Tenure Track Process

Leibniz Universität Hannover views appointment to be the most effective means for profile development and strategically the most important task in order to attract and retain outstanding researchers. The university considers the recruitment and employment of professors via the tenure track option to be a necessary development, in order to retain highly qualified junior researchers in the academic system, enabling them to gain academic independence.

The following provides detailed information on the individual phases of the tenure track process, from appointment via the standard or fast-track process to the interim and tenure evaluations.

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STANDARD PROCESS

At Leibniz Universität Hannover, the tenure appointment process follows the principle to select the best candidates, increase international competitiveness and promote equality.

The ordinance governing tenure track requires that all tenure track professorships are publicly advertised with reference to the tenure option and should be filled via proper appointment procedures in accordance with laws governing higher education in Lower Saxony (NHG) and appointment regulations. Junior professorships (W1) with tenure track according to salary grade W2 or W3 are initially subject to a fixed-term contract of three years. This contract can be extended by a further three years following a positive interim evaluation. Temporary professorships according to salary grade W2 with tenure track according to salary grade W2 or W3 are advertised with a fixed-term contract not exceeding five years.

FAST-TRACK PROCESS

Leibniz Universität Hannover is committed to promoting outstanding junior researchers, recognising potential professors at an early stage and retaining them at Leibniz Universität Hannover. A special fast-track process is available to outstanding junior research group leaders. When a new junior research group is established, the opportunity to undertake a tenure track professorship should be systematically checked during the application process.
Further information on the fast-track process can be found here.

EVALUATION PROCESS

The evaluation process is based on national and international standards. Transparent criteria and external, international expertise ensure the quality assurance of the process. In order to be granted tenure and thereby life-long professorship, proof of academic excellence and pedagogic eligibility are essential.

The faculty, in which the junior professorship or temporary professorship is allocated, will evaluate the candidate’s research and teaching achievements. In addition, research achievements will be evaluated by an independent body of experts, the Leibniz Tenure Board. A statement is submitted by the Leibniz Tenure Board to the presidential board, based on the candidate’s self-evaluation and two externally obtained expert reports.

Junior professorships with tenure track

Junior professorships are subject to a two-stage evaluation process. The first evaluation (interim evaluation) occurs in the third year for three-year employment agreements and is the basis for an extension of a further three years, provided that research and teaching performance warrant this. A positive interim evaluation is required in order to apply for the tenure track evaluation. The tenure track evaluation is conducted in the final year of employment (maximum fixed-term contract of six years).

W2 professorships with tenure track

In the third year of a temporary W2 professorship, the professor must submit an interim report to the dean's office. The report is based on the evaluation criteria, determined in the application for approval. Based on the interim report, the dean or an assigned representative will conduct a structured (documented) progress meeting. The meeting will contribute towards early reflection of performance and progress with respect to the tenure criteria. At the request of the holder of the position, the tenure track evaluation will be conducted by the faculty one year before expiration of employment. The decision should be made at least six months before the end of the employment agreement.