Apply for the title of docent

The university may award the title of docent ("dosentti"; usually translated into English as docent or adjunct professor) to a person who has comprehensive knowledge of his or her own field, a capacity for independent research or artistic work demonstrated through publication or some other manner, and good teaching skills.

The Faculty handles applications for the title of docent which are included in or support the Faculty’s field of authority. Applicants must hold a doctoral degree.

Grant­ing the title of do­cent on the basis of schol­arly qual­i­fic­a­tions

The Regulations of the University of Helsinki (entered into force on 1 August 2015) state that if the faculty council deems that granting the title of docent to the applicant is in the interest of the faculty, department or discipline, it shall acquire statements on the applicant's academic qualifications from two assessors, unless, for special reasons, the statements are considered unnecessary. (Regulations 52.2 §)

In addition, the applicant must hold a demonstration of teaching skills open to the public, unless there are special reasons to consider this unnecessary. The Faculty’s Committee for the Assessment of Teaching Skills will submit a statement on the applicant’s teaching skills.

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. (Regulations 52.2 §)

In­struc­tions for ap­plic­ants

Applicants should submit their application documents with the list of publications as well as the selected publications (for the assessors) electronically to the HR Specialist responsible for the docent applications of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine: hr-eltdk(at) Applicants are asked to note the evaluation matrix (assessment of teaching skills) when drafting their application documents.

Applicants should submit the documents in English in case an assessor from outside Finland is selected. Applicants can obtain further instructions from the Faculty’s Vice-Dean in charge of research affairs or the personnel specialist responsible for the application process of granting the title of docent (see contact information in the end).

Required application documents (preferably as a single pdf file):

  1. Application indicating the field of the prospective nomination
  2. Academic portfolio or comprehensive CV
  3. List of publications

Selected publications (pdf): Publications included in the list of publications with which the applicant wishes to demonstrate his or her scholarly qualifications in the field of the prospective nomination. For example 10 publications.

About the academic portfolio / comprehensive CV
The academic portfolio or CV must describe the applicant's research field and contribution to it. The portfolio or CV must explain, in sufficient detail, the applicant’s research-oriented postgraduate education (including Finnish and international postdoctoral education and participation in scholarly conferences and other meetings), practical experience in the field or experience in clinical work or similar, teaching qualifications, pedagogical training if any, and experience in the supervision of doctoral dissertations, other theses and scientific research. In addition, the applicant may describe his or her qualifications in the supervision of junior researchers and in societal interaction. A Finnish veterinary specialist degree or international specialist (Diplomate) training should also be mentioned in the portfolio or CV. Please also see the general instructions of the Academic Portfolio of the University of Helsinki.

The applicant must enclose with the portfolio or CV a report of his or her Swedish or Finnish skills if these are not demonstrated in the undergraduate degree programme.

About the number of publications
An applicant for the title of docent should usually have issued at least 10-15 publications (including the publications contained in the applicant’s doctoral dissertation) in international peer-reviewed publication series.

About the list of publications
The list of publications is an essential document in applying for the title of dosentti. The Faculty Council uses the list and the assessors’ statements to assess the quality and scope of the applicant’s scholarly publications. A list of publications included in the application for the title of docent must include the following information:

  • Articles included in the applicant’s doctoral dissertation (please mention that they were included in the dissertation)
  • Other articles in international peer-reviewed scholarly journals
  •  Articles in peer-reviewed scholarly compendia and conference publications
  • Published monographs
  • Other scholarly publications
  • Textbooks and other research-related books which the applicant has authored or co-authored
  • Research-related articles and radio and television programmes aimed at a non-academic audience
Pro­cessing of ap­plic­a­tions and ap­point­ment of as­sessors

Applications should be addressed to TTJT ("Tutkimuksen ja tieteellisten jatkotutkintojen toimikunta”; "Faculty committee on research and research-oriented postgraduate degrees") and submitted to the HR Specialist responsible for the docent applications of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine: hr-eltdk(at) Please ask for more information beforehand if needed.

Once an application has arrived, the Faculty will ask the professor in charge of the field to draw up a reasoned proposal on suitable experts to assess the applicant’s scholarly qualifications. This proposal must briefly describe the qualifications of the assessors in relation to the field of the nomination. The proposal must also include the address and other contact details of the persons in question. The applicant may object to any assessor proposed. When selecting assessors, the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine has striven to take into account the grounds for disqualification under the Administrative Procedure Act (434/2003, Sections 27–28).

