Tenure track

Tenure track career path

Our tenure track system is comparable with the standards of other world-class universities. It is based on the principle of commitment from university and individual to academic career: it has clearly defined expectations, incentives, and assistance in personal development.
Harald Herlin

General principles

The objective of Aalto tenure track career system is to support professors’ academic freedom and to reach world class in research and/or artistic and professional work, teaching and activity in scientific community and academic leadership. To support these objectives, we have established clear principles for our tenure track system:

  1. Clear and transparent rules and processes – Clear and transparent criteria and processes for recruitment, evaluation, and promotion.
  2. Compensation of success – Adequate salary and compensation to motivate people to work towards Aalto’s vision and objectives.
  3. Equal opportunity to succeed – Motivation and cooperation increase as people in tenure track compete only with themselves, not against one another.

The Aalto University Code of Conduct is one way of putting our values and way of working - the foundation of our community culture - into practice. All professors are expected to commit to the Aalto Code of Conduct.


Career path

Tenure track consists of three levels: Assistant Professor (1st term and 2nd term), Associate Professor and Full Professor. In addition, exceptionally merited professors can be invited to the honorary position of Aalto Distinguished Professor.

picture of Aalto tenure track career path

Candidates can be recruited for any of these levels in accordance with each job announcement. Our recruiting is based on open international competition, and we primarily focus on scientific and/or artistic potential and merits when making selections.

Tenure track promotion proceeds according to intermediate reviews based on merits. This means that our professors are only competing with themselves, not with their colleagues. Performance is evaluated through three dimensions: research and/or artistic and practice-based work, teaching and service. The evaluation criteria are based on the principles of predictability, transparency, and comparability with international standards. More details about the criteria are available on the Evaluation criteria -page.

Professor’s work profile

A professor’s work consists of research or artistic and practice-based work, teaching, activity in the scientific or artistic community as well as participation in societal interaction and international collaboration in the field. The work profile of each tenure track professor is agreed on with his/her immediate supervisor in the annual objective discussions.

Time allocation - professors

General Regulations

The key principles and processes of Aalto Tenure Track are described in more detail in Aalto Tenure Track Policies and Procedures -document below.

At work

Tenure track

Aalto University’s tenure track career system offers a well-supported and clear career path for professor-level academics towards a permanent professorship.

Otakari 5

Tenure track - frequently asked questions and answers

This page introduces several frequently asked questions about the Aalto tenure track and answers to these questions.

Tenure track
Aalto tenure track evaluation criteria

Tenure track evaluation criteria

The tenure track evaluation criteria are based on the principles of predictability, transparency, and comparability with international standards. Here you find the tenure track evaluation criteria, recommendation for evaluating the potential for tenure track, teaching competence assessment (teaching assessment/teaching competence), guidelines for teaching competence assessment committee, incl. evaluation matrix, guidelines for candidate (teaching portfolio), statement of teaching competence), language requirements for tenure track.

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.

Aalto University, Learning@Aalto Assessment for Lifelong Learning, photo Jere Savolainen

Human Resources Excellence in Research

Aalto University has been awarded the “HR Excellence in Research” -award by the European Commission as the first university in Finland in 2012. This page contains information on the Human Resources Strategy for Researcher (HRS4R) -process at Aalto as well as our latest HRS4R Strategy and Action Plan.

Careers at Aalto
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