Professorships and Appointments

Appointments at the University of Technology Nuremberg are currently made based on the following stages: as either UTN Assistant Professors (Bavarian State salary level W2) for 6 years with tenure track, UTN Professors (Bavarian State salary level W3, permanent position) or UTN Distinguished Professors (Bavarian State salary level W3, permanent position). Upon successful tenure evaluation, UTN assistant professors receive tenure for an UTN professorship. Further progression to a UTN Distinguished Professorship is possible for outstanding UTN professors, upon request and performance evaluation.

Appointment Guide of the University of Technology in Nuremberg.

Guidelines for the Tenure Track Process

Who can apply for a tenure track professorship?

W2 assistant professorships with tenure track are aimed at scientists who, for example, have recently or in recent years completed their doctorate. Applicants should have been employed at a university or non-university research institution other than UTN immediately prior to applying. Those who have completed the tenure phase and are positively evaluated in the tenure evaluation will receive a permanent W3 professorship.

What goals must be met at the end of the tenure track?

The agreement on objectives includes goals in the areas of research, teaching and transfer as well as in the academic area (Richtlinien für Qualitätskriterien). The candidate must achieve these in the course of his or her tenure phase. They thus form the basis of the decision as to whether tenure can be granted. The objectives are defined on a subject-specific and individual basis during the appointment negotiations and cannot be adjusted subsequently. They are formulated so specifically that it is clear how they are to be fulfilled. At the same time, they are open enough to respond to changes in research plans. An example of what such an agreement on objectives might look like is shown in this template.

Who evaluates the tenure track?

The Standing Tenure Committee is a cross-departmental body and evaluates all tenure cases at UTN. Members include the founding department chairs, other professors, and representatives of students, academic staff, and the Equal Opportunity Officer. The Standing Tenure Committee ensures comparable standards of evaluation in all departments. It is made up of diverse members and, for each tenure procedure, brings in additional members with relevant professional expertise at its own discretion. Members of the Standing Tenure Committee may neither be mentors for tenure-track professors nor members of the Founding Executive Board.

What is the role of tenure-track professors?

Tenure-track professors are on an equal footing with other UTN professors: They independently supervise PhDs and postdocs as well as bachelors and master’s theses. Due to the additional requirements of the tenure track, UTN assistant professors have a reduced teaching load. Tenure-track professors may take a research semester after the interim evaluation and in prior consultation with the founding department chair. They can use this semester, for example, to spend time abroad or to prepare for the tenure evaluation.

Who guides tenure track professors?

All UTN assistant professors choose a mentor in consultation with the founding department chair within the first six months of taking up their position. Mentors accompany the tenure-track professors and must be W3 professors who are close to the subject and have been granted a fixed term. They may also come from another research institution. In addition, there is the possibility to choose a second mentor. This person can also work in industry.

How does the tenure evaluation proceed?

The tenure evaluation normally takes place in the 6th year and at the earliest five years after taking up the tenure-track professorship. It is initiated when the candidate submits the self-report. If the self-report is submitted too late or not at all, no tenure evaluation will take place and the professorship will end regularly at the end of the contract period. A deadline for timely submission of the self-report is set by the UTN Appointment Team in consultation with the founding Department Chair. It ends no later than six months before the end of the contract. The self-report consists of about 20 pages and is based on the agreement on objectives (-> template self-report). The tenure evaluation consists of a 30-minute public presentation and a 30-minute non-public interview with the standing tenure committee. In addition, expert opinions are obtained. Finally, the tenure committee writes a report to compare with the agreement of objectives and a recommendation for or against career advancement to the W3 professorship. The candidate may comment on this report. The decision on career advancement rests with the founding President. In the case of a negative tenure decision, there is a phase-out funding for another year (transition year) within the framework of the legal possibilities.

How does the interim evaluation work?

The interim evaluation usually takes place in the 3rd year of the tenure-track professorship. It serves as a forecast for the tenure evaluation. The standing tenure committee sets a date for a 30-minute presentation and a 30-minute interview. It also sets a deadline of four weeks for the candidate to submit an interim report. This should comprise a maximum of ten pages and be based on the target agreement. (-> Interim report template). At the candidate’s request, mentors may also participate in the presentation. The permanent tenure committee then writes a report to compare with the agreement on objectives and makes it available to the candidate.

Is an earlier tenure evaluation possible? (Fast Track)

An early tenure evaluation (fast track) can usually be initiated from the 3rd year onwards if special achievements in research and teaching have been made. Such a request is made by the candidate (in consultation with the founding department chair) or directly by the department chair. A tenure evaluation will then take place as described above.

We value work-life balance!

When tenure-track professors take parental leave, we extend the tenure phases and any deadlines by the amount of parental leave taken, up to a maximum of 4 years.

If the candidate or close family members become ill, teaching duties can be reduced in consultation with the founding Department Chair.

Guidelines for the appointment process according to the “Besondere Berufungssatzung” [Regulations on Special Appointment Procedures]

In its initiation phase, the University of Technology Nuremberg instated the “Besondere Berufungssatzung” [Regulations on Special Appointment Procedures], with the aim to define the scientific profile of the UTN. It is, furthermore, applied in order to shape or specifically strengthen the first departments, while observing the rules and regulations of the general appointment procedure.

