Funding

The basis for the funding is the administrative arrangement between the Federal Government and the Länder concerning a funding programme for junior academics, dated 19 October 2016.

Bücherregal
© iStock.com/olaser

This arrangement sets out the details of the funding conditions. The sections below provide a short overview of the key aspects. The term “university” hereafter includes not only universities, but also equivalent higher education institutions.

What is funded?

The programme’s resources can be used to fund both personnel costs and material expenses. This funding is paid as a lump sum to cover:

  • Personnel expenses for tenure-track professorships (in the W 1 or W 2 salary band or an equivalent band) for a period of up to six years, which can be extended upon the birth or adoption of a child by one year per child – up to a maximum of two years.
  • Personnel expenses for up to two years’ follow-up funding (in the W 2 or W 3 salary band or an equivalent band) if the tenure evaluation is successful.
  • Equipment for the funded professorships.
  • A strategy bonus of 15 percent in addition to the funding detailed above to enable the university to introduce the necessary structural changes.

How much funding is the Federal Government providing for this programme?

The Federal Government makes available up to one billion euros for the Federal Government-Länder Programme.

In both approval rounds the competitive procedure is based on a share of the total funding allocated to each federal state. This share of funding is the maximum amount available to the universities in each federal state. 50 percent of the share is allocated in accordance with the ‘Königstein’ distribution formula for 2016. The other half is allocated on the basis of each state’s proportional share of professors at universities and equivalent higher education institutions between 2012 and 2014.

How are the federal states involved?

The overall funding is secured by the federal states in which the funded universities are located. The states also ensure that all of the tenure-track professorships established under the Federal Government-Länder Programme remain in place when the programme expires. Ultimately, the federal states have agreed to permanently increase the number of permanent professors at their eligible universities by 1,000. This also protects career opportunities for those people who are already continuing along other career paths leading to a professorship.

Who is eligible?

All German universities and equivalent higher education institutions are eligible to apply for funding. In each case, an application is made by the university’s executive board.

The tenure-track professorship is based on an academic-led competitive procedure. In order for it to be established as broadly as possible at German universities, universities can generally only receive funding in one of the two approval rounds. Universities that receive funding under the first approval round in 2017 are generally not eligible for the second approval round in 2019. In exceptional cases, a university whose request in the first approval round was reduced solely because the share of the federal state in which it is based had been exceeded may make a new application during the second approval round for at the most the amount of the reduction during the first approval round.

Universities which did not submit an application during the first approval round or whose applications could not be funded during the first approval round will be eligible for the second approval round.

What are the prerequisites for funding?

The university must have made a binding fundamental decision to introduce the tenure-track professorship career path in line with the requirements set out in section 4 of the administrative arrangement. Furthermore, it must demonstrate that one of its executive board’s strategic objectives is to further the personal development of junior academics and of all academic staff. Finally, the university must present an HR development concept containing information about standards, the level of institutional embedment and the implementation status of this HR concept.

Before the funding commences, the federal state in which the applicant university is based must also confirm that the necessary prerequisites of federal state laws have been fulfilled in order to introduce the tenure-track professorship.

What is the schedule?

The programme is being implemented through two approval rounds, one in 2017 and one in 2019. The first approval round has already been concluded. An overview of the 34 universities that received funding can be found here.

The anticipated schedule for the second approval round is:

  • Beginning of May 2018: publication of funding guideline
  • 8 May 2018: information event for applicants in Berlin
  • 31 January 2019: deadline for the submission of applications to the project manager by the scientific authority of the respective federal state
  • Beginning/middle of September 2019: selection meeting
  • 1 December 2019: funding commences

What is the duration of the funding?

Universities can receive funding for up to a maximum of thirteen years within the overall duration of the programme (2017 to 2032).

  • For universities whose projects were approved during the first round (in 2017), funding commenced on 1 December 2017 and ends no later than 30 November 2030.
  • For universities whose projects are approved during the second round (in 2019), funding will end by no later than 2032.

A project can only begin after it has been approved and cannot be funded after the programme expires in 2032.