General guidelines
Requirements for appointment to docent
Expert assessment
The docent evaluation group
Decision by the Dean

1. General guidelines

Anyone with a PhD or equivalent competence and the required research and pedagogical expertise is qualified for promotion to docent. In order to be accepted, applicants must have documented independent research and teaching expertise, and possess a research expertise that far exceeds the requirements for a PhD.
The Faculty only accepts docents if it benefits the Faculty’s research and education. This means that applicants do not have an unconditional right to be accepted, even if they are qualified.

The benefit may be that the docent, considering his/her expertise, accessibility and suitability, could be appointed as a teacher and supervisor in third-cycle education, as an opponent at PhD defence seminars, as a member of the examination committee, as a teacher in first or second-cycle education, or in other central activities at the Faculty.

An applicant who recently has been promoted from assistant professor (biträdande lector) to associated professor (universitetslektor) or recently was recruited as an associated professor, can apply to be appointed to docent with a simplified application procedure. This means that the docent board make use of existing external reviewer reports for evaluation of scientific expertise and relies on the evaluations of pedagogical expertise made by the promotion board or the recruitment board.

2. Requirements for appointment to docent

To be appointed to docent, the candidate must have a documented ability to conduct independent research, pedagogic skills and a documented experience in communicating scientific results to non-experts. Independence as a researcher is documented by, for example, being corresponding author, and having published without the supervisors from the doctoral and post-doctoral period. Having started an own line of research, having attracted research grants for the research as a main applicant, and have at least 1 year experience as main supervisor for degree project, PhD student or post-doctoral fellow.

To be appointed to docent at the Faculty, the candidate must have strong and broad academic qualifications in science, mathematics, or pedagogy within these fields, and be of obvious benefit to research and education in this field.
The scientific production should, both in terms of quantity and quality substantially exceed the requirements for a PhD degree. The research publications should have been published in reputable, international peer-reviewed journals, or equivalent.

The pedagogical expertise and qualifications include active experience from first, second and third-cycle education and may, in addition to direct teaching, comprise course development, supervision and popular-science information.

The candidate must have completed the Centre for Advancement of University Teaching’s course Research supervision – theory and practice or equivalent, before an docent certificate is issued.

Docents are only appointed for subjects related to the Faculty’s third-cycle programmes, unless there are special circumstances.

3. Application

An application to “be appointed to docent in /subject/” should be submitted to the Faculty of Science and sent to Registratorskontoret, Stockholms universitet, 106 91 Stockholm. The application and all documentation (not publications) should also be sent as a PDF file to the administrator at the Faculty Office.

The application should follow the structure listed below and will be handled when it is complete.

A. Curriculum Vitae (maximum 3 pages)

The CV should include information about PhD degree and post-doctoral studies, including names of your supervisors and later positions. List your external grants, invited conferences and other scientific achievements.

B. Publication list

A chronological list of academic publications. It should be clear which publications have been accepted by peer-reviewed international journals.

For all publications with more than one author, the applicant’s contribution should be described. It should be specified which publications that were part of the doctoral thesis, as well as who the supervisor(s) was/were.

A list of maximum 10 publications that form the basis for the assessment must also be stated. Publications that have been a part of the doctoral thesis cannot be part of the list.

C. Pedagogical qualifications

State your experience of supervision of students, PhD-students and post doctors. Describe your experience of teaching in first-, second- and third-cycle programmes, including course responsibility and development. Use the template “record of taught courses” to give quantitative data of your teaching experience. 

Also state your experience of communicating scientific results to target groups outside the academic community. Finnish with a text about your pedagogical thoughts and visions.

In order to be appointed to docent at the Faculty, the applicant must:

  • have given lectures amounting to at least 50 class hours in first and second-cycle education, or have equivalent qualifications.
  • experience of teaching in third-cycle programmes.
  • supervision experience within research, totally at least 1 year as mail supervisor for degree project, PhD student or post doctoral fellow. 

D. Report from the Head of the Department

Propose a title for the docent lecture which should be held on master-level, including a description of how the suggestion fits the master-education at the department.
Rank three possible experts, preferably within the Nordic countries or Germany. Include a description of why the experts are suitable and verify there is no conflict of interest. Describe any connections between the suggested experts and the department. The expert may not have recently co-published or worked closely with the applicant or the applicant’s supervisor (or equivalent). In the case of simplified application procedure there is no need to suggest experts in the report.

For external applicants a description of the benefit for research and education by appointing the applicant to docent is needed.

If there is any conflict of interest the report should be written by the deputy head of the department or any other appointed person.

