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Academic career

If you are interested in pursuing an academic career, there is a number of things you need to know. It is good to be aware of these things early on, so you can plan accordingly. Below, you can read more about different types of positions, career progression and the recruitment process at the Faculty of Medicine. You can also find links to support resources both on the faculty and the university level.

What does an academic career look like?

What is a Postdoktor/a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship?

What is a Docent/an Associate Professor?

The recruitment process at the Faculty of Medicine


Networks and support for academic career development 

What does an academic career look like?

At Lund University there are two staff categories – Teachers and technical/administrative (TA) staff. There are very few permanent academic positions at the university. These very competitive positions (Senior lecturer or Professor) are acquired in very hard competition, usually after many years of good track record for funding, research, publications, teaching and third stream activities. There is no certain or clear track or time line leading up to these positions.


The teacher category refers to the positions Professor, Senior Lecturer (lektor), Associate Senior Lecturer (biträdande universitetslektor) and Postdoctoral Research Fellow (postdoktor).

Teaching positions are regulated by the Employment Protection Act (LAS) and, in addition, by the Higher Education Ordinance (Högskoleförordningen).

Read the Higher Education Ordinance (Högskoleförordningen) on the Swedish Council for Higher Education website

Läs Högskoleförordningen på svenska på Riksdagens webbplats

Technical and administrative staff

The category technical and administrative (TA) staff refers to staff that do not hold any of the above mentioned teaching positions, e.g. Laboratory Researcher (laboratorieforskare) Assistant Researcher (biträdande forskare) and Researcher (forskare).

TA positions are regulated by the Employment Protection Act (Lagen om anställningsskydd, LAS).

Read the Employment Protection Act (Lagen om anställningsskydd, LAS, only available in Swedish), on the Swedish Riksdag's website

What is a Postdoktor/a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship?

The postdoktor/Postdoctoral Research Fellowship position is a so-called teaching position, and is regulated by a national agreement on fixed-term postdoc employment, as compared to e.g. a position as Assistant Researcher (biträdande forskare) which is primarily regulated by the Employment Protection Act (Lagen om anställningsskydd, LAS) without any complementary agreement.

This should not be confused with the time period during the first few years after your PhD,  which is sometimes habitually called “Postdoc”.

Read the Agreement on Fixed-term Postdoc Employment on the Swedish Agency for Government Employers website

Läs Avtal om tidbegränsad anställning som postdoktor på Arbetsgivarverkets webbplats

What is a Docent/an Associate Professor?

The title Docent is not a position but an academic title (similar to Associate Professor in USA). For becoming a Senior Lecturer or Professor at the Faculty of Medicine in Lund it is mandatory to fulfill requirements for holding a Docent title. It is therefore recommended to apply for a Docent title once you have reached the level for obtaining it. These requirements may, however, differ between different faculties and universities! 

Read the guidelines for application to the Faculty of Medicine's Docent Appointments Committee

Read the Faculty of Medicine's information on applications for docent

Information om ansökan till Docenturnämnden vid Medicinska fakulteten

The recruitment process at the Faculty of Medicine

When hiring Professors and Senior Lecturers (including adjunct and promoted positions) it is the Academic Appointments Board that prepares the errand and makes proposals.
Recruitment of postdoctoral research fellows and technical/administrative staff is handled by the concerned department.


Only a very small portion of the research performed at the Faculty of Medicine is financed by faculty means. This money is mainly used to finance teaching positions, strategic research areas (SFO:s), the PhD programme and premises costs.
The rest of the research is financed mainly through ALF funds and funding brought in by research groups, or individual researchers with or without collaborators, as grants from different governmental research councils and non-governmental foundations. Sometimes, research can also be funded by scholarships/stipends. Unless these scholarships are offered by Lund University, the scholarship holder is not employed, but may, upon agreement with a collaborating research group leader, use the university premises for his/her research.
Bringing in external money through successful grant applications is key for an academic career.


Networks and support for academic career development

Careers Centre organizes a yearly support programme for those who are applying for funds from Swedish Research Council/Vetenskapsrådet (VR), in the form of a seminar and the opportunity to get your application pre-reviewed. Careers Centre also organizes information seminars on applying for docent, building your pedagogical portfolio and seminars on applying for grants and planning for international postdoc. 

Future Faculty is an organization of researchers with a doctoral degree (PhD), who have not yet obtained a permanent/tenured position at the University. The aim of Future Faculty is to improve the conditions for young and future researchers at the Faculty of Medicine, and to promote development of a career system at all levels.

MedCUL is the Faculty of Medicine’s centre for teaching and learning, where you can find courses, seminars and workshops for professional development in teaching in higher education.

The Faculty of Medicine offers a course in research supervision, if you want to supervise doctoral students at the faculty. The course is mandatory for attaining the Docent/Associate Professor title and being a main supervisor.

You can contact those who are responsible for educational courses and programmes and the Faculty of Medicine to show your interest for taking on teaching assignments.

A number of support functions are offered for your research at the Faculty of Medicine's libraries, for example, learning new software, learning to do bibliometric analyses, and learning to illustrate your research findings.

Get help from the Communications department at the Faculty of Medicine and find opportunities for reaching out with your  research and in the media.

Lund  University Human Resources Division offers a wide range of career development courses, seminars and workshops for academic staff.

Lund University Research Services offers support in applying for certain funds, and organizes information seminars and workshops.