Six Steps towards the Employment Contract



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1st Step: Application

Open positions will be advertised and filled by the respective University institution, for example the departments of the faculties. Applications are to be submitted to the institution specified in the job posting.


2nd Step: Employment Application by the University Institution

Have you successfully completed the application process and the chair or institute wants to hire you? The University institution must submit an employment application to the respective human resources department. The application includes various personal information, but also information on your past activities in teaching and research. You will receive a copy of this application. Please note that the application does not constitute an employment relationship, which is entered into by signing the employment contract at the HR Department, see Step 6.

If you have a university degree from an institution outside of Germany, the HR Department requires a certificate from the RWTH International Office that confirms its formal equivalence to a German university degree. The certificate is issued by Division 2.1 Admissions and Social Affairs, which sends its expert opinion to the relevant division within the HR department. A copy is sent to the university institution which is to be your employer. Please submit all required documents as soon as possible, either to Division 2.1 or your prospective institute or department, so that your employment contract can be set up on time.

3rd Step: Personal Documents

The human resources department will provide you with the forms and documents required for the hiring process as well as an overview of the documents you need to bring when submitting or signing your employment agreement. Please note that you are required to bring the originals of some documents.

If you are planning to travel to Aachen only shortly before the scheduled hire date, the human resources department will need your personal documents beforehand so that your employment agreement and the related steps, such as informing the staff council, can be prepared. Please only submit copies of the documents. You can bring the originals with you to authenticate the copies during your hire appointment.


4th Step: Getting in Touch with the HR Department

You should get advice on all the details of the further employment procedure before signing the contract. During an advisory session in person you can clarify any questions you have about the employment documents and learn about the salary system applicable to you; the services of the "Versorgungsanstalt des Bundes und der Länder," VBL for short, which is the public-sector occupational pensions provider of the Federal State of NRW; and social insurance. Please make an appointment with the respective human resources department.

5th Step: Further Formalities

  • Undergo a health check at the University Medical Center if you receive an invitation for this from the human resources department. For the health check, no appointment is required.
  • Register your new address with the local Residents' Registration Office; if necessary, apply for German health insurance; open a German bank account
  • Apply for a certificate of good conduct – Type 'O'" – at the Bürgerservice
  • For non-EU foreigners: apply for a residence permit at the Immigration Office, see residence permit
  • If necessary, apply for a tax identification number; this is needed when registering your address for the first time in Germany and be requested when registering your address at the Bürgerservice

6th Step: Signing the Employment Contract

By signing the employment contract, the employment relationship comes into effect. The contract must be signed at least one day before the planned date of employment. If there is a delay on your part so that the planned date of employment cannot be met, please notify the relevant HR member of staff.