Academic ranks in Denmark

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Academic ranks in Denmark are the titles, relative importance and power of professors, researchers, and administrative personnel held in academia.


Academic positions at the level of Professor:[1]

  • Professor (professor)
  • Forskningsprofessor (research professor)
  • Professor MSO (professor with special responsibilities; temporary rank)
  • Forskningsprofessor MSO (research professor with special responsibilities; temporary rank)

Academic positions at the level of Associate Professor:[2]

  • Lektor (Associate Professor), time traditionally divided as 50-40-10 between teaching, research, and administration
  • Seniorforsker (Senior Researcher)

Academic positions at the level of Assistant Professor:[3]

  • Post doc (Post-doc), generally a research position without the possibility of teaching
  • Adjunkt (Assistant Professor), usually almost the same teaching/research/administration division as lektor, although sometimes a little more time for research
  • Forsker (Researcher)

Academic positions below the level of Assistant Professor:[4]

  • phd studerende (PhD Student)
  • Forskningsassistent (Research Assistant)
  • Undervisningsassistent (Assistant Lecturer)
  • Ekstern lektor (Part-time Lecturer), requires a master's degree in the subject taught, but not a research degree (PhD or equivalent)

Special positions:[5]

  • Seniorrådgiver (Senior Adviser), the main tasks being research-based consulting to authorities and the dissemination of research results to authorities, business and society in general.
  • Studielektor (Teaching Associate Professor), full time teachers without research requirement.
  • Clinical Professor (for a leading attending/consultant) and Associate Clinical Professor (for an attending/consultant) are also in use. The latter two will typically require a certain amount of time with patients. Used by both doctors, dentists and chiropractors at Danish universities.

Administrative positions:

  • Rektor (rector)
  • Prorektor, second-ranked official of governance, deputy rector.
  • Dekan (dean), head of a faculty (humanities, natural sciences, etc.)
  • Institutleder (head of department), head of department (computer science, mathematics, etc.)
  • Studieleder (programme director), head of a study programme (business administration, civil engineering, etc.)


In Denmark the word professor is only used for full professors. An associate professor is in Danish called a lektor and an assistant professor is called an adjunkt. Before promotion to full professorship, one can get a time limited (usually 5 years) post as an MSO (professor med særlige opgaver) or "professor with special responsibilities." The post of professor with special responsibilities involves fixed-term specific functions as well as duties that are otherwise associated with professorships. The qualification requirements correspond to those of ordinary professorships. This position gives time for the school to raise funds for the permanent professorship. An additional step between lektor and full professor is docent. A docent has the same work as a professor but they do not actively take part in senior administrative duties, such as heading a department. The Danish PhD does not come with a title; only the local docent, after a similar extended thesis to the German docent, brings the right to be addressed as doktor.