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Expectations for employment as an academic staff member at the Faculty of Social Sciences

Memorandum on the job structure for academic staff at universities

Published: 04.11.2019 (Last revised: 04.11.2019)

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Expectations for employment as an academic staff member at the Faculty of Social Sciences, Aalborg University

In order to be eligible for employment in an academic position at a Danish university, applicants must meet the requirements stipulated in the Danish Ministerial Order on the Job Structure for Academic Staff at Universities of 1 July 2015 with appendices.[1] The following is stated in the appendix to the ministerial order: ‘The job structure provides the framework for the positions. The university management defines the specific job content and specifies the tasks in the individual advertisements.The job structure contains an exhaustive description of the job categories that apply to the academic staff.’[2] Below is an operationalisation of the job categories so that staff members at the Faculty of Social Sciences know the faculty’s expectations.  This is based only on the job categories relevant to the faculty. 

The expectations for the job categories are to be used in the hiring process as well as during the employment. The present document outlines the framework for the minimum requirements in the positions so that it is clear to the staff member what is expected in the position concerned. The expectations for the job categories are not a measuring parameter, thus it is not possible to qualify for higher-level employment solely by satisfying the expectations. Filling positions at the Faculty of Social Sciences will always take place in open competition where candidates' qualifications are included in an overall assessment.

As evidenced by the research organisation of the Faculty of Social Sciences, AAU, all academic staff members are involved in research activities in a research group or research centre. The staff member is expected to take an active part in the strategy work and development of the group/centre.

Staff members with research tasks at the assistant professor level and below are expected to build relationships in external, international networks. Staff members with research obligations above the assistant professor level are expected to join and be an active part of relevant international networks.

Where publishing is required, it is expected that an ambitious publishing strategy be drawn up. Staff members with publishing requirements are also expected to know the publishing venues that are prestigious and strategically important to the research group and aim to publish in these venues.

The faculty's permanent academic staff members with research responsibilities are tasked with helping to obtain external funding. It is expected that efforts are made to obtain prestigious, external funds.

At the Faculty of Social Sciences, there is also an expectation that the academic staff member will contribute to the programmes and demonstrate a commitment to developing the programmes. In addition, there is an expectation of continuous competence development for all staff at the faculty.

PhD fellow

‘The post of PhD fellow is a fixed-term education position..’[1]

[1]Ministerial Order on the Job Structure for Academic Staff at Universities in Denmark, Appendix 1, page 4.

The position requires excellent academic qualifications at the master’s level in the subject area the position is offered in. It is also expected that the applicant has research potential documented by a project description.

PhD fellows are expected to focus on handing in a thesis no later than three years after the position has begun. It is also expected that PhD fellows are actively working to participate in networks and that they participate in relevant research groups/centres.

Research assistant

‘The post of research assistant is a fixed-term academic position. The principal duties are research and/or teaching.’[1] 

Employment in the position requires solid academic qualifications at the master’s level in the area the position is offered in.

If the principal duty of the research assistant is teaching, then the teaching is expected to closely tie in with practice in the area concerned. Research assistants are expected to participate in upgrading their pedagogical competences and in planning of the programme(s) concerned.

Research assistants are expected to participate in relevant research groups/centres and stay informed on relevant networks.

Teaching assistant (assistant lecturer)    

‘The post of assistant lecturer is a part-time position with a view to independent performance of teaching duties, normally of an elementary nature, or instruction that supplements teaching provided
at the level of assistant professor, associate professor or professor.’ [1] 

Employment in the position requires solid academic qualifications at the master’s level in the area the position is offered in. Teaching-related qualifications are also emphasised.

The teaching is expected to closely tie in with practice in the area concerned. In addition, there is an expectation that, to the extent relevant, the teaching assistant is actively involved in upgrading their pedagogical competences and planning of the programme(s) concerned.

Teaching assistants are expected to stay informed on relevant networks and research groups/centres.

Part-time lecturer

‘The post of part-time lecturer is a part-time position with main emphasis on the performance of qualified teaching duties.’ [1] 

Part-time lecturers must have a master’s degree as well as additional high-level qualifications, including teaching-related qualifications. Employment as a part-time lecturer requires relevant practical experience or high-level, special qualifications, such as specialisation or expertise in the area the position is offered in.

The teaching is expected to closely tie in with practice in the area concerned, both nationally and internationally. In addition, there is an expectation that, to the extent relevant, the part-time lecturer is actively involved in upgrading their pedagogical competences and planning of the programme(s) concerned.

Part-time lecturers are expected to stay informed on relevant networks and research groups/centres.

Postdoc

‘The post of postdoc is a fixed-term academic position.’[1]

The position is a fixed-term academic position where the principal duty is research. In addition, the position may include teaching and possibly other tasks to a limited extent. Appointment as a postdoc requires academic qualifications at the PhD level, including an approved PhD thesis.

