The title of docent is an academic title that is awarded in recognition of scientific and educational merit. Upon application, the University of Vaasa may award the title of a docent to individuals who have a comprehensive knowledge of their field, a capacity for independent scientific research demonstrated through publications or some other manner, and good teaching skills. In addition, the docentship should complement the university’s areas of expertise and enable the university to use the docent’s expertise in teaching, supervision, and research and development tasks.
The granting of a docent’s title does not constitute an employment relationship between the applicant and the university. Rather, the duties of a docent and eventual compensation for attending to those duties are agreed separately. The title of docent is awarded indefinitely.
The docent collaborates with the university and participates in its academic operations. A docent may participate in teaching, supervising students, assessing theses, and in other university operations. The school and the docent agree on the nature of the collaboration regularly, at least at intervals of three years.
Assessment of merits
By virtue of section 89 of the Universities Act (558/2009), a university may, upon application, award the title of docent to individuals who have a comprehensive knowledge of their field, a capacity for independent research or artistic work demonstrated through publications or some other manner, and good teaching skills.
The general criterion for a docent’s competence is that the applicant has other publications in addition to an approved dissertation. The quantity and scientific merit of the research within the realm of the docentship field shall correspond to another high-quality dissertation.
The scientific output shall demonstrate that the applicant has a comprehensive knowledge of the docentship field and a capacity for independent scientific research. The scientific output shall show that the applicant has created a unique line of research and that the applicant’s research continues actively.
The applicant shall prepare a statement on publications that constitute the body of work upon which the applicant believes the competency of a docent has been achieved. For joint publications, the applicant shall clarify their personal contribution. The primary focus of the assessment is on articles that have been published or approved for publication in international journals that follow expert practices.
When assessing the merits of applicants for the title of docent, the following items receive attention:
- the applicant’s scientific publication output in international journals that follow expert practices
- the applicant’s role in key, joint publications
- the applicant’s demonstration of a career as an independent researcher (for example, funding obtained for own research)
- the applicant’s participation in supervision of theses, scientific research and/or dissertations
- the applicant’s active participation in international activities and scientific conferences in the field
Docents are required to have good teaching skills. Teaching skills will be evaluated on the basis of pedagogical training, practical experience acquired in teaching, the ability to create teaching material, other achievements in teaching, and teaching abilities shown in teaching demonstrations.
The CV created in accordance with the guidelines and template of the university shall include earlier teaching experience, university pedagogical training, the production of teaching materials and eventual other factors demonstrating teaching abilities. The assessment of the applicant's teaching skills will be based on the entirety of the applicant's teaching skills. The management group of the school is responsible for the assessment of teaching skills as a part of the overall criteria.
The applicant must provide a teaching demonstration as a part of the assessment of teaching skills. The teaching demonstration is generally a demonstration lecture for which the applicant must receive a good grade as a minimum. The management group of the school may also accept an earlier corresponding teaching demonstration presented at the University of Vaasa or another university. Because teaching skills are always assessed in a comprehensive manner, the management group may also, for special reasons, assess the teaching skills of the applicant without a teaching demonstration.
Docents are required to have the language skills (A770/2009) required of people handling teaching and research tasks at the university. The teaching language at the University of Vaasa is Finnish. lf the applicant is a foreign citizen or a Finnish citizen who was not born in the country or did not receive their education in Finnish or Swedish, they may be granted an exemption from the language proficiency requirement without a separate application.
APPLICATION PROCEDURE AND EXPERT STATEMENTS
Before applying for the title of docent, the applicant must contact the Dean of the School with whom the docentship will be served. There can be preliminary background discussions with the professor of the subject. The School will provide instructions on how to submit an application.
The Dean, or a designated representative for the subject, shall present to the School's management group a report on the docentship's field and a declaration, with grounds, on the appropriateness of the docentship. This report shall clarify how the expertise of the applicant will be integrated into the university's study programs and research operations.
The School's management group shall select two experts, whose competence is equivalent or superior to that of a docent, to provide statements on the scientific qualifications of the applicant unless the group concludes for special reasons that such a statement is unnecessary.
In their statement, the experts must analyse the output of the applicant in a way that clearly identifies the reasons that demonstrate that the applicant has the scientific competence required for the title of docent. The School's management group requires that the statement issued by the experts unequivocally indicates whether or not the applicant meets the requirements for the title of docent.
If based on the expert statements and the applicant’s teaching skills, the School's management group concludes that the applicant meets the requirements for the title of docent, the School's management group makes a presentation to the Rector for the granting of the title of docent.
The rector grants the title of docent.
Application documents are to be submitted using the recruitment system. The application should include a freeform application letter that indicates the field of the docentship being applied for. The application should also include the documents listed below (please see templates: Application attachments | University of Vaasa (uwasa.fi))
- Curriculum vitae
- Teaching portfolio (complementary to the CV)
- List of publications
- Statement on which publications, in the opinion of the applicant, constitute a body of work upon which the applicant believes the competency of docent has been achieved. For joint publications, the applicant shall clarify their personal contribution.
- No more than ten publications and a list of these publications
- Certified copy of a certificate of a doctoral degree.