The National Conference of Faculties of Social Sciences
Qualification requirements for promotion to professor
Supplementary guidelines for assessment committees within the
Prepared by the National Conference of Faculties of Social Sciences in December 2007, with adjustments
approved April 23, 2013.
Personal promotion to professor on the basis of competence is regulated by Section 2-1 of
"Regulations regarding Changes to the Regulations concerning Appointment and Promotion to
Teaching and Research Positions"
The regulations provide the same minimum standards for awarding competence as professor as
when applying for an advertised position (Section 1-2). The difference in the competence
requirements for professors and associate professors is not primarily a difference in the
requirements to the number of academic publications, but rather the heightened requirements to
quality and breadth, as is common under national and international standards.
In accordance with section 2-1(12) of the regulations, the assessment committee shall "take into
consideration the criteria for appointment as a professor provided in section 1-2."
For the social
Sciences, this means that the requirements for becoming a professor are:
Academic level in line with established international or national standards
Documented relevant practical pedagogical competence based on education or
teaching and supervision
Promotion to professor requires significant academic production beyond what is required for a
doctorate. The research must be of a high quality and show both breadth and depth. The
production must reflect an independent research profile and show an ability to address new
questions. Consistent research activity is a prerequisite.
The following requirements should be met:
Scope: What constitutes "significant academic production" must be assessed in relation to
disciplinary traditions and must be concretely based on the content of the publications and the
efforts they are based on. A guiding norm can be that the academic production (including the
doctorate) should be the equivalent of 8-12 full-length journal articles, or two or three books of
good quality and different content. The applicant must have made significant contributions to all
of the publications and must have had the main responsibility for the research and writing in the
majority (two-thirds) of the publications. In the event of more extensive co-authorship, the
requirement to the number of publications may be raised.
Quality: The results must be well-supported and clearly expressed, as required for publication in
reputable academic journals or by reputable academic publishers. Emphasis shall be placed on
whether the work has been or may be significant to disciplinary developments or practice in the
area. Emphasis shall also be placed on original questions, methods or data sources. The
originality and significance requirements are clearly higher than for a doctorate, but it is sufficient
that some of the publications meet these higher requirements.
Breadth: The requirement of breadth helps ensure that the applicant is qualified for
teaching and supervision on a high level in more than one specialty. The academic production
should include multiple classes of questions, topics and research methods. The applicant should
have shown an ability to place their own work within a broader context.
Independence and collaboration: The applicant must document that they will be able to complete
all central parts of a high-quality research project by themselves. This can be documented by
single-authored publications (or first-authored publications in disciplines in which this signals
being in charge of the work), by declarations from co-authors and by project management
experience. Research collaboration and project management shall generally be seen as positive.
Visibility: The academic work should be published (or accepted for publication) in channels that
have satisfactory quality control and where they can reach other researchers who will build on or
critique the results. This normally means publication in international channels, but when the topic
so indicates publication in national channels is acceptable. Emphasis is placed on what the
discipline considers a good publishing practice at the time of publication.
Relevance: The publications should relate to the forefront of research at the time of publication.
Some of the publications should be produced within the past five years.
When assessing the scope and breadth, emphasis can be placed on the entire list of publication,
including publications that were not submitted.
The academic competence must be clear and unequivocal to quality for a position.
In the event of a promotion, the competence must be in the subject that the position is in. Work in
other subject areas can count, but will be weighted based on what they say about the
competence to do research and teaching in the subject in question. At least two-thirds of the
scope requirement should be met by publications that are clearly within the subject area of the
position, and some of these publications should have been produced within the past five years. If
the subject area is a very narrow specialty, it may be acceptable for a larger share of the
publications to be outside the subject area.
Pedagogical and other competencies
Section 1-2(3) of the regulations requires "documented competence in relevant educational
theory and practice based on training or on teaching and supervision" for professorial
competence. This means that the applicant must document basic pedagogical competence.
Beyond this, it is also a requirement that the applicant has teaching and supervision experience
at all levels, normally including the doctoral level.
Other competencies cannot compensate for deficiencies in the academic competence.