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TUM appointment and career system sets the new national standard

40 new professorships for TUM

TUM President Wolfgang A. Herrmann wants to strengthen the German science system. (Image: A. Heddergott / TUM)
TUM President Wolfgang A. Herrmann wants to strengthen the German science system. (Image: A. Heddergott / TUM)

Campus news

As a vanguard university in the "real" tenure track system, the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has achieved outstanding success in the new German federal program: Today Minister of Education and Research Wanka announced that the selection committee had approved all 40 requested tenure track professorships. This means TUM will expand by the order of magnitude of an entire department. "It is only the rigorous variant of the internationally established tenure track model, and not the locally practiced imitation, that makes Germany attractive to the leading young talents of the world," says TUM President Prof. Wolfgang A. Herrmann in praise of the recent success.

In the first of two support phases, the federal program will finance 468 tenure track professorships at 34 universities, an average of 14 per institution. After the competitive selection process, TUM was awarded by far the most professorships, receiving all 40 requested positions amounting to almost 38 million Euros over the course of eight years. TUM will place the professorships in the fields "Life Sciences, Bioengineering, Bioinformatics", "Digitalization", "Material Science & Catalysis", "Quantum Technology", "Robotics, Artificial Life, Deeper Learning" and "Systems Theory".

As a part of Germany's Excellence Initiative and using its own resources, since 2012 TUM has already installed approximately 85 tenure track professorships. The "TUM Faculty Tenure Track" appointment and career system gives young professors complete independence, at public sector salary grade W2. If the demanding research requirements are fulfilled, after six years a permanent position is possible with a W3 salary grade and full tenure; the first step is an associate professorship, the second is a full professorship (chair).

The TUM system has attracted a number of outstanding scientists, more than half of which are from leading universities abroad such as Harvard, Stanford, Berkeley, Cambridge, and Zurich and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The average age of the appointees is 35, and over 30 percent are women.

Joint appointments with the Max Planck Society

"Our tenure track model plays a pioneering role in anchoring Germany's position as an attractive location for academia," says TUM President Herrmann. "This is why the new German program follows the principles that TUM has been rigorously living out since 2012: Initial salary W2, five weekly semester hours teaching (instead of nine), clearly regulated statutory quality management in accordance with the best international standards."

The exemplary role of the TUM model is also reflected by its renowned partners: TUM is considering appointees for some of the professorships together with the Max Planck Society (MPG). The assistant professors also lead a research group at the MPG.

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Scientists at TUM can develop their own research profile from the beginning of their career. (Image: A. Eckert / TUM)
Scientists at TUM can develop their own research profile from the beginning of their career. (Image: A. Eckert / TUM)