The Tenure Track at RWTH

  Dörte Rother Copyright: © Sascha Kreklau  

The tenure track option is the reason I considered pursuing an academic career and having a family. And it worked out – I now enjoy a W2 professorship in an exciting research and teaching environment and my three amazing kids.

Dörte Rother



Jan Förster

Abteilungsleiter / stellv. Dezernent


+49 241 80 94127



A tenure track professorship is a temporary professor’s position. The professor will subsequently be provided with a permanent professorship position if they succeed in fulfilling certain evaluation criteria. These pertain to the professor’s performance in the areas of research and development, teaching, involvement in the university’s academic self-management, and general management skills. The criteria are set by the university’s tenure commissions and are communicated to the professor as part of the appointment process. In the tenure evaluation process – usually near the end of the tenure track professor’s fixed term – the professor’s performance will be measured against the evaluation criteria. A successful evaluation guarantees the offer of a permanent professorship. This process is explained in more detail on our tenure track webpage and in the Regulations Govering the Tenure Track Process at RWTH Aachen University.

The tenure track professorship is one of the pillars of RWTH’s appointment strategy. It offers a fair and transparent career option to promising young researchers. It also helps RWTH reach strategic goals such as diversifying its staffing structure and developing key research areas. Starting December 2019, RWTH’s tenure track system will be bolstered by an additional 20 tenure track professorships, which were awarded in the Tenure Track Program of the German Government and Federal States.

Tenure track professorships are either junior professorships, which means W1 salary level and a fixed term of up to six years, or professorships at W2 level, which run for a maximum of five years. The 20 tenure track professorships of the German Government’s and Federal States’ Tenure Track Program will mostly be junior profesorships – W1 level – as the program aims to promote young talents. Either way, the permanent professorships subsequently offered can be at W2 or W3 level. This depends on a range of disciplinary and structural aspects.

Tenure track professors receive support through a mentoring scheme. They are also welcome to participate in courses and workshops at RWTH’s Center for Professional Leadership to further aid their academic career.