Qualification requirements for promotion to professor in economics

Guidelines for committees assessing applicants adopted by the Board of the Department of Economics 11 October, 2012

Personal promotion to professor on the basis of competence is regulated by Section 2-1 of Regulations concerning appointment and promotion to teaching and research posts (lovdata.no) (hereafter the Regulations), laid down by the Ministry of Education and Research on February 9, 2006 and last amended July 23, 2010. For the subject area of Social Sciences, the National Conference of Faculties of Social Sciences has drawn up a set of supplementary guidelines dated December 2007 (hereafter the NCFSS Guidelines). The guidelines below are adapted from the NCFSS Guidelines.


These guidelines apply to assessment of qualifications for promotion from associate professor ("førsteamanuensis") to professor (Section 2-1 of the Regulations). The Regulations apply the same minimum standards for promotion as for awarding competence as professor to applicants for an open position (Section 1-2 of the Regulations). The difference in qualification requirements for professor and associate professor does not primarily lie in the quantity of scientific output; higher quality and wider scope are also required, in accordance with established national and international standards.

The assessment committees shall, according to (12) in Section 2-1 of the Regulations, “take into consideration the criteria for appointment as a professor provided in section 1-2”. For Economics, this means that the requirements for becoming a professor are “(1) Academic level conforming to established international or national standards […] and (3) Documented competence in relevant educational theory and practice based on training or on teaching and supervision.” However, the assessment committee shall not assess qualifications other than scientific competence.

Scientific qualifications

Assessment for promotion “shall be conducted on the basis of documented academic ... competence” ((5) of section 2-1 in the Regulations). The number of works that may be submitted for assessment is limited to 15.

A scientific production both in quantity and quality considerably beyond what is equivalent to a Norwegian doctoral degree is required. Research shall be of high quality and show both breadth and depth. Output shall reflect an independent

research profile and show ability to take up new problems and approaches.

Continuous research activity is a prerequisite.

The following requirements should be met:

  1. Quantity
    The applicant's quantity of output must be judged in relation to international traditions within the discipline on the basis of the substance of the work and the effort it represents. The scientific output should normally correspond to at least 12 full-length journal articles. Weighted by number of authors, the number of articles should sum to at least 6. In cases of a very high quality, lower numbers may be accepted; however, only in exceptional circumstances should the required output correspond to less than 8 articles. The applicant must have contributed substantially to all publications.
  2. Quality
    Quality should be measured by the extent to which the work has contributed to, or may contribute to, the development of the discipline or practice within the field. Emphasis should also be put on originality of approach and formulation of problems, method and data sources. Distinctly higher originality and significance than for a doctoral degree is expected, although it is sufficient that a substantial part of the work meets these higher standards. A majority of the work submitted for assessment should be published, or accepted for publication, in Level 2 journals, as defined by The Norwegian Association of Higher Education Institutions (uhr.no) (Norwegian) or outlets of similar quality.
  3. Scope
    The applicant should be qualified for teaching and supervision at an advanced level within more than one speciality. The work should comprise at least three different classes of problems, themes or research methods. The applicant must have shown ability to position his or her own work within a wider context.
  4. Independence and cooperation
    The applicant must have proved that he or she can perform all central parts of a research task alone and with high quality. This can be documented through work where the applicant is the sole author, through depositions from co-authors, or through experience from project management. In addition, positive weight shall be put on research cooperation and project management.
  5. Impact
    When assessing the quantity of output as described in 1. above, only work published, or accepted for publication, in well-respected international journals with high impact in the relevant research community, or other outlets of a similar status, should be taken into account. Journals listed among the top 100 in the ISI Web of Knowledge Article Influence Score should automatically qualify with respect to this criterion, but other journals or outlets deemed to be of equal quality or importance, may be accepted also. Only in rare circumstances, and then with reference to the unusual quality of the work in question, should publications in marginal outlets or unpublished work be taken into account.
  6. Currentness
    The work should be related to the research frontier of the discipline at the time of publication. Some of the work should have been produced in the last five years.
  7. Visibility
    The applicant should have established a certain visibility within the international academic community. Measures of such visibility include refereeing for top journals, invitations to give seminars at good universities, invitations as keynote speaker at seminars and conferences and membership of editorial boards of well-respected journals.

When assessing quantity and scope, the whole publication list may be taken into consideration, including publications that have not been submitted for assessment.

To qualify for promotion, the competence must be within the subject area in which the applicant is employed; with few exceptions this would mean Economics. Work within other subject areas may be considered, but taken into account only according to what they suggest about competence in performing research and teaching within the relevant subject area.

At least two-thirds of the requirement for quantity as defined above should be met by work that falls clearly within the subject area in which the applicant is employed, and some of them should have been produced in the last five years. If the subject area is a narrow speciality, it may be accepted that a somewhat larger part is outside the subject area.


The scientific competence shall be without doubt and indisputable to qualify for promotion. This implies that the assessment committee does not need to undertake a thorough and detailed assessment of candidates that clearly either are or are not without doubt and indisputably qualified. It is only when the conclusion is not immediately obvious that the committee needs to undertake a more thorough and detailed assessment and justify their conclusion accordingly; this is especially important in cases in which the committee recommends against promotion.

While the assessment committee is expected to consider all relevant criteria, the committee does not have to spell out all of their considerations in detail. In particular, it is not necessary to report on the content and quality of individual publications; only when quality deviates considerably from what would be expected given the outlet in which the work is, or will be, published, and this impacts on the overall conclusion with respect to the candidates qualifications, should this be reported.

Published Nov. 3, 2015 11:10 AM - Last modified Nov. 18, 2019 11:56 AM