The Appointment Process

The appointment process is structured into specific procedures steps and phases in accordance with both the Higher Education Act of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and the appointment regulations of the University of Bonn. The University’s tenure track regulations furthermore apply where tenure track appointments are concerned.

Outline of the Procedural Steps

The procedure is sometimes perceived by applicants as quite protracted. This outline is thus provided to familiarize you with the process steps involved from initial inquiry on down to actual commencement of professorial work. You will notice how many committees are involved, in the interest of ensuring optimal candidate selection. 

© Volker Lannert/Uni Bonn


When a professorship position opens up or a new professorship position is to be created, the corresponding faculty files an approval request with the Rectorate. The faculty and faculty departments decide on the parameters of the professorship in line with the objectives set forth in the University Development Plan. This information, the copy text for the job opening announcement and a list of the appointment committee members are to be attached to the approval request.

The faculty council forms an appointment committee with membership representing all interest groups. External parties should be included as members as well. When approving the request the Rectorate appoints an ‘official representative for appointments’ to serve on the committee in an advisory role. University body representatives ((deputy) gender equality commissioners or officers as well as the Office of Disability Resources) are also to be included.

The appointment committee develops the requirements profile and selection criteria before posting the job opening announcement and then conducts active recruiting, contacting potential candidates accordingly. The committee then follows the further selection procedure in steps as outlined below.

The vacancy announcement is posted on the University website1 and in appropriate national and international media/portals.

The appointment committee reviews all applications and then invites suitable applicants to hold a trial lecture. This lecture is public, and is publicly announced suitably in advance.

Following the trial lecture, the appointment committee holds a non-public discussion with the applicant.

The appointment committee hires external academics from in and outside the country to serve as reviewers. At least two comparative assessment reviews must be obtained. There is no specified order of listing.

The appointment committee prepares an appointment proposal on the basis of the findings from the overall selection procedure. This proposal is typically advanced as a list of the three proposed candidates in order of preference.

The appointment proposal is presented to the faculty council for decision.

The Senate issues an opinion on the appointment proposal.

The Rector issues a written job offer to the selected candidate.

Negotiations for W3 professorships and W3 tenure track professorships are conducted by the Rector and the Provost. Negotiations for W1 and W2 professorships are conducted by the deans. A framework proposal for conducting the negotiations must be submitted beforehand. Detailed information is provided here.

The appointment negotiations end with either the acceptance or rejection of the job offer by the candidate. If the offer is rejected, an offer is extended to the individual next on the list, in coordination with the faculty.

If the offer is accepted, the candidates passed over are notified accordingly of conclusion of the procedure.

The job start date is negotiated and set in the appointment negotiations. HR and Onboarding Services interact extensively with the new hire in the period between acceptance of the job offer and the job start date. Detailed information is provided here.

Important downloads

In the adjacent box you can download the PDFs of the non-official reading versions of the regulations.

The Official Notices as legally binding can be found at (in German):

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