Approximately 2,250 professors are currently employed by the universities in Finland. In accordance with the Universities Act (558/2009), professors shall promote and supervise scientific research or artistic work, provide research-based tuition, follow developments in science or art, and participate in societal interaction and international co-operation within their field.

A university shall publicly advertise a professorship position as being vacant when the post is to be filled on the terms of an employment relationship that is valid until further notice. The professorship may also be filled by invite when a distinguished individual can be called to fill the post or the post is being filled for a fixed term. The post may only be filled by invite if the individual in question undeniably fulfils the qualification requirements. The specific qualification requirements are determined by the guiding principles of each university.

According to the Universities Act, statements on the qualifications and merits of applicants or invitees to a position must be requested from a minimum of two assessors for an appointment that is in effect until further notice or for a fixed period of at least two years. In the view of the Finnish Union of University Professors, expert advice on the selection of a professor can only be provided by a professor. It is the Union’s opinion that a student representative may take part in the evaluation of candidates’ teaching skills as part of the process of selecting professors.

A university can grant an individual employed in its service the right to use the title of professor. The President of the Republic can grant the honorary title of Professor to one who is not officially employed in such a post (Presidential Decree on Titles 381/20 April 2000).

The duties of professors and military professors in the National Defence University and the procedure for filling of the post of professor, military professor, associate professor, and associate military professor at the National Defence University are stipulated in the Act on the Defence Forces.

Issues concerning professors who are employed at research facilities are regulated in accordance with the rules and regulations of the research institute in question.

Academy professors and researchers are employed by those organisations in which their research posts are positioned.

Within the Universities Act, the term professor refers to full professors. Furthermore, professors includes academy professors and research professors.