Apply for the title of docent

The University can 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.

The title of docent does not constitute an employment relationship with the University.

Instructions of the Faculty of Pharmacy

The requirements of a docent including instructions for external assessors

The Faculty of Pharmacy requires the applicant to have a doctoral degree. The applicant must have produced scientific publications in the relevant field. The scientific significance and scope of the publications must be equal to at least one doctoral dissertation of high quality.

In addition, the faculty refers to the Chancellor’s letter (16.12.2003), in which he defines the demands for a docent: “As the doctorate seems to constitute the ending point of academic training and simultaneously the starting point of a career as an independent scholar, one might assume that the next step in an academic career, the title of docent, would already require proof of having pursued an independent line of research and thus of independence in general. The length of the list of publications is not always conclusive proof of this, particularly if the supervisor of the doctoral dissertation continues to participate in the work of the former student.”

The Faculty requires that in assessing the competence of an applicant, the assessors should pay sufficient attention to the following:

  • whether the applicant has published scientific articles in international peer-reviewed journals following her/his dissertation
  • whether the applicant has been the first, second or last author of the articles published
  • whether the applicant works as an independent researcher (e.g., has project funding)
  • whether the applicant has been supervising Master’s theses and/or Doctoral dissertations
  • whether the applicant has had a post-doctoral activities in Finland or abroad (e.g. participated in scientific conferences, held a post-doctoral position)

The Faculty wishes that the assessors be as unambiguous as possible in their statement. They should state as clearly as possible whether the applicant qualifies as a docent or not. The assessors must analyse the scientific work of the applicant at sufficient length in their statement.

The ap­plic­a­tion pro­cess

Before submitting the application, the applicant for the title of docent should contact the professor at the Faculty of Pharmacy, whose field is related to the field that the applicant intends to apply for, as well as the HR Specialist of the faculty. 

Application with the attachments must be submitted (in Finnish, Swedish or English) to the Faculty of Pharmacy to hr-ftdk(at) Please name all the documents clearly (e.g. lastname_firstname_application.pdf). Please note that if the assessors are not Finnish/Swedish speaking, the documents are needed in English.

The application (cover letter) must be accompanied by the following enclosures or an Academic Portfolio (all preferably in one pdf):

  • CV in English, Finnish or Swedish
  • A list of publications following the classification of the University of Helsinki Publications Database
  • A report on teaching skills that is no more than four pages in length and that takes into account the teaching evaluation matrix
  • A certificate demonstrating language skills

In addition to the above mentioned application documents, the applicant must deliver publications to be sent to the assessors (no more than 10 publications. Name the files clearly (e.g. lastname_firstname_publication1.pdf).

The Teaching Skills Committee of the Faculty of Pharmacy assesses teaching skills based on the written report submitted by the applicant and a demonstration of teaching skills. More information on the evaluation of teaching skills.

Applications for the title of docent are usually discussed by the Faculty Council at two separate meetings.

In the first meeting, the application is brought to the attention of the Council, and assessors are appointed. The relevant professor will submit a proposal for the nomination of the assessors. At least one of the assessors must be outside the Faculty. The assessors must have the qualifications of a docent or equivalent qualifications. An outside assessor cannot have a valid full-time employment contract with the Faculty. Persons appointed as assessors cannot participate in the processing of the application at a later stage.

The field of the docentship should be closely connected to the operations of the faculty or discipline, and it is often appropriate that the field follows the organisation of disciplines established at the faculty. If the field of a docentship proposed to the chancellor is new at the faculty, the faculty council must justify why the proposed field is appropriate for the operations of the faculty or discipline. (Chancellor’s instructions 12.5.2020, HY/977/01.08.03/2020)

If the field of the docentship that is being applied for is new (the Faculty has no previous appointments in the field), the relevant professor must provide a statement describing the field and giving grounds for establishing such a docentship.

After the assessors’ statements have been received, they will be sent to the applicant. If the assessors find that the applicant fulfils the requirements for the title of docent, the applicant’s teaching skills will be evaluated and the applicant will give a demonstration of teaching skills.

When all assessments have been received and if they are positive, the application is brought to the attention of the Faculty Council again. The Faculty Council decides whether the applicant meets the conditions for obtaining the title of docent. If the conditions are met, the Faculty Council will propose that the Chancellor awards the title of Docent