Tenure track

Guidelines regarding tenure track positions

As part of Aarhus University’s strategic goals and with a view to increasing the transparency and coherence of the university’s research career paths, the senior management team has decided that the recruitment and appointment of junior researchers  may take place through the so-called tenure track programme. 

The tenure track programme relates to positions on assistant professor level (assistant professorship/postdoc/researcher) and offers the option of transitioning - without prior advertisement - to tenure as associate professor/senior researcher, provided that the employee receives a positive academic assessment before the end of the fifth year of employment.

The use of tenure track employment

Tenure track employment is primarily expected to be applicable in academic areas where researcher mobility is very high and where the competition for the most promising researchers is/is expected to be particularly tough. The tenure track programme is one of many recruitment tools, and fixed-term junior researcher positions will continue to be the most common form of employment.

Job advertisements

Tenure track positions are advertised as positions on assistant professorship level, and in the advertisement it should be made clear that the employee will transition to tenure as associate professor, provided that he/she receives a positive assessment before the end of the fifth year of employment. 

Assessment

  1. Assessment in connection with advertised positions. Assessment in connection with advertised tenure track positions takes place in accordance with the rules of the Ministerial Order on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Universities as well as the university’s supplementary rules for assessment, including rules for the composition of the assessment committee.
  2. Assessment in connection with transfer to permanent tenure as associate professor. The assessment committee is appointed pursuant to the university’s ordinary rules for assessment, including the rules for the composition of the assessment committee.

The assessment is based on collected evidence about the employee’s research production and teaching experience (including evaluations) and possibly in relation to other tasks mentioned in the job advertisement. The future potential of the employee is also a high priority. In the assessment, emphasis is placed on the candidate’s fulfilment of the same quality requirements for the acquisition of pedagogical competences and documented research results as in other associate professorship assessments.

The academic assessment must be carried out well in advance and by the end of the fifth year of employment at the latest.

Following a positive assessment, the head of department submits a recommendation for transfer to permanent tenure as an associate professor to the dean for approval. 

In the event of a negative assessment, dismissal under the collective agreement rules is effected. However, the university and the employee may make a mutual agreement that the employee remains employed for another year in order to finish his/her work and conclude the programme.

The assessment process in connection with the transfer to tenure as an associate professor may be brought forward if such a step is deemed to be required to retain particularly talented staff members.

Academic assessment criteria in connection with transfer to permanent tenure as associate professor

  • Teaching: The employee must document his/her ability to independently undertake teaching assignments at all levels within his/her core area of expertise as well as document broad teaching competences at Bachelor’s level. Prior to the assessment, the employee must complete the university’s pedagogical training programme for assistant professors (or similar courses).
  • Research: The quantity and quality of the employee’s research production must meet the standards for tenure at strong European departments within the field of study. The requirements must be communicated clearly in connection with job interviews and the employment contract.
  • Other: Examples of other requirements set out in the job advertisement are the attraction of external research funding and environment change of longer duration (stays at other research institutions).
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