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Appointment procedure for academic staff at Aarhus BSS

VIP-policy

20-06-2017

1. General comments

1.1 Delegation

The dean is responsible for recruiting staff at Aarhus BSS and for ensuring that the ongoing recruitment is in accordance with applicable laws, rules and regulations. The dean must ensure that the assessment of the suitability of the candidates for the advertised position(s) takes place in accordance with the applicable rules and quality targets, and he/she decides whether to accept the recommendation for appointment made by the head of department. The dean may fully or partially delegate the above competence to a vice-dean.

In addition, the dean has delegated the recruitment authority to the head of department in accordance with these guidelines in the school’s VIP Policy.

The school’s VIP Policy on the appointment of academic staff has been prepared by the faculty management team with a view to creating joint guidelines that ensure an efficient appointment process in which the school’s department management teams involve the department’s academic staff in the assessment of candidates for academic positions, and where the assessment is in accordance with the applicable rules and quality targets.

1.2 Scope

The guidelines have been prepared in accordance with applicable laws and overall guidelines as well as with the staff policies of the university and the school, including:

  • The Job Structure (Circular of 18 September 2015 concerning the terms of employment of academic staff at universities and the Ministerial Order of 1 July 2015 on the job structure for academic staff at universities.)
  • The Appointment Order (Ministerial Order no. 242 of 13 March 2012 on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Universities under the Danish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Higher Education).
  • The Consolidation Act on Fixed-Term Employment (Consolidation Act No. 907 of 11 September 2008).
  • The Circular on Job Advertisements (Circular of 26 June 2013 concerning advertisements for jobs and other positions for which payment is received in the state sector).
  • Guidelines in connection with the appointment of academic staff at Aarhus University (AU’s guidelines of 29 May 2013).
  • Professorship Policy at Aarhus BSS

The school’s VIP Policy applies to the appointment of all academic staff in accordance with the job structure, including:

Job level

Job type

Positions below assistant professor level

 
Research assistant
Positions at assistant professor level

Postdoc
Assistant professor/researcher
Tenure track

 

Positions at associate professor level

Associate professor/senior researcher
Salaried visiting scholars

Positions at professor level Professor
Professor with special responsibilities (MSO)
Salaried visiting scholars

The school’s VIP Policy includes the above academic appointments, regardless of whether the employment is financed by ordinary or external funding.

The school’s VIP Policy does not include appointments of PhD fellows, part-time academic staff (instructors, teaching assistants and part-time lecturers) or technical/administrative staff.

2. General information on job postings, assessment committees and appointments as well as the involvement of staff in the process.

2.1. Job postings

As a rule, all positions must be advertised.

As a rule, professorships and associate professorships must also be advertised internationally. The department management team decides how this requirement is fulfilled most appropriately. As a minimum, an English version of the advertisement should be posted on the AU website.

2.1.1. Exemptions to the requirements for job postings

There is no legal requirement to advertise the following positions:

Fixed-term employment/extension less than one (two) years

Pursuant to section 9 of the Ministerial Order on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Universities, appointments in all job categories (except professors with special responsibilities) can take place without prior advertisement for periods of employment of less than one year - two years for non-Danish professors and associate professors.

For appointments in accordance with section 9, the head of department must enclose an academic assessment by an assessment committee or one or more relevant experts who are employed at a level corresponding to the position in question; however, they must be at associate level or above. The head of department may not participate in the academic assessment.

Externally financed positions

Employment without prior advertisement can be for a longer period than one year provided that an external grant giver has pointed out and named a specific person. In such cases, the department must fill in the recommendation form for the appointment of externally financed academic staff and forward it to Aarhus BSS-HR (from now on BSS-HR). A copy of the grant approval, which must contain the name of the specific person, must also be attached.

For appointments in accordance with section 8, the head of department’s recommendation must be supplemented by an academic assessment by one or more relevant expert(s) employed at a level that at least corresponds to the position in question; however, they must be at associate level or above. The head of department may not participate in the academic assessment.

Employment via search committee/appointment without advertisement

Appointments of professorships or associate professorships via a search committee/appointment without advertisements, cf. section 7 in the Ministerial Order on Appointment of Academic Staff at Universities, only take place in very special cases and following a specific procedure approved by the dean.

2.2. Assessment committee

Pursuant to section 4 of the Ministerial Order on Appointment of Academic Staff at Universities, the university determines the rules for the academic assessment of applicants for academic positions. The academic assessment committee must decide whether the applicants possess the required academic qualifications within research, teaching, communication, etc., as prescribed by the job structure, and whether they meet any other qualification requirements specified in the job advertisement. A non-prioritised, substantiated, written assessment of the applicants’ qualifications must be submitted. If there are any differences of opinion between the assessors, this must be stated in the assessment.

Pursuant to the Ministerial Order on Appointment of Academic Staff at Universities and the university's general guidelines for academic assessment in connection with the appointment of academic staff (with/without advertisement) as well as extensions, the faculty management team at Aarhus BSS has adopted the following guidelines for the composition of the assessment committee.

2.2.1. Competency requirements for assessment committees 

To ensure that the assessment of applicants for academic positions is not affected by irrelevant considerations, no member of any assessment committee may be deemed legally incompetent or at risk of having a conflict of interest in relation to individual assessments. Aarhus University bases its decisions on the regulations in the Danish Public Administration Act concerning impartiality, which relates to e.g. family relations, friendships and special personal and financial interests. This may, for example, include co-publication, supervisor relations or other types of cooperation, which cannot be considered compatible with the role as a member of the assessment committee in relation to the advertised position. 

