Conferment of the title honorary professor/associate professor

Guidelines for the conferment of the title honorary professor/associate professor, School of Business and Social Sciences (Aarhus BSS), Aarhus University.

The title of honorary professor/associate professor is an honorary title conferred in recognition of a person’s special contribution to the subject areas associated with the faculty’s academic activities. The title may be awarded for a period of up to five years to national or international researchers or others with profound academic skills who the university wishes to retain or create a closer relationship with. Prerequisite for the conferment of the title honorary professor/associate professor is that the proposed candidate is a highly acknowledged researcher or other with high-level academic qualifications. 

Expectations to honorary professors/associate professors 

The specific duties of honorary professors/associate professors should be agreed with the relevant department. Continuous academic cooperation is expected by the faculty, normally involving regular visits to the department.

Honorary professors/associate professors will normally perform the following duties: 

  • participation in research partnerships with researchers at the department
  • lectures/conferences
  • other forms of teaching/PhD supervision
  • participation in (PhD) assessment committees
  • contributions to recruitment when relevant

The process of conferring an honorary professor/associate professor 

Step 1: Reconnoitring
If a department is seeking to appoint an honorary professor/associate professor, the first step is to contact the vice-dean for research. If the dean is positive towards the suggestion made by the department, proceed to step 2.

Step 2: Assessment
The head of department submits a reasoned proposal to the vice-dean containing:

  • A description of the duties that the honorary professor/associate professor will take on at the department.
  • The head of department’s preliminary assessment (short) stating whether the candidate is eligible for a professorship/associate professorship. The proposed candidate should be a researcher with high academic standing or other with high-level academic qualifications.
  • A proposal for the composition of an assessment committee, which:
    • for the conferment of honorary professorships should consist of 3 professors, at least 2 of whom must be external members from outside Aarhus University
    • for the conferment of honorary associate professorships should consist of at least 3 members (associate professor or higher), 2 of whom must be external members from outside Aarhus University.

If the vice-dean deems that the material justifies a recommendation for appointment, he will initiate an assessment process.

Aarhus BSS HR & PhD is the secretariat in charge.

The department determines the academic material on which the committee’s assessment will be based.

Step 3: Recommendation
The expert committee's assessment will be submitted to the vice-dean for research, who then submits a recommendation to the dean about whether the chosen candidate is eligible for appointment as honorary professor/associate professor. The dean then forwards the recommendation to the rector.

Step 4: Announcement
New honorary professorships/associate professorships will be announced on the department’s own website as well as on this website (AU list of honorary professors), which provides an overview of all honorary professors/associate professors at Aarhus University.

If the department is so inclined, a press release may be issued announcing the appointment. Aarhus BSS Communication and External Relations offers assistance in the preparation and publication of this press release.

Extending the title of honorary professor/associate professor 

If it is in the department’s interest, and if the honorary professor/associate professor has fulfilled expectations during the period for which the title was awarded, it is possible to extend the period of the title by up to five years. 

Salary and financial compensation 

An honorary professorship/associate professorship is an honorary title, which does not constitute an employment relationship. Therefore, honorary professors/associate professors are not paid a salary in connection with their affiliation with the university. Various financial costs may be incurred in connection with the tasks involved in the affiliation. International honorary professors/associate professors must expect some travel to be necessary. In connection with such trips, honorary professors/associate professors are entitled to the following subject to the approval of their head of department: 

  • Coverage of travel and accommodation expenses
  • Coverage of the cost of meals (subject to the submission of receipts), or alternatively daily expenses for the period in question
  • A speaking fee for giving lectures, when relevant

If the department/centre concerned has sufficient space, office facilities may be made available (perhaps in shared offices) for particular periods.

Honorary professors/associate professors at Aarhus University 

The following AU homepage contains a list of honorary professors/associate professors at Aarhus University from 1989 onwards: New conferments will be announced here and on the department’s homepage. 


Ministerial Order no. 502 of 20 May 2013 on the Conferment of the Titles of Honorary Professor and Honorary Associate Professor: