Tenure Track

Wageningen University & Research offers young talented scientists a challenging career trajectory, tenure track. We have the ambition to attract top scientific talent and to stimulate their development.

Chances for top scientific talent

We are looking for high potentials who can excel in education and research. You will start as an assistant professor and will grow into the position of associate professor. You then will receive the ius promovendi. It is even possible to grow into a personal professor position. You will build up your own line of research and will be intensively superviced and coached.

This challenging career path can lead to a permanent position at WUR when you meet the quality criteria.

Career opportunity

A guided career pathway of four successive career steps. Newly appointed academic staff holding a doctorate degree access the career track. In consultation with the chair holder, current permanent staff will be given the opportunity to take part in the programme as well; the same quality criteria and assessment procedures apply to new and current staff. The policy provides a guided career pathway. Top level scientists appointed as Assistant Professor are individually coached by a full professor. Excellent performance will be rewarded with a promotion to a tenured position of Associate Professor and possibly to Personal Professor.

Career steps

Assistant Professors start within a temporary position. The duration of this first contract depends on the work history of the candidate. A candidate from outside Wageningen University will have, in general, a temporary contract for 7 years. After that period, if the tenure tracker passes the assessment procedures, he/she will be offered a permanent position. Usually this will be combined with promotion to the next level, Associate Professor. Due to the Dutch legislation, a candidate from inside Wageningen University will be assessed for a permanent position within a maximum period of four years, if possible combined with the assessment for the next career step.

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Assessment procedures

Assessments are carried out by a BAC (Broad Assessment Committee). For every career step up and including Associate Professor 1 (with ius promovendi) and before obtaining a permanent position, candidates are judged by the quality of their education, research, acquisition, management, their personal file and their competences such as teamwork.

The BAC advises the General Director of the Sciences Group on promotion (and/or permanent position); the General Director takes the final decision.The BAC advises the General Director of the Sciences Group on promotion (and/or permanent position); the General Director takes the final decision.

Assessment procedure Personal Professor

The assessment for Personal Professor will be treated by the extended BAC Personal Chair. This is one central, university wide, BAC and organised twice a year. This BAC sends its advice to the Rector Magnificus; the Executive Board Wageningen University decides. The candidate will be appointed as a Personal Professor for a period of 5 years. After 5 years the Personal Professor will be evaluated by a small committee.

Criteria for promotion

The aspects that are evaluated include the quality of teaching, research, acquisition, management and the competence to work in a team. Teaching and research qualities are equally important and the effort to obtain credits for teaching and research are comparable. Major tasks, other than education and research, are taken into account.

  • The quality criteria are predetermined and transparent. They may differ per Sciences Group or specific domain.
  • Candidates, having collected the predetermined required number of credits, have access to the assessment process.
  • Having obtained the required number of credits does not guarantee promotion; the BAC makes an overall assessment of the academic performance.
  • (inter)national scientists will review the scientific quality.

Once the tenure track has started, career steps are made whenever quality criteria are met (including a positive BAC advice). There are no financial restrictions for promotion. Apart from the recruitment procedure, there will be no competition between candidates during the tenure track.

I am very glad that the tenure track system has offered me the career path leading to a personal professor position in Plant Breeding of WUR. I feel positive about the WUR tenure system since it acknowledges collaboration/teamwork. Further, it is great that both education and research are equally emphasised in the WUR tenure system since the combination of both is crucial for the academic excellence.
Yuling Bai - Personal Professor (Plant Breeding, Plant Science Group)