Norwegian version of this page

Regulations on appointments to tenure-track positions, with supplementary provisions for UiO

Regulations adopted by the Ministry of Education and Research on 24 March 2015 pursuant to the Act relating to universities and university colleges, Section 6-4, first paragraph, k) (regjeringen.no) (Norwegian).

Supplementary provisions adopted by the Board of the University of Oslo on 23 June 2015.

Each faculty/department is free to set its own internal rules, within the framework of the regulations and UiO's supplementary provisions.


§ 1 Objectives

The purpose of establishing tenure-track positions is to facilitate the recruitment of talented academic staff at universities and university colleges. The scheme will help to strengthen the institutions’ ability to compete for the best candidates internationally and impose an obligation on the institutions to contribute to the further development of employees’ competence in teaching, research and dissemination/innovation. Post holders will have predictability in their work by qualifying for a tenured position in teaching and research through a long period of employment, and will receive follow-up and resources from the institution.

University of Oslo’s supplementary provisions

Use of tenure-track positions shall support the University of Oslo’s ambitions to recruit highly qualified personnel, and to facilitate predictability in their work.

§ 2 Employment schemes

One of the requirements for appointment to a tenure-track position is that the public defence of the candidate’s doctoral thesis was held within the preceding 5 years. Additional time may be allowed for leave relating to childbirth or adoption.

The institutions can choose between the following two models for appointments to tenure-track positions:

  1. The appointment is a fixed-term postdoctoral position of six to seven years. During this fixed-term period, the candidate has the opportunity to qualify for a tenured position, in line with qualifications achieved, in a combined Associate Professor position or Professor position at the end of the fixed-term period.
    or
  2. The appointment is a fixed-term position as an Associate Professor for six to seven years. During this fixed-term period, the candidate has the opportunity to qualify for a tenured position as a Professor.

The postdoctoral position used in appointments to tenure-track positions is a combined teaching and research position, where tasks, results and requirements are pursuant to these regulations.

Appointments to tenure-track positions can only be made when the position has been widely advertised in Norway and abroad.

The scheme for promotion to a professorship in line with qualifications and experience does not apply to the period when the person is employed in a fixed-term tenure-track position.

University of Oslo’s supplementary provisions

As a rule, the University of Oslo will use model a), i.e. employment for a fixed term in a postdoctoral position. Appointments are made with the rights and obligations provided for in the Guidelines concerning appointment to postdoctoral and research posts at UiO, for a fixed period of 6-7 years. Pursuant to the applicable guidelines for postdoctoral fellows, compulsory work shall be limited to up to 25% of working hours.

Model b) will only be used in exceptional cases since employees in Associate Professor positions have the opportunity to qualify for a professorship through the applicable regulations on promotion. However, units may also choose model b) if they think there are particular grounds for using this model, such as if the candidate has previously held an ordinary postdoctoral position, and there is therefore no opportunity for appointment to a postdoctoral role in a tenure-track position, cf. § 8 of the regulations, second paragraph. Appointments are made with the rights and obligations provided for in the University of Oslo's Rules for Appointments to Professorships and Associate Professorships, for a fixed term of 6‒7 years. Distribution of required duties is according to the applicable principles for the distribution of work duties in combined academic positions.

Applicants will be evaluated by appointed experts, who will give an assessment of the applicants’ academic/professional competence and other competence to the body with the power of recommendation. The body with the power of recommendation or such party as is so empowered appoints the experts following the recommendation of the academic community.

§ 3 Contract of employment

The contract of employment determines the results, requirements and criteria that the candidate must fulfil during the fixed-term period in order to take up a tenured position under § 2a or a professorship under § 2b.

The Board, or the department as delegated by the Board, on the basis of Chapter 1 of the Regulations concerning appointment and promotion to teaching and research posts of 9 February 2006, no. 129 (lovdata.no) (Norwegain), as well as the institution’s own supplementary criteria for appointments to an Associate Professor or Professor position, shall  determine specific requirements within:

  • research
  • teaching
  • dissemination

The institutions can also set requirements based on particular needs within the subject area or research environment where the employee will work, e.g.:

  • international activity
  • applications to the EU
  • the ability to attract external funding for themselves or the research group

The contract also sets out how the institution will assist the candidate in meeting the requirements set (e.g. research resources such as equipment and/or personnel for a research group, application assistance, guidance etc.). The necessary time must be earmarked for the post holder to carry out the different tasks covered by the contract of employment.

