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.

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 positions of Aalto Distinguished Professor.

tenure track - professorit

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 professional 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 in the Evaluation criteria.

Professor’s work profile

A professor’s work consists of research or artistic and professional 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.

Competence Development

Aalto University actively support the career and competence development of our professors by offering different solutions for personal and professional growth at each stage of their career. For more information, visit here.

Development of Aalto Tenure Track

Tenure track is one of our most significant strategic investments. Therefore, we attach great importance to the continuous development of our tenure track system. For more information, visit here.

HR Excellence

Our strong investments in developing the tenure track system has yielded great results as Aalto University has been awarded the “HR Excellence in Research” -award by the European Commission as the first university in Finland in 2012. For more information on our HR Excellence -process, visit here.

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