Freie Universität Berlin Successful in Tenure-Track Program

22 professorships approved in a program of the German federal and state governments to support junior academics / 14 more for Charité - Universitätsmedizin, the joint medical faculty of Freie Universität and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

No 264/2019 from Sep 12, 2019

The German federal and state governments are supporting the establishment of a new career path at Freie Universität Berlin with 22 additional professorships. The chairman of the German Joint Science Conference (GWK) and Minister for Science, Further Education and Culture of the German State of Rhineland-Palatinate, Dr. Konrad Wolf, and German Federal Minister of Education and Research, Anja Karliczek, acting as deputy chair of the GWK, announced in Berlin on Thursday that these positions have been approved for Freie Universität for the next 13 years. Another 14 professorships were approved for Charité - Universitätsmedizin, the joint medical faculty of Freie Universität and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. The professorships are financed through a GWK program that aims to establish tenure-track professorships as an independent career path at universities on a lasting and broad basis throughout Germany.

The president of Freie Universität Berlin, Dr. Günter M. Ziegler, was visibly delighted at the results, pointing out that through this funding decision, the German Federal Research Ministry and the German states were recognizing Freie Universität’s concepts and long-standing commitment to improving stability and support for careers in academia. "The financing of additional professorships filled through the tenure-track process will make a crucial contribution to establishing this new tool in providing support for junior researchers, but that’s not all. It will also set clear trends in research and teaching activities in quantitative terms." Ziegler added that the program offers promising scholars and scientists reliable professional prospects even at a very early stage of their careers, thereby ensuring excellence in research.

FUTURE Track, the tenure track program of Freie Universität Berlin, emerged from the career path model implemented at Freie Universität as part of the Excellence Initiative. It provides targeted support from doctoral study through to an appointment as a university professor. With the new tenure-track professorship, scholars and scientists will be approached just a few years after they complete their doctoral studies. In the tenure-track process, appointment to a permanent professorship is guaranteed as long as the candidate receives a positive evaluation after a certain initial period. Günter Ziegler underscored that the tenure track appointments will enhance the university’s appeal as it competes for outstanding junior scholars and scientists.

Calls for candidates for the first professorships in the program, which encompass a broad spectrum of disciplines, are to be published next year. In the medium term, Freie Universität hopes to fill about one-quarter of the tenure-track professorships. Along the way, the university also hopes to boost the percentage of university professorships held by women in particular.


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