Toolbox for recruiting professors

| Professorial Recruitment: Recommendations and Good Practices | Three principles to observe | Additional resources

Recruiting professors plays a key role in how UNIL operates. High-quality recruitment is fundamental for the institution’s reputation, as well as for the quality of research and teaching. Members of the selection panels thus offer an essential service, by investing their time and expertise to identify the best applicant for a particular post.

To support these efforts, UNIL provides those involved in the process of recruiting professors with a toolbox, containing research-based best practices in this area (see below).

UNIL also monitors appointment procedures for equality and is planning to implement a number of structural and regulatory reforms.


Three principles to observe

Even if we are convinced of the importance of equal opportunities for women and men, our behaviour is influenced by unconscious gender biases. These biases have a negative impact on female applicants, but they are not inevitable. With awareness-raising and accountability measures and well-designed selection procedures, we can reduce their impact. UNIL encourages the members of the recruitment committees to:

Define and challenge the assessment criteria

  • Make sure you ask the same questions about each application.
  • Also, check that none of the pre-established criteria is prejudicial to a particular group of people.
  • Ensure you avoid relying on informal criteria to the advantage/disadvantage of a particular application.

Monitor the discussion

  • Make your colleagues aware if you think there could be bias in the assessment of applications or there is a reliance on stereotypes, which could unjustifiably put a particular application at a disadvantage.

Take time to make the decison

  • Take the time to examine the applications carefully.
  • Make sure you pay equal attention and spend the same amount of time on applications from both women and men.
  • Take a step back: slowing down the process allows you to move from unconscious stereotypes to rational reflection.

By applying these three principles and the good practices below, the members of the committee contribute to UNIL's objectives of promoting equal opportunities at all levels. 50% of PhD and post-doctoral students are women: the aim now is to guarantee the same access to the professorship for women and men.

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