University of Oslo’s supplementary provisions

Tenure-track positions at the University of Oslo shall be reserved for candidates who are expected to develop the competence and independence required to build and head a leading international research group. Candidates must be able to demonstrate outstanding results in relation to the production of scientific material, dissemination, organization and leadership of a research project, teaching and development of a course of study. Weighting between different fields of expertise may vary depending on the subject area.

The Board of the University of Oslo grants the Faculty Board authorization to determine more specific requirements and quality criteria related to their own positions, based on which local objectives the scheme seeks to serve.

The contract of employment shall also specify:

  • plan for expected progression in the candidate’s activity
  • the objective criteria on which the adjudication of the midway and final assessment is to be based, i.e. what results the candidate is expected to achieve and will be assessed against
  • the place of work’s duties in relation to funding the development of a research group around the tenure-track candidate, with, for example, doctoral research fellowships, running expenses, laboratory resources, research equipment
  • plan for employer’s follow-up of the candidate during the tenure-track period

§ 4 Midway assessment

A formal midway assessment will be held, which will be completed before the candidate has been employed for four years. The assessment shall be conducted on the basis of the contract of employment. The Board of the institution, or the party authorized by the Board will determine further provisions on the midway assessment. Based on this, the candidate will be given guidance on where improvements can be made during the final part of the fixed-term period in order to meet the requirements of the contract of employment.

University of Oslo’s supplementary provisions

The midway assessment shall provide a basis for assessing the candidate’s work and the employer’s follow-up.

The Board of the University of Oslo grants the Faculty Board authorization to determine local supplementary provisions on quality criteria and practical execution of the midway assessment.

The faculty’s choice of model for the midway assessment must ensure an independent assessment. The Dean decides who will participate in the assessment of each candidate following the recommendation of the Head of Department. If there is uncertainty as to whether the candidate meets the academic requirements for continuing in the tenure-track post, this will be decided by a committee formed according to the University of Oslo's ordinary rules of assessment committees for appointments. The candidate will be given the opportunity to comment on the decision in writing, and any comments will be considered by the Dean.

The midway assessment should be held when the candidate has been employed for three years.

§ 5 Final assessment

Before the end of the fixed-term period, the institution shall conduct an assessment of whether the requirements laid down in the employment contract have been met. The assessment of the candidate’s research expertise and research potential will be conducted by an adjudication committee within the candidate's subject area, and in line with the institution’s rules on adjudication. The institutions may decide that the committee should also assess the employee’s results in teaching and in other areas covered by the contract of employment.

The adjudication committee shall consist of three members, at least one of whom must be from a foreign institution. Only one member of the adjudication committee can be from the candidate's home institution. Both genders should be represented on the committee where possible.

The assessment of whether the candidate meets the other requirements laid down in the employment contract will be made in accordance with rules set by the Board or the party so empowered by the Board.

University of Oslo’s supplementary provisions

The final assessment of the candidate will be based on the academic requirements stipulated at the time of appointment, and conducted within the framework of the University of Oslo's Rules for Appointments to Professorships and Associate Professorships with comments.

The Board of the University of Oslo grants the Faculty Board authorization to determine supplementary local provisions on assessing whether the candidate meets the requirements laid down in the contract of employment.

A copy of the adjudication committee’s assessment is sent to the candidate before the matter is considered by the body with the power of recommendation, cf. Rules for Appointments to Professorships and Associate Professorships, § 10. At this stage of the process, the candidate has the opportunity to comment on the assessment, within a 14-day deadline. Any comments by the candidate will be included as part of the case.

§ 6 Follow-up and supervision

Up to the midway assessment, the candidate will receive guidance, training and advice in order to build an academic career. The institution must ensure that the candidate has access to the research resources and the assistance agreed in order to be able to meet the requirements of the employment contract. During the latter part of the period, the candidate will be followed up in the same way as other employees.

University of Oslo’s supplementary provisions

The Board of the University of Oslo grants the Faculty Board authorization to establish local arrangements to ensure structured and systematic follow-up of the candidates, and mechanisms for quality assurance of such follow-up.

