The Darmstadt tenure track model

The TU Darmstadt has been using the junior professorship as an alternative career path to a professorship for some time. The first tenure procedure was successfully completed in 2012 and there have been several more tenure procedures since then. Since 2016, the previous junior professorship has been replaced by the assistant professorship.

As part of the Federal and States programme for the promotion of young researchers (Tenure Track Programme), the TU Darmstadt impressed with its concept “Tenure Track 2.0 @ TU Darmstadt: Attractive, broadly anchored, structure-forming”. It is funded in the first application round with 12 tenure track professorships.

With the help of the procured professorships:

  • • the University wants to establish the tenure track career path comprehensively,
  • • the TU Darmstadt wants to further increase the predictability and transparency for young scientists, also with regard to the Tenure Track Programme.
  • • more women and more international scientists are to be gained by TU Darmstadt and
  • • their professorships are to be made more diverse in a sustainable manner.

Principles: Process security, transparency, quality assurance

The TU Darmstadt has developed its guideline for tenure track professorships further on the basis of its previous experiences. The guideline includes an individual target agreement and a mid-term review as an important point of reference during the term of the professorship. Furthermore, each assistant professorship will be assigned a non-specialist mentor. The granting of tenure depends entirely on the fulfilment of personal requirements and agreed goals.

New assistant professorships with a tenure track are generally filled as W2 professorships with a six-year term. In the case of a positive tenure decision, there will usually be an acceptance to a permanent W2 professorship. After another five years, there is the possibility of obtaining a W3 professorship via an ad personam procedure.

In the medium term, the tenure-track professorship is to become a “standard” professorship in addition to the “classical” appointment: In 2030, the TU Darmstadt will gain about half of its professors through a W2 assistant professorship with tenure track.

Conducting tenure procedures at TU Darmstadt

Maxims: Quality assurance, transparency, process security.

Goals: Maintaining quality assurance, structuring the process; guidance; further development of the “Darmstadt Model”.

Legal basis: Section 64 HHG [Hesse Higher Education Act], Constitution of the TU Darmstadt. In all other respects, all regulations for assistant professorships at the Technische Universität Darmstadt applicable at the particular point in time will remain unaffected.