Heidelberg University

Nurturing the careers of young academics is one of the central strategic target areas of Heidelberg University’s development plan. The goal is to optimally prepare young academics for a career within or outside academia, to attract the best global talent and to position Heidelberg University to its best advantage among international competitors. Fulfilling these goals is the prerequisite for maintaining and continually improving good conditions for excellence in research, study and teaching. In order to safeguard and foster its competitiveness, Heidelberg University developed its own innovative and comprehensive heiQUALITY management system for all of its areas of activity.

At Heidelberg University three different career paths lead to eligibility for a full professorship: habilitation, junior group leader positions, and junior professorships without tenure. Introducing a junior professorship with a tenure option constitutes an optimal addition to this portfolio as it provides for a career path towards a full professorship with increased predictability at a relatively early career stage. For holder of a junior professorship with a tenure option, the transition to a full professorship depends solely on a positive performance rating based on transparent criteria and procedures at the end of the qualification phase. Throughout the qualification phase, junior professors are eligible to benefit from the newly established heiTRACK training program.

Committed to fostering the University’s academic cultural change, in March 2017 Heidelberg University ratified a binding resolution to appoint about 10% of its new professors based on a clearly defined and thoroughly quality-controlled tenure procedure.