Tenure track 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 evaluation is carried out as a comprehensive overall assessment, and the same criteria are used both in recruitment and in promotion assessments.
The criteria used in tenure and promotion reviews as well as in recruiting to tenured levels are described in more detail in Appendix 3 of the Aalto Tenure Track Policies and Procedures document.
When recruiting for first term Assistant Professor positions, the evaluation is mainly based on the potential of the candidate in the evaluated dimensions. When recruiting or reviewing for second term Assistant Professor positions, 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
- Recommendation letters
The Aalto guidelines for assessing the candidate's potential can be found here.
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.
In most cases, a decision to grant tenure requires that the candidate has spent at least one year at another university or research institute or has equivalent expertise.
According to the Aalto tenure track policy, the minimum requirements for reaching tenure are:
- Excellence in research and/or artistic work and high-quality teaching, and/or
- Excellence in teaching and high-quality research and/or artistic work.
The following criteria are considered key criteria when reviewing a candidate for tenure and determining excellence in either research/artistic work and/or teaching:
When recruiting or reviewing a candidate for promotion to the Full Professor level, the review should consider the key criteria described above in the dimensions of research/artistic work and teaching, with increased emphasis on the following:
- international (and national) visibility and standing of the candidate and her/his team in the field
- success in winning competitive funding
- achievements in doctoral education
- experience in curriculum development
In addition, the candidate for Full Professor is expected to have increasing contributions to service, for example, including the following activities:
- candidate’s outreach and dissemination of her/his work
- collaboration within Aalto University, schools and the departments, such as committees, working groups and task force memberships
- mentoring and coaching of junior colleagues
- formal training developing academic leadership
- academic leadership positions including committees and educational programs
- service to the scientific/artistic community and/or industry and society at large
For candidates in the career track, both tenure and promotion reviews focus mainly on merits achieved since the last review or recruitment.
For more detailed descriptions of evaluation processes and criteria, see the Aalto Tenure Track Policies and Procedures document.
Teaching Competence Assesment
The candidate’s teaching competence is assessed in academic recruitments as well as in advancement reviews: See the sections Comprehensive assessment of teaching competence and Teaching portfolio guidelines for candidate for information and instructions on teaching competence assessment and teaching portfolio.
Language requirements for tenure track
Candidates are required to have such fluency in English as is required for carrying out their 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.