RWTH Secures Funding for Early-Career Researchers


RWTH has secured funding for 20 tenure track positions from the WISNA Program for the Promotion of Early Career Researchers by the German federal and state governments.


The initial six-year employment period as a tenure-track professor can be seen as a qualification and probationary phase, during which candidates for tenure are expected to develop their academic profile. At the start of this period, the University defines a catalog of performance criteria to be met by the candidate. After a positive tenure evaluation, the candidate will receive indefinite tenure.

The new tenure-track professors will be appointed across all RWTH faculties, and the first calls for application will be published later this year.


The aims of the WISNA program are to make career paths at German universities more transparent and to establish the tenure-track professorship as an additional career path alongside the traditional appointment process for faculty.

By defining performance criteria for tenure early on, the career path towards a professorship becomes more transparent and predictable – candidates know exactly what is expected of them – and thus more attractive to early career researchers. Complemented by family-friendly policies, tenure-track positions also help enhance equal opportunities for appointment to professorial positions. Furthermore, tenure track positions at German universities are also attractive career options for international researchers. At Anglo-American universities, similar recruitment models have been in place for a number of years now.

Professor Doris Klee, Vice-Rector for Human Resources Management and Development, considers the funding approval a confirmation of the University’s activities in various fields: “Our efforts to promote early career researchers, gender equality and internationalization are all wonderfully reflected in the tenure-track recruitment model. Our success in the WISNA program provides us with valuable opportunities for action.”