What's the difference between a professor and and a professor med særlige opgaver? What about a forsker and a lektor? While there will be some differences university to university, here's a breakdown of the most common academic job titles used in Denmark.
PhD fellows in Denmark are considered employees not students and most PhDs are fully funded. Typically before starting a PhD in Denmark you must have a Master’s degree first, although there are programs that take a year longer and combine a PhD and Master’s. Danish students do not do coursework; they start working on the project that will become their thesis immediately. It is often expected that PhD fellows will teach a course during their degree, which takes three years to earn.
After earning their doctorate, researchers go on to a postdoc which, in Denmark, can last up to four years at the same university. A postdoc is a continuation of the researcher’s training that allows them to further specialize in a particular field and learn new skills and techniques. It may also require them to take on some teaching responsibilities.
This is a research positions which is often permanent, but can also be fixed term for a maximum of six years. Researchers are responsible for conducting research, giving scientific advice, and innovation. They may also have some teaching responsibilities.
An adjunkt is equivalent to an assistant professor. The position can be either fixed term for a maximum of four years or tenure track. The main responsibilities of an adjunkt are research and research-based teaching. At this level, they are also supervised by a higher ranking professor and given the opportunity to improve their pedagogical skills. If the adjunkt is on the tenure track, their performance is assessed after six years and, if successful, they are promoted to a lektor.
Senior researchers are responsible for research and research-based public sector consultancy. They may also be asked to teach and supervise assistant professors. Through their work, they contribute to the university’s national and international collaborative efforts and further research-based innovation. This is usually a permanent position.
Equivalent to an associate professor, a lektor is a permanent position. Like others of the professorial rank they are responsible for research and research-based teaching, as well as supervising and mentoring assistant professors. While this is considered a tenured position, it does not offer further promotion to a professor as in North America. The hiring process for professors is always thorough open calls.
Professor med særlige opgaver
This title translates to professor with special responsibilities. These positions give talented, young researchers an opportunity to develop a new field of research to an international level. They focus on teaching, research and innovation. It is a three to five year fixed term position with an option for extension to eight years total. At the end of the appointment, the special responsibilities end and the academic becomes a lektor.
Professors usually have a record of original scientific production at an international level. They are responsible for conducting research and research-based teaching and have experience in research management or innovation. This is a permanent, tenured position.
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