VTT Research Professor and Tenure Track

Research Professor is the scientific leader of a dedicated research field and a key contributor to VTT’s scientific and technological excellence. VTT opens positions for research professors to strategic areas. The professorship is comparable to the professorships at universities, except for the fact, that there is no obligation to teach and give classroom lectures and no participation in organization management. VTT uses tenure track system, including the possibility for both fixed and permanent Research Professor positions. Research Professor is a VTT level task.

Research Professor is responsible for:

  • Building a visionary research agenda with relevance to a dedicated field. Leading execution of the agenda to create global scientific excellence, visibility and credibility to VTT. 

  • Nurturing high ambition level and substance excellence in the organization through inspiring, sparring and mentoring, and developing talents.

  • Initiating new research openings and building up solid research portfolios, including both public and private funding

  • Creating international collaboration networks involving academic and industrial partners 

  • Stimulating exploitation of research results leading to impact

The application process

The applications to the positions are reviewed by an evaluation committee, and a selected number of applications will be passed to external review by  distinguished professors of the research and related fields. The evaluation criteria typically emphasize  the scientific merits, substance and people leadership and the proven track record of collaboration with scientific and business world. One important aspect is candidate’s views on future vision and development of the research field. External evaluation of candidates is guiding but not binding VTT.

VTT's three stage Tenure Track

VTT has a three stage Tenure Track: 5 years fixed-term and/or optional 5 years fixed-term and/or permanent professorship. After first full 4 years, an evaluation is done to decide if the professorship is continued or not. An evaluation is also carried out at the 9 year mark if the position was continued for the second fixed 5 year term. At each evaluation point, the professorship can be transformed permanent if criteria for excellent performance are fulfilled. The official evaluation is done by a nominated board of several members. The board may include also external experts. A candidate who has successfully been ranked ”full professor” elsewhere or is affiliated as full professor at university or research organization, can be directly permanently nominated by CEO.

For evaluating the performance of Research Professor, the general VTT evaluation framework is used. The evaluation areas include:

  • Benefit for the Society: Demonstrated societal activity, e.g. participation in social discussion, creating thought leadership and policy advice. Activity in academic community and positions of trust.

  • Benefit for our Customers: Extent of industrial networks and collaboration with industry. Impact of research to customers. Generation of inventions, patents and start-ups.

  • Excellence in everything we do: High scientific merits and excellence based on 

    • number and quality of scientific publications,
    • number of PhD students and granted degrees,
    • demonstrated achievements as academic, science and people leader.
  • Sufficiency of financial resources: Volume and trajectory of created research project portfolio.