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Filling academic positions by competition
Senate Regulation 1-28/7 “Academic Staff Positions in Estonian University of Life Sciences”, dated 27 February 2020. Amendments dated February 2021, No 1-28/1
The Regulation is established on the basis of § 13 (2) 15) and 18) of the Statutes of Estonian University of Life Sciences, pursuant to the Higher Education Act and Estonian University of Life Sciences Act.
§ 11. Announcing a competition
(1) The director of an institute or college / head of the centre shall make a proposal to the Rector to announce a competition not later than six months before the expiry of the term of the employment contract of the person holding the position. If the employment contract with the academic staff member is terminated before the due term, the proposal to announce the competition shall be made no later than within two months from the vacancy.
(2) The director of the institute or college / head of the centre shall make a proposal to the Rector for the announcement of a competition for a new regular academic position.
(3) The announcement of a competition shall be decided by the Rector and shall be formalised by an order of the Rector.
(4) A competition for the position of a professor, including a tenure professor, shall be announced by the Rector with an order on the basis of a decision of the University Senate.
(5) A competition notice shall be published in public media at least one month before the closing date for applications. The competition notice must contain at least the following information:
1) the name and address of the University;
2) the title and workload of the position to be filled (full time or part time);
3) the list of documents submitted with the application;
4) the term for submission of application documents;
5) information on the requirements for candidates.
(6) The result of a public competition organised outside a research and development institution, which involves financing the research and development of a person for implementation of the corresponding research project, is considered equivalent to winning a public competition.
§ 12. Accepting applications
(1) Persons who comply with the requirements established for the position on the basis of laws, the Statutes of the University and other legal acts of the University Council, may participate in the competition.
(2) A participant in a competition shall submit the following application documents to the Personnel Department by the deadline for submission:
1) an application to the Rector;
2) curriculum vitae (CV) on the basis of the Estonian Research Information System (ETIS) form, incl. list of scientific publications of the last ten years (up to ten 7 scientific publications from the previous period, if relevant). The CV has to include the data on academic activities, teaching and upskilling and further training for the last five years. If it is not possible for the candidate to submit a CV on the basis of ETIS, it shall be prepared according to the data listed in Annex 7 to this Regulation;
3) the candidate for the position of a professor adds the vision and objectives for the period of employment (up to 1,500 words) to the submission;
4) copies of documents certifying the required qualification and the annexes thereto. The candidate may be required to provide originals or certified copies of the qualification document and its annexes. A person who has previously worked or is working in an academic staff position at Estonian University of Life Sciences does not need to submit documents certifying education;
5) other documents due to the specifics of the position, provided in the conditions of the competition;
6) other relevant materials at the discretion of the participant in the competition, e.g. a portfolio of academic activities;
7) a candidate may be required to give a public lecture (venia legendi) or a video recording of a venia legendi lecture; equal treatment of candidates has to be ensured.
(3) If higher education has been acquired abroad, the candidate may be required to submit the assessment of the Academic Recognition Information Centre (Estonian ENIC / NARIC Centre) on the compliance of the candidate's qualification with the qualification required for the position.
(4) Application documents shall be submitted in writing by e-mail as a digitally signed document or on paper to the address indicated in the competition notice. Application documents shall be submitted in Estonian or in English.
(5) The Personnel Department shall not accept documents which are not in conformity with the requirements and which contain incomplete information and shall set a term for the submitter to bring them into conformity with the requirements set out in the competition notice.
(6) If the application documents do not comply with the requirements set out in the competition notice by the deadline for submission of documents, the Personnel Department shall not forward the documents for evaluation and shall notify the candidate thereof.
§ 13. General basis for evaluation of candidates
(1) The Personnel Department shall send the documents submitted to the competition to the director of the institute or college / head of the centre within one week as of the submission deadline of documents.
(2) For evaluation of candidates, the director of the institute or college / head of the centre shall appoint a committee of experts of at least three members and appoint the chairman of the committee, except in the case specified in § 15. One member of the commission may be the direct organiser of work of the applicant. One member of the expert committee on evaluating candidates for the position of a professor must be from outside the University, preferably from outside Estonia.
(3) If the director of an institute or college applies for an academic position, the Rector shall form the expert committee.
(4) Conflicts of interest shall be avoided upon appointment of experts. Persons related to the candidate cannot be appointed as experts, including persons who have published or submitted for publication joint publications with the candidate, who participate or have participated in the implementation of a joint project or who have or have had a supervisor-supervisor relationship during the last five years.
(5) The director of the institute or college / head of the centre shall forward the documents received for the competition to the chairman of the expert committee and decide on the date for submission of the assessment.
(6) On the basis of the submitted documents, experts shall evaluate the compliance of the competence of the candidates with the job requirements of the corresponding position at the University.
(7) Experts shall rank the candidates in order of preference. The chairman of the expert committee shall make a written summary of the experts' evaluations and submit it to the council of the institute / college / centre, one week before the election.
(8) If the majority of experts or, in the case referred to in § 15, the direct organiser of work have a reasonable opinion that the candidate does not have the required competence to hold the position, or if the candidate has violated the principles of academic ethics, the director of the institute / college shall propose to the council to removed the candidate from the list of candidates for the post.
