Teaching and learning

Lecturer career system

Aalto lecturer career system is intended primarily for individuals conducting teaching. The lecturer career system supports individual development and career advancement through clear principles and systematic evaluation criteria and allows Aalto teachers and lecturers to advance in their careers with teaching-focused merits. Teachers and lecturers have the opportunity to advance within the career system, from the university teacher level to the university lecturer level, and further to the position of a senior university lecturer and principal university lecturer.
Opiskelijalla kynä kädessä

Principles of the lecturer career system

Aalto lecturer career system is a standard career advancement path, providing a transparent and consistent process with common rules throughout the university, its schools, and departments. Aalto lecturer career system follows the general guidelines and principles set at the university, such as the Code of Conduct and HR policies.

Positions in Aalto lecturer career system

The Aalto lecturer career system includes positions with main emphasis on teaching. Research and/or artistic activities as a member of a research and/or artistic group are also expected. Responsibilities in the development of curriculum and pedagogical leadership increase with seniority.

The Aalto lecturer career system consists of four levels: university teacher, university lecturer, senior university lecturer, and principal university lecturer.

illustrative picture of lecturer's career path

Lecturers' work profile

The main responsibility of individuals in the Aalto lecturer career system is teaching, which is complemented with agreed combination of research and/or comparable artistic tasks and activities in impact, service and pedagogical leadership. The time allocation between teaching and other responsibilities is agreed with the head of department. The work plan must be agreed annually before the beginning of the academic year.

The general time allocation between different duties should be based on the general principles illustrated in the following picture:

table of worktime allocation in lecturers career path

Recruitment to the lecturer career system

Recruitments to lecturer career system are made through a competitive recruitment process, or in exceptional cases by invitation. Recruitment is possible at university teacher, university lecturer and senior university lecturer levels. There is no direct recruitment to principal university lecturer positions.

All recruitments to the lecturer career system takes into account the needs of the department concerned and the research field. Our aim is to promote high-quality teaching and pedagogical skills. Thus, we aim to recruit persons who are seen to have good prospects to advance in the lecturers' career system. Individuals to be nominated to the lecturer career system must have at least a master's degree, the potential to reach an excellent level in pedagogical competence, and a pedagogical interest appropriate for the university lecturer position.

Teaching at Aalto University is based on high-quality research. Accordingly, a doctoral degree or comparable significant artistic qualifications are appreciated at the university teacher level, are expected at the university lecturer level, and are required at the senior university lecturer level. Practical and/or professional experience in the field related to teaching tasks is also appreciated.

Each appointment to the lecturer career system is based on the careful judgment of the appointee being an outstanding candidate among peers in teaching-related tasks.

More detailed criteria are described in the Aalto Lecturer Career System Policies and Procedures -document.

Advancement on lecturer career system

The possible advancement of an individual within the career system is not automatic but based on the careful evaluation of the individual’s teaching competence and other merits. Merits and achievements are discussed in annual discussions. If a person’s merits and achievements are at a level that meets the criteria for the next level in the lecturer career system, a timetable for an advancement review may be agreed.

More detailed process descriptions can be found in the Aalto Lecturer Career System Policies and Procedures -document.


Common criteria are used for both recruitments and advancements. Detailed evaluation criteria can be found in the Aalto Lecturer Career System Policies and Procedures -document. In addition to this common criteria, schools can define more detailed guidelines and criteria. School-specific guidelines can be found at the bottom of the page.

Application and advancement documents

All candidates are expected to follow good scientific practice in the application or evaluation process, for more information see https://www.tenk.fi/en/tenk-guidelines.

In recruitments and advancements candidates are asked to submit at least the following documents:

  • curriculum vitae
  • teaching portfolio

Also, research and/or artistic portfolio, references and other materials may be required depending on the position. In recruitments, detailed instructions are given in the job call, and in advancements, by local HR.

Curriculum Vitae

A curriculum vitae (CV) provides an overview of the candidate's degrees and professional career, and academic merits or achievements including list of publications.

A recommended template is available on the page of The Finnish Advisory Board on Research Integrity (TENK), https://www.tenk.fi/en/template-researchers-curriculum-vitae.

Teaching Portfolio

The teaching portfolio describes the candidate’s experience and vision of teaching. The portfolio summarizes the candidate’s teaching competence, experience and education, as well as a self-assessment of teaching development during one’s career. The portfolio is a narrative text, usually 4 to 7 pages in length, and supported by carefully selected evidence included in its appendices (maximum of 10 pages). The aim of the teaching portfolio is also to support the individual’s continuous development of pedagogical competence.

Instructions for writing or updating you teaching portfolio can be found in the Guidelines for a candidate -document. 

More detailed information on teaching competence assessment are available at the Aalto tenure track evaluation criteria website at the Teaching Competence Assessment section.

People sitting at A Grid

Lecturers’ career system renewed

Career path and advancement criteria now harmonised in all Aalto Schools, providing equal advancement opportunities for all Aalto lecturers.

Kaksi opiskelijaa istuu läppäreidensä kanssa Kauppakorkeakoululla. Kuva: Aalto-yliopisto / Unto Rautio

Aalto lecturers advancement committee

Advancement in the lecturer career system. Nomination to principal university lecturer.

Ihmisiä oppimiskeskuksessa/people in at the learning center

Development processes of our academic career systems

Developing the academic career systems is part of the Aalto University quality system. This page provides information on how the quality of the academic systems is monitored and how the processes are being developed.

An Aalto pen lying on the page of a study book, students working in the background / photo by Aalto University, Aino Huovio

Academic careers working group

This page contains information on Academic careers working group, its purpose, members and contact information.

Tenure track
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