University of Potsdam

The University of Potsdam (UP) supports its junior scholars with career assistance services that help them to prepare for an academic career leading up to a professorship, positions in science management, or careers outside of higher education. Academic advancement is divided into the phases of the doctoral degree, the postdoc phase, a tenure-track (TT) professorship, and then a permanent position as a W2/W3 professor. The UP introduced a TT program in 2013 to fill upcoming vacancies by enabling gradual advancement from a junior professorship to a full W2/W3 lifetime professorship. This is a central component of our staff development strategy and is making a major contribution to successful hiring policies.

In addition to the sustainable implementation of replacements for professors through the ongoing TT program, which is financed with budgeted funds, the UP intends to use funding from the Federal-States Program to expand its staff structure to add 12 professors. Eight of these professors will provide support for established research areas and teaching capacity for courses that are in high demand. The UP seeks to use the other four vacancies as “TT future professors”, spread across four faculties and advertised as open-topic, to open up innovative fields of research and to enhance the University’s profile as an internationally competitive research university.

The UP has reviewed its TT professorship requirements, as well as previous processes, criteria and benchmarks for TT evaluations, and used this review to set down binding standards for the TT process, including guidelines for quality assurance. To better facilitate work-life balance, tenure-track junior professors can apply for an extension of their contract by up to two years per child.