Application for promotion

Section 11 of Chapter 4 of the Higher Education Ordinance (HEO) states that a senior lecturer with indefinite-term employment shall, on application, be promoted to professor if he or she is qualified for the position. The field of study is not changed in association with the promotion. 

The University has established a template for how to structure applications and how to present research, teaching and other qualifications. 

External experts

The external expert’s report should provide an assessment of whether the applicant is qualified for the position and contain a clear recommendation for or against promotion. 

There are no provisions in the Higher Education Ordinance regarding what research or teaching expertise entails, nor is the University permitted to issue further provisions regarding qualifications for professorships. The Faculty Board, however, may issue provisions regarding the design of the assessment report (HEO, Chapter 4, Section 22). 

Therefore, the Humanities Faculty Board wishes to provide some guidance by highlighting 1) what has emerged from decisions made by the Higher Education Appeals Board in matters concerning the promotion to professor, and 2) the provisions in the Rules of Employment for the Recruitment of Teachers at Stockholm University (AOSU).

  1. The formal requirement for employment as a professor - having demonstrated research and teaching expertise - is the same for a senior lecturer applying for promotion to professor as for the appointment of an advertised professorship. 
  • The Higher Education Ordinance states that equal attention shall be paid to the assessment of teaching expertise as to the assessment of research expertise. 
  • The Higher Education Appeals Board has pointed out in a number of rulings that the only qualification requirements for employment as or promotion to professor are research and teaching expertise. The applicant must be qualified in both areas; thus being unqualified in one area cannot be offset by being overqualified in the other. In order words, there shall be no weighed assessment of research and teaching expertise; each qualification must be assessed individually. These assessments should result in an overall assessment of the applicant’s combined research experience on the one hand, and the applicant’s teaching experience on the other. 
  • An issue that often arises in connection with assessing applications for promotion is the supervision of PhD students. The ability to lead other people’s research requires both research and teaching expertise. The Higher Education Appeals Board considers such experience to be a qualification of special importance in the assessment of a candidate’s eligibility for employment as or promotion to professor. 
  • However, experience of supervision leading to a doctoral degree cannot be imposed as an unconditional eligibility criterion. It is still possible for an applicant to fulfil the two qualification requirements without meeting this criterion, although in such cases the applicant is expected to have well-documented experience from third-cycle education. In order to be considered for promotion, it needs to be clear from the assessment that the applicant still meets the criteria for research and teaching expertise. 
  1. Research expertise at the level of professor should have been demonstrated through independent research that far exceeds the requirements for qualification as an associate professor, both in terms of quality and quantity. Importance should also be attached to the planning and leading of research.
  • Teaching expertise at the level of professor should have been demonstrated through teaching in the first, second and third cycle. The assessment of teaching expertise shall take into account the planning, execution and evaluation of teaching, supervision and examination. These activities should be well documented in a manner that makes it possible to assess their quality. 
  • A general assessment criterion for employment as a teacher at Stockholm University is the ability to work with other people, as well as other general abilities required to perform one’s duties. 
  • In addition, applicants may only claim published articles or manuscripts accepted for publication before the deadline for applications. 
  • In accordance with current guidelines for appointment as associate professor, the Humanities Faculty Board defines a manuscript as a text that has already been accepted for publication. 

These guidelines were approved by the Humanities Faculty Board on 3 March 2009 and revised on 31 march 2009, based on a report by Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Astrid Söderbergh Widding.

Other documents relevant to applicants and external experts: