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Evaluation & pro­motion in the university's faculty recruit­ment and career system

The Technical University of Munich (TUM) regularly evaluates the performance of its professors using transparent, binding criteria. These academic evaluations are carried out in line with best international practice. They are an integral quality management element of the university's faculty recruitment and career system. The results of the evaluations determine whether promotion is merited in this university’s performance-based career system.

Scope of these evaluation policies

The evaluation policies for the TUM Faculty Recruitment and Career System define the binding criteria used to assess the performance of professors. They are used to evaluate:

  • the eligibility for tenure of assistant professors
  • the promotion of associate professors to full professors.
  • They also apply for direct appointments and the post-tenure performance monitoring of associate and full professors.

Evaluation categories

The professor performance review is divided into three categories: Research & Development • Academic Teaching • Academic Engagement. Depending on the career grade, the performance expectations vary within each of these evaluation categories.

Irrespective of career grade, professors are expected to proactively contribute to the development of the department and the university as a whole in addition to furthering their personal development as researchers and lecturers.

Criteria have been defined for each of the three categories (Research & Development • Academic Teaching • Academic Engagement) to evaluate the candidates in line with international benchmarks for each discipline. This ensures that binding assessment standards are established (transparency requirement) and that these form the basis of the personal evaluations (binding requirement).

Evaluation criteria

Based on the international assessment benchmarks for the discipline in question, the following criteria shall be applied to all performance evaluations. Adequate consideration will be given to the career stage (“academic age”) and the personal circumstances of the candidate (e.g., parental leave, commitments to family members requiring care, and other services to the community).

Research & Development

  • New methodologies and concepts
  • Originality and creativity of academic work or quality of clinical competence compared with international peers
  • Published articles with substantial personal contribution in peer-reviewed journals and contributions to conferences
  • International reputation: Invitations to speak at international conferences (key note / plenary lectures), prizes / awards, research professorships, grants (e.g., Alexander von Humboldt [AvH])
  • Academic development potential compared with international peers
  • External funds raised in competitive processes (EU, German Research Foundation [DFG], Federal Ministry of Education and Research [BMBF], Federation of Industrial Research Associations [AiF], industry, trusts, etc.)
  • Interdisciplinary collaborative research: Overseeing / participating in coordinated research projects (e.g., collaborative research centers, research training groups, EU, BMBF or AiF joint projects)
  • Supporting young scientists (e.g., successful supervision of doctoral students and postdocs, quality of subsequent positions or professional career paths of graduates)
  • Technical innovation capacity: Patent applications, patents granted and commercialization of patents, initiation of technology transfer projects / spin-offs

Academic Teaching

  • Devising and conducting all types of teaching units / modules (lectures, seminars, practical courses, etc.) at all qualification levels (BSc, MSc, PhD)
  • Quality of teaching (semester evaluation reports from students, reviews from the Dean of Studies)
  • Holding lectures in English / lectures with international focus
  • Development / introduction of new teaching content and teaching concepts / formats
  • (Inter)national prizes or awards for quality of teaching
  • Supervision of term papers and BSc and MSc theses
  • Participation in further training measures / cross-disciplinary events (e.g., ProLehre, Carl von Linde Academy)
  • Authoring of textbooks / monographs (e.g., on new teaching methods and concepts)
  • Organization of or involvement in international conferences on teaching methods and education research

Academic Engagement

in the service of TUM:

  • Chairing of or participation in university committees or boards
  • Active involvement in university management (e.g., Vice President, Dean,
    Dean of Studies, Dean of the TUM Graduate School, member of the Senate or the TUM Appointment and Tenure Board)
  • Holding the office of women’s representative or ombudsperson, special commitment to needs of foreign students, etc.
  • Practical and academic contribution to the development strategy of departments (e.g., as a member of the Department Council), Integrative Research Centers (e.g., TUM-IAS, MCTS, MSE), central institutes, and TUM as a whole (e.g., research building applications)
  • Active support for TUM’s internationalization policy: Visiting professorships, grants (AvH, German Academic Exchange Service or DAAD), support in the establishment of overseas offices and off-site campuses (e.g., TUM.Asia and TUM CREATE, Singapore)
  • Active role in expanding TUM’s network of regional industry partnerships
  • Promotion of gender equality and diversity (e.g., involvement in the Gender & Diversity Board)

in the service of TUM’s young talent:

  • Mentoring role as part of the TUM Faculty Tenure Track system (support for next-generation professors)
  • Involvement in TUM Research Opportunities Week; integration of TUM University Foundation Fellows or Humboldt grant recipients (support for postdocs)
  • Involvement in further training measures at the TUM Graduate School (support for doctoral candidates)
  • Involvement in academies such as TUM:Junge Akademie and TUM Ferienakademie (support for highly gifted students)
  • Active involvement in school partnerships, school research centers, summer schools, Girls Days, etc. (support for students taking mathematics, computer science, science and technology subjects)

in the service of the academic community:

  • Responsible engagement with foundations involved in the promotion of science (especially AvH, DAAD) and with research funding institutions (especially DFG, the German Council of Science and Humanities, EU, and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology [EIT])
  • Chairing of or involvement in (inter)national committees or boards
  • Work as a reviewer
  • Editing of peer-reviewed scientific journals (editor-in-chief)
  • Membership on editorial / advisory boards of peer-reviewed scientific journals (associate editor, editorial board member)
  • Membership in scientific academies or on academic consulting / research funding boards
  • Responsible engagement with high-profile expert committees (e.g., standards committee) or with relevant professional organizations / associations
  • Contributions to policy making / membership of policy advisory bodies

Tenure evaluation and appointment to position of associate professor

Promotion and appointment to the position of associate professor requires that the candidate has established a substantial proven track record in Research & Development and Academic Teaching, shows strong future potential in these core areas as well as leadership potential, and has shown initial signs of Academic Engagement.