Furthermore, deans, vice-deans and heads of department must not act as members of an assessment committee, as they are a part of the management and therefore have authority to make decisions regarding employment, etc.

2.2.2. Composition of assessment committees

Research assistant
An assessment committee consisting of two members at associate professor level or higher must be appointed. There is no requirement for the participation of assessors/experts from outside Aarhus University.

Postdoc
An assessment committee consisting of three to five members at associate professor level or higher must be appointed. As a rule, at least one member of the committee should be from outside Aarhus University.

Researcher
An assessment committee consisting of three to five members at associate professor level or higher must be appointed. As a rule, at least one member of the committee should be from outside Aarhus University.

Assistant professor
An assessment committee consisting of three to five members at associate professor level or higher must be appointed. As a rule, at least one member of the committee should be from outside Aarhus University.

Associate professor/Senior researcher
An assessment committee consisting of three to five members must be appointed. Members of the assessment committee must be at associate professor level or higher. The majority of the assessment committee members must be external members from outside Aarhus University, and the committee should preferably include one or several  international members. The chairman of the assessment committee may be from Aarhus University.

Professors/professors with special responsibilities (MSO)
An assessment committee consisting of three to five members at professor level must be appointed. The number of members may vary depending on the job requirements and the number of applicants. All members of the assessment committee, including the chairman, must be from outside Aarhus University, and the committee should preferably include one or several international members.

2.2.3. Remuneration of the assessment committee

An external chairman of an academic assessment committee may be remunerated with up to DKK 7,500 (in addition to the standard fee). It is up to the head of department, based on the applicable rate, to decide on the size of the remuneration in each specific case in accordance with the current rules.

2.2.4. General

In connection with the composition of the assessment committee, an equal distribution of men and women should be sought.

2.2.5. Specifically for the assessment of employment without prior advertisement

Pursuant to the Ministerial Order on Appointment of Academic Staff at Universities if a foundation, council or non-government grant giver has made at least half of the funding available for the employment of a specific person, who has been appointed by the grant giver in advance, the rector may appoint the person without prior advertisement following a positive academic assessment, cf. section 8.

For appointments in accordance with section 8, the head of department’s recommendation must be supplemented by an academic assessment by one or more relevant expert(s) employed at a level that at least corresponds to the position in question; however, they must be at associate level or above. The head of department does not participate in the academic assessment.

Pursuant to section 9 of the Ministerial Order on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Universities, appointments in all job categories (except professors with special responsibilities) can take place without prior advertisement for employment periods of less than one year - two years for non-Danish professors and associate professors.

For appointments in accordance with section 9, the head of department must enclose an academic assessment by an assessment committee or one or more relevant experts who are employed at a level corresponding to the position in question; however, they must be at associate level or above. The head of department may not participate in the academic assessment.

2.3. Staff involvement

To ensure an efficient and fruitful appointment procedure, the department’s academic staff must be involved in the appointment procedure of academic career-track positions as well as permanent academic positions (see the overview below).

The school’s framework for staff involvement is described in these school guidelines. It is up to the individual departments to fill in the frames where necessary.

  Job type

 

Staff involvement

Fixed-term academic staff positions

(not career-track positions)
 
  • Research assistant
 
  • Postdoc
 
  • Visiting scholars/visiting lecturers
  • Appointments which are exempt from the requirements for job postings pursuant to sections 8 and 9 in the Ministerial Order on Appointment of Academic Staff at Universities.

There is no requirement for staff involvement in the appointment process.

 
Academic career-track positions  
  • Assistant professor
 
  • Researcher
 
  • Tenure track employment
 
  • Associate professorships
 
  • Senior researchers
 
  • Professorships (MSO)
 

There is a requirement for staff involvement in the entire appointment process

2.3.1. Competency and confidentiality in relation to staff involvement

The provisions of disqualification concerning the composition of the assessment committee are also applied in connection with staff involvement in the entire appointment process. In specific cases, the competency requirements may even be extended. This means that a person is not allowed be involved in a specific appointment process if he or she has specific personal or financial interests, including family relations, friendships or enmities, or any professional relations which are deemed incompatible with the specific involvement.

Furthermore, confidentiality is extremely relevant in connection with the staff involvement process as the employees will gain insight into confidential information and specific appointment cases.

 

2.3.2. Staff involvement in relation to advertised positions

Prior to advertising academic positions (permanent positions and career-track positions), the department management team must consult with the department's associate professors, senior researchers and professors – or a representative subgroup of these – regarding the position(s) to be advertised.

Proper staff involvement requires that the staff is allowed to participate. This may be in the form of meetings in which participants discuss the collected plan for the department’s job postings in accordance with the department’s appointment strategy, and where all, or a representative subgroup, are present or have the opportunity to be present. In some cases, it may be sufficient to consult with the group in question via email. This is subject to individual assessment.

