance and Quorum

This meeting does not require a quorum of the ARG. Members are encouraged to attend, participate via telecon, or submit their input via electronic forms.

B.    Second ARG Review Meeting: Preliminary nomination review

Section 1.  Purpose and Procedures

Typically held in early January, the purpose of this meeting is to conduct a preliminary review of the candidate nominations, finalize the list of referees and identify specific issues or questions to be addressed by each AIC. The procedures for this meeting are normally as follows:

  1. Brief introduction to the candidate by the Division/Lab Director or designate (less than 5 minutes, no visuals).
  2. Discussion of the candidate nominations to the extent needed to identify specific issues or questions for each candidate that should be addressed by the AIC. The AIC members are invited to attend the discussion period for their candidate.
  3. Finalization of the external referee list for each candidate. The ARG may choose from potential referees suggested by the Lab/Observatory, AIC members, or by ARG members to achieve the desired number of referees, as specified in Article IIB.

Section 2.  Attendance and Quorum

A quorum as specified in the Bylaws is required to proceed.  Members must attend all of the review discussions of a candidate in order to be eligible to vote for that candidate in the recommendation ballot. 

C.   Third ARG Review Meeting: Final nomination review

Section 1.  Purpose and Procedures

Typically held in late April or early May, the purpose of this meeting is to hear and discuss the reports of the AICs, fully discuss each case, and vote on the appointment recommendation for each candidate.    

  1. Presentation of AIC Final Report. Normally this will be a summary of salient points in the report rather than a rehash of the full report, and the report may be followed by requests for clarification from ARG members.
  2. Discussion will be held for each candidate.  
  3. Balloting for all Level III nominations takes place after all level III cases have been discussed. The sequence is then repeated for the senior-level nominations.

Section 2.  Attendance and Quorum

A quorum as specified in the Bylaws is required to proceed.  AIC members who are not ARG members are invited to attend during presentation and discussion of their candidate's AIC report at this meeting to answer questions or provide clarification.

Section 3.  Voting and Balloting    

Voting on ordinary motions and the final candidate ballot as specified in the ARG Bylaws.

  1. On the final candidate ballots, ARG members are encouraged to write on the ballots the reasons for their recommendations. These comments are shared with the NCAR Director and may be communicated to the candidate at the discretion of the NCAR Director.
  2. The NCAR Appointments Review Administrator and UCAR Director of Human Resources count the ballots. The Administrator conveys these results, with vote tallies, to the ARG Chair and NCAR Director.  The ARG Chair announces the tallies and results of each final candidate recommendation ballot.

Article IV.  ARG Investigative Committees

Section 1. AIC Member Duties    

AIC members will normally perform the following actions:

  1. Read and discuss a sample of the candidate's scientific publications.
  2. Speak with knowledgeable colleagues at NCAR regarding the candidate. May call upon the Investigative Committee Resource Person to identify other NCAR personnel with relevant knowledge of the candidate's work and clarify scientific issues.
  3. Interview the nominee.
  4. Consider the opinions expressed by the referees and investigate further if necessary. May ask the Director of NCAR to seek clarification or explanation from external referees. At no time shall the AIC contact referees directly.
  5. Fill any significant gaps in documentation with the help of the nominator.
  6. Investigate any issues referred to the committee by the ARG.
  7. Share a draft of the report with the committee's appointed Resource Person for review of factual accuracy before submission to the ARG.
  8. The AIC Chair will present a summary of the salient points of AIC report at the third meeting.  Other AIC members may also attend this part of the third meeting to assist in answering questions.

Section 2. AIC Resource Person Duties

One Resource Person, selected by the Candidate's nominating lab/observatory, is appointed to provide expertise and assistance to the Investigative Committee.  The Resource Person must be a Senior Scientist or Senior Research Engineer.

  1. The Resource Person may be called upon by the Investigative Committee to identify other NCAR personnel with relevant knowledge of the candidate's work and clarify scientific or engineering issues.
  2. The Resource Person will review the draft AIC report for factual accuracy prior to its completion.

