Tenure Track in Germany

The path to a tenured professorship in Germany was often criticized as extraordinarily difficult, leaving candidates in insecure fixed-term position until a relatively high age and thus becoming unattractive for many excellent scientists and scholars. The tenure track professorship was introduced as a measure to enhance the predictability of this career path at an earlier stage. For young researchers, it includes the promise from the outset that, if they successfully complete a probationary period of up to six years, they will be employed in a permanent position. 

Though first steps toward this reform were taken as early as 2002, it was not until the government program promoting the tenure track was adopted in 2016 that the direct path to a tenured professorship gained significant importance. According to the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, in the two rounds of the so-called “1000-Professorships Program” conducted in 2017 and 2019, 1,000 tenure track assistant professorships at 75 universities will be funded until 2032. As a result, more than one-third of assistant professorships are expected to be offered with a tenure track by 2022. 

The chances of obtaining a tenure-track assistant professorship are thus increasingly good. However, the number of available positions depends heavily on the federal state, the university and the respective department.