 

2.3.3. Staff involvement in the appointment of appointment committees

As a rule, the head of department may choose to appoint an actual appointment committee in connection with the specific recruitment. In such cases, the department management team must consult with a group of peers among the department’s permanent academic staff on the composition of the committee. An academic group of peers is defined as a group of employees at associate professor or professor level. When filling positions at professor level, including the exceptional cases in which professors are employed in fixed-term positions and as professors with special responsibilities (MSO), the academic group consists solely of staff at professor level.

The head of department chairs the appointment committee and is also responsible for composing the internal appointment committee, which advises the head of department on the specific selection of applicants.

If shortlisting is applied in the appointment procedure, an appointment committee must always be appointed. The appointment committee must be appointed after the application deadline has expired and before the academic assessment committee has been appointed.

 

2.3.4. Staff involvement in the appointment of assessment committees

Before appointing the assessment committee, the department management team must consult with a group of peers among the department’s permanent academic staff. An academic group of peers is defined as a group of employees at associate professor or professor level. When filling positions at professor level, including the exceptional cases in which professors are employed in fixed-term positions and as professors with special responsibilities (MSO), the academic group consists solely of staff at professor level.

The head of department is responsible for selecting relevant employees who are able to assist the department management team and offer the academic knowledge necessary for ensuring the quality of the academic assessment. This includes ensuring a relevant composition of the assessment team and that the competences and qualifications of the assessors match the advertised position in question.

The department management team is responsible for assessing the scope of the staff involvement, e.g. the number of peers involved.

Internal applicants are not allowed to be part of the academic group of peers nor are members of the department management team.

2.3.5 Staff involvement in the selection of candidates

Before the head of department asks the dean/vice-dean to accept a recommendation for appointment, the department management team must consult with a relevant group of peers among the department’s permanent academic staff.

A relevant group of peers is defined as a small group of employees - approximately one to three persons - who are legally competent. The department management team and the group of employees have a duty of confidentiality in relation to the applicants.

The head of department is responsible for selecting relevant employees who are able to assist the department management team and offer the academic knowledge necessary for ensuring the quality in the selection of employees, who may contribute to fulfilling the department strategy and the development of the academic area in question.

The department management team is responsible for assessing the scope of the staff involvement, e.g. the number of peers involved.

Internal applicants are not allowed to be part of the academic group of peers. Members of the assessment committee in question are not allowed to be part of the group of peers.

3. Appointment procedure - academic assessment of all applicants

3.1. Delegation

The dean is responsible for recruiting staff at Aarhus BSS and for ensuring that the ongoing recruitment is in accordance with applicable laws, rules and regulations. The dean must ensure that the assessment of the suitability of the candidates for the advertised position(s) takes place in accordance with the applicable rules and quality targets, and he or she decides whether to accept the recommendation for appointment. The dean may fully or partially delegate the above competence to a vice-dean.

In addition, the dean has delegated the recruitment authority to the head of department in accordance with these school guidelines.

For positions at associate professor level, shortlisting may be applied in the specific appointment procedure. This is done if a large number of applications are expected and if shortlisting may thus contribute to simplifying the specific recruitment process.

Shortlisting means that an appointment committee (assisted by the chair of the academic assessment committee) advises the head of department on which applicants are the best matches for the department and school’s recruitment needs and possess the required qualifications and competences in relation to the listed criteria.

On this basis, the head of department shortlists selected applicants for a thorough academic assessment made by the academic assessment committee.

The purpose of shortlisting is to ensure a faster recruitment process as only shortlisted applicants will go through to the thorough academic assessment.

The decision to apply shortlisting must be made before the specific position is advertised after which the appointment procedure follows the school’s established shortlisting procedure. Consult section 4 in these guidelines for more information.

Ongoing quality and legality checks will be carried out during the appointment process.

3.2. Job postings

In accordance with the department’s appointment strategy/job position plans, the department management team decides which job to advertise. This decision is made within the framework of the approved budget of the department and on the basis of the scheduled budget meetings with BSS Finance and BSS-HR.

The advertisement must be developed in accordance with the school guidelines. Thus, the advertisement must include a list of the appendices which must be included in the application (see more in section 3.3. on the registration of applications).

3.2.1. Fixed-term academic staff positions (not career-track positions)

It is up to the department management team to advertise fixed-term academic positions (not career-track positions). These include research assistants, postdocs as well as visiting scholars/visiting lecturers. These types of positions do not require staff involvement prior to the job posting.

Reference is made to section 3.2.2 below, which concerns the posting of academic career-track positions.

Checklist

  • The department management team prepares the academic content of the job advertisement. The advertisement must state whether it is a fixed-term position.
  • The wording of the job advertisement is submitted to BSS-HR, which offers advice on the formal requirements of the advertisement, media choice, schedule for the total appointment process, etc.
  • BSS-HR proofreads the wording of the job advertisement and incorporates it into PeopleXS.
  • Via PeopleXS, BSS-HR sends the wording of the job advertisement for a final approval with the head of department.
  • The head of department informs BSS-HR of who should have access to the management portal.
  • Following the approval by the head of department, BSS-HR publishes the job advertisement in the selected media channels, which must always include the university website and jobnet.dk.
  • BSS-HR gives the head of department and other relevant parties access to the management portal.
  • The department management team starts contemplating the composition of the assessment committee.

3.2.2. Academic career-track positions

Before initiating a posting of academic career-track positions (assistant professor, researcher, tenure-track positions, senior researcher, associate professor, professor with special responsibilities (MSO)), the department management team must consult with the department’s tenured associate professors, senior researchers and professors or a representative subgroup of these.

