Below, external experts can read more about what their role involves when taking part in teacher recruitment and promotion.
This page contains instructions, documents and forms
Application documents and vacancies are available from the Reachmee recruitment portal. The relevant administrative officer will provide login details for Reachmee as well as any other necessary instructions. A quick reference guide with links can be found below. To ensure that your assessment is unbiased, you should take the 10-minute training course that can be accessed via the link below.
The task of the external expert is to review and assess applicants based on the documents they submit before the academic appointments board processes the applications. When preparing their statement, external experts are to take into account the vacancy, SLU’s appointment procedures (AO) and general assessment criteria (ABG).
The external expert´s statement of opinion is one of the documents advising the academic appointments board when they decide to propose a candidate. The task of the academic appointments board is to conduct a comprehensive assessment of all supporting documentation. They will then propose a candidate for appointment. This will be followed by a final employment decision taken at the relevant level, i.e. head of department or vice-chancellor.
External experts may be invited to participate in the academic appointments board’s meetings. The external experts have the right to attend and speak, however, they are not entitled to vote.
Ahead of the task
Conflict of interest
External experts must provide advanced written notification that there are no conflicts of interest. The faculty administrative officer must be contacted without delay should a conflict of interest be suspected during the process.
Sections 16–18 of the Administrative Procedure Act regulate conflicts of interest. Examples of conflicts of interest involve having been granted shared research funding, joint research projects and co-publications. Joint publications issued over five years ago are not considered to be grounds for a conflict of interest. Read more about conflicts of interest.
The external experts and applicants must not be in contact with each other throughout the appointment process. If an applicant contacts one or more of the external experts for their case, the expert must contact the faculty administrative officer immediately.
Equal gender distribution among external experts
Groups of two or more external experts must have an even gender distribution. However, this does not apply if there are exceptional reasons.
The deadline for the statement of opinion will be determined by the faculty administrative officer. Statements of opinion cannot be anonymous. The external experts name, affiliation and date of their assessment must be stated and an electronic copy sent to the faculty administrative officer. For teaching positions, the statement is expected to be completed within a given timeframe (approx. 4–10 weeks) once the external expert has received login details for the Reachmee portal.
SLU uses the Reachmee recruitment portal to advertise vacant positions and for electronic processing of applications. This is where the applicant submits their application using a template and uploads the necessary documents and publications. The applicant may not include qualifications that were obtained once the application period has ended. Applicants must only be assessed based on the documents uploaded to Reachmee.
The faculty administrative officer will provide the external expert with login details for Reachmee. Instructions for using Reachmee are available on this page under the heading ‘Links and documents’.
Public access to information and secrecy
Once SLU has received a statement of opinion from a external expert, it is considered an official document as per the Public Access to Information and Secrecy Act and the Press Act. This means that anybody is entitled to access its content. All candidates will receive a copy of the statement of opinion.
External experts are remunerated. It is a personal payment issued to them in their capacity as a natural person. The amount is based on the type of position and number of applicants. SLU employees are not remunerated but are expected to take on this task as part of their position at the university.
Recruitment and promotion must be unbiased and characterised by a gender equality perspective. Any aspects linked to assessing candidates must not hold a person at a disadvantage regardless of their sex, sexual orientation, transgender identity or expression, disability, ethnicity, religion or other belief or age. Before assessing candidates, external experts should participate in online bias training to counteract discrimination in the recruitment and assessment process.
The external expert´s statement of opinion for recruitment
Eligibility and assessment grounds
External experts must always assess the applicants’ teaching and research or artistic expertise in relation to the vacancy, appointment procedures (AO) and general assessment criteria (ABG). They may also be tasked with assessing other requirements or assessment grounds stated in the vacancy. Equal attention is to be paid to the assessment of research and teaching expertise and other proficiency stipulated in the vacancy.
Individual statement of opinion
Each external expert must conduct an individual assessment and provide a written statement of opinion. Collaborating with other external experts is not permitted, and any questions regarding the task are to be directed to the administrative officer.
The administrative officer will decide the submission deadline for the statement of opinion. Statements of opinion cannot be anonymous. They must include the external experts name, affiliation and date of the assessment. The statement and completed checklist are to be emailed to the relevant administrative officer in PDF format. For teaching positions, the statement is expected to be completed within a given timeframe (approx. 4–10 weeks) once the external expert has received login details for Reachmee.
Once SLU has received a statement of opinion from an external expert, it is considered an official document as per the Public Access to Information and Secrecy Act and the Press Act. This means that anybody is entitled to access its content. All candidates will receive a copy of the statement of opinion. External experts cannot remain anonymous.
Supplementary information may be requested if the statement does not cover all elements and the academic appointments board believes it to be incomplete. This slows down the process, therefore external experts are asked to follow the instructions below.
The advertisement forms the basis of the external experts assessment, as it contains all eligibility and assessment criteria. Equal consideration must be given to both teaching and research expertise. The statement is to be written in English in four parts, and structured as follows:
- Starting points for the assessment
Provide a brief presentation of the starting points used for the assessment (vacancy, AO and ABG).
- Describe the applicant and their eligibility based on the vacancy
Assess each applicant’s eligibility for the position based on all the qualification requirements included in the vacancy.
State and justify the extent to which the qualification requirements have – or have not – been met. Provide a brief statement if an application does not include the information necessary to make this assessment. No further assessment is to be carried out for applicants deemed ineligible. A clear and individual justification must be provided.
Assess the qualifications of all applicants based on the criteria included in the vacancy. Use the indicators in the ABG. If the number of applicants remains high at this stage, they should be split into at least two groups based on the qualifications being assessed.
Applicants in the more qualified group are to be described in more detail than those in the less qualified group, who are to receive a more general assessment. Clear, individual reasons must be given for each applicant in the less qualified group.
Applicants who are associate senior lecturers (BUL) should have held this position for a maximum of five years before the application deadline. However, those with doctoral degrees or equivalent qualifications may be considered if there are special reasons. In such cases, the academic appointments board will assess the special reasons. Applicants who do not fulfil these reasons must nevertheless be assessed by the external experts.
- Weighted assessment
A weighted assessment is to be performed by comparing the applicants in the more qualified group to identify a top cluster. Clear and individual reasons must be given explaining why some applicants in the more qualified group have not been sorted into the top cluster.
Candidates in the top cluster will be assessed on each of the assessment criteria together with an overall assessment of each application. There must be a detailed justification for defining an unranked top cluster.
The external expert´s statement of opinion for promotion
The AO describes two types of promotion, from associate senior lecturer to senior lecturer and the promotion of permanently employed teaching staff (lecturer, researcher or senior lecturer) to a higher position (senior lecturer or professor).
The external expert must provide the academic appointments board with a written statement of opinion for the candidate.
The statement is to comprise three sections. Otherwise, the instructions above apply.
- Starting points for the assessment and description of the applicant
Provide a brief presentation of the basis for the assessment (AO and ABG) and the applicant.
An assessment of the applicant based on the eligibility requirements for the position. When promoting an associate senior lecturer to senior lecturer, the criteria established by the faculty board for the recruitment are to be taken into account, where appropriate. If the applicant does not meet the eligibility requirements for promotion, the reason must be stated.
- Final assessment
Regarding promotions, the external expert´s statement of opinion must relate to whether or not the applicant meets the eligibility requirements.
Links and documents
Governing documents and guidelines necessary for the assessment
Checklist - when evaluating candidates for an academic position at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU)
Reimbursement form (Swedish)
Reimbursement form (English)