E. Report from a pedagogical expert

A report from an expert appointed by the Head of the department, normally the director of studies, on the applicants teaching skills and experience. In the case of simplified application procedure there is no need for this report.

F. Summary of research experience (maximum 5 pages)

The summary should be designed to enable assessment on the basis of the requirements presented under the heading “Requirements for appointment to docent”.

G. Plans for future research (maximum 1 page)

H. Connection to the department (for external applicants)

Applicants who are not employed at the Faculty when they apply to be appointed to docent should document their connection to one of the departments at the Faculty in their application.

I.    Appendices

Certificate of doctoral degree
Certificate of completed supervisor training course
NB. No other diplomas, certificates of employment, course evaluations or similar.

4. Processing

The administrator who receives the application will check that it is complete and request any complementary documentation. The application will be sent to the docent board’s members and alternate members. One member/alternate member will be assigned as rapporteur and responsible for assessing the application. The docent board should decide whether the application will proceed to expert evaluation. The members will also state whether the proposed experts are satisfactory and whether the highest ranked expert can be given the assignment. In the case of simplified application procedure the docent board evaluates the remaining documents before a decision to proceed, or not to proceed, with the docent lecture.

If the application cannot proceed to be reviewed by an expert, the Chair will contact the applicant.

If the docent board supports the application, the administrator will contact the Head of Department and ask him/her to contact the expert. The Head will notify the administrator when an expert has accepted the assignment.

The expert will be appointed by the chair of the docent board after hearing the docent board.

The administrator will notify the applicant that an expert has been appointed. The applicant will send his/her publications (no more than 10) to the expert.

The department

The Head should make sure that the expert is able to complete the assignment within two months.

5. Expert assessment

The expert’s report should contain a relatively detailed account and critical review of the main features of the candidate’s academic production with clear references to the submitted publications. Criteria to be considered include theoretical and methodological knowledge, the candidate’s ability to think innovatively and conduct independent research, which has led to important knowledge, the impact of this research, and the candidate’s presentation skills. The report should provide an overview of the candidate’s research and how it has developed since the candidate received his/her PhD. The report should mention the most important results, and the significance of these results should be assessed in relation to the international development in the field. It is essential to highlight both strengths and weaknesses of the candidate’s production.

The report should be comparable to statements in lecturer appointments and culminate in a clear opinion for or against the candidate being accepted as docent.

The expert is expected to deliver the report within two months of receiving the publications.

6. The docent evaluation group

When the expert’s report has been delivered, the application will be processed by the Faculty’s docent board. The board, which normally meets three times a semester, will obtain all documents except the publications. The rapporteur (see above), closely examines the case and present his/her views to the board.

If the board’s assessment is positive, the candidate is asked to give a docent lecture. Otherwise, the application is rejected with a brief motivation.

7. Lecture

The docent lecture is a teaching examination (not a scientific seminar) to demonstrate the candidate’s ability to conduct teaching of the highest quality. The lecture is given after the scientific evaluation is completed and approved. The title of the lecture is proposed by the Head of Department in consultation with the lecturer and, is approved by the representative of the evaluation group. The choice of teaching method is up to the candidate; the length of the lecture shall be 45 minutes and should be held in Swedish or English. The content should correspond to a lecture in a second-cycle course. The topic for the lecture can well be an overview over an existing, or possible course, freely with connection to the lecturer’s own research ( This includes the natural sciences, mathematics and teaching methods within these fields). 

The representative of the evaluation group is chair of the docent lecture. The representative of the evaluation group initiating the lecture with a presentation of herself/himself and a presentation of the lecturer, informs of the form for a docent lecture, that it will be for 45 minutes and that it will be time for questions afterwards.

The docent lecture is a unique opportunity for candidates to demonstrate their teaching skills to colleagues in their section. Serious preparation by a researcher at the level of associate professor typically results in approval. However, if the lecture is considered poorly prepared or otherwise inadequate, it will not be approved. Thus, we want to emphasise that the lecture is a genuine test, not just a formality.

After the lecture, the attending member of the evaluation group obtain considerations from the relevant professor and director(s) of studies, appointed by the Head of Department. The member of the evaluation group decides if the lecture is approved/not approved, informs the lecturer of the result and writes a report, which is to be sent to the Faculty of Science Office. The Dean of the Faculty will shortly thereafter appoint the candidate as docent.

8. Decision by the Dean

If the lecture is approved, the Dean will appoint the candidate as docent and the applicant receives a docent certificate.

If the lecture is not approved, the Dean may, after consulting with the docent board, give the candidate an opportunity to give a new docent lecture.