Applications for the title of docent and proposals for assessors will be discussed in the Faculty committee on research and research-oriented postgraduate degrees, which may, if it supports an application, forward it and the appointment of assessors to the Faculty Council for decision.

If the committee has a valid reason not to support an application, information about this decision, together with the reasons given, will be sent to the applicant. At the applicant’s request, the presenting official can submit the matter to the Faculty Council for decision making even if the committee does not propose to the Faculty Council that the assessment process be initiated. If the applicant accepts the committee’s decision, the matter is dissolved until the applicant reapplies for the title of dosentti, for example when the applicant can demonstrate his or her scholarly activities more conclusively.

Once the Faculty Council has decided on the assessors, the HR Specialist will submit the application documents to them. The time limit for the assessment is usually two months. If the assessors’ statements support the granting of the title of docent, the applicant must hold a demonstration of teaching skills according to the Faculty’s instructions. The Faculty’s Teaching Skills Evaluation Committee will be present at the demonstration of teaching skills and will submit a statement on the applicant’s teaching skills.

The Faculty Council will examine the application documents, the assessors’ statements and the statement of the Teaching Skills Evaluation Committee and will then decide whether to propose to the Chancellor that the applicant be granted the title of docent.


As­sess­ment cri­teria

Assessors must assess each applicant's scholarly and teaching qualifications in relation to the field(s) indicated in the application based on the application documents. Each assessor's statement must indicate whether the assessor finds the applicant qualified in the field of the prospective nomination and whether the assessor proposes that the applicant be granted the title of dosentti. The assessors may submit a joint statement. The assessors must not comment on whether the field of the nomination is essential for the Faculty, for the granting of the title of dosentti must not be based on a needs test.

Assessors are asked to assess and comment on at least the following areas in their statement:

Scientific publications

  • The applicant’s scientific publications must primarily be assessed on the basis of articles published or approved for publication in international peer-reviewed publication series. The applicant's other publications must, however, be taken into account when assessing the scope of his or her publications.
  • The quantity and quality of the applicant’s scientific output and its relationship to the field of the applied-for nomination. Do the publications demonstrate that the applicant has comprehensive knowledge of the field?
  • Do the applicant's publications include an approved doctoral dissertation and other scientific publications of a scientific significance and quantity that together correspond to at least two doctoral dissertations approved with the grade Good? The Faculty of Veterinary Medicine recommends that an applicant should have issued at least 10-15 scientific publications before applying for the title of dosentti.
  • The applicant’s capacity for independent research work. Has the applicant established his or her own line of research? Is he or she still actively carrying out research? What is the applicant’s contribution to co-authored publications? Is he or she the first, second or last author of scientific publications?
  • Other publications

Research-oriented postgraduate education

When assessing research-oriented postgraduate education, the following factors may be taken into account:

  • Postdoctoral education and subsequent training in Finland and abroad
  • Other work experience and activities after the dissertation in research and other occupations outside the Faculty
  • Participation in scholarly conferences and other meetings in the field
  • Competitive research funding after the dissertation
  • Peer-reviewing for international publication series

Required practical experience

  • Activities outside the Faculty (for example, as a public official)
  • Experience in clinical work (applies especially to dosentti nominations in the clinical field)

Teaching qualifications

  • Practical teaching experience
  • Pedagogical training
  • Participation in teaching: lectures, course instruction, textbooks etc.
  • Teaching posts

Especially in the case of an applicant who has never held a teaching post or otherwise has scant teaching experience, the applicant is recommended to complete training in the teaching pedagogy of higher education before applying for a title of docent.

The Teaching Skills Evaluation Committee of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine will assess the teaching qualifications; an evaluation matrix (assessment of teaching skills) is used.

Qualifications in the supervision of researchers and societal interaction

  • Experience in the supervision of research work
  • Experience in the supervision of doctoral students and other thesis writers
  • Participation in the education of junior researchers
  • Provision of training courses for researchers
  • Activities in the scholarly community or the administration of the Faculty/University
Ad­di­tional infor­mation

Additional information can be obtained from Vice-Dean for research and researcher education or from the personnel specialist responsible for the docent applications: Heidi M. Kauppinen, hr-eltdk(at)helsinki.