Academic career paths
The way your academic career takes shape depends upon your subject and research topic. Generally, there are three possible paths from doctoral studies to appointment as a professor: completing a Habilitation, demonstrating that you have comparable academic credentials, or being appointed as a junior professor or early career research group leader. These paths to a professorship are flexible – a postdoctoral research associate can switch to a position as a junior professor, for example.
- Traditionally, you become a research associate (wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin/wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter) or a postdoctoral research associate (wissenschaftliche Assistentin/wissenschaftlicher Assistent) after completing doctoral studies and pursue a Habilitation. In both cases, you will answer to a full professor and have teaching duties.
- As a postdoctoral researcher, you may gain the qualifications for a professorship in an externally funded project and complete your Habilitation or comparable academic work in a position for which you have acquired your own funding or as a early career research group leader.
- A junior professorship (W1) may also lead to a tenured professorship (W2/W3). These W1 positions are offered with and without tenure track. Following successful interim and final evaluations, a tenure-track position can lead to a tenured professorship.
- The call to a professorship at a University of Applied Sciences (UAS) traditionally requires threefold qualification in teaching, research, and professional practice outside the university. After succesful completion of your doctoral studies and an additional five years of relevant practical work experience (three of which have to be completed outside of university), you are qualified to apply for a UAS professorship.