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Tenure-Track Professorships at the University of Freiburg

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We have been offering tenure-track professorships at the University of Freiburg since 2009. We are convinced that this option for early entry into a career as a professor serves to attract outstanding young scholars to the University of Freiburg – and this conviction has been borne out by the successful tenure procedures we have conducted in the past years. Aside from just a few exceptions, all of our tenure-track professors from the first generation now hold tenure at our university or at comparable universities across the world.

It is a matter of special concern for us to provide transparent and reliable career pathways for highly qualified young academics. Our tenure-track professorships (in the form of junior professorships with tenure track) come with a budget for staff and equipment that is suitable for the respective discipline. The holders receive support from mentors. The appointment procedure is conducted in accordance with clear rules set down in our appointment guide [de]. Interim and final evaluations also follow straightforward criteria that are fixed when the holder is appointed and are described in our tenure-track statutes and quality assurance concept. Following a positive tenure procedure, the holder is guaranteed an appointment to a W3 professorship with a budget for staff and equipment.

Like all postdoctoral researchers, tenure-track professors receive privileged consideration when applying to the Research Innovation Fund for a grant to initiate or carry out their own research projects. They are also entitled to submit applications to the University of Freiburg’s Strategy Fund through their faculty. In addition, other attractive options are offered by the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies (FRIAS). An institution for top-level international research, FRIAS offers a range of individual funding formats (junior fellowships, junior research groups, conferences for junior researchers, project groups), all of which are granted on a competitive basis. The institute invites young academics to Freiburg to get to know each other and conduct research in teams and thus serves as a networking platform in an international and interdisciplinary research environment.

Moreover, since 2015 leaders of junior research groups receiving competition-based funding (Emmy Noether, ERC, etc.) have been eligible under the “Freiburg Model” to be appointed to tenure-track professorships on an individual basis in agreement with the responsible faculty. If a faculty decides to use this model and also strengthen its research profile in the long term by providing a W3 professorship in the field of these researchers, a tenure-track professorship with the corresponding focus is advertised publically.