What you need to know about tenure-track positions

Is your goal a full professorship at a university in Baden-Wuerttemberg? Read on, because there are some new developments that may bring this goal closer within reach.

The path to a full professorship in Germany is not an easy one. But with an increasing number of junior professorships with tenure track options, additional opportunities have opened up for outstanding young scientists.

These positions generally offer no guarantees (see section below) but make your academic career a bit more plannable and predictable. German universities have adopted the model of tenure-track positions from U.S. universities to give promising researchers more security in their career planning. For 15 years between 2017 and 2032, there is also additional funding available.

Some differences between tenure-track positions

According to the Deutscher Hochschulverband (German Association of University
Professors and Lecturers), differences between real tenure-track positions that definitely lead to a tenured position and optional tenure-track positions that involve the possibility of leading to a tenure-track position must be clearly marked in the job advertisements. Optional tenure-track positions often involve an application process that is open to other qualified applicants and an exam.

To provide more opportunities for junior scientists in Germany, the federal states and the Federal Department of Education and Research have established the tenure-track program. This program aims at providing long-term funding for young scientists who aspire to become full professors in Germany. The program runs from 2017-2032 and includes 1 billion euros in funding. So far, 1000 professorships were granted at 86 universities in Germany. The positions are all real tenure-track position and lead to a full professorship when completed successfully.

1000 professorships were granted at 86 universities in Germany

Requirements for tenure-track positions

These positions are highly coveted, and the job requirements are high. They can vary from university to university, but they usually include an outstanding doctorate degree and a highly rated teaching ability. Usually, applicants are required to have completed research in a post-doc position and have to have some teaching experience. Some tenure-track positions are only open to candidates who have worked or studied at a different university.    

The Federal Department of Education and Research provides a searchable list with tenure-track junior professorships in Baden-Württemberg.