Staff involvement in connection with the posting of academic positions may take place at the scheduled staff meetings, which are held at least twice a year, and where a collected plan for the department’s job postings in accordance with the appointment strategy/job position plans is presented and discussed. In exceptional cases, postings may be presented separately if the department management team finds it necessary. There must still be a proper opportunity for participation, and an informative email is not sufficient. It is up to the department to determine the specific process for local staff involvement. See also section 2.3.2. regarding staff involvement in job postings.

Assistant professorships may be either fixed-term or permanent in accordance with the guidelines for tenure track-positions (see appendix 2 on tenure track and Job Structure).

Positions as associate professors/senior researchers and professors are usually permanent. In exceptional cases, the position may be fixed-term, e.g. when appointing visiting associate professors/visiting professors or in connection with specific projects (cf. the Job Structure). This must be determined before the advertisement is published.

Checklist

  • The department management team prepares a suggestion for the academic content of the job advertisement.
  • The department management team must consult with the department's associate professors, senior researchers and professors – or a representative subgroup of these (see above in section 2.3 on staff involvement).
  • The wording of the job advertisement is then submitted to BSS-HR.
  • BSS-HR offers advice on the formal requirements of the advertisement, media choice, schedule for the entire appointment process, etc. As a rule, professorships must be advertised internationally.
  • In the exceptional case of a fixed-term position being advertised in connection with the advertised permanent position, this must be stated in the advertisement.
  • BSS-HR proofreads the wording of the job advertisement and incorporates it into PeopleXS.
  • Through PeopleXS, BSS-HR sends the wording of the job advertisement for a final approval with the dean/vice-dean and the head of department. The dean/vice-dean and the head of department must approve the wording prior to the advertisement being published.
  • The head of department informs BSS-HR of who should have access to the management portal.
  • Following the final approval, BSS-HR publishes the job advertisement in the selected media channels, which must always include the university website and jobnet.dk.
  • BSS-HR gives the head of department and other relevant parties access to the management portal.
  • The department management team starts contemplating the composition of the assessment committee.

3.3. Registration of applications and supplementary material

Applications, along with supplementary material, must be submitted electronically via a link in the job advertisement to BSS-HR (PeopleXS). Material that cannot be uploaded must be submitted to BSS-HR in hard copy.

BSS-HR submits a confirmation to the applicant via PeopleXS upon receiving the application and any other material submitted in hard copy. In the confirmation, the applicant is asked to confirm his or her own application material via a link.

The application material must include a personal statement, CV and exam certificates. In addition, the applicant must attach a list of publications. For positions at professor level, the applicant may attach up to 10 publications; up to five publications for positions at associate professor level and up to three publications for positions at assistant professor, postdoc and research assistant level. Only the attached publications will be assessed by the assessment committee. In addition, the applicant must enclose a co-author statement and a teaching portfolio documenting the applicant’s teaching and pedagogical qualifications.

3.4. Appointment of assessment committees

After the deadline for application has expired, BSS-HR, through PeopleXS, will ask the head of department to submit a proposal for the composition of the assessment committee, which should include the appointment of a chairman.

The department management team appoints the assessment committee according to the school's guidelines for the appointment of assessment committees (see this VIP Policy).

Checklist

  • Before the assessment committee is appointed, the department management team must consult with a group of peers among the department’s permanent academic staff (see section 2.3.4.). This is not required in relation to postings and appointments of research assistants and postdocs.
  • Subsequently and through PeopleXS, the head of department forwards the names and CVs/link to the CVs of the members of the assessment committee to BSS-HR.
  • BSS-HR forwards the proposal for the composition of the assessment committee for approval with the dean/vice-dean with a four day deadline for answering .
  • Subsequently and through PeopleXS, BSS-HR forwards the proposal for the composition of the assessment committee for consultation in the academic council with an four-day consultation deadline. The members’ CVs, the job advertisement as well as all application material are attached. If BSS-HR does not receive comments from the academic council within four days, the process continues.
  • Subsequently, BSS-HR submits information to the applicants through PeopleXS about the composition of the assessment committee and announces the deadline for the completion of the work of the assessment committee. In addition, applicants are informed of the school’s current assessment rules.
  • Through PeopleXS, BSS-HR will send an email to the members of the assessment committee with a link to the advertisement and the applications including all supplementary material that has been submitted.
  • If applicable, BSS-HR will also forward hard copy material to the members of the assessment committee.
  • At the same time and through PeopleXS, the members will receive an email that contains the school’s guidelines for assessment committees as well as a link to relevant guidelines, policies and current rules on assessment and appointments.

The assessment work should proceed according to predetermined deadlines. However, these deadlines may vary depending on the number of applicants for the position in question.

If BSS-HR receives an objection to the composition of the assessment committee from applicants, BSS-HR presents the objection to the head of department and the dean. (Objections may be made according to the Danish Public Administration Act, as the appointment procedure is an administrative act). BSS-HR offers to assist with the case processing.

If the head of department receives any objections, the objection is immediately forwarded to BSS-HR, which takes further measure and involves the dean.

3.5. Assessment

The assessment committee prepares an academic assessment of each applicant. Each academic assessment is entered by the chairman of the committee through an online form in PeopleXS.