Prerequisites for positive tenure evaluation / appointment to the position of associate professor:

  • excellent performance in Research & Development benchmarked against elite international researchers, and very good performance in Academic Teaching – clearly exceeding the norm,

or

  • excellent performance in Academic Teaching and very good performance in Research & Development – clearly exceeding the international norm.

For the evaluation of performance in the Research & Development category, the following criteria are weighted highly: the originality / creativity of the candidate’s work, the quality of their publications, the support they have given to young scientists, and the candidate’s academic development potential. In each case, the performance is benchmarked against international peers. The main criteria taken into consideration in the Academic Teaching category are the quality of the teaching and the creativity shown in devising and conducting courses. Proven activities in the Academic Engagement category and proven success in interdisciplinary research projects can have a positive impact on the evaluation of performance in this category.

Commencing a tenure evaluation procedure is not recommended if candidates (i) are not able to substantiate their support for young scientists (e.g., the qualification of at least one doctoral student) or (ii) are not able to produce evidence of three published articles in peer-reviewed journals to which they made a substantial contribution, or of acknowledged publications in their disciplines or (iii) have not raised external funds in a competitive process or (iv) have not regularly updated the courses they teach to take account of scientific advances or (v) cannot demonstrate sufficient scientific development potential for a grade W3 professorship.


The same benchmarks apply for direct appointments to the position of associate professor. For appointments of individuals from a non-academic background whose profile does not include teaching, the performance evaluation is restricted to the Research & Development category. However, the candidates must also demonstrate potential in the Academic Teaching category, leadership potential, and signs of Academic Engagement.


The results of the status assessments (at the end of the second and fourth years following the appointment as assistant professor; see TUM Faculty Recruitment and Career System – Statute for Quality Management) do not establish a precedent for the tenure evaluation.

Promotion from associate professor to full professor

For promotion or appointment to the position of full professor, the candidate must be a leading international figure in his or her discipline, must also have demonstrated very good academic teaching skills, and must have shown strong commitment to the university’s boards and committees and the academic community as a whole (Academic Engagement).

Prerequisites for appointment to the position of full professor:

  • excellent performance in Research & Development benchmarked against elite international researchers, and very good performance in Academic Teaching – clearly exceeding the norm,

or

  • excellent performance in Academic Teaching and very good performance in Research & Development – clearly exceeding the international norm.

For the evaluation of performance in the Research & Development category, the following criteria are weighted highly in addition to those outlined under No. 3: international reputation and visibility of the professor (i.e., leadership in the scientific community) as well as proven Academic Engagement and leadership skills.

Commencing an evaluation procedure is not recommended if candidates, in addition to the criteria outlined under No. 3, (i) have not significantly contributed to the advancement of their disciplines due to a lack of new methodologies / concepts and originality / creativity in their work or have not contributed to the scientific reputation of TUM (ii) due to a lack of regular published articles in peer-reviewed journals or acknowledged publications in their disciplines or (iii) a lack of effective support for young scientists (e.g., supervising the qualification of doctoral students and postdocs) or (iv) a lack of success in raising external funds in competitive processes, or (v) have not demonstrably undertaken significant activities that show Academic Engagement at TUM, support for TUM’s young scientists or service to the academic community.

The same benchmarks apply for direct appointments to the position of full professor. For appointments of individuals from a non-academic background whose profiles do not include teaching, the performance evaluation is restricted to the Research & Development category. However, the candidates must also demonstrate potential in the Academic Teaching category, leadership skills, and signs of Academic Engagement.

The procedure to evaluate whether an associate professor should be appointed to the position of full professor can be initiated by the President or at the suggestion of the Dean, in coordination with the department and in agreement with the candidate, as a rule no earlier than three years following the tenure evaluation.

Post-tenure performance monitoring of associate / full professors

In order to validate and substantiate its claim to excellence, TUM is introducing ad hoc monitoring of the performance of its associate and full professors. This review will not, however, compromise the academic freedom of its scientific staff.

These quality reviews will document the candidate’s performance over the previous five years and examine specific projects (Research & Development and Academic Teaching) to assess the candidate’s prospects for developing the professorship, using international benchmarks.

The outcome of these reviews can influence decisions on whether to continue or grant new supplemental packages from TUM’s central budget, which were initially granted for a period of five years when the professor was first appointed. The findings may also have a bearing on performance-related bonuses.

Prerequisites for a positive post-tenure performance monitoring assessment:

  • excellent performance in Research & Development benchmarked against elite international researchers, and very good performance in Academic Teaching – clearly exceeding the norm,

or

  • excellent performance in Academic Teaching and very good performance in Research & Development – clearly exceeding the international norm.

In addition to the criteria outlined under No. 3, the international reputation and visibility of the professor in Research & Development and Academic Teaching (leadership in the scientific community) are weighted highly in this assessment. Other criteria taken into consideration are Academic Engagement – supporting TUM, TUM’s young scientists, and the academic community – and leadership skills.

Download: Documents on the TUM Faculty Recruiting and Career System

Contact

Office of the President: Faculty Recruiting / TUM Faculty Tenure Track
Manuela Braun (Dipl.-Soz.)
Tel. +49 89 289 22261
Fax +49 89 289 23399
tenuretrack@tum.de

Excellence Initiative

TUM Faculty Tenure Track is a central part of the university's institutional strategy.

Contact

Office of the President: Faculty Recruiting / TUM Faculty Tenure Track
Manuela Braun (Dipl.-Soz.)
Tel. +49 89 289 22261
Fax +49 89 289 23399
tenuretrack@tum.de

Excellence Initiative

TUM Faculty Tenure Track is a central part of the university's institutional strategy.