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Instructions for evaluations for associate professor positions

The Faculty of Social Sciences has prepared these instructions for evaluations for associate professor positions.

The minimum requirement for being employed in a permanent academic position at the University of Bergen is a doctoral degree in the relevant subject area or a corresponding level of technical/occupational expertise. In advertisements for individual positions, more specific requirements may be imposed. The appointment authority may impose requirements obligating the individual employed for the position to undergo specific training, for example basic pedagogical training, within a set deadline, cf. Regulations for employment and promotion in educational¬ and research positions, chap. 1.

In addition to these instructions, the following documents comprise a basis for the work of the evaluation committee:

  • Job posting
  • Regulations for appointments to academic posts and academic/administrative management positions at UiB, adopted by the University board on 28 May 2014.

Evaluation Committee

Applicants for associate professor positions will be assessed by an evaluation committee. The committee shall be composed so that it has the competency to evaluate all applicants who meet the conditions of the posting and job description. Both genders must be represented in the expert committee, unless such representation is justifiably impossible. Only one of the experts may be employed at UiB. In relevant areas and as far as possible, there shall be at least one expert from abroad.

At least one of the experts shall be a Professor, and the other at least an Associate Professor or equivalent in key areas of the discipline. One of the members must be appointed as leader.

In addition to the ordinary experts – and following a proposal by them – in special cases one or more special experts may be appointed to make a statement about parts of the material submitted by the applicants. Any special experts will submit individual assessments which will be sent to the ordinary experts as guidance.

Mandate

First selection of qualified applicants

On the basis of the application, CV and list of academic publications, the committee shall conduct a review of all applications and decide which applicants it considers most professionally qualified.  A short, equal and individual mention shall be made of all applicants. The committee then provides a justification for the selection of applicants it considers most professionally qualified.

This group will be invited to submit up to 10 scholarly works for evaluation.

Assessment

The expert committee will assess the latter group and make a justified ranking.

An expert assessment must normally be ready within three months of reception of all documents by the committee.

Grading

When evaluating the applicants, particular emphasis must be placed on the following qualifications:

  1. Academic qualifications
  2. Pedagogical qualifications
  3. Administrative experience

Applicants are asked to divide their written works into the following categories:

  • Degree dissertations, monographs
  • Publications in academic periodicals with referee review
  • Published books and/or chapters of books
  • Publications in trade journals without referee review
  • Published overview presentations (overview articles, summaries, excerpts, etc.)
  • Research reports in, for example, internal report series
  • Published popular science versions, unpublished instructional compendia and explanations.
  • Representations of the work of others (assessments, reviews, evaluations of recommendations, etc.).
  • Other written works

1. Academic qualifications

A complete list of the applicant's scholarly works must accompany the application. Applicants must themselves indicate the specific scholarly works (up to 10) that will be deemed to be the most important of their works. All such indicated works must be among those that are submitted for assessment. The evaluation committee will have the opportunity to concentrate on performing a particularly thorough assessment of these selected works. The other works may also be evaluated, particularly in order to determine whether the applicant's research possesses the requisite breadth, or to help clarify the order in which the applicants will be ranked.

A. Own research

In order to qualify for associate professor positions, applicants must submit their own academic works of good quality. The works must contain independent contributions to the subject areas concerned.

The works ought to be published, preferably in periodicals with referee review, by publishers with referee review or in graded monographs - or clearly be of such quality that they qualify for such publication and dissemination.

Sole authorship or first authorship should in general count more than co-authorship. In “Instructions for applicants” the applicants themselves are asked to state what their contributions to any possible joint works have been.

The evaluation committee will place an emphasis on the applicant's works from the past five years. In the overall assessment, all work must be included regardless, particularly with an eye towards productivity and breadth.

If applicants stand approximately equal based upon the selected works, then it is natural to give their total production the decisive weight in their relative rankings. When assessing the scope of the academic output, consideration must be taken of documented parental and care leave. If an applicant has a significant quantity of works within closely related subject areas that clearly are relevant to the position concerned, then these must be accorded meritorious value.

An emphasis must be placed on the ability to develop and carry out research projects, co- operate in groups, preferably across the boundaries between disciplines, and the ability to create contacts in the international research environment.

B. Popular science activities

Documented and good popular science shall be worthy of merit. Popular science activities must be able to be documented by seminars conducted or published works.

2. Teaching qualifications

Basic pedagogical training is required (applicants may take such training after hiring has taken place).

Applicants should have teaching experience within the position's subject area. Emphasis may be accorded to teaching experience in a closely related discipline or extensive general teaching experience if it is clear that the applicant has the requisite technical/occupational expertise to be teaching within the field that is specified in the advertisement/position description. There cannot be any doubt that the applicant can teach at all levels of the discipline.