Checklist

  • The chairman of the assessment committee informs BSS-HR when the committee has completed its work and has entered all the assessments for each applicant.
  • BSS-HR forwards all assessments to the other members of the assessment committee for validation.
  • BSS-HR performs a legality check and reads through the assessments with a view to ensuring that the formal requirements - including the agreed guidelines and current rules - have been met.
  • As soon as the assessment committee has validated the assessments, BSS-HR submits the assessments to the head of department and the dean/vice-dean, with an eight day deadline for approval. The dean/vice-dean are also informed that the individual assessments will be forwarded to each applicant following the approval.
  • BSS-HR submits the individual assessment to the applicant in question (consultation, eight days).
  • BSS-HR asks the head of department to forward a recommendation for appointment (employee registration system).
  • BSS-HR is responsible for settling the fee for the assessment committee pursuant to current rules and guidelines.

Should BSS-HR receive objections from applicants regarding the nature of the assessment, BSS-HR will ask the assessment committee to compose a statement. The head of department and the dean are notified about the matter at hand, and an agreement is made regarding the procedure to be followed.

If the head of department receives objections, including objections regarding the assessment committee’s evaluation of the complainant’s qualifications, the objection is forwarded to BSS-HR, which takes further measure and involves the dean.

3.6. Selection and interviews

The department management team decides on the selection of candidates for job interviews and conducts these once the assessments have been received. Here, the head of department can call upon the advise of an internal appointment committee (not the academic assessment committee). The applicant may also be asked to give a test lecture before the appointment is recommended. The dean/vice-dean may also participate in the job interviews in relation to the appointment of professorships.

3.7. Recommendation for appointment

3.7.1. Fixed-term academic staff positions (not career-track positions)

When appointing research assistants, the head of department makes the final decision. This applies regardless of whether the position was advertised or whether it was exempt from the requirements for job postings pursuant to sections 8 and 9 in the Ministerial Order on Appointment of Academic Staff at Universities. A signed recommendation form is forwarded to BSS-HR, which is responsible for handling the case.

When appointing postdocs, the recommendation of the head of department must be approved by the dean/vice-dean. This applies regardless of whether the position was posted or whether it was exempt from the requirements for job postings pursuant to sections 8 and 9 in the Ministerial Order on Appointment of Academic Staff at Universities.

3.7.2. Academic career-track positions

All recommendations for appointments of academic staff in career-track positions as well as in the positions of associate professors, senior researchers and professors must be accepted by the dean. This applies regardless of whether the position was advertised or whether it was exempt from the requirements for job postings pursuant to sections 8 and 9 in the Ministerial Order on Appointment of Academic Staff at Universities. BSS-HR is responsible for obtaining the dean’s acceptance of the appointment.

Checklist

  • Before submitting a recommendation for an appointment to the dean, the department management team must consult with a relevant group of peers among the department’s permanent academic staff. See section 2.3.5. on staff involvement.
  • The head of department subsequently informs BSS-HR the name(s) of the applicant(s) recommended for appointment (employment registration system).
  • Along with the recommendation, the head of department must also - as a minimum - submit a short memo on the department’s staff involvement process in connection with the selection, including information on the composition of the group and possible comments or reservations.
  • BSS-HR is responsible for forwarding the recommendation and the memo on staff involvement to the dean/vice-dean for acceptance.

Applicants are entitled to being informed of the names of the people (head of department and dean/vice-dean) who have participated in making the decision on the appointment.

Applicants are also entitled to being informed of the names of the people who have had a consultative role in the appointment process. This means that applicants (upon request) are entitled to receive a copy of the memo on staff involvement as well as the names of members of the appointment committee.

3.8. Offer of employment

When the head of department has made the final decision to appoint a candidate, and the appointment has been accepted by the dean/vice-dean, the head of department informs the chosen candidate that he/she is offered employment and that the letter of appointment will be drawn up as soon as possible.

Checklist

  • The head of department discusses the pay level with BSS-HR before the pay negotiations.
  • BSS-HR assists in pay negotiations in relation to the appointment and subsequently contacts the relevant union representative and executive pay negotiator (or the trade union).
  • When the chosen candidate has agreed to the appointment, the head of department informs any internal applicants as well as applicants who were called for an interview that their applications were rejected.
  • BSS-HR submits the letter of appointment to the candidate in question.
  • BSS-HR submits rejection letters to the other applicants through PeopleXS and as agreed with the head of department.

4. Appointment procedure - the use shortlisting before the academic assessment

4.1. Delegation

The dean is responsible for recruiting staff at Aarhus BSS and for ensuring that the ongoing recruitment is in accordance with applicable laws, rules and regulations. The dean must ensure that the assessment of the suitability of the candidates for the advertised position(s) takes place in accordance with the applicable rules and quality targets, and he or she decides whether to accept the recommendation for appointment. The dean may fully or partially delegate the above competence to a vice-dean.

In addition, the dean has delegated the recruitment authority to the head of department in accordance with these school guidelines.

In accordance with the department’s appointment strategy/job position plans, the department management team decides which job to advertise. This decision is made within the framework of the approved budget of the department and on the basis of the scheduled budget meetings with BSS Finance and BSS-HR.

For positions at associate professor level, it may be decided to use shortlisting in the specific appointment procedure. This may be appropriate for positions that are expected to attract a large number of applications. Here shortlisting may contribute to simplifying the process. 

