New appointments procedure

1 March 2018

The new appointments procedure for teachers and lecturers at Umeå University – valid from 1 April 2018 – means that permanent posts as a biträdande universitetslektor (associate senior lecturer) will be replaced with a fixed-term employment as biträdande universitetslektor for 4–6 years. New employments as forskarassistent (research fellow) will no longer be possible. Both these changes are due to revisions in the Higher Education Ordinance.

"The new appointments procedure has come about as a result of the revised national Higher Education Ordinance, when it comes to associate lectureships," says Lars Nordlander, head of the Office for Human Resources at Umeå University.

According to the Higher Education Ordinance, the University Board should decide on an appointments procedure regulating teaching categories, qualification criteria and basis of assessment in recruitment, promotion and special procedures. The appointments procedure concretizes the regulations laid down in the Higher Education Ordinance and in the Higher Education Act. In addition, teaching positions are also regulated in central and local collective agreements. Additional regulations can also be found in University steering documents.

The revision in the appointments procedure has for instance included rewordings and linguistic changes. Although, a more noticeable change is that the employment for the position as forskarassistent (postdoctoral research fellow or research associate) will no longer be available for new recruitments.

When it comes to researchers, there is a new wording regarding the purpose of employment, which is to attract and create opportunities for researchers of strategic importance for the operations. The basis for employment should be external research funding directly tied to the applicant.

Employing an universitetsadjunkt (lecturer) should occur when the operations are in need of the specific professional expertise. Furthermore, the wording regarding promotions from universitetsadjunkt (lecturer or university lecturer) to universitetslektor (senior lecturer/associate professor) has changed so that those who have a permanent post as a lecturer from 1 April 2018, and who complete their doctoral level qualification, could be given the chance to apply and be tried for promotion to senior lecturer if the needs and conditions for the operations allow such a promotion.

Acquisition of qualifications

A hot potato in the discussions about the new appointments procedure has been the new type of position for acquisition of qualifications (merits) – associate senior lectureship – that forms a bridge between a postdoctoral position and a lectureship. According to the new appointments procedure, an employment as a biträdande universitetslektor (associate senior lecturer) should first and foremost be aimed at scientific acquisition of qualifications, the remaining time should be aimed at educational acquisition of qualifications. The minimum time frame for scientific acquisition of qualifications and employment (4–6 years) should be stipulated before the position is advertised.

To be employed as an associate senior lecturer, employees must have completed their doctoral level qualification no longer than five years before point of application according to changes in the Higher Education Ordinance.

The consideration for the new appointments procedure has been administered by faculties, the University Administration, the University Library, Umeå School of Education (USE), the student unions and trade unions. Revisions have taken place after submission of considerations in collaboration with the University Management, faculty managements and the working team. Running collaborations with trade unions have also taken place.

The changes in the Higher Education Ordinance apply from 1 April 2018 when the new Higher Education Ordinance takes effect.

For more information, please contact:

Lars Nordlander
Head of the Office for Human Resources

Ann-Christin Edlund
Deputy Head of Human Resources

Ebba Moritz
Development Consultant

Text: Mattias Grundström Mitz
Translation: Anna Lawrence

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