Docentship

The title of docent indicates that the person has extensive knowledge in his or her field, good teaching skills and the ability to conduct independent research. Applicants should submit their documents well in advance as the application process is extensive, spanning several months from the date of submission. Granting the title of docent does not constitute a contract of employment with the University.

According to Section 89 of the Universities Act (558/2009), a person may be granted the title of docent upon application. According to Section 52 of the University of Helsinki Regulations, the University may grant the title of docent to a person who has comprehensive knowledge of his or her own field, a capacity for independent research or artistic work as demonstrated through publication or some other manner, and good teaching skills. The docent may participate in the teaching of his or her discipline, the supervision of students and theses as well as other University activities in a way to be agreed upon on a case-by-case basis.

It is recommended that applicants discuss the application with the person responsible for the relevant discipline at the Faculty before sending the application. During this discussion, the person responsible for the discipline can make a tentative assessment of the applicant’s scholarly merits and explain the Faculty’s application procedure for the title of docent.

Persons responsible for disciplines:
Ecosystems and Environment Research Programme
- University lecturer Sirkku Manninen (Urban Ecosystems and Environment)
- Professor Heikki Setälä (Environmental Ecology)
- Professor Jukka Horppila (Freshwater Ecosystems and Environment)
- Professor Sakari Kuikka (Marine Environment and Governance)
- Professor Atte Korhola (Arctic Ecosystems and Environment/Past Ecosystems and Environment)
- Professor Sirkku Juhola (Urban Environmental Policy)

Organismal and Evolutionary Biology Research Programme
- Professor Kurt Fagerstedt (Animal Ecology)
- University lecturer Johannes Enroth (Plant Systematics)
- Associate Professor Anna-Liisa Laine (Plant Ecology)
- University lecturer Mikael Brosche (Plant Physiology and Molecular Biology)

Molecular and Integrative Biosciences Research Programme
- Professor Kari Keinänen (Biochemistry and Biotechnology)
- Professor Sarah Butcher (Microbiology)
- Professor Juha Voipio (Physiology and Neuroscience)
- Professor Juha Partanen (Genetics)

The docentship fields at the Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences (PDF)

The University regulations require that the Faculty Council request statements on the applicant's academic qualifications from two assessors, unless, for special reasons, the Council considers such statements unnecessary. Both assessors must be from outside the Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences. At the Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences, the Faculty Council may deem the assessor statements unnecessary if the scholarly qualifications of the applicant in the relevant field for the title of docent have already been ascertained during the application procedure for the title of professor at the University of Helsinki. The Faculty Teaching Skills Evaluation Committee will issue a statement on the applicant's teaching skills. If the Faculty Council finds that the applicant for the title fulfils the requirements for the title of docent, the Council will submit a proposal of appointment to the Chancellor.

The languages of instruction and degrees at the University of Helsinki are Finnish and Swedish. According to the guidelines provided for the faculties by the University Chancellor on 18 February 2010, the language requirements for docents are the same as those for University teaching staff. According to the section on language requirements for teaching staff at universities of the Government Decree on Universities (770/ 2009), an applicant for the title of docent must be competent in the language in which he or she will provide instruction (Finnish or Swedish). In addition, he or she must also have at least satisfactory oral and written skills in both Finnish and Swedish. Language skills will be demonstrated through application documents and, if relevant, a teaching demonstration. The language of instruction of an applicant for the title of docent will be considered to be the language of the initial application. The docent may also provide instruction in other languages.

If the applicant for the title of docent is a foreign citizen, a non-native Finnish citizen or a citizen who has not been educated in Finnish or Swedish, he or she may be exempted from the requirement on skills in Finnish and Swedish as stated in the Government Decree without a separate application. The Faculty Council will grant the exemption when preparing the proposal for granting the title of docent.

SCIENTIFIC QUALIFICATIONS
The Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences requires docents to have enough scientific publications in the relevant field to correspond to at least two dissertations approved with a grade of “Good”. The applicant must also provide proof of an independent scholarly career or researcher profile as well as continued active research work. The Faculty requests that the assessor statements indicate unambiguously whether the applicant fulfils the above requirements and is qualified to hold the title of docent in his or her field. The assessor statements must discuss the applicant’s qualifications in sufficient depth, and must include an analysis of the scholarly publications of the applicant.

TEACHING SKILLS
The teaching skills of applicants for the position of docent at the Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences will be evaluated as a whole based on the teaching skills evaluation criteria (pdf)  approved by the Faculty Council.

The Faculty Teaching Skills Evaluation Committee will issue a written statement on the applicant's teaching skills. A teaching demonstration is part of the evaluation of teaching skills. The teaching demonstration will be evaluated based on the criteria approved by the Faculty Council. For the requirement of good teaching skills for docents at the Faculty to be met, the teaching demonstration as a whole must be at least at a good level, as specified by the evaluation criteria. See also the instructions for teaching demonstration (pdf).

