The interim evaluation procedure is launched by the faculty at the last two months before the end of the third year. It is intended to reveal strengths and weaknesses at an early stage, so that on the one hand, any failings which may prevent a later appointment may be rectified and on the other hand, a decision may be made on the professor’s further career at a point at which alternative paths are still feasible.
All areas of the professor’s academic activity are evaluated: research, teaching, and academic service, though the latter is generally accorded a lower priority.
The final evaluation follows more or less the same procedure as the interim evaluation, but it includes reports by external evaluators. It is launched by the faculty at the latest two months before the end of the fifth year. The criteria for the final evaluation are made clear to the assistant professor from the beginning; often they are available together with the advertisement for the position and cannot be changed thereafter.
If the tenure-track professor becomes a parent, whether by birth or adoption, or takes leave of absence to care for a family member, she or he can apply to ‘stop the tenure clock’: the tenure evaluation will be delayed by the corresponding amount of time. An early final evaluation may be conducted even prior to an interim evaluation in order to counter an offer of an appointment elsewhere, but does not necessarily entail any right to an early promotion to a W3 professorship.
The tenure evaluation cannot be repeated.