Section 3. The AIC Report

The report should be uploaded via the NCAR Appointments Review Tool. It should summarize committee findings and will normally include the items below:

  1. The activities of the AIC.
  2. A review of the role and contributions of the candidate in significant collaborations that made major contributions to the scientific record.
  3. Discussion of issues and questions referred by the ARG to the AIC.
  4. Summary of the AIC's review of the letters.
  5. Comments, if any are needed, to address the candidate’s qualifications with regard to the appointment criteria that are not covered in the nomination material.
  6. The final report must not include a formal recommendation on the appointment.

Article V.  Ladder-Track Appointments Review Administrator

Section 1. Ladder-Track Appointments Review Administrator Duties:  

The Administrator collaborates with the NCAR Director and NCAR Operations Director to manage the NCAR Director’s appointment procedures and process.  The Administrator also supports the ARG Chair in the administration of the ARG in the following areas: 

  1. Works with the Chair to set the agenda and publicize meetings to the ARG members.
  2. Works with the Chair to ensure compliance with internal and external procedures, and works closely with the Chair, Vice Chair, NCAR Director, and NCAR Operations Director to ensure the integrity, confidentiality, and accountability of the ARG process.
  3. Works with the Chair and NCAR Operations Director to improve the ARG process.
  4. Manages the content of the ARG web pages.
  5. Administers support of ARG meetings, communication and reporting.
  6. Records the meeting notes.
  7. Develops and tracks supporting budgets.
  8. Manages the web-based NCAR Appointments Tool and works closely with the NCAR Director Web Developer to develop and maintain the NCAR Appointments Review Tool.
  9. Coordinates the orientation of new ARG members and leadership.
  10. Monitors receipt of referee letters and ensures that the ARG Chair, Vice-Chair, and NCAR Director receive status reports.

Article VI.  Special ARG Procedures

Section 1. Candidate Seminar

The seminar should focus on a specific scientific topic (rather than being a general summary of the Candidate’s career, although some historical context may be appropriate), and should be aimed at an audience consisting of NCAR scientists and research engineers from different disciplines. The nominating laboratory or observatory will advertise the seminar as a part of their seminar program and post the date as required in the nomination materials.  The seminar will be recorded including the questions.

Section 2. Withdrawing a Nomination

While some circumstances may warrant withdrawing a case, the practice is strongly discouraged after the nomination is formally submitted to the ARG in December. To withdraw a case, the nominating NCAR Associate Director must submit a written request to the NCAR Director for his/her approval of the request. The request will outline the circumstances that warrant the withdrawal. In any case, withdrawal is only permitted before the start of the third meeting.

If the withdrawal of a nomination is approved, this does not preclude a future nomination for that Candidate.

Section 3. Meeting Notes

Notes include start and end times of the meeting, attendees, and summaries of actions taken by the ARG including related motions, outcome of votes, and action items set by the ARG Chair. Notes do not include a transcription or summary of the discussion or a record of the final vote tally on nominations. Notes are prepared and distributed to ARG Members in advance of the next meeting and are reviewed and approved by the ARG in the following meeting.

Section 4. Out of Cycle Expedited Review Procedures

For new external hires of a Scientist or Research Engineer at level III or senior level, the ARG may be requested by the NCAR Director to conduct an expedited review. These cases will follow normal ARG procedures except as follows:

