Four-stage Researcher Career Path
1) Doctoral training for a doctoral degree
On the four-stage researcher career path, the first stage is the doctoral training for the doctoral degree, which has been strongly renewed in the University of Turku with good results. The University of Turku Graduate School (UTUGS) and its doctoral programmes have been developed by channelling resources, unifying the programmes' selection practices and education, and by elevating the prestige of the doctoral candidates' status within the University community.
2) Postdoctoral researcher or senior researcher
During this phase, the researcher's identity is formed and steps are taken towards a more independent and responsible role in the research community. In human sciences, research is often based on the work of individual researchers while still being part of a wider community, whereas in the natural sciences and medicine, the research group acts as the basic unit, to which the postdoctoral researcher is closely connected.
3) Independent researcher or leader of a research group
On the third stage of the career path, researchers are established and act independently or are leaders of a research group. On this stage, researchers participate in teaching and in supervising theses and doctoral dissertations. Researchers actively apply for outside funding. It is important that this stage is reached through careful thought and planning.
The fourth stage of the career path applies to professors, whose contribution is crucial in research as well as in obtaining external funding and supporting younger researchers. Professors are also a key element in promoting the interaction between society and research.
Tenure Track Career Model
The University of Turku has introduced the tenure track system for teaching and research personnel to increase the predictability, competitiveness and attractiveness of the academic career as well as to advance the University’s internationalization.
The basis of the tenure track procedure is that an individual is recruited at first for a fixed-term employment relationship as an assistant professor, during which his or her work is followed and evaluated by the criteria defined at recruitment. The salary is based on the salary system for universities. Success in the evaluation leads to a new fixed-term employment relationship and the aim is obtaining the tenure of a professor.
The aim is to find the most talented, suitable and motivated individuals for the tenure track positions and thus to the University of Turku. However, the traditional open call for applications remains the main model of recruitment for professors in the University of Turku.