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Associate professor

An associate professor position at the Faculty of Natural Sciences is a senior position. Here you will find information on how you can continually develop your career and skill set with respect to both research, supervision, and education.

Scientific position: Associate Professor

An associate professor position is a senior and by default a time-unlimited position, with research and research-based education as main responsibilities.

  • Associate professors are fully independent researchers, and they usually lead their own research unit including supervision of PhD students and postdocs.
  • Associate professors independently teach and examine their students. They cooperate with colleagues and students in developing new courses and educational programmes.

What is an associate professor position?

Most often an associate professor has extended experience from international scientific environments before entering the position, and many of them collaborate with private companies or engage in entrepreneurial activities. Compared to a professor position, an associate professor position typically involves fewer and less heavy management tasks, and the entry requirements, in particular with respect to leadership in research and education, are lower. The Faculty of Natural Sciences uses this set of criteria to assess candidates for an associate professor position. Read the ABC-criteria.

We support associate professors in developing their skills and career opportunities. This includes a leadership programme for research managers, training with respect to coordinating major EU grant applications, support for spin-out activities, and more. Besides, a selected small group of associate professors enrols in the professor promotion programme every year. Read about the promotion programme on this page.

What does it take?

Our ABC-criteria describe the entry criteria that the Faculty of Natural Sciences uses when assessing candidates for different types of scientific positions. First and foremost, it is an invitation to dialogue between a (potential) candidate for a position, and the department in question.

Programmes for senior researchers

As a senior researcher at the Faculty of Natural Sciences you have acces to specialised programmes dedicated to developing your skills as a leader, research manager, and teacher.

Access the Vitae career tools

Vitae is a career platform containing advice and knowledge on developing as a researcer and how to support or supervise others in their career.  Aarhus University is a member of the Vitae Community, so all AU researchers have access to the full suite of online resources. 

Sign in and register to Vitae with your AU institutional email domain, and you will have unlimited use of professional development and training materials.

Programme for promotion to professor at the Faculty of Natural Sciences

As an associate professor or senior researcher, you may be selected to join the programme for promotion to professor. Read about the purpose of the programme and how to be considered for the programme. The material may also serve to clarify the career path to a professorship and to support career dialogue, for example during a Staff Development Dialogue (SDD).

Read more about the programme

Our programme for promotion to professor is a career development programme. The purpose of the programme is to offer particularly talented candidates an opportunity to participate in a programme for promotion to professor. The programme can be used when a particularly talented associate professor or senior researcher is expected to develop his or her potential to meet the recruitment criteria at professor level, and where the promotion programme is expected to have a positive influence on the candidate’s career development. The programme typically has a duration of between three and five years.

The decision regarding selection and whether the promotion programme is to be applied depends on a specific assessment of the candidate's documented qualifications and potential for development, focusing particularly on:

  • Leadership skills within both education and research, i.a. through development of well-functioning academic collegial environments
  • Ability to establish, innovate or expand a field of research
  • Highly cited research publications in leading publication channels within the candidate’s field
  • Teaching activities and development of new research-based teaching, methods, courses and PhD education
  • Ability to promote and develop the career of younger colleagues, both regarding education and research
  • Involvement in councils or committees, journal editing, and the like
  • Ability to disseminate knowledge to the general public, and to collaborate with industry or the public sector

The final assessment of the candidate will be in accordance with the ABC criteria at the faculty. The candidate is expected to fulfil all the "A" criteria within the agreed time frame.  

Selection for the promotion programme takes place at department-level and is closely linked with the department's other appointments and employment planning. Each department will consider candidates based on their documented extraordinary academic initiatives and results. Considerations should also cover how the best qualified candidates can contribute to the strategic and long-term goals of the department to strengthen e.g. professional knowledge, diversity, research, education and collaboration.

Based on a recommendation from the head of department, the dean will make the final selection of candidates for the promotion programme. Especially regarding associate professors/senior researchers who are already employed, the candidate talks to the head of department about promotion opportunities in connection with SDD. The head of department's recommendation of candidates to the dean is supported by the department's promotion committee.

Find more information here.