Saarland University

With its application to the Tenure-Track Programme, Saarland University is taking its activities to support and promote young academic talent to the next level. By intensifying and systematising the use of a tenure-track model, the university is introducing a transparent route to lifetime professorial appointment as well as opening up new possibilities to prepare for other types of permanent academic post.

Those awarded a tenure-track professorship have the opportunity to prepare thoroughly and comprehensively for tenure. Saarland University plans to make more frequent and systematic use of the tenure-track model, which will be accompanied by a specially tailored support programme that also aims at improving work-life balance issues. The tenure-track professorial positions for which funding is sought are in the university’s core strategic areas and at key research interfaces and will provide an excellent basis for wide-ranging interdisciplinary academic networking.

In addition to these new professorial positions, young research scholars and up-and-coming academics will also have access to attractive and plannable career paths. Permanent posts are held by research assistants and non-professorial academic staff to carry out key functions in teaching and research (e.g. managing labs and large-scale equipment and facilities, teachers with specialist assignments) or in academic management (e.g. faculty administrative functions, coordination of study and research programmes). A career track model analogous to the tenure-track system for professorships will be implemented to recruit and train candidates for these posts. As many PhD-qualified graduates are looking for careers outside of academia, the proposed model includes a management track that will be implemented in cooperation with external partners to prepare candidates for careers in companies, non-university research institutes and other organizations in the business and public sectors.