Employment as postdoc may qualify the individual for subsequent employment as an assistant professor/researcher, but on its own may not serve as a qualification for employment as an associate professor/senior researcher. The position does not include upgrading of pedagogical competences. The position may qualify the individual for a career in the private sector or other sectors outside the university.

Postdocs are expected to be part of relevant networks and to actively participate in a research group or research centre. Postdocs at the Faculty of Social Sciences are expected to have an international outlook.

If the position includes teaching then the teaching is expected to closely tie in with practice.

Assistant professor/researcher

A. Assistant professor

‘An assistant professorship is a further-education position. The main responsibilities are research (including publication/dissemination duties) and research-based teaching (with associated examination duties).’[1] 

The position includes upgrading of pedagogical competences such that an assistant professorship qualifies the individual to apply for positions at the associate professor level. Individuals may be employed as assistant professor for up to six years in total, after which they may apply for a position as an associate professor/senior researcher. However, the transition requires that the individual be assessed as academically qualified.

Appointment as an assistant professor requires academic qualifications at the PhD level, including an approved PhD thesis. Teaching and dissemination experience are also prerequisites for appointment as an assistant professor.

An assistant professor at the Faculty of Social Sciences is required to publish at the international level. In addition, involvement in relevant, academic knowledge exchange with society is expected.

Assistant professors are expected to take an active part in the strategy work and development of the respective research group and/or research centre. In addition, assistant professors are expected to obtain research funding, including prestigious, external research funds. 

In addition, assistant professors are expected to be involved in developing the programmes.

 

B. Researcher

‘The post of researcher is a further-education position. The main responsibilities are research (including publication/dissemination duties) and research-based Public Sector Consultancy. In addition, a certain amount of teaching may be required.’ [1]

The position includes the opportunity to upgrade pedagogical competences such that a researcher is qualified to apply for positions at the associate professor level.

Appointment as a researcher requires academic qualifications at the PhD level, including an approved PhD thesis. Teaching and dissemination experience are also prerequisites for appointment as a researcher.

A researcher at the Faculty of Social Sciences is required to publish and engage in scientific communication in international venues. In addition, relevant, academic knowledge exchange with society is expected.

Researchers are expected to take an active part in the strategy work and development of the respective research group and/or research centre. In addition, researchers are expected to obtain research funding, including prestigious, external research funds.

Associate professor/senior researcher

‘The position of associate professor/senior researcher can be attained by employees at a level of assistant professor provided that the employee is deemed academically qualified. The position may
also be attained on the basis of a job advertisement and following a positive academic assessment.’ [1]

‘It is assumed that applicants have received supervision and enhancement of pedagogical competencies and have received a positive written assessment of their teaching qualifications.’

A. Associate professor

‘The associate professorship consists mainly of research (including publication/academic dissemination duties) and research-based teaching (with associated examination duties).’[1] 

The position also includes knowledge exchange with society both nationally and internationally, including participation in the national public debate. Furthermore, research management, supervision management, supervision of assistant professors and researchers, as well as assessment work may be included in the job description.

Appointment as an associate professor requires academic qualifications at the international level within the core tasks of the university corresponding to that which may be achieved during an assistant professorship, including research, education and knowledge collaboration.

Associate professors at the Faculty of Social Sciences are required to publish in the publishing venues internationally recognised in the position’s field, including particularly prestigious venues. In addition, involvement in relevant, academic knowledge exchange with society is expected; supervising research students is also included in the activity portfolio. Associate professors will be assessed annually on their research performance (cf. current practice at the faculty).

Associate professors are expected to take an active part in the strategic work and development of the respective research group and/or research centre. In addition, associate professors are expected to assist in obtaining prestigious external funding.

Continuous competence development and upgrading of pedagogical competences are expected. Associate professors at the Faculty of Social Sciences must also engage in developing the programmes.

B. Senior researcher

‘The post of senior researcher consists mainly of research (including publication/academic dissemination duties) and research-based Public Sector Consultancy. In addition, a certain amount of teaching may be required.’ [1] 

In addition, senior researchers may be asked to manage
research, provide guidance and supervision of assistant professors and researchers as well as take part in assessment work.

Appointment as a senior researcher requires academic qualifications at the international level within the core tasks of the university corresponding to that which may be achieved during an assistant professorship, including research, education and knowledge collaboration.

Senior researchers at the Faculty of Social Sciences are required to publish in the publishing venues internationally recognised in the position’s field, including particularly prestigious venues. In addition, involvement in relevant, academic knowledge exchange with society is expected. Senior researchers will be assessed annually on their research performance (cf. current practice at the faculty).

Senior researchers are expected to take an active part in the strategic work and development of the respective research group and/or research centre. In addition, senior researchers are expected to assist in obtaining prestigious external funding.  

Continuous competence development in the position is also expected. If the position includes teaching, upgrading of pedagogical competences and active participation in the development of the programmes are expected.