§ 14. Evaluation of a professor candidate
(1) Candidates for a junior professor or associate professor are required to give a public lecture (venia legendi). The director of the institute or college announces the time and place of the lecture and informs the members of the expert committee and the membership of the University. For the first time candidate for the position of a professor, a public lecture is obligatory if it has not been given before.
(2) The academic committee evaluates the candidates for the position of a professor, ranks the candidates in the order of preference and submits a written evaluation to the council of the institute / college at least one week before the elections.
(3) The council of the institute / college shall discuss the expert evaluation and the evaluation of the academic committee and evaluate the suitability of the candidate for the position and submit a written evaluation to the Senate at least one week before the elections. At the request of the council, the suitability of a candidate may be assessed by a secret non-binding vote of the council.
§ 15. Evaluation of a teacher, lecturer and research fellow candidates
Candidates for the posts of a teacher, lecturer and research fellow will be evaluated in writing by the candidate's further direct organiser of work, who will submit the 9 evaluations to the secretary of the council of the institute / college / centre one week before the election.
§ 16. Elections
(1) Elections shall take place not later than three months after the deadline for submitting the documents.
(2) The candidate who obtains more than half of the votes of the secret ballot by the council of the institute / college / centre or the Senate shall be elected.
(3) A professor is elected by the University Senate. When convening a meeting of the Senate, the members will be sent the CV of the candidate with the list of scientific publications of the last ten years, other materials submitted by the candidate, and the evaluation of the expert committee, academic committee and institute / college council. The members of the Senate have the right to examine the documents of all persons participating in the competition in the Personnel Department.
(4) Before the secret ballot, the director of the institute / college shall introduce the candidates for the professor position and the evaluation of the suitability of the candidate by the council. A co-presentation is made by the chairman of the academic committee, introducing the opinion of the academic committee on the candidate's suitability for the position of a professor.
(5) The research fellow, lecturer and teacher shall be elected by the council of the institute / college / centre. The members of the council have the right to inspect the submitted documents with the secretary of the council.
§ 18. Election results
(1) Election results shall be formalised as a decision of the council or the Senate, indicating the voting results.
(2) The secretary of the council of the institute / college / centre shall send the competition documents, within one week after the election, with the decision of the council to the Personnel Department, who shall submit an order confirming the election results to the Rector for approval within one week of receipt.
(3) The Rector may refuse to confirm the election results if the conditions of the competition or the procedure for conducting the election have been violated in the election or if the Rector finds that the candidate for the position does not meet the professional requirements in force at the University. In this case, the Rector submits the election results to the University Senate for review. The decision of the University Senate is final.
(4) The Personnel Department shall notify the persons who participated in the competition of the election results within seven working days after the approval or non-approval of the election results.
(5) A participant in a competition has the right to contest the results within two weeks after the notification of the election results if he or she finds that the conditions of the competition or the procedure for the competition have been violated. A written protest must be submitted to the Rector, to which the Rector is obliged to respond no later than within two weeks after receiving the protest.
(6) If the person who is elected by competition refuses to enter into an employment contract within one month of notifying him or her of the election results, the Rector has the right to fill the position without announcing a competition pursuant to the requirements of § 20.
(7) At the request of a person who renounces participation in a competition or renounces the conclusion of an employment contract, all documents submitted by him or her shall be returned.
§ 19. Procedure for secret vote in electing a full time academic employee, incl. non-binding vote
(1) Voting shall be by secret ballot.
(2) A member of a decision-making body (voter) may vote only in person; the right to vote may not be transferred to another person.
(3) If a matter concerning a member of the decision-making body is decided by secret voting, or a matter concerning a person related to a member of the decision-making body within the meaning of the Anti-Corruption Act is resolved, the member of the decision-making body shall withdraw and shall not participate in the discussion or voting. The decision-making body shall be reduced by the member withdrawn.
(4) Ballot papers shall be issued against a signature on the basis of a list.
(5) If a voter has spoilt a ballot paper or filled in a ballot paper incorrectly and has not placed it in the ballot box, he or she has the right for a new ballot paper from the ballot counting committee upon returning the ballot paper, which shall be noted on the voter registration form.
(6) For voting, a vote counting committee of at least three members of the decisionmaking body shall be formed, who shall draw up a report on the voting results, indicating the results of all voting rounds for each candidate. The minutes shall be approved by the decision-making body in a public vote.
(7) If more than one candidate is standing for the position, all names shall be entered on one ballot paper. Each voter can prefer only one candidate.
(8) If none of the three or more candidates receives the required number of votes in favour, a new ballot shall be organized in which the two candidates with the most votes participate.
(9) If neither of the two candidates receives the required number of votes in favour, a new ballot shall be organized in which the candidate with the most votes participates.
(10) In the event of a tie, the passer(s) shall be chosen by lot.
(11) If all candidates together receive less than half of the votes of the voters who participated in the voting, a next ballot shall not be held.
(12) For secret ballot an electronic voting system may be used, provided it ensures the secrecy and reliability of voting.