Tenure Track

Guidelines on the tenure track career path

The researchers and teachers working at the University of Oulu can serve in a tenure track position or a non-tenure track position (personal research career). The researchers appointed to a tenure track position may advance in their career through the tenure track process and be appointed to a permanent position as a professor or a distinguished professor.

A person selected to the position of an assistant professor in the tenure track system must have an applicable doctoral degree, the ability to carry out independent scientific work, and teaching skills required in the position. In addition, s/he is required to have shown ability and motivation for pursuing a scientific career.

The criteria of the various position stages (assistant professor, associate professor), qualification criteria, and the determination of employment periods used as the basis for advancement of a career follow the same grounds as on the four-stage research career system.

Tenure track procedure

  • Universities may have tenure track programmes or recruitment processes initiated by the Research Council, or tenured positions of various faculties.
  • A tenure track position must always be approved in the personnel plan of the faculty, and it requires a long-term funding commitment within the scope of the university’s financial situation.
  • Launching of a tenure track process always requires a decision by the rectorate and an international application process. Call for tenure track positions is initiated by the Research Council or the faculty after the above-mentioned processes have been completed.
  • The programme does not exclude researchers at any career stage, but based on the experience and competence of the person being appointed, the position may be within the range of assistant professor – associate professor – professor – distinguished professor.
  • When recruiting for the positions, outstanding scientific quality is set as a requirement (‘world-class level’, Academy of Finland scoring 5-6 out of 6, excellent-outstanding), and this must be verified via evaluations from external experts (two to four high-level international researchers).
  • In filling the tenure track position, a separate recruiting committee appointed by the dean must always be established, and it also evaluates the advancement from one level to the next on the basis of the statements from expert evaluators.
  • The external evaluators used in the selection or promotion from one tenure level to the next are confirmed by the Research Council or a separate tenure track committee based on the proposal of the recruiting committee
  • Before the appointment or promotion from one level to the next, the tenure track position must be approved by the university’s joint tenure track committee, whose task it is to ensure that the persons appointed to the tenure track positions fulfil the requirements for a high-level researcher and that the evaluation has been performed internationally and according to sufficiently high standards.
  • The Research Council or a separate committee appointed by it may serve as the tenure track committee.
  • In case the applicants do not meet the requirements, the recruitment will not take place, the continuation period is not granted, or the person is not appointed to a permanent position.
  • In the recruitment process for a tenure track position, the call for applications must state that the position is a tenure track position and that the University's procedure for tenure track recruitments shall be taken into account in filling the position.

The following guidelines must be followed both in the initial recruitment phase and in promotion from one position level to the next:

  • The recruiting committee introduces the applicants, their merits and the evaluation process to the dean and makes a proposal for appointment; the dean presents the appointment proposal to the tenure track committee
  • The final recruitment decisions are made in accordance with the rector’s decision for delegation after approval by the tenure track committee
  • When recruiting for the position of a professor, an invitation procedure in accordance with the Universities Act must be followed

Preparations for promoting a person appointed to a tenure track position to the next career level will be initiated by the director of the unit 18 months before the end of the term of office of the person in the tenure track position. The person submits an application with a CV to the recruiting committee, and the committee acquires two to four statements from high-level international researchers approved by the Research Council and presents the appointment proposal to the dean.


Last updated: 26.7.2018