Apply for the title of docent

The University can grant the title of docent to an applicant possessing extensive knowledge in his or her field and the ability to conduct independent research as demonstrated by publications or other means as well as good teaching skills. The title of docent does not constitute an employment relationship with the University.

The Faculty of Pharmacy also requires that applicants for the title of docent have a publication history in addition to an approved doctoral dissertation. These publications must be in the field of the docentship and must equal a second good-quality dissertation in terms of scientific significance and scope.

The Faculty of Pharmacy requires the applicant to have a doctoral degree. The applicant must have produced scientific publications in the relevant field. The scientific significance and scope of the publications must be equal to at least one doctoral dissertation of high quality.

In addition, the faculty refers to the Chancellor’s letter (16.12.2003), in which he defines the demands for a docent: “As the doctorate seems to constitute the ending point of academic training and simultaneously the starting point of a career as an independent scholar, one might assume that the next step in an academic career, the title of docent, would already require proof of having pursued an independent line of research and thus of independence in general. The length of the list of publications is not always conclusive proof of this, particularly if the supervisor of the doctoral dissertation continues to participate in the work of the former student.”

The Faculty requires that in assessing the competence of an applicant, the assessors should pay sufficient attention to the following:

  • whether the applicant has published scientific articles in international peer-reviewed journals following her/his dissertation
  • whether the applicant has been the first, second or last author of the articles published
  • whether the applicant works as an independent researcher (e.g., has project funding)
  • whether the applicant has been supervising Master’s theses and/or Doctoral dissertations
  • whether the applicant has had a post-doctoral activities in Finland or abroad (e.g. participated in scientific conferences, held a post-doctoral position)

The Faculty wishes that the assessors be as unambiguous as possible in their statement. They should state as clearly as possible whether the applicant qualifies as a docent or not. The assessors must analyse the scientific work of the applicant at sufficient length in their statement.

Application with the attachments must be submitted (in Finnish, Swedish or English) to the Faculty of Pharmacy to hr-ftdk(at) Please name all the documents clearly (e.g. lastname_firstname_application.pdf). Please note that if the assessors are not Finnish/Swedish speaking, the documents are needed in English.

The application (cover letter) must be accompanied by the following enclosures or an Academic Portfolio (all preferably in one pdf):

  • CV in English, Finnish or Swedish
  • A list of publications following the classification of the University of Helsinki Publications Database
  • A report on teaching skills that is no more than four pages in length
  • A certificate demonstrating language skills

In addition to the above mentioned application documents, the applicant must deliver publications to be sent to the assessors (no more than 10 publications. Name the files clearly (e.g. lastname_firstname_publication1.pdf).

The Faculty Teaching Skills Committee assesses teaching skills based on the written report submitted by the applicant and a demonstration of teaching skills.

Applications for the title of docent are usually discussed by the Faculty Council at two separate meetings.

In the first meeting, the application is brought to the attention of the Council, and assessors are appointed. The relevant professor will submit a proposal for the nomination of the assessors. At least one of the assessors must be outside the Faculty. The assessors must have the qualifications of a docent or equivalent qualifications. An outside assessor cannot have a valid full-time employment contract with the Faculty. Persons appointed as assessors cannot participate in the processing of the application at a later stage.

If the field of the docentship that is being applied for is new (the Faculty has no previous appointments in the field), the relevant professor must provide a statement describing the field and giving grounds for establishing such a docentship.

After receiving the assessors’ statements, the Faculty will send them to the applicant and, if the assessors find that the applicant fulfils the requirements for the title, will request that the applicant provide a topic for his or her teaching demonstration lecture.

The applicant shall give a demonstration of his or her teaching skills. The demonstration will be open to the public, and it should last approximately 20 minutes. The topic of the demonstration should be of interest to students of the discipline and should be such that it could be included in the discipline’s curriculum. The applicant may use notes and the usual teaching aids. More about the assessment of teaching skills at the Faculty of Pharmacy

The Faculty Council will discuss the application for a second time after the teaching skills assessment committee has submitted its statement on the applicant’s teaching qualifications (teaching skills) to the Faculty Council.  The council decides whether the applicant meets the requirements for the title of docent, and if so, will make a proposal to the Chancellor for conferment.