Evaluation criteria

Tenure track evaluation criteria are based on the principles of predictability, transparency, and comparability with international standards.


The performance is evaluated through three dimensions:

  • Research and/or Artistic and professional work
  • Teaching and
  • Service (activity in scientific community, academic leadership and societal interaction)

The criteria applies to tenure track, but can be adjusted according to the work profile in different academic positions.

Assistant Professors

When recruiting for first term Assistant Professor position, the evaluation is mainly based on the potential of the candidate in the evaluated dimensions. When recruiting or reviewing for second term Assistant Professor position, the evaluation is based on both merits and potential.

In a systematic evaluation of the potential for a successful career on the tenure track, the following aspects may be considered:

  • Early exceptional research or artistic merits
  • Early exceptional teaching merits
  • Rate of progress in earning merits
  • Comparison and benchmarking of the candidates (including bibliometric indicators)
  • Independence and originality
  • Networking
  • Recommendation letters

Associate and Full Professors

Candidates recruited or promoted to the level of Associate or Full Professor must have high academic merits, be of first rank among distinguished members of their discipline, and must show a continued contribution to academic research and Aalto University.

The minimum requirements for reaching tenure are:

  • Excellence in research and/or artistic work and high quality in teaching and/or
  • Excellence in teaching and high quality in research and/or artistic work. 

Key evaluation criteria for Aalto University’s tenure track

The following criteria are considered key criteria when reviewing a candidate for tenure and determining excellence in either research/artistic work and/or teaching. Policies and procedures (pdf) appendix presents the recruitment, tenure and promotion criteria and forms general guidelines for Aalto tenure track criteria.

Research and/or Artistic and professional work

  • The most important publications and their quality and impact including the quality of the publication forums from the viewpoint of the candidate’s field of research; and/or the most important artistic works and their quality and impact
  • Research/artistic work in other universities and research institutes or in professionally relevant positions (including doctoral studies and the post-doctoral phase)
  • The ability to build and lead a research/artistic team including possible doctoral students and post-doctoral research associates or artistic professionals supervised by the candidate
  • The capability of raising competitive research funding or corresponding competitive funding in the artistic field
  • The ability to conduct independent research/artistic work

    The following dimensions of research/artistic work are emphasized in the evaluation:
  • International (and national) visibility and standing of the candidate and her/his team in the field
  • Capability of raising competitive funding
  • Achievements in doctoral education


  • Teaching experience including supervision of doctoral, master and bachelor level theses
  • Development of teaching and experience in course development in the field
  • Pedagogical education and studies
  • The quality of student feedback
  • Collegial feedback (e.g., head of department, director of degree programme) and utilization of student and collegial feedback in developing teaching
  • The ability to teach

    The following dimensions of teaching are emphasized in the evaluation:
  • Achievements in doctoral education
  • Experience in curriculum development

    The candidate’s teaching competence is assessed in academic recruitments as well as in advancement reviews: Comprehensive assessment of teaching competence and Teaching competence guidelines for candidate include information and instructions on teaching competence assessment and teaching portfolio.


In addition to the key criteria in research/artistic and professional work and teaching, a candidate for the Full Professor position is expected to have contributions to service including, for example:

  • The candidate’s outreach and dissemination of her/his work
  • Collaboration within Aalto University, schools and the departments such as committee, working group and task force memberships
  • Mentoring and coaching more junior colleagues
  • Formal training on academic leadership
  • Academic leadership positions including committees and educational programs
  • Service to the scientific/artistic community or society at large

Language requirements for tenure track

Candidates are required to have such fluency in English as is required for carrying out the duties. A foreign citizen or a non-native Finnish citizen may be appointed to a teaching or research post without demonstrating proficiency in the Finnish or Swedish languages.

Page content by: | Last updated: 26.04.2018.