5. Young Heads of Research Groups
In the sciences, the leadership of a junior research group has developed into a largely independent career pathway, particularly in connection with the support programmes of non-university institution (DFG, MPG, Helmholtz Association, Volkswagen Foundation et al.). This is intended to allow outstanding young scientists the opportunity to develop self-reliance and personal responsibility at an early age. The non-university institutions offer young scientists outstanding conditions for defining their own research profile.
One problem regarding this career pathway has been that it was not legally possible to provide independent supervision of diplom or doctoral theses. One solution here is, first of all, to establish a junior professorship established in cooperation between the non-university institution and the University, and filled jointly.
Apart from a junior professorship, the right to supervise and examine doctoral students can only be given to young scientists once the responsible faculty authorities have established that the position concerned is very like the profile of a junior professorship. Here the following criteria are regarded as indispensable:
- The position of young head of a research group must be advertised and filled by analogy with the legal regulations for junior professorships.
- The University or the cooperating faculty must be appropriately represented in the selection commission, on a parity basis in terms of numbers and rights.
- Young heads of research groups must share in the teaching at the cooperating faculty as befits a junior professorship. Here participation in a Research Training Group may be counted as part of a teaching load. They shall also participate appropriately in duties connected with examinations and committee work.
These criteria shall primarily serve the interests of graduates and doctoral students. They shall receive broad-based training from an advisor representing their subject in research, teaching and academic self-government.