Professor

“A professorship consists mainly of research (including publication/dissemination duties) and research-based teaching (with associated examination duties). Moreover, research-based Public Sector Consultancy may be required.[1] 

Tasks may also consist of knowledge sharing with society, including participation in the public debate. Professors may also be asked to manage research, provide guidance and supervision of assistant professors and researchers as well as take part in assessment work.

Appointment as a professor requires academic qualifications at a high international level, including a documented, high degree of original scientific production at the international level. In addition, the applicant must document that they have contributed to developing the discipline. The applicant’s ability to handle research management and possibly other management functions, such as those related to the university's external partnerships will also be evaluated.

Appointment as a professor at the Faculty of Social Sciences requires a high degree of publishing in the publishing venues internationally recognised in the position’s field, including particularly prestigious venues. In addition, involvement in relevant, academic knowledge exchange with society is expected. Also, experience in initiating and developing collaboration with external public or private partners in relation to research and teaching is expected.

Professors are expected to take responsibility for the strategic work and development of the respective research group and/or research centre. Professors are also expected to be prepared to assume the role of research manager if it becomes relevant; supervision of research students is also included in the activity portfolio. In addition, senior researchers are expected to assist in obtaining prestigious external funding. Professors are also expected to act as mentors for younger research colleagues and support them in their further research careers.  

Continuous competence development in the position is also expected. Professors are expected to have teaching experience at the highest university level and take part in upgrading their pedagogical competencies. A major commitment to developing the programmes is also expected.

 

Professor with special responsibilities

‘Normally, the post of professor with special responsibilities is established with a view to appointing particularly talented researchers to develop a special field of research or education within a promising discipline at international level.’[1]

Therefore, the position may not be a continuation of an already existing and well-established research area at the Faculty of Social Sciences. The perspective must be to develop something new, but still within the core areas of the university.

Over a number of years, the researcher is expected to document a high degree of original scientific production at the international level, thus testifying to the ability and potential to develop the area.

The researcher is also expected to have extensive teaching experience and experience supervising PhD students. Continuous competence development and upgrading of pedagogical competences are expected in the position. A substantial commitment to developing the programmes is also expected.

Appointment as a professor with special responsibilities at the Faculty of Social Sciences requires a high degree of publishing and scientific communication in the publishing venues internationally recognised in the position’s field, including particularly prestigious venues. In addition, involvement in relevant, academic knowledge exchange with society is expected. The researcher is expected to be prepared to handle research management. In addition, professors with special responsibilities are expected to initiate, lead and develop external knowledge and research collaborations. Also, experience in initiating and developing collaboration with external public or private partners in relation to research and teaching is expected.

Professors with special responsibilities are expected to take an active part in establishing their own measurable evaluation criteria, including any publishing and fundraising goals. They are also expected to take an active part in the strategy work and development of the respective research group and/or research centre. In addition, professors with special responsibilities are expected to initiate and assist in obtaining prestigious, external funding.

They are also expected to act as mentors for younger research colleagues and support these younger colleagues in their further research careers. 

Refer also to ‘Professors with special responsibilities at the Faculty of Social Sciences’.

Senior advisor

‘The main responsibilities of a senior adviser consist of research-based Public Sector Consultancy and the communication of research results to authorities, the business community and society in general.’[1] 

In addition, senior advisors are obligated to keep up to date in a wide scientific area, conduct analyses of broad issues in the field and to communicate this information in a scientific manner.

The position may also include teaching and research. 

An appointment as a senior advisor requires research qualifications at a level that may be attained following a successfully completed term of employment as an assistant professor/researcher. In addition, other qualifications may be required.

Applicants are expected to document experience in independently performing considerable advisory and communication tasks for authorities, the business community or society in general.

An appointment as a senior advisor requires publishing and scientific communication of an international nature. Active involvement in relevant, academic knowledge collaboration and exchange with society is expected. Also, experience in initiating and developing collaboration with external public or private partners in relation to research and teaching is expected.

Senior advisors are expected to stay informed on relevant networks and to actively participate in a research group or research centre. A commitment to developing the research environments is also expected.

Continuous competence development in the position is also expected. If the position includes teaching then the teaching is expected to closely tie in with practice. Senior advisors are also expected to take part in upgrading their pedagogical competencies. Active participation in developing programmes is also expected.

Teaching assistant professor/associate professor (including theory and methods instructor)

‘The posts include teaching and related tasks. They may also involve academic development tasks.’[1]

The position of teaching associate professor includes supervision tasks.

Teaching assistant professors/associate professors are expected to stay informed on relevant networks and to actively participate in a research group or research centre.

Teaching assistant professors/associate professors are expected to have a high degree of practical experience in a specific field. Teaching is also expected to closely tie in with practice.

Continuous competence development and upgrading of pedagogical competences are expected in the position. Active participation in developing programmes is also expected.

Purpose and delimitation

The aim of the policy is to clarify the management's expectations of academic staff members for given types of employment

Contact and responsibility

SAMF Office of the Dean

Otto Simonsen, Advisor

os@adm.aau.dk, Tel.: 9940 9607

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