Shortlisting means that an appointment committee (assisted by the chair of the academic assessment committee) advises the head of department on which applicants are the best overall matches for the department and the school’s recruitment needs and possess the required qualifications, competences, experiences and potentials - and meet the school’s criteria for appointment in positions at associate professor level (see the school’s guidelines for assessment committees, which include the criteria for assessing applicants for academic positions). On this basis, the head of department shortlists selected applicants for a thorough academic assessment made by the academic assessment committee.

The decision to apply shortlisting must be made before the specific position is advertised after which the appointment procedure follows the school’s established shortlisting procedure (cf below).

Ongoing quality and legality checks will be carried out during the appointment process.

4.2. Job advertisements when using shortlisting

The job advertisements must be developed in accordance with the school’s academic job advertisement concept.

When shortlisting is used, this must be clearly stated in the advertisement. In addition, it must be clearly stated what criteria form the basis for selecting the applicants to be assessed by an academic assessment committee. This is necessary to ensure that all applicants are treated equally through a transparent and professionally handled recruitment process. The requirements in the job advertisement must thus provide the basis for shortlisting as well as for the assessment and final recommendation regarding employment and must therefore be considered very carefully.

Positions as associate professors/senior researchers are usually permanent. In exceptional cases, the position may be fixed-term, e.g. when appointing visiting associate professors/visiting professors or in connection with specific projects (cf. the Job Structure). This must be determined before the advertisement is published.

Before initiating a posting of the position, the department management team must consult with the department’s tenured associate professors, senior researchers and professors or a representative subgroup of these in the same way as in for other appointments processes (cf section 2.3. on staff involvement).

Staff involvement in connection with the posting of academic positions may take place at the scheduled staff meetings, which are held at least twice a year, and where a collected plan for the department’s job postings in accordance with the appointment strategy/job position plans is presented and discussed. In exceptional cases, postings may be presented separately if the department management team finds it necessary. There must still be a proper opportunity for participation, and an informative email is not sufficient. It is up to the department to determine the specific process for local staff involvement. See also section 2.3.2. regarding staff involvement in job postings.

Checklist

  • The department management team prepares a suggestion for the academic content of the job advertisement.
  • The department management team must consult with the department's associate professors, senior researchers and professors – or a representative subgroup of these (see above in section 2.3 on staff involvement).
  • Subsequently, the wording of the job advertisement must be submitted to BSS-HR who ensures that the advertisement duly describes the use of shortlisting in the appointment procedure.
  • BSS-HR offers advice on the formal requirements of the advertisement, media choice, schedule of the entire appointment process, etc.
  • BSS-HR proofreads the wording of the job advertisement and incorporates it into PeopleXS.
  • Through PeopleXS, BSS-HR sends the wording of the job advertisement for a final approval with the dean/vice-dean and the head of department. The dean/vice-dean and the head of department must approve the wording prior to the advertisement being published.
  • The head of department informs BSS-HR of who should have access to the management portal.
  • Following the final approval, BSS-HR publishes the job advertisement in the selected media channels, which must always include the university website and jobnet.dk.
  • BSS-HR gives the head of department and other relevant parties access to the management portal.
  • The department management team starts contemplating the appointment of the appointment committee and the chairman of the assessment committee, who will act as adviser in connection with shortlisting.
  • In addition, the department management team considers the composition of the assessment committee.

4.3. Registration of applications and supplementary material

Applications, along with supplementary material, must be submitted electronically via a link in the job advertisement to BSS-HR (PeopleXS). Material that cannot be uploaded must be submitted to BSS-HR in hard copy.

BSS-HR submits a confirmation to the applicant via PeopleXS upon receiving the application and any other material submitted in hard copy. In the confirmation, the applicant is asked to qualify the application material via a link. In addition, the applicant is informed of the fact that the procedure for shortlisting is applied.

The application material must include a personal statement, CV and exam certificates. In addition, the applicant must attach a list of publications. For positions at professor level, the applicant may also attach up to 10 publications; up to five publications for positions at associate professor level and up to three publications for positions at assistant professor, postdoc and research assistant level. Only the attached publications will be assessed by the assessment committee. In addition, the applicant must enclose a co-author statement and a teaching portfolio documenting the applicant’s teaching and pedagogical qualifications.

4.4. Appointment of the appointment committee and the chairman of the assessment committee.

After the deadline for application has expired, BSS-HR, through PeopleXS, will ask the head of department to submit a proposal for the appointment of a chairman of the assessment committee. As a rule, the chairman of the assessment committee is from inside the AU.

The head of department is also asked to appoint an appointment committee chaired by the head of department and with the chairman of the assessment committee as a member.

Possible conflicts of interests must be assessed when the appointment committee and the assessment committees are composed.

Checklist - appointment committees

  • When appointing the appointment committee, the head of department must ensure the proper involvement of the department staff by consulting with a group of peers belonging to the departments academic staff members (cf. section 2.3.)
  • The head of department submits the names of the members of the appointment committee to BSS-HR.
  • BSS-HR informs the dean/vice-dean of the names of the members of the appointment committee.

Checklist for the appointment of the chairman of the assessment committee.