Documentation and criteria will differ to some extent for academic and pedagogical competency.  However, in both cases it is the responsibility of the applicants to document their qualifications, including in a manner that provides a basis for qualitative assessments.

The following checklist will make the checking, description and comparison of the competency of applicants easier to grasp and manage:

A. Basic pedagogical training:

Course in university teaching, practical training in teaching, university training in pedagogy or closely related subjects, teaching certificate exam, continuing education courses. Documentation: School transcripts, course certificates.

B. Evaluation reports:

Documentation: Reports concerning evaluations of studies and instruction that encompass an applicant's teaching should be referenced and attached. Both the methodologies and the results should be reviewed and evaluated.

C. Teaching, guidance and examination work:

Forms of instruction: lectures, seminars, demonstrations, exercises, distance education, etc. Guidance: master’s/second degree level theses, researcher training etc. Participation in exams and other forms of assessment of students, awarding grades.

D. Own pedagogical publications, compendia and instructional material:

Documentation: If the material is extensive, only a representative selection should be submitted with the application. The remaining materials can be listed in an overview.

E. Research and development work:

Reports that show participation in projects associated with development of instruction, such as alternative forms of instruction, guidance or learning environments. Documentation: Schedules, reports, certificates, etc.

F. Student prizes received:

Documentation: prizes received with explanations.

3. Administrative experience

When assessing applicants, an emphasis will also be placed on administrative experience and competency of various types. Among the most important factors that should be given an emphasis here are participation in councils, boards and committees addressing research and development issues at the department/faculty level, perhaps the university level, research policy involvement, international level work (for example UN-appointed expert groups), administration of large multinational research agreements, administration of research projects, etc.

Assessment

Special circumstances

For applicants who have not completed their doctoral degree, it must be established in a convincing manner that such applicants have equivalent competency in their scholarly works.

If there are doubts as to whether otherwise qualified applicants are able to perform instruction in the prescribed language, the committee may propose that such applicants undergo a practical test of their teaching skills.

Overall Assessment and Ranking

The committee shall give a clear assessment of the technical/occupational qualifications of applicants evaluated against the text of the advertisement for the position and the formal requirements posed, in addition to ranking those applicants who are the best qualified.

The evaluation must state who is qualified, and must describe the academic distance between the qualified candidates in addition to the ranking. The evaluation must be most extensive for the best qualified applicants. The evaluation and ranking shall take into account the time span over which the results have been achieved, and place most emphasis on recently achieved results.

If the job advertisement text is open to temporary employment in the qualifying position with a view to qualification and permanent employment, the expert committee shall express and opinion as to whether the applicants have the academic capability to gain the necessary qualifications within the stipulated period of temporary employment.

The committee must not express an opinion on issues of equality, preferential rights, personal capability, or other conditions that do not concern the applicants’ documented academic qualifications.

The experts shall normally work as a committee, but in some cases it may be determined that the experts shall submit individual evaluations. If there are disagreements in the committee, the reasons for this shall be stated in the opinion.

Form of the assessment

The committee's main task is to account for the applicants' academic competence level and to rank the most competent applicants. The committee’s report must be formulated in accordance with the following points:

  1. The committee must initially account for the requirements regarding qualifications and the special criteria that the committee has applied to assess the qualified applicants, with reference to the advertisement text and job description.
  2. It must state which applicants have not been invited to submit academic publications, with a brief justification.
  3. The group of applicants that submitted academic publications will be discussed in detail as regards education, academic qualifications and experience. This presentation will list all of the publications submitted, with titles and any co-authors, and the publication channel.
  4. The committee will then give an overall, comparative assessment of the most qualified applicants, and rank them. The committee should state whether the difference in qualifications is significant, to simplify the later assessments of the recommendation and appointment authority.
  5. If the position has been advertised with a moderate gender quota, the recommendation authority must assess the extent to which the quota rules will apply.
The expert committee must elucidate the matter as best as possible and explain what differentiates the applicants.

Recommendation Authority

The head of the department in question is the recommendation authority for appointments to academic positions. The recommendation is based on an academic evaluation according to the requirements listed in the job posting and job description. Interviews, the gathering of references, sample lectures or other tests may also be conducted as a basis for the recommendation. The department head or immediate supervisor of the position shall take part in an interview. For sample lectures or other tests, the same person of authority shall take part.

If there are three or more qualified applicants for a position, at least three qualified applicants shall be recommended in the order they ought to be considered. If there are two qualified applicants, both must be recommended.

When choosing between applicants who are almost equally well qualified, emphasis shall be placed on gender equality in the recommendation if one gender is clearly under-represented in the job category of the discipline concerned.

The recommendation should be a written statement of the applicants’ education, academic and other formal qualifications, work experience and personal suitability for the position based on the requirements of the job posting, the applications, the opinion of the expert committee with any comments, and information from interviews, references and sample lectures.