§ 7 Right to tenure

Based on the expert assessment of research expertise, and the assessment of whether other requirements in the contract of employment have been met, which should be completed before the end of the fixed term, the appointing body for the relevant position (§ 2a or 2b) shall decide whether the candidate should be offered a tenured position. If the requirements set out in the employment contract have been met, the candidate will be employed in the fixed combined teaching and research post they are qualified for as an Associate Professor or Professor in line with § 2a or as a Professor according to § 2b.

University of Oslo’s supplementary provisions

Nomination and appointment are in line with the ordinary procedures and authorization for appointments to positions as an Associate Professor and Professor at the University of Oslo. Decisions are made by the bodies granted nomination and appointment authorization respectively by the relevant unit, as defined in the individual unit’s administration regulations.

§ 8 Fixed-term appointments

Under the Act relating to universities and university colleges, institutions may make appointments to tenure-track positions in the academic environments that are entitled to offer a doctoral education, within quantitative limits set by the Ministry for the individual institution.

Pursuant to the Act relating to universities and university colleges, post holders at institutions can only be employed for one fixed-term period in a tenure-track position. Anyone employed for a fixed-term period of more than one year in an ordinary postdoctoral position pursuant to the Regulations concerning terms and conditions of employment for the posts of post-doctoral research fellow, research fellow, research assistant and resident or who has held such a postdoctoral appointment at a foreign institution, cannot be employed in a fixed-term postdoctoral tenure-track position.

The fixed-term contract shall not include provisions on redundancy/severance pay.

University of Oslo’s supplementary provisions

The units shall report on the establishment of tenure-track positions in their own environments through the routine registration of employment contracts in SAP.

§ 9 Working hours

Employees are subject to the applicable laws and agreements on working hours, holidays and sickness absence.

University of Oslo’s supplementary provisions

Post holders of tenure-track positions at the University of Oslo will generally fall under the legal term “particularly independent”, and thus be exempt from some of the provisions on ordinary working hours, cf. Regulation of working hours for employees in scientific posts at the University of Oslo.

§ 10 Leave of absence and extension of employment period

Candidates’ entitlement to leave of absence pursuant to legislation or collective agreements shall not be included in the calculation of the period of employment. Extension shall be granted for reduced working hours in accordance with the Working Environment Act § 10-2, fourth paragraph (pdf) (arbeidstilsynet.no), where it is necessary to provide care for children or close family. Decisions on extensions of the employment period will be made by the appointing body.

Supplementary provisions for local units

Department of Economics

Adopted by the Board of The Faculty of Social Sciences 10 December, 2015

  1. In order to be considered for a tenured position the candidate must satisfy the minimum requirement for publishing, which states that the candidate must have collected at least four publishing points under the following rules:
    • One point is granted for (co-)authorship of an article published in a general top ranked journal, or in a top ranked journal within the relevant fields. Publications in the following journals grant points:
      • General top journals: American Economic Review, Econometrica, Journal of Political Economy, Quarterly Journal of Economics, Review of Economic Studies, Economic Journal, International Economic Review, Journal of the European Economic Association, and Review of Economics and Statistics
      • Top field journals: American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, Journal of Econometrics, Journal of Economic Theory, Journal of Finance, Journal of International Economics, Journal of Labor economics, Journal of Monetary Economics, Journal of Public Economics, Rand Journal of Economics, and Theoretical Economics.
      • Articles published in other journals may after specific consideration also grant points if the article is judged to clearly hold a standard equivalent to typical articles published in the aforementioned journals.
    • One additional point is also granted if the following three conditions are met: The article is published in one of these five top ranking journals: American Economic Review, Econometrica, Journal of Political Economy, Quarterly Journal of Economics, or Review of Economic Studies; The article has no more than three authors; And none of the co-authors have been a doctoral supervisor for the candidate.
  2. Candidates satisfying the minimum requirement will be evaluated by a committee of at least five members, where at least four out of the five belong to prominent international universities.
    • The committee is asked to evaluate whether:
      • The candidate can be ranked among the best researchers of his or her generation (that is, researchers with a doctoral degree completed around the same time as the candidate.);
      • The candidate would be considered for employment among the top 15 foremost universities in Europe;
      • The candidate qualifies for a relevant ERC Grant.
    • For candidates to a tenure-track associate professorship position, the committee must also evaluate if the candidate qualify to be appointed to a professorship according to the Department’s rules.
    • If the committee’s assessment is positive, the candidate must be considered as meeting the requirements for a permanent appointment.
Published July 2, 2015 4:31 PM - Last modified Nov. 9, 2017 10:32 AM