  • Before appointing the chairman of the assessment committee, the department management team must consult with a group of peers among the department’s permanent academic staff (see section 2.3.4.).
  • Subsequently and through PeopleXS, the head of department forwards the name and CV/link to the CVs of the chairman of the assessment committee to BSS-HR.
  • BSS-HR forwards the proposal for the chairman of the assessment committee for approval with the dean/vice-dean with a four day deadline for answering along with information about the composition of the appointment committee.
  • Subsequently and through PeopleXS, BSS-HR forwards the proposal for the composition of the assessment committee for consultation in the academic council with an four-day consultation deadline. The chairman’s CV and the job advertisement, but not all application material, must be included. If BSS-HR does not receive comments from the Academic Council within four days, the shortlisting process continues.

4.5. Shortlisting

The appointment committee and the chairman of the assessment committee assists the head of department in connection with the shortlisting of applicants. A thorough academic assessment does not take place, nor are any final decisions made as to whether or not the applicants are actually qualified. The committee only advises the head of department on which applicants the committee believes should go through to the thorough assessment.

The general rule is that a minimum of 10-15 applicants will be shortlisted.

BSS-HR assists with the ongoing administrative quality assurance/self-regulation of the process, including the elimination or selection of applicants that go through to the thorough assessment.

Checklist - shortlisting

  • The head of department informs BSS-HR of which applicants have been shortlisted and have thus been selected for the thorough academic assessment.
  • BSS-HR informs the applicants who have not been shortlisted that they will not go through to the academic assessment. In this connection, the applicants are also informed that no final decision has yet been made and that all applicants will be notified when the recruitment process has ended and the appointment decision has been made. Thus, the notification does not constitute the final rejection letter.

The already appointed chairman of the assessment committee participates in the thorough academic assessment. The head of department appoints the rest of the assessment committee in accordance with the guidelines for the appointment of assessment committees (see these guidelines, cf. below).

4.6. Appointment of the assessment committee

Checklist - assessment committee

  • Before the rest of the assessment committee is appointed, the department management team must consult with a group of peers among the department’s permanent academic staff (see section 2.3.4.).
  • Subsequently and through PeopleXS, the head of department forwards the names and CVs/link to the CVs of the members of the assessment committee to BSS-HR.
  • BSS-HR forwards the proposal for the composition of the assessment committee for approval with the dean/vice-dean with a four day deadline for answering .
  • Subsequently and through PeopleXS, BSS-HR forwards the proposal for the composition of the assessment committee for consultation in the academic council with an four-day consultation deadline. The members’ CVs, the job advertisement as well as all application material from the shortlisted applicants are attached. If BSS-HR does not receive comments from the academic council within four days, the process continues.
  • Via PeopleXS, BSS-HR subsequently informs the shortlisted applicants that they have been chosen for assessment. They are also informed of the composition of the assessment committee and the assessment deadline. In addition, applicants are informed of the school’s current assessment rules.
  • Through PeopleXS, BSS-HR sends an email to the members of the assessment committee with a link to the advertisement and the applications including all supplementary material that have been submitted by the shortlisted applicants.
  • If applicable, BSS-HR will also forward hard copy material to the members of the assessment committee.
  • At the same time and through PeopleXS, the members will receive an email that contains the school’s guidelines for assessment committees as well as a link to relevant guidelines, policies and current rules on assessment and appointments.

4.7. Assessment

The assessment committee prepares an academic assessment of each shortlisted applicant. Each academic assessment is entered by the chairman of the committee through an online form in PeopleXS.

Checklist

  • The chairman of the assessment committee informs BSS-HR when the committee has completed its work and has entered all the assessments for each applicant.
  • BSS-HR forwards all assessments to the other members of the assessment committee for validation.
  • BSS-HR performs a legality check and reads through the assessments with a view to ensuring that the formal requirements - including the agreed guidelines and current rules - have been met.
  • As soon as the assessment committee has validated the assessments, BSS-HR submits the assessments to the head of department and the dean/vice-dean, with an eight day deadline for approval. The dean/vice-dean are also informed that the individual assessments will be forwarded to each applicant following the approval.
  • BSS-HR submits the individual assessment to the applicant in question (consultation, eight days).
  • BSS-HR asks the head of department to forward a recommendation for appointment (employee registration system).
  • BSS-HR is responsible for settling the fee for the assessment committee pursuant to current rules and guidelines.

Should BSS-HR receive objections from applicants regarding the nature of the assessment, BSS-HR will ask the assessment committee to compose a statement. The head of department and the dean are notified about the matter at hand, and an agreement is made regarding the procedure to be followed.

If the head of department receives objections, including objections regarding the assessment committee’s evaluation of the complainant’s qualifications, the objection is forwarded to BSS-HR, which takes further measure and involves the dean.

4.8. Selection and interviews

The department management team decides on the selection of candidates for job interviews and conducts these once the assessments have been received. Here, the department head may call upon the advice of the appointment committee. The applicant may also be asked to give a test lecture before the appointment is recommended. The dean/vice-dean may also participate in the job interviews in relation to the appointment of professorships.

4.9. Recommendation for appointment

All recommendations for appointments in positions on associate professor level must be approved by the dean. This also applies when shortlisting has been used in the process. BSS-HR is responsible for obtaining the dean’s acceptance of the appointment.

