Working conditions at universities

Each university has its own regulations concerning employment conditions for researchers and academic staff. The salary level and other conditions of employment are established in an employment contract, based on the rules of the university and on the Employment Contracts Act.

The salary rules vary for professors, docents (assistant professors), specialists and other academic positions, and the rules are reviewed on a regular basis. The rules can be found on the web pages of the universities.

On principle, official recognition of a foreign diploma or degree is sought only for admission to further studies. Some applicants, however, choose to receive a statement of academic recognition before seeking employment. This kind of recognition (academic recognition for professional purposes) helps employers to understand which home country’s qualification can be compared to the foreign one – for example, whether a candidate fulfills the conditions to be employed as a professor.

The Estonian ENIC/NARIC (language selection from homepage default Estonian) evaluates foreign qualifications and determines the Estonian correspondence to the attested qualifications for commencing or continuing studies in Estonian higher education institutions or employment in non-regulated professions. An applicant for the evaluation of foreign qualifications may be the holder of the qualification as well as an employer, higher education institution or another institution where the education document has been presented. An evaluation determines the correspondence of foreign qualifications to qualifications within the Estonian education system and a proposal is made for the recognition of these qualifications to a higher education establishment or employer.

Estonian public universities have signed the Agreement on Good Practice in the Internationalisation of Estonia’s Higher Education Institutions, which guides the employment of foreign research staff and the enrolment of international students. All universities that host EURAXESS Services Centres have signed the Agreement on Good Practice.


If human research or animal experiments are intended in the research, the positive resolution of the Ethics Review Committee or permit committee of the conduct of animal experiments is needed.

There are three ethical committees in Estonia:

•  Research Ethics Committee of University of Tartu

Tel: (+372) 737 5514

Fax: (+372) 737 5508


Tallinn Medical Research Ethics Committee (web-site in Estonian)

Hiiu 42, Tallinn 11619

Tel: (+372) 659 3924

Fax: 659 3901


Permit Committee of the Conduct of Animal Experiments (web-site in Estonian)

Tel: (+372) 737 4335



Academic Career Observatory. Estonia, Academic Career Structure

University of Tartu. Personnel regulations and documents

Estonian University of Life Sciences. General regulations and documents

Tallinn University. Working at TU

Tallinn University of Technology. Election rules and job descriptions In Estonian

Europass – European Commission initiative helping people to make their skills and competences clearly understood

EURAXESS – Researchers in Motion – Jobs