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Guidelines regarding advertising for, assessing and appointing academic staff at the Faculty of Arts

Guidelines regarding advertising for, assessing and appointing academic staff at the Faculty of Arts

 

These guidelines are based on the ministerial order on the appointment of academic staff at universities (13 March 2012), AU’s general staff policy, the faculty’s strategy for recruiting new members of academic staff and AU´s seven norms for appointment of staff to permanent positions, as adopted by the senior management team in January 2018.

 

Advertising permanent positions

Heads of school advertise permanent academic positions based on systematic staffing plans which are subject to the approval of the dean following discussions in the faculty management team. However, these staffing plans only cover academic staff with research obligations (assistant professors, associate professors, professors and MSO professors, with “MSO” standing for “with special responsibilities” in Danish).


Job advertisements

Heads of school are responsible for including relevant members of academic staff (normally including the head of department concerned), and for drawing up and approving all job advertisements in collaboration with the Arts HR Department. The faculty’s template for job advertisements can be used to ensure that job advertisements are uniform and recognisable, and to reduce any uncertainty regarding the way they are written.

All academic job advertisements that include research obligations must be written in Danish and English, unless special circumstances call for them to be written in Danish only or in a foreign language other than English. The head of the school concerned decides whether job advertisements should be written in English only. Applications for all positions, except PhD fellowships and academic positions without research obligations, must be written in English unless special circumstances of an academic nature apply. Applicants are welcome to submit publications in Danish even though their actual application is written in English.

In accordance with section 3 of the ministerial order on the appointment of academic staff at universities (13 March 2012), positions at the level of professor and associate professor must be advertised internationally unless special circumstances of an academic nature apply. PhD fellowships and assistant professorships at the Faculty of Arts must also be advertised internationally. The head of school is responsible for ensuring that jobs are advertised in relevant Danish and international media.

In order to ensure the breadth of the field of applicants for permanent academic positions, the head of school sets up a search committee to assist recruitment efforts. The head of school decides on the composition of the search committee as well as the nature and scope of its brief. The aim of search committees is to ensure a sufficiently large, diverse pool of high-quality applicants (external applicants, international applicants and applicants of both genders).

The head of school is responsible for appointing a member of academic staff to answer all questions from potential applicants about the academic aspects of the position or other issues. The Arts HR Department is responsible for appointing members of HR staff to answer all HR-related questions from potential applicants about the position and the application process.

 

Appointment committees

Shortlisting is used to maintain the focus on in-depth assessments of the applicants with the best qualifications.

The head of school sets up an appointment committee to advise about which candidates should be shortlisted for assessment, and then about which candidates should be selected for interview. Finally, the appointment committee takes part in the interviews.

If the head of school wishes, the appointment committee can also function as the search committee.

Positions will be re-advertised if the number of qualified applications received by the application deadline is deemed to be insufficient. This decision rests with the appointment committee. The final decision rests with the head of school.

As a general rule, the appointment committee includes the following members:

• The head of school (chair)

• The head of department

• A staff representative relevant for the academic area concerned

• The chair of the assessment committee

• The dean/vice-dean (if necessary)

• The director of studies (if necessary)

The appointment committee is not qualified to perform subsequent academic assessment, but has an advisory role in relation to assessing the academic qualifications of applicants based on the wording of the job advertisement and the definition of the qualifications required for various categories of position stated in the memo on job structure.

The selection of applicants for assessment is based on an overall evaluation of which applicants best match the recruitment needs of the school and the faculty, as described in the job advertisement. 

The head of school makes the final decision regarding which applicants should be shortlisted.

Please see the guidelines for appointment committees and shortlisting at the Faculty of Arts.


Assessment committees

The assessment process complies with section 4 of the ministerial order on the appointment of academic staff at universities (13 March 2012), the regulations laid down by Aarhus University regarding the academic assessment of applicants for academic positions and the academic assessment of academic staff members who are appointed and have their contracts extended with no preceding job advertisement, and the rules relating to conflicts of interest in assessment committees (see section 2 of the Danish public administration act).

The following rules apply to all assessment committees at the Faculty of Arts: external members must be in the majority (but see below), both genders must be represented, and committees must reflect a certain academic breadth, including academic traditions from outside Denmark.


PhD fellowships

The assessment of PhD fellows must take place in accordance with the rules for the PhD programme at the Graduate School, Faculty of Arts of 1 November 2012.

Research assistants/part-time lecturers

An assessment committee is set up consisting of one or two members from within AU who are associate professors or above.

