Employee pages for the Faculty of Social Sciences

Guide for applicants for promotion based on competence

The Faculty of Social Sciences has prepared its own guidelines for applicants for promotion to professor based on competence.

The following guide is a summary of the general guidelines in the regulations and of the criteria for recognition of academic competence as professor in the "Competence requirements for promotion to professor" adopted by the National faculty meeting for the social sciences in December 2007, with amendments adopted on 23 April 2013.


Application criteria

Associate professors in at least a 50 per cent permanent position can apply for promotion to professor pursuant to the rules in this guide. Applicants who have previously received a negative assessment must wait two years before submitting a new application. The two-year rule applies even if the applicant subsequently withdraws their application.

Promotion is personal and has no consequences for the duties of the holder of the post.

Promotion may only be applied for within the subject in which the applicant is employed. "Subject" here means the subjects and disciplines that may be included in the degrees that may be awarded by the Faculty.

Associate professors who have been awarded foreign professorial competence may apply to have their competence assessed as a basis for promotion according to the Norwegian rules. The assessment committee shall consider whether a new complete assessment is required.

A new assessment shall be conducted for associate professors who have been awarded a declaration of competence for a professor II (adjunct professor) post.

Application deadline

The application deadline is 15 September. The Rector can approve deviations from the deadline when there are special grounds to do so.

Documentation cannot be submitted after the deadline. The applicant is responsible for ensuring that all documents have been submitted.


The application for promotion must be submitted to the Faculty. The application must specify the subject in which the application for promotion is being submitted and whether the applicant has been assessed for professorial competence in the two years prior to the application deadline.

The application and enclosures must be submitted in four (4) copies. Applicants can submit up to 15 publications.

Additionally, all applicants must submit a complete list of all publications or other documented activities relied on in support of the assessment. The list can be annotated.

The application process

The expert assessment will be sent to the applicant as soon as it is available. There is no right of appeal with regard to the expert assessment, but the applicant can object to the case processing or comment on the expert assessment within two weeks of the statement being sent to the applicant.

The Board of the Faculty of Social Sciences approves the assessment and if applicable grants the promotion based on the assessment.

The salary aspect will be considered by the central UiB Negotiation Committee after the Faculty Board's processing of the application.

The applicant will receive a letter from the Faculty when the case has been fully processed.

The Dean will invite the applicant to a conversation after the Faculty Board's processing of the case.

Assessment committee

Applicants for promotion based on competence shall be assessed by an assessment committee appointed by the Board of the Faculty of Social Sciences on the proposal of the department.

The expert committee for applicants for promotion based on competence consists of three persons with professorial competence or equivalent competence in the applicants’ subject area. A chair of the assessment committee is appointed from amongst its members. To the extent possible, and in the subject areas where it is natural to do so, the committee shall have a member from another country. Only one member of the assessment committee can be from the applicant's institution. If possible, both genders shall be represented on the committee. If this is not possible, an explanation must be prepared.

In addition to the general experts – and based on a proposal by these experts – one or more specialists can be appointed in special cases to comment on parts of the materials the applicants have submitted. Specialists shall issue individual assessments that are submitted to the general experts as guides.

The expert assessment shall normally be provided within three months of the committee having received all documents.

Assessment criteria

The regulations use the same minimum standards for recognition of professorial competence as when applying for a post (section 1-2). The difference in the competence requirements for professors and associate professors is not primarily a difference in the requirements to the number of academic publications, but rather the heightened requirements to quality and breadth, as is common under national and international standards.

In accordance with section 2-1(12) of the regulations, the assessment committee shall "take into consideration the criteria for appointment as a professor provided in section 1-2." For the social sciences, this means that the requirements for becoming a professor are:

  1. Academic level in line with established international or national standards      
  2. Documented relevant practical pedagogical competence based on education or teaching and supervision

Expert assessment

The committee must always indicate the subject area, and if applicable the speciality, in which the applicant is considered to have professorial competence.

The statement shall always indicate whether the competence declaration is unanimous and indubitable. If there has been doubt about whether to recognise the competence, or if there was dissent among the

experts, a new assessment shall be made.

1. Academic competence

According to section 2-1(5), the assessment "shall be conducted on the basis of documented academic or artistic competence." Promotion to professor requires significant academic production beyond what is required for a doctorate. The research must be of a high quality and show both breadth and depth. The production must reflect an independent research profile and show an ability to address new questions. Consistent research activity is a prerequisite.

The following criteria should be met:

  • Scope: What constitutes "significant academic production" must be assessed in relation to disciplinary traditions and must be concretely based on the content of the publications and the efforts they are based on. A guiding norm can be that the academic production (including the doctorate) should be the equivalent of 8-12 full-length journal articles, or two or three books of good quality and different content. The applicant must have made significant contributions to all of the publications and must have had the main responsibility for the research and writing in the majority (two-thirds) of the publications. In the event of more extensive co-authorship, the requirement to the number of publications may be raised.
  • Quality: The results must be well-supported and clearly expressed, as required for publication in reputable academic journals or by reputable academic publishers. Emphasis shall be placed on whether the work has been or may be significant to disciplinary developments or practice in the area. Emphasis shall also be placed on original questions, methods or data sources. The originality and significance requirements are clearly higher than for a doctorate, but it is sufficient that some of the publications meet these higher requirements.
  • Breadth: The breadth requirement shall help ensure that the applicant is qualified to teach and supervise at a high level in more than one speciality. The academic production should include multiple classes of questions, topics and research methods. The applicant should have shown an ability to place their own work within a broader context.
  • Independence and collaboration: The applicant must document that they will be able to complete all central parts of a high-quality research project by themselves. This can be documented by single-authored publications (or first-authored publications in disciplines in which this signals being in charge of the work), by declarations from co-authors and by project management experience. Research collaboration and project management shall generally be seen as positive.
  • Visibility: The academic work should be published (or accepted for publication) in channels that have satisfactory quality control and where they can reach other researchers who will build on or critique the results. This normally means publication in international channels, but when the topic so indicates publication in national channels is acceptable. Emphasis is placed on what the discipline considers a good publishing practice at the time of publication.
  • Relevance: The publications should relate to the forefront of research at the time of publication. Some of the publications should be produced within the past five years.

In the assessment of scope and breadth, emphasis can be placed on the entire list of publications, including those that were not submitted.

The academic competence must be clear and unequivocal to quality for a position.

In the event of a promotion, the competence must be in the subject that the position is in. Work in other subject areas can count, but will be weighted based on what they say about the competence to do research and teaching in the subject in question. At least two-thirds of the scope requirement should be met by publications that are clearly within the subject area of the position, and some of these publications should have been produced within the past five years. If the subject area is a very narrow speciality, it may be acceptable for a larger share of the publications to be outside the subject area.

2. Pedagogical and other competencies

Section 1-2(3) of the regulations requires "documented competence in relevant educational theory and practice based on training or on teaching and supervision" for professorial competence. This means that the applicant must document basic pedagogical competence. Beyond this, it is also a requirement that the applicant has teaching and supervision experience at all levels, normally including the doctoral level. Other competencies cannot compensate for deficiencies in the academic competence.