Checklist

  • Before submitting a recommendation for an appointment to the dean, the department management team must consult with a relevant group of peers among the department’s permanent academic staff. Please see section 2.3.4 on staff involvement.
  • The head of department subsequently informs BSS-HR of the appointment and must also - as a minimum - submit a short memo on the department’s staff involvement process in connection with the selection, including information on the composition of the group and possible comments or reservations.
  • BSS-HR is responsible for forwarding the recommendation and the memo on staff involvement to the dean/vice-dean for acceptance.

Applicants are entitled to being informed of the names of the people (head of department and dean/vice-dean) who have participated in making the decision on the appointment.

Applicants are also entitled to being informed of the names of the people who have had a consultative role in the appointment process. This means that applicants (upon request) are entitled to receive a copy of the memo on staff involvement as well as the names of the members of the appointment committee.

4.10. Offer of employment

When the head of department has made the final decision to appoint a candidate, and the appointment has been accepted by the dean/vice-dean, the head of department informs the chosen candidate that he/she is offered employment and that the letter of appointment will be drawn up as soon as possible.

Checklist

  • The head of department discusses the pay level with BSS-HR before the pay negotiations.
  • BSS-HR assists in pay negotiations in relation to the appointment and subsequently contacts the relevant union representative and executive pay negotiator (or the trade union).
  • When the chosen candidate has agreed to the appointment, the head of department informs any internal applicants as well as applicants who were called for an interview that their applications were rejected.
  • BSS-HR submits the letter of appointment to the candidate in question.

BSS-HR submits rejection letters to the other applicants through PeopleXS and as agreed with the head of department. Letters must be submitted to both shortlisted and non-shortlisted applicants.

5.  Periods of employment, reappointment and extensions

5.1. Periods of employment for fixed-term positions

Research assistant
Research assistant positions may be filled for a period of up to three years. Re-appointments may take place, but employment as a research assistant may be no more than three years.

Postdoc
The postdoc position is a three-year fixed-term employment. As a rule, a postdoc position at Aarhus BSS is advertised as a three-year fixed-term employment. Employment as postdoc must not exceed four years in total. The position as postdoc does not in itself qualify the employee for an associate professorship. In connection with the appointment of a postdoc at Aarhus BSS, the employee should always be offered additional pedagogical training as the position entails teaching to a limited extent.

Assistant professor
The assistant professorship is normally a three-year fixed-term employment. As a rule, employment as assistant professor at Aarhus BSS must not exceed four years.

However, assistant professors may also be employed in permanent positions (tenure track positions) in which the employee, following a positive academic assessment, transitions to an associate professorship before the end of the fifth year of employment. See the separate guidelines for tenure track employment in appendix 2.

Please note that, as a rule, employment as postdoc and assistant professor at Aarhus BSS must not exceed six years in total. Please note that special rules apply for extensions, cf. the Ministerial Order on Appointment of Academic Staff at Universities as well as the Act on Fixed-Term Employment.

Professor with special responsibilities (MSO)
At Aarhus BSS, the position of professor with special responsibilities (MSO) is normally a five-year fixed-term employment. Appointment of professors with special responsibilities (MSO) at Aarhus BSS may only be extended under extraordinary circumstances. In such cases, the extension may only be up to three years. Therefore, the employee should be encouraged to apply for and achieve permanent tenure as professor within the relevant research area before the position expires or within the five-year period of employment.

Professor (fixed-term)
In exceptional cases, professors may be appointed in fixed-term positions of up to five years. The fixed-term appointment may only be extended under extraordinary circumstances. Therefore, the employee should be encouraged to apply for and achieve permanent tenure as professor within the relevant research area before the position expires or within the five-year period of employment.

5.2.  Extension of fixed-term employment

Extensions are possible on the condition that they do not conflict with the legislation concerning fixed-term employment. Accordingly, renewal of successive fixed-term employment contracts can only take place twice. If the employee is appointed another position (e.g. a postdoc who is appointed a position as assistant professor, or an assistant professor appointed an associate professorship), the employee is not, as such, being re-employed; rather, he/she is appointed a new position.

Pursuant to section 9 in the Ministerial Order on Appointment of Academic Staff at Universities, employment can be renewed (extended) for a period of up to one year without prior advertisement, but following a new academic assessment. If the total period of employment including the extension exceeds two years - three years for non-Danish professors and associate professors - the position must be advertised, and an assessment committee must be appointed pursuant to the current rules.

6. Additional requirements

6.1. Changes to the existing terms of employment, etc.

Applications for changing the existing terms of employment (termination of employment, leave of absence, changes in working hours, etc.) should be submitted to BSS-HR and include the recommendation from the head of department. Please note that special rules apply in the case of leave of absence and senior agreement which may require approval from the dean.

The department’s recommendations for compulsory changes (including compulsory redundancies as well as significant changes in job descriptions) should likewise be submitted to BSS-HR and presented to the dean.

The head of department makes decisions regarding changes in the terms of employment, if these do not as such affect the employee’s position (e.g. decisions regarding temporary stays abroad and teaching exemptions). Decisions are made in accordance with the University Act and rector’s delegation provisions.

6.2. Other

BSS-HR is responsible for registering the necessary information in AUHRA and HR Payroll and for filing the relevant case documents with the personnel case.

Expenses in connection with the appointment (advertisement expenses, fees and official travel expenses) are to be paid by the department.