Dear Professor XX,

The Faculty of Science at Stockholm University is evaluating Dr. [name]’s application for tenure and for promotion from assistant professor (Swedish: biträdande lektor) to associate professor (Swedish: universitetslektor). We will seek advice from a number of external referees concerning the scientific independence and maturity of Dr. [name] and would like to inquire if you are able to accept this task.
We therefore kindly ask you to answer two questions with a “yes” or a “no”.

1.    Do you have any conflict of interest with Dr. [name]?

If your answer to question 1 is “no” we would also like you to answer the second question:

2.    Are you willing to evaluate the scientific independence and maturity of Dr. [name]?

We would like you to answer these two questions as soon as possible but no later than [Month date], while the evaluation itself (if you accept) is due [Month date].

The evaluation task

If you are able to accept the task, we will ask you to evaluate Dr. [name]’s application and the significance of her/his research on an international scale. I would then like you to address the following questions:

•    What interactions have you had with Dr. [name] and what was your impression of those interactions?
•    To what extent is Dr. [name] an independent scientist with an international reputation?
•    Is there evidence of scholarly excellence and creativity in the work of Dr. [name]?
•    Is there evidence of a strong capacity for a continued high level of scholarly productivity?

In addition, we will ask you to make comparisons with others in her/his field at similar career stages and with similar levels of responsibility. In particular, we will ask you to compare the scientific achievements and potential with those of candidates who apply for a similar promotion (tenure) at your university. So additional key questions are:

•    Would Dr. [name] meet the standards for tenure at your university?

•    Would the candidate be likely to be considered for an openly announced position as associate professor (or a corresponding position) at your university (or research institution) or at other internationally prominent universities (or research institutions)?

We ask you to summarize your assessment in view of the questions above using the following scale:

Outstanding Exceptionally strong scientist with negligible weaknesses
Excellent Very strong scientist with negligible weaknesses
Very good to excellent Very strong scientist with minor weaknesses
Very good Strong scientist with minor weaknesses
Good Some strengths, but also moderate weaknesses
Weak A few strengths, but also at least one major weakness or several minor weaknesses
Poor Very few strengths and numerous major weaknesses

Dr. [name]’s teaching and leadership qualities will be evaluated internally at Stockholm University.

I would appreciate the possibility of a follow-up discussion, by phone or Zoom, after receiving your written evaluation.

In accordance with Swedish law, your report will be public. This means that the candidate and others will be able to read it if they ask for this.

Dr. [name]´s application for promotion, selected publications, as well as the faculty instructions for the application can be found here:

[Link SU Box]

I realize that an evaluation like the present one requires a significant commitment on your part and I thank you in advance for your assistance. If you have any questions, or any information that you want to convey, please feel free to contact me.

•    Answer with “yes” or “no” (as a reply to this email) at the latest by [Month date] whether or not you have a Conflict of Interest with Dr. [name].

•    If the answer to the first question is “no” (you have no conflict of interest) we would also like you to answer with “yes” or “no” (in the same reply to this email) at the latest by [Month date] whether or not you are willing to perform this evaluation task.
•    If the answer to the second question is “yes”, your evaluation is due [Month date].

Sincerely yours,

[Signed by Dean, Faculty of Science]

For some examples of conflict of interest