Professors enjoy a high level of independence when performing their tasks in academia, the arts, research, teaching and further qualification. They are involved in doctoral procedures and habilitations, and also play a role in the University’s self-government.

Ein Dozent hält eine Vorlesung im Hörsaal 3 im Hörsaalgebäude
Professor Gregor Weiß during a management science lecture at Leipzig University. Photo: Christian Hüller

Professorships in Numbers

432

professorships

93

women professors

339

male professors

27

junior professorships

11

junior women professors

16

junior male professors

(as of 31 December 2017)

Special Forms of Professorships

In addition to the regular budget-financed professorships, there are also other special forms of professorships:

An endowed professorship is not financed from the University’s basic budget, but by an external funding body, such as the Volkswagen Foundation, the Stifterverband organisation or a private company.

The Alexander von Humboldt Professorship is the most highly endowed research award in Germany, attracting top international researchers to the country’s universities. There are currently two winners of this award who teach and research at Leipzig University: Professor James Conant (philosophy) and Professor Gregory Ralph Crane (classical philology).

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In order to intensify their administrative and academic cooperation in research and teaching, Leipzig University and a non-university research institution can jointly offer someone a professorship. In these cases, the University and the research institution draw up an agreement which regulating the procedure.

Junior and Tenure-Track Professorships

Porträt von Prof. Dr. Cornelia Wolf
Professor Cornelia Wolf took up a junior professorship in Online Communication in 2014. Photo: Franziska Clauß

As an alternative to the traditional habilitation, a junior professorship (known in German as a Juniorprofessur) is an opportunity for early career researchers to obtain the qualification required to be appointed to a tenured professorship later on. Junior professorships are initially filled for a period of up to four years, with extension to a total of six years possible after successful interim evaluation. The general conditions for appointing and nominating junior professors are laid down in the Appointment Regulations.

A junior professorship can be endowed with a tenure track, which means there is the possibility of being appointed to a permanent professorship (W2/W3) after a successful tenure evaluation, without the need for a new call for applications. This option must be included in the junior professorship announcement.

During a junior professorship, you will be gradually introduced to the responsibilities and tasks of a tenured professorship.

As a junior professor with a temporary position, you can apply for funds from the Leipzig Flexible Fund in order to prepare your own application for external funding.

We see it as our task to provide early access to a professorship for particularly highly qualified early career researchers in the postdoctoral phase. By establishing tenure-track professorships, Leipzig University is expanding an alternative academic career path in addition to the more traditional routes to professorial appointment. Its principles are laid down in Leipzig University’s Staff Development Plan (PEK). An evaluation agreement sets out binding development goals that help you plan your career in academia. The Tenure-Track Regulations contain the catalogue of criteria and evaluation standards for tenure evaluations.

Pathways to Professorships

The classical route to a professorship requires proof of a habilitation, or alternatively a junior professorship or equivalent academic qualification. In addition to this, Leipzig University is increasingly opening up and promoting alternative pathways to professorships, such as the tenure track process. Academics can apply for advertised positions.

The Appointment Process

Image: The appointment process at Leipzig University

Titles and Professorial Substitutes

On the recommendation of the faculty council, the decision to appoint someone to a so-called extraordinary professorship (außerplanmäßige Professur) is made at the Rector’s discretion. Academics must fulfil the relevant appointment requirements, as stipulated by the Saxon Freedom of Higher Education Act (SächsHSFG) . In addition to outstanding research achievements, which is demonstrated by a habilitation or alternatively a junior professorship or equivalent academic qualification, the candidate must have taught independently in the discipline in question for at least four years. Prerequisites, procedures and duties are all laid down in Leipzig University’s Appointment Regulations for Extraordinary Professorships. Extraordinary professors may use the academic title of Professor or Professorin. They are entitled to keep using this title even after finishing their work at Leipzig University, provided that they were allowed to use it for at least five years before leaving.

Persons who teach at our university or have a close academic or artistic working relationship with Leipzig University are eligible for appointment to an honorary professorship (Honorarprofessur). Such appointments are made on the recommendation of the faculty council and at the Rector’s discretion, based on the provisions of the Saxon Freedom of Higher Education Act (SächsHSFG) and Leipzig University’s Appointment Regulations for Honorary Professorships. Honorary professors do not work full-time at Leipzig University. They may use the title of Professor or Professorin for the duration of their appointment at Leipzig University. They are entitled to keep using this title even after finishing their work at Leipzig University, provided that they were allowed to use it for at least five years before leaving.

An acting professorship (Vertretungsprofessur) is awarded for a limited period of time until the vacant professorship is filled. Appointment as an acting professor is for a fixed term without the usual appointment process. One prerequisite is proof of a habilitation or, alternatively, a junior professorship or equivalent academic qualification.

The Research Academy Leipzig website contains information about Leibniz professorships, which are awarded to particularly distinguished, predominantly international academics.

Leipzig University normally awards two senior professorships per year to emeritus professors who are responsible for outstanding research results and/or securing unusually high levels of external funding.

Support for Professors

The Rectorate welcomes Leipzig’s newly appointed professors once a year at the start of the winter semester. This is an opportunity for them to find out about how Leipzig University is structured, while the heads of the individual administrative departments introduce themselves and present their departments’ specific organisational procedures.

Twice a year, female professors at Leipzig University have the opportunity to apply for special funding for student or graduate assistants from a fund for female professors. This enables them to compensate for additional burdens resulting from their involvement in academic self-government, participation in appointment processes and in review boards, and to create scope for acquiring external funding, for innovative gender projects, for raising funds for new research projects and for establishing new research areas.

Our dual careers service supports partners of newly appointed professors in their search for employment in Leipzig and the surrounding region. The Department of Human Resources offers consultations, both on request but also as part of the appointment negotiation process. To increase the reach of this service, we participate in broad networks such as the Dual Career Network Mitteldeutschland and Dual Career Network Germany (DCND).

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Thomas Arndt

Goethestr. 6
04109 Leipzig

Phone: +49 341 97-30086
Fax: +49 341 97-33099

Our service for families at the Equal Opportunities Office offers advice on all aspects of striking a balance between work and family.

With the Leipzig Researcher Development Programme (LRDP), we support advanced postdoctoral researchers and junior professors in their decision to pursue a career in academia.

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