  1. Request Memo: The appropriate NCAR Associate Director submits a brief memo to the NCAR Director and ARG Chair requesting an expedited review (ER) for a level III or senior level external hire and provides the name of an Investigative Committee Resource Person.
  2. Convening the ER Investigative Committee: The ARG Chair will work with the Ladder-Track Appointments Review Administrator to convene an ER Investigative Committee. Normal requirements for AIC membership apply.  ARG members who serve on an ER Investigative Committee out-of-cycle will be excused from serving on an Investigative Committee for the remainder of the ARG cycle.
  3. Scheduling the ER ARG Meeting: Upon receipt of the request for expedited review, the ARG Chair will schedule a meeting of the ARG to review the ER Investigative Committee report and make a recommendation within two months.
  4. Nomination Package Contents: The nominating NCAR Associate Director must submit a standard nomination package to the Ladder-Track Appointments Review Administrator with the following exceptions:
    1. For Level III candidates- the nomination package shall include:
      1. 5 referee letters solicited by the hiring committee (minimum number to be considered by ER Investigative Committee). At least 2 of the referee letters must be international.
      2. 5 additional proposed referees, including potential additional international referees.
    2. For Senior Level candidates- the nomination package shall include:
      1. 7 referee letters solicited by the hiring committee (minimum number to be considered by ER Investigative Committee).  At least 4 of the referee letters must be international
      2. 5 additional proposed referees, including potential additional international referees.
    3. All referee letters should address the candidate’s merits and progress in the areas defined by the NCAR appointments criteria.
  5. ARG members will review the nomination materials and suggest issues for the investigative committee and additional referees.
  6. The hiring management unit is responsible for scheduling the candidate’s seminar either before or after selection for the position, and also for recording the candidate’s seminar and providing an electronic copy to the NCAR Appointments Review Administrator for review by the ARG.
  7. Expedited Review (ER) Investigative Committee Review Process: The following ER Investigative Committee activities shall occur within a 1-2 month period:
    1. Finalize the list of investigative review questions.
    2. The ER Investigative Committee may decide to augment the nomination and request the NCAR Director to solicit additional letters from the list of proposed referee names or new names provided by the ER Investigative Committee.
    3. For a Level III candidate, the ER Investigative Committee reviews a minimum of 5 and maximum of 8 letters.
    4. For a Senior Level candidate, the ER Investigative Committee reviews a minimum of 7 and maximum of 10 letters.
    5. Full review of the candidate seminar (live or recorded) and nomination.
    6. Meeting or videoconferencing with the candidate.
    7. Follow up with ER Investigative Committee Resource Person as necessary.
    8. Writing the Investigative Committee report.
  8. ER ARG Meeting: The meeting will follow the process for the third ARG review meeting in the regular ARG cycle subject to the following exceptions:
    1. The nominating NCAR Associate Director or delegate will present the nomination to the ARG.
    2. To allow for the expedited nature of this process, the quorum required for a ballot vote is 1/2 of the current voting ARG members. Members may participate via teleconference.
  9. Final Decision: The NCAR Director may expedite making a decision and obtaining Board of Trustees approval for an appointment.

Article VII.  The Normal ARG Calendar

(for the current-year calendar, see


  1. Laboratories and the Observatory decide whom they will nominate for promotion.  The NCAR Director calls for nominations in late summer.   
  2. In early Fall, the laboratory/observatory will submit an initial nomination including  a list of required and proposed referees for each candidate.  The NCAR Director will request referee letters from the required lab/observatory list. 
  3. In early November, the ARG Chair will draft a list of ARG Investigative Committee (AIC) members and work with the ARG to finalize the selections via a web-based forum.
  4. Typically in late November, the first ARG meeting determines the composition of the AICs.
  5. End of November: Initial round of referee letters due.


  1. In mid December, the NCAR Associate Directors submit final nomination materials via the NCAR Appointments Review Tool.  The deadline for final nomination material shall be at least two weeks following the deadline for lab/observatory-required referee letters. 


  1. In early January: Second ARG Meeting to identify questions for further investigation by the AICs and finalize list of referees.
  2. Candidate Seminars February 1 - March 31.
  3. Meetings of AICs to investigate issues and develop their reports.
  4. Mid-March: Final set of reference letters due.


  1. Mid-April: Investigative Committee Reports due.
  2. Typically end of April: ARG Final Review Meeting.
  3. May: NCAR Director decides on appointments and the UCAR Board of Trustees reviews  recommended nominations.


  1. Appointments made by the NCAR Director, July 1 effective date.


  1. The ARG Chair will present an overview of the ARG process to the Early Career Scientist Assembly if such a presentation is requested.
  2. An ARG retreat may be held to consider topics not part of the normal review cycle or to consider procedural changes (e.g., to these Standing Rules).
  3. The ARG Chair will arrange for voting on any proposals to change the Bylaws or Charter.