In our three-level tenure track, a fixed-term assistant professorship of three to five years leads to an associate professorship of three to five years. This culminates in a permanent professorship if the criteria for granting tenure are met.
All stages of the tenure track can be entered directly depending on the career stage of the applicant.
The intention of the system is to increase the predictability, competitiveness and attractiveness of academic careers.
Our tenure track model enables the careful selection of candidates. Once a candidate is selected, individual criteria are set to define the guidelines for progress along the tenure track.
The assessment is always an overall assessment of three areas. The following criteria are used to assess the candidates both during recruitment and for progress on tenure track:
All stages of the tenure track can be entered directly depending on the career stage of the applicant.
Fixed term assistant professor - 3 to 5 years
Fixed term associate professor - 3 to 5 years
Full professor - permanent
In the recruitment of assistant/associate professors and professors, three areas are assessed:
The assessment is always conducted as an overall assessment of the listed set of criteria. The criteria are based on the Rector’s Decision HY/125/00.00.06.00/2019.
During the first stage, an assistant professor is expected to demonstrate academic potential and ability to develop in an academic career. When recruiting for the first stage of the tenure track, the aim is to recognise future potential:
During the second stage, associate professors are expected to have significant scientific merits in addition to future potential. The individual has clear potential for a full professorship:
An individual recruited as a professor is expected to have strong academic merits and qualifications and be recognised as a significant opinion-leader in his or her own discipline:
To support you in your path towards full professorship, we will tailor a career path for you with individually considered criteria for progress. These criteria build up your competence step by step to allow you to progress on the tenure track.
Meeting the challenges set for you will show us that you are determined to ambitiously pursue the career of a professor at the University of Helsinki. We also offer a possibility for mentoring to support you on your path.
Individual criteria for progress are defined after you have been recruited for a position. The following criteria are used to assess the candidates both during recruitment and for progress on tenure track:
The University strives to find the most talented and motivated people to recruit for tenure track positions. Our application process has been praised for its transparency, professional conduct and international outlook. All nominations are based on careful consideration by respected experts and external reviewers. We communicate openly with all candidates throughout the process.
Process duration: 6 to 12 months. We communicate openly to all candidates throughout the process.
All University of Helsinki tenure track positions are published in an open call. Positions are usually advertised on an open-rank basis. This means inviting applications from all levels: prospective assistant professors, associate professors and professors.
In the University of Helsinki tenure track recruitment process, the faculty’s search committee or an equivalent body can be used to identify potential candidates.
In the following stage of the recruitment process, the candidates are evaluated and short-listed. In University of Helsinki tenure track recruitment, an appointment committee is used at this stage. The dean establishes the appointment committee, which is to include five professors.
In exceptional circumstances, up to two committee members can be docents with the experience required for the task. Disqualification is taken into consideration when forming the appointment committee.
The University of Helsinki promotes equality in all circumstances, and therefore where possible, both women and men are to be selected as committee members.
The appointment committee short-lists the applicants. At this stage all of the applicants are informed whether they are short-listed candidates or not.
The following stages are only for short-listed candidates:
The appointment committee requests statements from the short-listed candidates on their academic qualifications and other merits from at least two external assessors. Where possible, an equal number of women and men are to be selected as external assessors.
See more detailed information about the scientific evaluation in Instructions for external assessors, further down on this page.
The applicants are contacted to agree on the time and place for an interview. Depending on the process, there can be two rounds of interviews. The appointment committee conducts the interview(s).
Teaching skills are assessed as a whole, taking into account:
The evaluation of the teaching skills is done by the faculty’s teaching skills committee.
The requirements of each assessment area are described in the assessment matrix. The matrix might vary a bit depending on the faculty (see each faculty’s instructions from the faculty’s website under assessment of teaching skills). During the recruitment process, applicants are provided with all the necessary information for the evaluation of teaching skills.
The assessment of teaching skills indicates whether the applicant is qualified for the position in terms of his or her teaching skills. At the end of the recruitment process, the applicant will always receive a statement on his or her teaching skills.
The idea of the teaching demonstration is to illustrate how, in a pedagogically meaningful way, the candidate would teach a given subject to a given target group of students.
