Upon application, the University may grant the title of docent to an applicant possessing extensive knowledge in his or her field and the ability to conduct independent research as demonstrated by publications or other means as well as good teaching skills.
A docent shall be entitled to participate in the teaching of his or her discipline, the supervision of students and the examination of dissertations and theses, as well as in other University activities as agreed on a case-by-case basis.
The Faculty Council evaluates whether the applicant fulfils the requirements for the title of docent. The chancellor of the University of Helsinki can grant the title of docent upon the proposal of the Faculty Council.
The Faculty of Education accepts applications for the title of docent twice a year.
The title of docent can be granted to a person with sufficient research skills, good teaching skills and the international experience required to supervise postgraduate students.
If the Faculty Council (or a docentship committee in a preparatory capacity) deems it appropriate for the activities of the Faculty or the field of science to grant the title of docent, a statement is requested from two assessors on the applicant’s academic qualifications, unless this is considered unnecessary for a specific reason. In assessing the applicant’s competence, the main focus is on the quality and scope of the academic publications. The decision regarding the sufficiency of the applicant’s academic qualifications is made by the Faculty Council with the help of assessor statements.
After having received the assessors’ statements and the statement on the applicant’s teaching skills, the Faculty Council shall decide whether to submit to the chancellor a proposal for granting the title of docent. According to section 52 of the University Regulations, the chancellor can grant the title of docent to an applicant at the proposal of the faculty council.
Docents must have good teaching skills. This means, for example, the application of research-based knowledge in teaching, the development of their teaching and good interaction skills. The Faculty teaching skills committee comprehensively assesses the teaching skills of applicants for the title of docent.
The assessment is based on the teaching qualifications specified in the application documents as well as on the demonstration of teaching skills. Applicants for the title of docent must give a public demonstration of their teaching skills.
See the assessment matrix (pdf).
Docents must be fluent in the language they teach in (Finnish or Swedish). They must also have at least satisfactory oral and written skills in Finnish and Swedish (Government Decree on Universities 770/2009). Foreign citizens or non-native Finnish citizens may be exempted from the Finnish- and Swedish-language requirement (section 32 of the University Regulations).
Applicants for the title of docent must consult a professor of the relevant discipline before the application process so as to determine the field of the docentship and settle other related issues (e.g., a sufficient quantity of publications).
According to the chancellor’s instructions, the fields associated with the title of docent must not be too limited and the field should not be specified using phrases such as “with a special focus on”. In most cases, the title should comply with the established boundaries between disciplines.
As a rule, the field of the docentship should follow the existing fields of docentships (see list below). If a new field is proposed, clear grounds why the field is relevant for the discipline and the faculty must be provided (on the e-form completed by the professor).
In assessing the applicant’s competence, the main focus is on the quality and scope of the academic publications. It is therefore important that the applicant prepares his or her list of publications carefully and according to instructions.
The docentship committee of the Faculty of Educational Sciences initially processes the application. If the committee supports the application, the matter is presented to the Faculty Council.
The committee may also decide not to support the application. Applicants for the title of docent are informed of such decisions and their justifications. The committee also provides the applicants with instructions for supplementing their application. Applicants may choose to have the application presented without the committee’s support, in which case the presenting official hands the matter over to the Faculty Council. If the applicant does not wish to proceed in this manner, the matter is terminated until the applicant submits a supplemented application to the docent committee.
After the Faculty Council has decided on the assessors, the Faculty Office submits the application documents and publications to them.
The Faculty teaching skills committee must make a comprehensive assessment of the applicant’s teaching skills. The assessment is based on the teaching qualifications specified in the application documents and on the teaching demonstration. As a rule, applicants for the title of docent must give a public demonstration of their teaching skills, unless this is considered unnecessary for special reasons.
After having received the assessors’ statements on the applicant’s academic competence and qualifications as well as an assessment of the applicant’s teaching skills, the Faculty Council decides whether to propose to the chancellor that the applicant be granted the title of docent.
The title of docent will be applied in e-form and the attachments should be sent to email@example.com by the closing date. Only electronic applications are accepted. Application documents must be clearly named (e.g., lastname_firstname_cv.pdf).
Applications must indicate the field of the docentship (title) and the applicant’s address and other contact details (home address, email, phone, personal identity code) as well as grounds for the application (why the applicant is requesting the specific title of docent at the University of Helsinki). In addition, applications must include information on the supervisors of the applicant’s doctoral dissertation because they cannot serve as assessors. If an applicant has questions about the title of docent, he or she should contact a professor in the discipline.
Applications must be accompanied by the following documents:
In applications the list of publications should comply with the Finnish national classification for publications issued by Ministry of Education and Culture.
For each publication, give a complete literature reference, indicating the authors and the title of the article or publication as well as the publisher.
Further information on the matters related to docentship applications: HR On-site Services Pirjo Lehtiniemi (firstname.lastname@example.org).