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Professorships Department

Selection Procedure

Responsibility for the selection procedure lies with the professorial appointment committee. It is their duty to find the most suitable candidate for the advertised professorship; i.e., the scholar who best complements the research and teaching team of the relevant organizational unit and can best contribute to its further development.

The committee is responsible for the following steps:

  • Advertising the vacant position
  • Reviewing applications and ranking candidates according to suitability
  • Organizing trial lectures (public) and interviews (non-public) for the best ranked candidates
  • Finalizing a list of proposed candidates (as a rule, three candidates) for submission to the Executive Board of the University

The key criteria for assessing candidate suitability are academic qualifications in research and teaching, social competence and leadership qualities.

Assessment of Research Achievements

In assessing research achievements, the professorial appointment committee applies cross-disciplinary, qualitative criteria (cf. Guidelines on Selection Procedures); it also respects the guidelines of the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), which UZH signed in 2014. As a signatory to the declaration, the University commits to forgoing the use of journal-based metrics (such as journal impact factors) in assessing academic merit.

Assessment of Social Competence and Leadership Skills

Although professors are primarily responsible for research and teaching, they also act in leadership positions. A structured interview is thus carried out in addition to the general interview to assess the candidate’s transferable skills (e.g. leadership skills). The structured interview was developed by a team of experts in cooperation with the faculties to support the professorial appointment committee in their assessment process.

Assessment of Teaching Performance

In the evaluation of teaching performance, the professorial appointment committee is guided by the LERU best practice paper A Pathway towards Multidimensional Academic Careers (see Recommendations for the Assessment and Weighting of Teaching Performance in Appointment Procedures (PDF, 60 KB)). The central concern of the paper is to strengthen the relative weight of teaching, leadership, and outreach versus research in evaluating the performance of researchers and to evaluate researchers from a development perspective.

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