Norms for recruitment of academic staff to permanent positions

Aarhus University has norms for recruitment of permanent members of academic staff[1]. The norms were laid down by the senior management team after discussion in the academic councils and several consultations with the research and teaching programmes[2].  They have subsequently been adjusted on the basis of the Action Plan for Gender Equality 2020-22[3] with effect from 1 January 2021.

The norms contributes to strengthening recruitment practices at Aarhus University, for example by helping to ensure  quality, diversity and gender equality in the pool of applicants to positions at all faculties. The norms provide a shared framework for recruitment and address the use of search committees, re-advertisement of positions, assessment committees, and appointment committees, and will be implemented at all departments/schools and centres. The local management is responsible for integrating the norms with existing local guidelines.    

  1. All advertisements for permanent academic positions must be worded in broad terms and published both nationally and internationally.
  2. In job advertisements, the under-represented gender is encouraged to apply if it amounts to <25% in the employing unit[4]. At the same time, the job advertisement must state clearly that the university does not practice preferential hiring in relation to the underrepresented gender. In addition, job advertisements must always state that all interested candidates, regardless of personal background, are encouraged to apply for the position, and that all applicants are evaluated on the background of their qualifications in relation to the requirements of the position.
  3. Search committees are used in order to ensure that the pool of applicants is highly qualified and gender-diverse.
  4. Positions must be re-posted in the event of a well-grounded presumption that advertising the position a second time will attract a broader and more qualified pool of applicants.
  5. The majority of the members of the assessment committee must be external. Recruitment committees are used. In the case of professor appointments the dean's office participates.
  6. Assessment and appointment committees must – with due regard for the requirement in regard to academic qualifications – be inclusive and gender-diverse.
  7. In connection with the assessment of applicant qualifications, emphasis is placed on stays or employment with one or more internationally recognised research institutions.
  8. On the condition that the candidates possess the necessary qualifications, the gender diversity requirement applies to applicants offered job interviews.
  9. The appointment committee must, on the basis of applicants’ qualifications and the requirements of the position, select the most qualified applicants. In addition, the appointment committee must consider how the best qualified applicants would contribute to the gender balance of the department/school/unit. In the event that applicants for a position are equally qualified, the gender balance of the unit should be an element taken into consideration in the final choice of applicant.
  10. Appointing internal candidates to permanent positions without prior advertisement is not possible.

[1] I.e. tenure track assistant professor/researcher, associate professor/Senior researcher and professor.

[2] Decided by the senior management team in February 2018.

[3] Decided by the board in October 2020.

[4] Ministerial order on initiatives to promote gender equality (no. 340 of 10/04/2007).