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Prof. Dr. Johannes Blömer about supporting early-career researchers at Paderborn University Show image information
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Early-career researcher at the lab Show image information
Early-career researchers at UPB Show image information

Photo: Universität Paderborn - Adelheid Rutenburges

Photo: Besim Mazhiqi

Early-career researcher at the lab

Photo: Besim Mazhiqi

Early-career researchers at UPB

Photo: Besim Mazhiqi

Tenure track professorship at Paderborn University

The tenure track professorship is a more innovative model in the German research system that makes it possible to pursue initially fixed-term professorships by tenure track. This involves the binding commitment that the fixed-term professorship is converted into a permanent professorship after the holder of the position has proven their aptitude with a positive evaluation. Paderborn University has decided to establish tenure track professorships as an additional career path in the entire university. The aim is to offer excellent, high-potential junior scientists and academics reliable career perspectives at an early stage. Tenure track professorships open up a structured and transparent qualification path, which ideally prepares the candidates for their next position by offering accompanying and coordinated personnel development measures.

At Paderborn University, tenure track professors are in charge of independent, long-term research projects embedded in the university's development planning and thus forming an essential pillar of the research work at the university.

With the tenure track professorship, Paderborn University addresses junior scientists and academics at an early career stage as defined by the "Programme of the German Federal Government and the Stages on the Promotion of Junior Scientists and Academics."


Information for tenure track professors

Detailed information on the general conditions and procedural steps involved for a tenure track professorship are set out in the Tenure Track Regulations of Paderborn University.

Framework conditions and characteristics of a tenure track professorship

In general, prerequisites for the appointment as a tenure track professor are an outstanding doctoral degree and other scientific/academic achievements as all as aptitude in the areas of pedagogy and didactics. The doctorate should not have been completed more than five years ago.

The tenure track model of Paderborn University provides for the following formats:

a. Standard case: W1 tenure track professorships with a fixed-term of six years (junior professorships) with conversion into a permanent W2 professorship

b. Exceptional cases: W2 tenure track professorships with a fixed-term of five years with conversion into a permanent W3 professorship; and W1 tenure track professorships with a fixed-term of six years (junior professorships) with conversion into a permanent W3 professorship

Tenure track professorships are allocated to the group of university professors. This means that they have the same rights and obligations as all professors at Paderborn University. They independently conduct research and teaching activities, participate in academic self-administration and are authorised to supervise doctoral students. The teaching commitment is however less pronounced in W1 professorships than in W2 professorships (4 semester periods per week in the 1st phase, five semester periods per week after the successful completion of the intermediate evaluation).

Evaluation procedures

Tenure track procedures at Paderborn University can be broken down into two phases, which are both completed by an evaluation: an intermediate evaluation with orientation character and a final evaluation which decides on the acceptance for a permanent professorship. The evaluations are carried out on the basis of university-wide standardised criteria with subject-specific indicators.  

For W1 professorships, the appointment expires after three years. An intermediate evaluation is conducted in the third year, which decides on whether the junior professorship is extended for three further years. For W2 professorships, the appointment expires after five years with an orientating intermediate evaluation after two and a half years. In case of both W1 and W2 professorships, the result of the final evaluation forms the basis for the decision on the acceptance to a permanent employment relationship in accordance with the appointment to a W2 or W3 position as committed to upon employment.

The evaluation procedures are accompanied and monitored by the Tenure Board, a standing, cross-faculty body. The Tenure Board is responsible for assuring the quality of all tenure track procedures on the basis of the Tenure Track Regulations of Paderborn University.

Mentorships and status talks

All tenure track professors can choose a mentor from the group of university professors at Paderborn University. The optional mentorship serves to provide the candidates with critical collegial feedback during the qualification phase and support them with advice in particular in the preparation of the self-reports required for the evaluations. The mentor may not be involved in the evaluations and is not authorised to give the mentee instructions. Detailed information and recommendations for implementation can be found in the Handreichung Mentoring für Tenure-Track-Professor*innen und Nachwuchsgruppenleitungen.

Other than the mentorship, the status talk is a binding part of each tenure track procedure and formally terminates the intermediate evaluation. It serves to reflect the results of the evaluation together with the tenure track professor. Thus, the status talk offers the tenure track candidates orientation for their further development, in particular with regard to the final evaluation.

Qualification opportunities for tenure track professors

For more information on the qualification opportunities and advice services go to the section qualification and advice.

Special offers for tenure track professorships or other executives are mentorships and status talks as well as:

Awards and funding programmes

Information on science and teaching awards as well as on funds for research projects and trips is available here.

Another specific offer for junior professors is the option of funding research projects by employment as a scientific or academic research assistant within the scope of the equality concept.

Tenure Board

The Tenure Board is in charge of the quality management of all tenure track processes. The board supports the tenure track processes at Paderborn University from an overall perspective and garantuees constistent standards as well as transparency and procedural reliability.

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