University of Tübingen

The University of Tübingen aims to make career paths for junior researchers more transparent and easier to plan. We plan to sustainably establish tenure-track professorships and, in a move to change the institutional culture, to alter the University's personnel structure. At the same time, we plan to give appropriate junior researchers greater certainty for their career prospects, so that they do not abandon the idea of an academic career (for instance, when they start a family). We plan to achieve this with a significant increase in the number of tenure-track positions. Over the next ten years, the University aims to transform suitable lecturer and research fellow positions which comprise a large proportion of research into tenure-track positions. In addition, we are currently planning extra advisory and orientation services on alternative career paths - for instance, an orientation programme on academic management as a profession, and on-the-job mentoring by experienced professors from the same discipline. We also plan to further develop trans-disciplinary skills as well as career- and evaluation-relevant competencies in the W1 phase. In the commitment talks held regularly between the President’s Office and the Faculties and Departments we will monitor and safeguard the tenure-track policy outlined here.

We see the Tenure-Track Programme as an initiator and kick-start for this structural change at the University. It enables us to test on already defined positions what may be further developed in other places as a result (and on the basis of this experience). The research areas initially identified here are all developing dynamically, yet are overall so new that at this point researchers who will set the tone in them may be secured for the University on a long-term basis via a tenure-track process.