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Researcher career track recruitment and promotion procedures

Figure 1 (below) presents the researcher career track at Laurea University of Applied Sciences. The positions within the researcher career track are researcher (level 1), senior researcher (level 2), and principal researcher (level 3).

Research career track
Figure 1 Researcher career track

Recruitment is done flexibly for career level 1 or 2. A person's first employment on the researcher career track is fixed-term and lasts 2-4 years at career level 1 or 3-4 years at career level 2.

The researcher career track recruitment process

Positions are open for application for at least two weeks. The applicants are asked to attach a curriculum vitae in accordance with the model of the The Finnish National Board on Research Integrity TENK, and a list of publications. Applicants are also requested to list up to five top publications and to list their experience in obtaining RDI funding. The materials attached with the open position describe the Researcher career track recruitment and promotion procedures at Laurea also mentioning that the selection includes an external evaluation and that the top applicants are made aware of the names of the other top applicants.

Prerequisites for recruitment (all need to be met):

•    Area of expertise suitable for the open position and the areas of expertise at Laurea

•    Preliminary evidence of obtaining external financing

•    Academic publishing

•    Doctoral degree, when recruiting for level 1 / Docent level or equivalent merits (demonstrates research publications at least to the extent of two doctoral theses from the field of study), when recruiting for level 2

A researcher career track recruitment committee is set up for recruitment. The same task force will later do the promotion assessment, if possible. The committee is chaired by the head of the unit, and its members are the vice president (RDI), the director of the research programme and 1-2 people from Laurea with academic merits. Members must have a doctorate. HR specialist acts as the secretary of the committee. The committee may consult experts as necessary.

The committee interviews the best candidates, via an online if necessary, and selects the top candidates for external assessment. Typically the top three candidates are  selected for assessment. The committee requests external impartial experts with academic merits as reviewers. Two or three of these assessments are required for the recruitment. The committee informs the reviewer about the level (level 1 or 2) each candidate is assessed for, and the reviewer assesses the applicant in relation to that level.

The reviewer is asked to assess the applicant’s future potential and merits using a form provided by Laurea, and to rank the applicants. The reviewers are informed that the assessment is given to the assessed applicants. Reviewers are asked to weigh 70% of future potential and 30% of merits in their assessment.
After receiving the assessments and discussing them with the committee, the chair makes the recruitment decision at his / her overall discretion.

The researcher career track promotion process

A promotion assessment is made before the end of the fixed-term employment. After fulfilling the criteria, a person may request a promotion assessment also before the end of the fixed-term employment, however, not earlier than 6 months after being appointed to the previous level. After being promoted on the research track, the employment is permanent (on level 2 or 3, depending on whether the person has entered the researcher career track on level 1 or 2). If a person's promotion assessment is rejected, his or her employment will end at the end of the fixed-term employment.

If a person has been promoted from level 1 to level 2, and is in a permanent position at level 2, he or she may request a promotion assessment once the criteria have been met. If a person's promotion assessment is rejected, he or she will remain on level 2. He or she may request a new promotion assessment no earlier than two years after the previous assessment.

Criteria for advancing from career level 1 to career level 2 (all need to be met):

  •    Docent level or equivalent merits (demonstrates research publications at least to the extent of two doctoral theses from the field of study)
  •    RDI funding acquired for Laurea € 200,000 / year
  •    Supervised completed theses of Laurea students, 3 pcs / year

Criteria for advancing from career level 2 to career level 3 (all need to be met):  

  • Active and impactful academic peer-reviewed publishing on prestigious international academic forums
  • RDI funding acquired for Laurea € 300,000 / year
  • Supervised completed theses of Laurea students 5 pcs / year


The assessment committee, similar to recruitment committee, states that the criteria have been met on the basis of the documentation provided by the applicant and Laurea. In addition, the committee requests external independent experts with academic merits as reviewers, who will be asked for an assessment to support the guidance of the researcher and the decision-making about the promotion. The reviewer is asked to assess the researcher’s merits, especially while on researcher career track, and future potential, using a form provided by Laurea. Two or three evaluation statements are required for the promotion assessment. After receiving the assessments and discussing them with the committee, the chair makes the promotion decision.

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