Getting started
Your path to a professorship

Your Path to Professorship—From Application to Start Date

Thank you for your interest in a professorship at the University of Bonn. We are pleased to provide you comprehensive information on the application process, including on what happens next if you are actually offered the position.

The Application Process

The application process is a crucial part of the larger appointment procedure that enables us to get to know you as a candidate. Procedures at the various faculties are being progressively integrated into the Appointment Portal rolled out by the University of Bonn in 2020. The announcement of the open position concerned will state whether the procedure is conducted via the Appointment Portal.

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Answers to your questions

Professorship vacancies at the University of Bonn are generally advertised internationally and posted on our website until elapse of the application deadline. Vacancies are also frequently posted on relevant academic portals.
Vacancies which are to be filled via the Appointment Portal are also listed in that Portal.

The contact person for the professorship in question is stated in the job posting. Typically this will be the Dean or Department Chair.

For questions of a general nature please contact Appointments Management.

The following documents are generally required: 

  • Cover letter
  • CV/resume
  • Outline of professional career
  • Summary of teaching and research background
  • List of publications (attaching the specified number of major publications)
  • Transcripts, copies of references, diplomas/certificates
  • Research and teaching concept

Further documents may be required depending on the faculty. 

The Appointment Portal provides a wizard that guides you through the information and documents required. Some fields are mandatory, others optional.

To be appointed to a university professorship, candidates must provide proof of “additional scientific qualifications” beyond the doctorate. Candidates from Germany usually fulfill this requirement with their Habilitation.

The Habilitation is an academic examination. Passing this examination is considered proof that the respective researcher is competent in representing his/her discipline in both research and teaching. The Habilitation can also be completed within an assistant professorship (Juniorprofessur).

An alternative to the Habilitation is providing proof of “equivalent achievements”. Which achievements are considered equivalent to a Habilitation is not universally defined, and traditions may vary between disciplines. Where the Habilitation Regulations do not define equivalent achievements, it is at the respective department’s discretion to stipulate specific regulations. An achievement that is equivalent to a Habilitation may, for example, be a piece of academic work that is similar to a Habilitation thesis or a portfolio of several published research articles that, combined, are similar to a Habilitation thesis (cumulative Habilitation). As stated above, a doctoral thesis alone cannot be considered equivalent to a Habilitation.

The Appointment Regulations of the University of Bonn stipulate that the reviewers who assist in the appointment procedure assess the equivalence of achievements if necessary.

Whether achievements are recognized as equivalent to a Habilitation is at the discretion of the appointment committee that is in charge of assessing candidates for the professorship.

The evaluation steps then conducted are as follows:

1) Document review by the appointment committee. Suitable candidates to hold a trial lecture are selected

2) Holding of the public trial lectures followed by non-public discussion with the appointment committee.

3) Candidate assessment after the trial lectures conducted by two or more external reviewers who prepare comparative assessment reviews.

You receive a written invitation, generally via email, to hold a trial lecture.

The lecture is held publicly, announced by the faculty in advance via website, signage and/or other suitable means.

Specifics as to conducting of the trial lecture vary from faculty to faculty. In addition to the trial lecture you may be asked to hold a trial class lecture and/or visit at the institute/s in question. A non-public discussion is held with the appointment committee afterward.

You will either be asked to submit the topic of your presentation beforehand or the topic will be prescribed.

All the above information will be specified in the invitation. For questions please contact the contact person stated in the invitation.

1) Applicants get a receipt confirmation upon submitting their application documents.

2) You may receive an invitation to hold a trial lecture.

3) The applicant selected for the position receives a job offer letter from the Rector.

4) Upon successful conclusion of negotiations with the selected applicant, the other applicants passed over are notified accordingly.

The status of procedures conducted via the online Appointment Portal is also shown there.    

Quality assurance is given through the involving of various University committees and entities throughout the appointment process (see the outline of the overall appointment process).

The various University interest groups are represented in every appointment committee formed as provided for in the appointment regulations. Committee meetings are also attended by a non-voting officer of the Rectorate (‘official representative for appointments’).

The (deputy) gender equality commissioner or officer (central or decentral) has involvement of course, and a representative of the Office of Disability Resources may be included as appropriate as a non-voting committee member.

The possibility of any conflicts of interest is reviewed on an ongoing basis in accordance with the Guidelines on Conflicts of Interest in Appointment Procedures. The Guideline rules are also applied in selecting applicant reviewers.

Compliance with data protection laws is assured at all points during the procedure.

