Apply for the title of docent

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. It is possible to apply for a title of docent at the Faculty of Law twice a year: application periods are 1–30 September and 1–31 March.

Application time in the spring term 2024 begins 1.3.2023.

The Faculty Council assesses whether the applicant fulfills the requirements for the title of docent. Before making its decision, the Faculty Council will acquire statements on the applicant’s academic competence from two assessors, in addition to which the applicant’s teaching skills will be assessed by the teaching skills committee. At the University of Helsinki, the title of docent is granted by the chancellor.

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 upon on a case-by-case basis. The title of docent does not constitute an employment relationship with the university, and based on title alone, the docent does not have the right to teach at the university. Without a separate agreement, the docent does not have the right to remuneration or benefits belonging to university personnel. A possible docent contract will separately agree on the forms and conditions of cooperation. The agreement always requires willingness from both parties.

Qualification requirements

The title of docent can be granted to a person who has

  • A doctoral degree
  • High-quality academic research with a scope equivalent to at least two dissertations (both monographs and research articles will be taken into consideration)
  • Profound knowledge in his or her field
  • The ability to conduct independent research, as demonstrated by publications or other means
  • Good teaching skills

The Faculty Council will acquire statements on the applicant’s academic competence from two assessors, unless, for special reasons, the statements are considered unnecessary.

The University's instructions for Academic portfolio

Docents are required to have good teaching skills. The Faculty’s teaching skills committee makes an overall assessment of the teaching skills of the prospective docent. The assessment is based on the teaching merits documented in the application documents, an evaluation of the teaching demonstration, as well as an interview.

The teaching skills committee assesses teaching skills and a related demonstration on separately announced dates.

A docent must be proficient in the language, Finnish or Swedish, in which he or she provides teaching. Moreover, a docent must have at least satisfactory oral and written skills in both languages (Government Decree on Universities 770/2009).

Foreign citizens or non-native Finns may be exempted from the requirement regarding proficiency in the Finnish and Swedish languages (Regulations of the University of Helsinki, section 32).

Applying for the title of docent

You can apply for the title of docent at the university's recruitment system twice a year. Application periods are 1–31 March and 1–30 September.

Call for applications in the spring term 2024 is now open. You may leave your application here.

After the application period closes, the Faculty’s research committee will make a preliminary assessment on whether the applicant fulfills the requirements for the title of docent on the basis of their list of publications and CV. If the assessment is affirmative, the committee will appoint two assessors to review the candidate's application, in addition to which the committee will also comment on the field of the docentship. In both choosing the assessors and determining the field, the committee has the right to consult professors of the field. As regards the teaching skills of the applicant, the committee has the right to consult the chair of the teaching skills committee.

If the assessment by the research committee is negative, the applicant can choose to withdraw their application or request the Faculty Council to decide whether the application will be further processed.


  • Scientific, especially peer-reviewed publications from the point of view of the field of applied docentship. In quantity, the applicant's publications should be equivalent in scope to two doctoral dissertations; both monographs and research articles can be included.
  • Moreover, her/his research conducted after the doctoral dissertation should contribute to new scholarly knowledge and demonstrate development as an independent researcher ("new openings" after the dissertation).
  • The teaching skills committee evaluates the applicant’s teaching skills using the faculty’s common criteria.

Re­quired en­clos­ures

The application must be accompanied by the following enclosures.

  1. A free-form application letter addressed to the Faculty of Law. In the letter, including his/her contact information, the applicant should specify the field of the applied docentship ("I apply a title of docent in xxx").
  2. An English-language academic portfolio or CV (see instructions and criteria). Teaching merits are to be reported carefully to the Faculty's electronic form here.
  3. An English-language list of publications. Please, use the categories defined by the Ministry of Education. N.B: The applicant should specify in the beginning of her/his publication list, (a) which publications overlap her/his doctoral thesis and how, and (b) which publications show her/his new thematic openings, showing her/his widened expertise and development as a researcher after doctoral degree. If you have any co-authored publications, you should attach a report on your contribution to each of them.
  4. A document to clarify why the applicant is applying for the title of docent, how their academic activities are integrated into the Faculty’s research fields, and how they plan to participate in the Faculty's activities in the coming years.
  5. A non-Finnish Citizen should include a copy of the passport certified by two people. Copies of relevant diplomas and certificates enclosed should have an English-language translation if the original diploma/certificate is granted in another language than Finnish, Swedish or English. Diplomas and Certificates shall be enclosed to academic portfolio as instructed.
  6. Publications submitted for assessment. Each document should have letters DOS in the beginning of its name and be numbered as in the list of publications. Should the publication not be available in electronic form, two hard copies of the publication must be delivered to the Faculty.
Working at the Faculty with a docentship agreement

Individuals who have been granted the title of docent can also use their expertise in support of the University’s goals and more actively serve as a member of the Faculty by concluding a docentship agreement. For this purpose, the forms of cooperation and the term of the agreement will be agreed with the dean, after which any practical arrangements will be carried out with University Services. Docents will receive a University account and email address, as well as access to data systems and library databases.