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Becoming An Associate Professor

Becoming an associate professor

After many times of referring to some career changes that require preparation, discussions, interviews and more, I can finally announce that per April 1st (no joke!) I have been promoted to associate professor on a part-time basis at Delft University of Technology!

My case, as usual, was unusual – my combination of my professorship in Ecuador with my part-time position in the Netherlands remains uncommon.

For my case, the approach was to look at my career trajectory both globally and within TU Delft. Even though I am on a part-time basis, I fulfilled the requirements in terms of research (including funding and valorization), education and leadership – and in my case, I added a category of science communication to get a bit of recognition for my 15 years of blogging and writing about my research and insights on doing research.

The whole procedure took about 20 months: from the first exploratory discussions (and trying to understand what the criteria would be for a part-timer) in the summer of 2022, via the confirmation that the procedures could be started in the summer of 2023, to a presentation and discussion in my research group, then my section, and ultimately an in-person presentation and interview by the academic career committee in February. I also had to write a portfolio document, compile feedback from various people on my performance, and ask 6 international experts to write a candid assessment of my profile. Finally, in March I had a feedback moment with the dean and head of HR, as well as my supervisor, to receive the official outcome of all deliberations.

As a sidenote: in Delft, getting tenure is separate from getting promoted to associate professor. I got my tenure in 2019, and the procedure of getting promoted was completely separate from the previous procedure. Nowadays, there is a more uniform path to become associate professor within eight years.

Now, of course, I will have a new title and a bit more of responsibilities within the organization. I am expected to function more within the entire faculty of civil engineering than in my section, and I am planning to address these new responsibilities as best as I can, and hopefully make a positive contribution.

What are the procedures to become associate professor like at your university?

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