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Objective 3 – Promoting talent and academic independence

The challenge

In research and scholarship, what counts is the better idea, the stronger argument, the more convincing interpretation, or the deeper insight. Universities worldwide strive to recruit the highest-calibre academics, whether just for a time or permanently. Traditional career trajectories, oriented towards appointment to a professorship and embedded in rigid hierarchies, can attract long periods of support – but by the same token, also entail dependency. This can be an obstacle to attracting the very best researchers from across the globe for a career at German academic institutions. To develop their individual talents to the full, talented early-career academics need freedom of scope, encouragement to develop their own ideas, and the possibility to work independently and on their own initiative.

Our approach

With its model of the Junior Professorship, the University of Bremen was the first institution in Germany to establish a new type of tenure track for early-career researchers, affording them the same organisational rights and duties as tenured professors. The University makes a comprehensive range of human resources development options available to researchers during the career phase from Ph. D. and post-doctoral research to the early years of a professorship. It also has a long-established practice of appointing academics to their first professorship and providing
them with support on their way to becoming outstanding research personalities. The University offers junior professors and advanced post-doctoral researchers opportunities for independent research, cooperation among equals, and access to relevant infrastructure.


The University of Bremen continues to develop new concepts for the advancement of its academic staff – including new types of positions with the prospect of tenure that provide reliable career paths alongside the professorship. Such measures create new perspectives for highly qualified academics. This allows the University to create a new and meaningful balance between permanent and temporary positions.

Our goals

  • To create reliable career paths alongside professorships, observing principles of gender equality and promoting diversity; establish transparent access; ensure that academics know what is expected of them in future; and offer tailor-made options for personal development.
  • To increase the number of junior professorships and further develop the tenure track model leading to a full professorship.
  • To initiate additional Ph. D. programmes, increasing our attractiveness for outstanding international master and Ph. D. students, while also preparing Ph. D. students for career paths in the non-university realm.
Updated by: SPE