Guidelines for supervision of postdocs and assistant professors

At the Department of Political Science, Aarhus University, all assistant professors and postdocs will be assigned a supervisor. The supervisors will support postdocs/assistant professors in their professional development as researchers and teachers, as well as their integration in the department.

The supervisor should be a senior member of the academic staff of the department. For postdocs financed by external funds, the project owner can be the supervisor, but other senior staff members are also available. The head of department approves the supervisor. In some cases the supervisor role may be split between a supervisor and a mentor.

The supervisor has two responsibilities: Supporting the academic development of the postdoc/assistant professor and mentoring in matters related to personal development. The postdoc/assistant professor can choose to have a mentor that is not his/her supervisor.

Supervising academic development comprises research and teaching:


1. Research:

  • Advice on formulation of research questions
  • Advice on publication strategies, plans and choices. In terms of obtaining a tenured position, it is important that assistant professors have the opportunity to develop and publish research on their own. At the Department of Political Science, AU, some sole-authored work is a requirement in order to be qualified as associate professor.
  • Feedback on research papers.
  • Guidance / feedback on grant applications.


2. Teaching:

  • Help work out a suitable plan for teaching activities.
  • Guidance/feedback on content and planning of the postdoc’s/assistant professor’s teaching activities and development of didactic skills.
  • Guidance concerning the mandatory course for assistant professors (the course is also offered to postdocs who do not have a position as assistant professor).
    Information on the course:


Rules for the teaching program for assistant professors (in Danish):


Mentoring comprises the following issues:

  • Introduce postdocs/assistant professors who are new to the department to the department and inform about relevant activities.
  • Guidance in decisions that generally affect the postdocs’/assistant professors’ career options/opportunities.
  • Be available for small or big work-related issues that bother the assistant professor/postdoc.


The supervisor and the postdoc/assistant professor are mutually responsible for settling on a suitable mode of dialogue.


This policy will be in effect from April 2017. Current postdocs and assistant professors are encouraged to make sure that they are aligned with their supervisor on the above.