The most important duty docents have in the academic community is to provide teaching. Holders of the title of docent are entrusted with the right to supervise licentiate and doctoral theses. Docents who are employed by the University are also often engaged in research. Above all, the title of docent testifies to its holder’s position as a distinguished member of the academic community, as both an excellent researcher and teacher in their field. All docentships are university-level, rather than faculty-level, titles.
At the University of Helsinki, the requirement for the title of docent is scholarly works equivalent in scope to at least two doctoral theses as well as good teaching skills. When applying for the title of docent, applicants must provide a list of scholarly publications and other qualifications, as well as give a demonstration of teaching skills in their own field. The applicants’ qualifications are assessed by independent academic assessors. At the University of Helsinki, the chancellor grants the title of docent at the proposal of faculties. Some 180 titles of docent are granted annually.