Applications for the title of docent are usually discussed by the Faculty Council at two separate meetings. At the first meeting the application is brought to the attention of the Council, and assessors are appointed. The relevant professor or person responsible for the discipline will submit a proposal for the nomination of the assessors. Both assessors must be from outside the Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences. If the field of the title of docent is new (the Faculty has no docents in the field), the person responsible for the discipline must provide a statement describing the field and giving grounds for establishing such a position.

Once the supporting assessor statements have been received, the Faculty will deliver them to the Faculty Teaching Skills Evaluation Committee. The Teaching Skills Evaluation Committee will typically ask the applicant to give a teaching demonstration. The demonstration lecture will be open to the public. The Teaching Skills Evaluation Committee must advertise the event sufficiently so that all interested parties may attend. The duration of the lecture will be approximately 25-30 minutes. The topic of the lecture should be such that its audience could be students of the field and it could be part of a lecture series included in the curriculum of the discipline. The applicant may use memory aids during the lecture, but these can only pertain to the structure of the lecture and any necessary numerical information. The applicant may take advantage of the usual teaching aids. The Teaching Skills Evaluation Committee will give an evaluation of the teaching demonstration based on the criteria decreed by the Faculty Council. Following this, the Committee will provide a statement to the Faculty, evaluating the teaching skills of the applicant as a whole. Please see the teaching skills evaluation criteria approved by the Faculty Council.

The Teaching Skills Evaluation Committee may also decide to issue a statement on the applicant's teaching skills without a teaching demonstration. In such a case, the applicant’s academic portfolio must be sufficiently detailed so that the Teaching Skills Evaluation Committee can, based on the portfolio alone, reliably evaluate whether the applicant’s teaching skills as a whole meet the criteria approved by the Faculty Council. The Teaching Skills Evaluation Committee may also decide to provide a statement based on the academic portfolio alone if the applicant has recently given a teaching demonstration in conjunction with the application process for a teaching position at the Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences, or if the applicant has previously held a long-term teaching position at the Faculty.

At the second meeting the Faculty Council will decide whether the applicant has the required scientific qualifications and teaching skills, and whether to propose granting the title of docent to the applicant. The Faculty Council will also decide whether the applicant’s language skills meet the language requirements placed upon docents.

The applications for the title of docent are submitted through the University of Helsinki Electronic Recruitment Service. Please note that applicants are not required to fill in the profile section of the recruitment portal, the attachments are sufficient enough.

  • Internal applicants, who are current employees of the University of Helsinki, leave their application via the SAP HR portal, which they can access through Flamma. In SAP HR, please choose: Employment opportunities - Application via Reference code - Reference code: HY11790 - Docentship in Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences
  • External applicants submit their applications via eRekry at https://rekry.helsinki.fi/start. After logging in, please search for the right call for applications: Employment opportunities - Application via Reference Code - Reference code: HY11792 - Docentship in Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences

Please note, that without the correct reference code, the application cannot be allocated to the right position.

The application for the title of docent consists of the following documents:

  • Academic portfolio (please see guidelines for the academic portfolio) OR
    CV according to the template of the Finnish Advisory Board on Research Integrity. If CV is enclosed with the application (instead of portfolio) the merits in teaching and pedagogical competence must still be recorded as instructed for the academic portfolio and taking into consideration the faculty’s teaching skills evaluation matrix so that the Teaching Skills Evaluation Committee of the faculty would have sufficient information for the evaluation of teaching skills.
  • List of publications (please see below for the classification of publications)
  • Relevant publications for the assessors (the publications (5-10 publications) should be in the field of the applied docentship)
  • Finnish applicants: documents demonstrating the required language skills in Finnish and Swedish such as an extract from the official Finnish service record (“nimikirjanote”) or a copy of the applicant’s Master’s degree diploma.
  • Foreign applicants: scanned copies of the first page of the applicant’s passport and doctoral diploma, both verified by two people

The list of publications should follow the classification of the publications database of the University of Helsinki where applicable. The classification and headers of the list of publications could be as follows:
A Monographs
A1 Scientific monographs and doctoral dissertation
A2 Scientific monographs published in a University of Helsinki department series
A3 Scientific monographs or parts of publication series edited or translated by the applicant
A4 Textbooks
A5 Popular science publications
B Articles
B1 Scientific articles in refereed scientific journals
B2 Articles in scientific anthologies or printed conference proceedings
B3 Articles, surveys and editorials in non-peer-reviewed scientific journals as well as editorials, surveys and book reviews (at the author’s discretion) in refereed journals
B4 Articles in departmental publication series of the University of Helsinki
B5 Popular science articles
C Teaching materials
- Lecture outlines, handouts and other teaching materials not classified above (e.g. as a textbook)
D Applications for patents on research results
Publications outside the scope of the above classification may also be included
depending on their information value
E Other publications
- personalia (obituaries, birthday commemoration articles, interviews)
- Causeries, essays, editorials
- Reviews
- Independent product reviews or comparisons
- Photo reportage
- Summaries and abstracts
- Summarised reports of meetings
- Illustrated articles and product presentations

For more information, please contact HR Specialist Harri Hamara (harri.hamara(at)helsinki.fi) or HR Coordinator Sari Aaltonen (sari.aaltonen(at)helsinki.fi)