Recruitment procedure

The University of Berne has set itself the goal of achieving a female proportion of 33% for full and associate professorships and 40% for assistant professorships by 2024. The current proportion of women in full and associate professorships is around 24%.

A central issue to increase the proportion of women is ensuring the quality of the recruitment procedure. Fair and transparent recruitment procedures increase gender equality. For this purpose, the University of Bern has issued a series of basic rules and the guide "Hiring Process at the University of Bern With Special Consideration of Equal Opportunities" which was adopted by the University Executive Board on June 15, 2021.

In accordance with the Employment Regulations, one member of each structural and electoral committee has the function of a gender equality delegate. A member of the Office for Gender Equality also has to sit in on the commissions in an advisory capacity.

The Office for Gender Equality provides the structural and recruitment committees with documents and holds workshops on gender equality in the recruitment procedure.

Further Information

During the annual meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology 2012 in San Francisco, a group of editors and publishers of scientific journals created the DORA Declaration. The aim was to improve the way in which funding agencies, academic institutions and other stakeholders evaluate the results of scientific research. 

The University of Bern has signed the DORA Declaration, inviting its members to consider its recommendations. 

The journal impact factor is often used as an important criterion when comparing the scientific productivity of individuals or institutions. Originally, the journal impact factor was developed as a tool for libraries to make decisions about the purchase of scientific journals, not as a measure of the quality of research in an article. It is therefore not a suitable instrument for evaluating research results. There are various problems with the journal impact factor, including the highly distorted distribution of the frequency with which individual articles are cited in a journal, the lack of transparency of the data basis, or the possibility of manipulating the impact factor through editorial guidelines.

The DORA Declaration contains a number of recommendations for funding agencies, research institutions, publishers, organizations that supply metrics and researchers. Below are the general recommendations as well as the recommendations for institutions and researchers.

General Recommendation

  1. Do not use journal-based metrics, such as Journal Impact Factors, as a surrogate measure of the quality of individual research articles, to assess an individual scientist’s contributions, or in hiring, promotion, or funding decisions.

For institutions

  1. Be explicit about the criteria used to reach hiring, tenure, and promotion decisions, clearly highlighting, especially for early-stage investigators, that the scientific content of a paper is much more important than publication metrics or the identity of the journal in which it was published.
  2. For the purposes of research assessment, consider the value and impact of all research outputs (including datasets and software) in addition to research publications, and consider a broad range of impact measures including qualitative indicators of research impact, such as influence on policy and practice.

For researchers

  1. When involved in committees making decisions about funding, hiring, tenure, or promotion, make assessments based on scientific content rather than publication metrics.
  2. Wherever appropriate, cite primary literature in which observations are first reported rather than reviews in order to give credit where credit is due.
  3. Use a range of article metrics and indicators on personal/supporting statements, as evidence of the impact of individual published articles and other research outputs.
  4. Challenge research assessment practices that rely inappropriately on Journal Impact Factors and promote and teach best practice that focuses on the value and influence of specific research outputs.

You can find the full DORA Declaration (in English and various languages) here:

The University of Berne is committed to giving its employees the opportunity to work in contemporary working models. It therefore welcomes and encourages job sharing. This flexible working time model helps to create a balance between employment and other areas of life, namely family and leisure time.

In job-sharing, the job-sharing partners assume overall responsibility for fulfilling the agreed tasks, which they divide up in terms of content and time.

The University of Berne has new guiding principles for jobsharing since the end of june 2015.

Relief pool for professors with Care responsibilities or for job-sharing tandems

The contributions from the relief pool are intended to support measures that promote the use of new working time models (job sharing, part-time) and the compatibility of career and profession at the professorship level.

The relief pool is aimed at new hires and should make the University of Bern even more attractive to potential applicants.

These guidelines govern the framework and modalities for granting contributions from the relief pool.