Teaching assistant professors and teaching associate professors

An assessment committee is set up consisting of two members from within AU who are associate professors or above. Based on a specific assessment of the content of the position, it may be decided that one member from within AU should be replaced by an external member.

In connection with transitions from teaching assistant professor to teaching associate professor, an assessment committee is set up consisting of two members from within AU who are associate professors or above. Based on a specific assessment of the content of the position, one of the members from within AU can be replaced by an external member.

Postdocs

An assessment committee is set up consisting of two members from within AU who are associate professors or above. The committee is subject to the approval of the head of school.

Assistant professors

An assessment committee is set up consisting of three or five members at associate professor level or above. No more than one of these members may be from within AU – the others must be external. As a basic rule, at least one of the external members must be from abroad when the assessment committee consists of three members, and at least two members must be from abroad when the assessment committee consists of five members.

Associate professors

An assessment committee is set up consisting of three or five members at associate professor level or above. No more than one of these members may be from within AU – the others must be external. As a basic rule, at least one of the external members must be from abroad when the assessment committee consists of three members, and at least two members must be from abroad when the assessment committee consists of five members.

Professors/professors with special responsibilities (MSO professors)

An assessment committee is set up consisting of three or five members at professor level, no more than one of whom may be from within AU while the others must be external. As a basic rule, at least one of the external members must be from abroad when the assessment committee consists of three members, and at least two members must be from abroad when the assessment committee consists of five members.

Please see the guidelines for assessment committees when assessing applicants for academic positions at the Faculty of Arts, August 2018.

Appointments and contract extensions which are not advertised

Appointments and contract extensions which are not advertised can sometimes be arranged administratively, for instance for specific postdocs in external projects, visiting scholars, or staff appointed to temporary positions as assistant professors/postdocs, associate professors or professors.

For appointments and contract extensions, the general rules stated above can be used; but the assessment can also be made by one or more expert whose status corresponds to the level of the position in question or above, although they must be associate professors at least. The same thing applies if foundations or non-governmental funders have provided at least half of the funding for the appointment concerned, cf. section 8 of the ministerial order on the appointment of academic staff at universities.

Conflicts of interest in connection with assessments

Aarhus University bases its policy on the general rules of the Danish public administration act regarding conflicts of interest, which cover family relationships, friendships and particular personal, professional and financial interests which are deemed to be incompatible with the role of assessment committee member for the position in question.

Nor may deans, vice-deans and heads of school (management staff who make decisions about appointments) be members of assessment committees.

Involving the Academic Council in the appointment of assessment committees

When an academic position is advertised, the head of school must collect recommendations for members of the assessment committee submitted by the head of department or other academically relevant staff. The dean approves the composition of the assessment committee after obtaining the recommendation of the Academic Council.

Assessments

The chair of the assessment committee leads the work of the committee in accordance with the guidelines for assessment committees when assessing applicants for academic positions at the Faculty of Arts.

Applications which fail to comply with formal requirements will be rejected without being assessed – for instance when applicants fail to attach examples of their academic work for assessment.

Academic assessments are drawn up in accordance with the assessment guidelines.

Academic assessments are drawn up using AU’s e-recruitment tool. Academic assessments must consider whether applicants possess the academic qualifications in terms of research, teaching, communication, etc. required in the circular on job structure for academic staff at universities of 13 June 2007. Assessments must also consider any other academic qualification requirements specified in the job advertisement.

The qualifications of the applicants must be assessed in writing, stating the reasons but not in order of priority. Any differences of opinion among the academic assessors must be stated in the assessment.

In collaboration with the head of school/deputy head of school, the Arts HR Department will check the legality of the academic assessments. The head of school approves the final academic assessments in accordance with the guidelines mentioned above – apart from academic assessments of PhD applications. Arts PhD Administration and Internationalisation will check the legality of the academic assessments of PhD applications. The head of the Graduate School approves the academic assessments of PhD applications in accordance with the guidelines for the PhD programme at the Graduate School, Faculty of Arts of 1 November 2012.

The appointment process

In accordance with section 6 of the Ministerial Order on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Universities (13 March 2012), appointments must be made no later than six months after the deadline for applications. In collaboration with the Arts HR Department, the head of school must ensure that the appointment process does not exceed this deadline.

Interviews are conducted for academic positions, but not normally for PhD and postdoc positions. Interviews may be based on the questionnaire guide drawn up for this purpose by the AU HR Department.

 

Interviews are conducted by an appointment committee. Please see the guidelines for appointment committees.

Introduction to the school/centre for new staff

 

The head of school is responsible for ensuring that a plan is drawn up for the introduction of new staff, enabling new staff to find their feet quickly in their new position.

 

 

 

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