Data uploaded/entered in the Appointment Portal are deleted upon conclusion of the appointment procedure. The data protection policy for the Appointment Portal can be found here. Documents sent via email as part of the procedure also have to be deleted by the responsible departments/offices upon conclusion of the procedure, in accordance with legal requirements.

The Appointment Portal was rolled out in 2020 for use with appointment procedures conducted by central University entities (academic departments/institutes, Transdisciplinary Research Areas). This is a phased rollout because the transition requires extensive training and process adjustments. Rollout to additional faculties will thus follow.


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From offer acceptance to start date

Once you have accepted an offer for a professorship position at the University of Bonn you will have close contact with Appointment Management, Human Resources and Onboarding. We will be pleased to assist you with any questions that may arise for you. Your contacts at the respective faculties, departments and institutes are likewise available to assist you. 

After receiving the appointment offer

You receive the letter of appointment from the Rectorate by postal mail (generally to your home address and attached to an advance e-mail).

The appointment offer expiry date stated in the letter of appointment represents the final date for negotiation on the basis of the offer extended to you—the negotiations being aimed at enabling your acceptance of the extended offer.

In the letter of appointment you are requested to notify us as soon as possible of whether you are fundamentally interested in accepting the appointment. Please send us such notification by email (to the email address you received the appointment letter from or to berufungen@uni-bonn.de). Your notification is forwarded to the responsible faculty, which will then contact you.

Once you have notified us of fundamental interest on your part in accepting the appointment and have been initially contacted by the faculty in question, an appointment for negotiation will be set with you, either by the faculty or by Appointment Management in coordination with the faculty.

To conduct the negotiations we require of you a ‘research and teaching concept’.

First, the research and teaching concept must outline your research and teaching plans and objectives at the University of Bonn. Secondly, please outline the resources you will require on the basis of your stated plans/objectives (personnel, other resources, equipment).

There is no specified text length for the research and teaching concept.

Any information you wish to be considered for purposes of the offered compensation package (relating in particular to your family situation or continuing education objectives) should be provided. For any questions you may have in this regard please contact Appointment Management or your contact at the faculty.

The resource negotiations for W3 professorships and tenure track professorships to W3 are conducted by the University Provost and Rector. Representatives of the faculty also attend. Appointment Management oversees the resource negotiation process.

The negotiations for W1 and W2 professorships are conducted by the responsible deans. 

Salary negotiations are conducted by the Rector and Provost upon conclusion of the resource negotiations. These separate negotiations are conducted sequentially on the same meeting date.

Appointment offer recipients for a W2 professorship receive a written salary offer from the Provost. 

Section 3.1 contacts appointment offer recipients ahead of the negotiations to obtain all information necessary to prepare a salary offer.

Please get in touch with your contacts at Section 3.1 for any labor law-related questions you may have with regard to civil servant employment and pay (or collective agreements governing non-civil servant employment, as applicable) and to outside employment.

Upon conclusion of the appointment negotiations you will receive written salary and resource offers, thus enabling you to decide regarding acceptance of the appointment offer. You will usually receive an advance email attachment of these letters.

To accept the offer, please notify the Rector thereof in writing (with advance email if you wish).

Upon accepting an appointment, Human Resources, Section 3.1 will contact you again to obtain all required documents and discuss any necessary further steps (official health exam, police clearance certificate).

The Onboarding Service will then contact you, if you have not been contacted already by this point, to assist you with the range of issues connected with your transition to Bonn.

You sign your civil servant employment contract and receive your certificate of appointment prior to the employment start date. Onboarding Services or Human Resources will coordinate an appointment with you for this.

For any question regarding your professorship contract and/or the terms of employment applicable to you personally, please contact desk Section 3.1 of Human Resources.

For any questions you may have regarding the resource negotiations and/or matters of a personal nature relevant to your transition to Bonn please contact Appointment Management.

Appointment Management actively involves Onboarding staff in the preparations, who are available to assist you additionally.

The appointment procedure from A to Z

The appointment process involves several process steps in which various University entities are involved for quality assurance reasons. In view of these many individual steps, it is obvious that appointment procedures do take a certain amount of time to complete.


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):


Contacts

Avatar Dierker

Miriam Dierker

Head of section Appointment Management and Onboarding - Appointment Manager

+49 228 73-7244

Avatar Schröder

Katharina Schröder

Appointment Manager

+49 228 73-68779

Avatar Scheifgen

Uwe Scheifgen

Head of Section 3.1 - Human Resources Management

+49 228 73-7253

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