Employee pages for the Faculty of Social Sciences

Qualification requirements for promotion to professor

These supplementary guidelines for assessment committees within the social sciences were prepared by the National Conference of Faculties of Social Sciences in December 2007, with adjustments approved April 23, 2013.

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Personal promotion to professor on the basis of competence is regulated by "Regulations concerning Appointment and Promotion to Teaching and Research Positions", along with 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.

In addition, the requirements set out in "Rules for assessing educational competence at UiB» (adopted by the University Board on 29 August 2019)


The regulations provide the same minimum standards for awarding competence as professor as when applying for an advertised position (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

1. Academic 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 requirements 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 requirement of breadth helps ensure that the applicant is qualified for teaching and supervision on a high level in more than one specialty. 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. When assessing the scope and breadth, emphasis can be placed on the entire list of publication, including publications 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 specialty, it may be acceptable for a larger share of the publications to be outside the subject area.

2. Educational competence

Competence requirements for appointment to posts such as professor are set out in Section 1-2 of the Regulations concerning Appointment and Promotion to Teaching and Research Posts. The regulations stipulate three additional requirements beyond the requirements for associate professor:

  • Quality development in own teaching and supervision over time
  • Broad experience with supervision preferably at the master's/PhD level
  • Participation in the development of educational quality in academic communities

At the Faculty of Social Sciences, sufficient supervisory experience is defined as:

  • Significant experience as a supervisor at the master level
  • Experience with supervision at PhD level, for a period of at least 2 years

Other competencies cannot compensate for deficiencies in the academic competence.

Detailed descriptions of possible documentation can be found in "Rules for the assessing educational competence at UiB".