A teaching demonstration is very different from a scientific presentation in that the candidate does not illustrate his or her own knowledge on the subject. In the teaching demonstration, the candidate focuses on the students’ learning regarding both knowledge and skills, and on the inclusion of activating elements.
In practice, the teaching skills committee typically decides the title of the teaching demonstration. Typically, all of the applicants are given the same title for the lecture. The duration of the lecture is approximately 20 to 30 min. During the recruitment process, HR will provide all the necessary information on how to prepare for the teaching demonstration.
During the site visit, depending on the recruitment process and the department or faculty, candidates may have the opportunity to hold a scientific talk, meet other researchers from the field and take a closer look at the relevant infrastructure.
All candidates still involved in the process will be informed personally once the recruitment decision is made.
At the University of Helsinki the recruitment decision is made in a proposal process:
After the decision is made, the faculty contacts the new assistant professor/associate professor/professor to discuss about the practicalities and after that the work contract is signed. If an assistant or associate professor is recruited, criteria are set for a successful term as an assistant or associate professor.
The University of Helsinki invites external assessors to evaluate the scientific qualifications of candidates during the recruitment process.
The following information is targeted especially for assessors who are evaluating the candidates during the recruitment process for assistant/associate professors and professors as well as in cases of tenure review, promotion and invitation.
The appointment committee submits a proposal concerning the external assessors to the dean, who decides whether to approve them. In each recruitment process, at least two external assessors are invited to give a statement on each short-listed candidate.
Typically, assessors hold the position of professor or have equal academic merits. The research field of the position will be taken into account when selecting the assessors.
There are restrictions to who can serve as an assessor. The assessment process complies with the general principles of disqualification.
To avoid conflicts of interest assessors are asked to confirm how they know the candidate in their report.
In each recruitment process, instructions and/or a template form for assessment are provided to all of the evaluators. These support the evaluators in their work and ensure that all relevant assessment areas are covered.
Assessors are asked to give an overall assessment of the candidates’ academic qualifications and submit a short written report that focuses on the academic competence and relative strengths and weaknesses of the candidates and each candidate’s suitability for the particular field of the position.
Assessors are asked to indicate in their assessment for which stage (assistant professor/associate professor/professor) each candidate is most suitable and also to classify the candidates in accordance with the following categories: highly recommendable, recommendable, not recommendable.
In our three-level tenure track, a fixed-term assistant professorship of three to five years leads to an associate professorship of three to five years. This culminates in a permanent professorship if the criteria for granting tenure are met. All stages of the tenure track can be entered directly, depending on the career stage of the applicant.
The Regulations of the University of Helsinki specify qualification criteria for professors (section 34) and assistant/associate professors (section 37). For more information, see The Regulations of the University of Helsinki.
Specific assessment criteria for assistant/associate professors and professors at the University of Helsinki are used in the recruitment of assistant/associate professors and professors. The same criteria are also used in the promotion and tenure reviews.
The aim of disqualification rules is to promote the impartiality of decision-making and prevent the inappropriate influencing of decisions. Consideration must be based on objectivity and fairness.
A disqualified individual cannot take part in the handling of a matter or be present when the matter is discussed. A person is disqualified if they feel that their impartiality is compromised. More information about the disqualification situations is available in this document:
The University of Helsinki is committed to promoting equality and diversity and preventing discrimination in all its operations. We require all of our assessors to take this into account in their assessments. Any possible implicit or unconscious bias from the recruiters and assessors is taken into account. This may concern gender, ethnicity, age and other possible factors related to discrimination.
The University promotes equal recruitment regardless of gender. It strives to ensure equal opportunities for career advancement at all levels. Clear and transparent criteria are applied in all recruitment processes to ensure that each applicant’s merits are equitably assessed. Where possible, both women and men are appointed to committees and nominated as assessors.
Please look into the University of Helsinki academic career levels. This helps you as an assessor when evaluating the candidates. Some Finland-specific terms might appear in the candidates’ applications. Academic career titles at the University of Helsinki and other possible titles in the Finnish academic system are listed here.