Berufungsleitfaden der Technischen Universität Nürnberg

Initiation of the Appointment Process

  • Approval of Vacancies and Advertisement
    The department chair can propose a faculty vacancy to the president using the form Freigabeschreiben [proposal from the department chair]. Before submitting the form, the department chair and the president have the option to discuss the proposal informally. The Freigabeschreiben form contains the text for advertising the position, as well as the denomination and category (salary level according to the Bavarian Law for State Employees at professorship level) of the envisaged professorship. Upon approval by the president the position will be advertised nationally and internationally for four weeks.
  • Appointment Committee
    To assess potential candidates, an appointment committee is selected by the president. Its members are chosen to cover scientific expertise in the field advertised, as well as to address the interests of students, women and persons with disabilities. As such, it typically comprises: the Founding Executive Board (until the first two department chairs have been appointed), the department chair, a minimum of three external professors from the designated field of research and a student member. In case of applications by persons with disabilities, The Bavarian State Representation for the Interests of Severely Disabled Persons is invited to join the appointment committee. A women’s representative may also be a committee member. At least one committee member should be female. The founding president selects a department chair from a different field of research to head the committee. If only one department chair has been appointed as yet, the president will head the committee. The department chair proposes members of the committee, according to the composition outlined above, in the Freigabeschreiben form. The committee members are required to follow strict rules of confidentiality and adhere to the guidelines for conflicts of interest.
  • Optional: Leuchtturmverfahren [ad personam appointment procedure]
    To attract distinguished professors, who are established leaders in their scientific discipline, it is possible to forgo the advertisement and to approach this person directly instead. The appointment process then only assesses this one candidate’s qualifications. To initiate a “Leuchtturmverfahren” [ad personam appointment procedure], the department chair can use the Freigabeschreiben form, providing a justification as to why a Leuchtturmverfahren is pertinent. Consent by the University Executive Board is required to initiate a Leuchtturmverfahren.

Appointment Committee

  • In its first committee meeting, before expiry of the application deadline, the appointment committee determines the evaluation criteria as well as the form of assessment of the candidates. In general, candidates are assessed by giving a lecture and an interview. The committee, furthermore, decides whether to approach highly qualified candidates directly. Encouraging female scientists to apply is a major aim of the faculty recruitment process.
  • During the second committee meeting, after expiry of the application deadline, potential candidates are selected to be invited for a round of interviews.
  • The candidates are invited to present their interdisciplinary research plans, teaching concepts, relevant competencies as well as their leadership and management skills during the third committee meeting. Taking place on site, the candidates will also have the opportunity to get to know their potential new workplace. Based on the presentations of and interview with the candidates, the committee selects reviewers to provide comparative reviews for the most suitable candidates. At least 3 reviews are required, one of which needs to be international, and one should be from a female reviewer.
  • The committee meets for a fourth and final committee session in which the committee decides on a list of usually three candidates to propose for appointment for the advertised position. This selection is based on the candidates’ presentations, interviews and comparative reviews. The interest groups representatives (students, persons with disabilities and women’s representatives) submit written statements regarding this list of candidates. The committee’s decision is submitted to the president as a written report, including the decision-making process and reasoning, as well as the interest groups’ statements and the reviews. Members of the University of Technology Nuremberg can only be listed in exceptional cases and require additional justification. The faculty recruitment team supports the appointment committee during the preparation of the written report.
  • Optional: Leuchtturmverfahren [ad personam appointment procedure]
    During the first committee meeting, the special circumstances of the ad personam appointment process are discussed and reviewers are selected, at least one of whom needs to be an international professor as well as one female professor. When the committee convenes for the second committee meeting, both the reviews and the qualifications and motivation of the candidate are discussed. The candidate is invited to join this meeting for an interview.
  • The faculty recruitment team observes the entire recruitment and appointment process and monitors compliance with the rules and regulations in effect. All members of the appointment committee are required to consent with and pass the meeting minutes.

Finalization of the Appointment Process

  • The Executive Board checks the appointment committee’s report and list of suggested candidates regarding their scientific and teaching quality as well as for formal and public service law compliance. In case of reasonable doubt, the committee will have the opportunity to re-evaluate and revise the report and appointment suggestion. In general, the president can accept, change or decline the list of suggested candidates for appointment.
  • If the president accepts the appointment suggestion, he or she notifies the first-place candidate and issues an offer for a professorship. As part of that offer, the candidate is requested to provide their concept for personnel, real-estate and equipment needs, as well as a separate document detailing the envisioned salary. These two documents are the basis for the upcoming appointment negotiations.
  • The president notifies the eligible candidates of their listing. The head of the appointment committee informs all other candidates of the fact that they could not be considered on the list.

Negotiations and Appointment

  • Negotiations & Offer for Professorship
    Upon submission of the candidate’s requirements, the president issues an invitation for appointment negotiations. During the first negotiation meeting, the president, the provost, the candidate and the department chair negotiate about personnel, real-estate and equipment. In a separate meeting between the president, provost and candidate, the salary request is negotiated. The outcomes of both meetings are put in writing before they are signed by the president, and constitute the university’s appointment offer. The candidate can accept or decline this written offer within two weeks.
  • If the negotiations are not successful, the runner-up on the appointment suggestion list receives an offer for professorship.
  • If the president declines the appointment suggestion, or negotiations with none of the candidates are successful, the president can discontinue the appointment process.
  • Accepting the Offer for Professorship & Appointment
    In case the candidate accepts the offer for professorship within the set deadline, the president informs the head of the appointment committee as well as the department chair. The committee head informs all other candidates that the position is to be filled with the selected candidate, and that the candidate has accepted the offer. The unit finance and human resources prepares the appointment of the professor as civil servant of the state of Bavaria (Beamter). For this process, the candidate needs to provide a certificate of conduct (Führungszeugnis) and a medical examination record that certifies the eligibility to become a civil servant (Amtsärztliche Untersuchung). Other aspects regarding public service law may be applicable and require further documentation. Appointment as public sector employee (Angestellte:r) is also possible. The unit finance and human resources then issues a certificate of professorship which is handed out in person by the president. The president informs the committee head of the finalization of the appointment process, who in turn informs the appointment committee members as well as all other candidates.