Charité’s Tenure Track Program – Tenure Track procedures

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W1 Tenure Track Professorships (Junior Professorship)

Image (only in German): Standard procedures for W1 Tenure Track, extension due to parental leave, illness or part-time employment (Click on image to enlarge), © Charité
Image (only in German): Standard procedures for W1 Tenure Track, extension due to parental leave, illness or part-time employment (Click on image to enlarge), © Charité

W1 Tenure Track Professorships (Junior Professorships) are time-limited and consist of two periods of three years. An evaluation at the end of the initial probationary period (after three years) determines whether a candidate can remain on the Tenure Track Program (§102b BerlHG).

As part of this evaluation at the end of the probationary period (probation progress review), a recommendation will be made indicating whether a candidate is likely to successfully complete the program and achieve tenure. There will be no further progress reviews for W1 Professorships. The final evaluation process will be triggered at least 18 months before the end of the time-limited professorship. This evaluation will determine whether the candidate's performance warrants an offer of a tenured W2 or W3 Professorship. If the evaluation is unsuccessful and the candidate’s tenure is not granted, the Professorship will be terminated following a 12-month grace period.

W2 Tenure Track Professorships are term-limited positions with a maximum duration of five years. An application for an interim evaluation (to assess the candidate’s overall performance) may be submitted to the Faculty Board after no less than two years. A final evaluation will determine whether or not tenure is granted.

Fast-track procedure: Particularly outstanding candidates may apply to have their tenure evaluation brought forward, thus replacing their progress evaluation at the end of the probationary period.

Extensions to the term-limited duration of five years are possible and may be granted for a number of reasons (e.g. Illness, caring for a child/children etc) as set out in §95 BerlHG. All variants of Charité’s Tenure Track Program share the characteristic milestones of appointment, interim evaluation and tenure evaluation.

Applying for Tenure Track Positions: Advertising of positions and application process at Charité

The tenure track is open to anyone who fulfills the requirements for a Professorship position pursuant to the Berlin Higher Education Act (BerlHG) and who has successfully completed the appointment process. This also applies to applicants on other career paths to professorship (e.g. junior research group leader etc.).

All Tenure Track Professorships are independent term-limited W1 or W2 Professorships (tenure subject to successful evaluation) and must be advertised internationally. Both types of positions are advertised specifying that progression to tenure is subject to successful completion of the evaluation procedure specified in the Tenure Track Statutes.

The appointment process is usually administered by a Selection Committee. Established by the Faculty Council, this Committee will consult at least two internationally recognized external experts (where necessary from abroad). Junior Professorship candidates will be unlikely to meet the much wider demands of a W2 or W3 professorship from the outset. However, their potential to do so within the six-year period must be taken into consideration at the time of their appointment.

Contract negotiations will include discussions regarding the position’s precise remit and field of study, its place within existing research and organizational structures, and financial and other support. Contract negotiations will also define the precise performance targets to be reached prior to a candidate's interim and/or final evaluation. All such performance targets will be documented in a separate agreement. A Tenure Track offer secures a candidate’s place within existing research and organizational structures, guarantees full independence in research and teaching, and formalizes a candidate's salary and additional benefits, as well as any facilities and equipment required. The Tenure Track offer also confirms the offer of tenure subject to successful completion of the probationary phase and the option of a grace period should the candidate fail to successfully complete their probationary phase. Extensions may be granted subject to the terms set out in the Berlin Higher Education Act (BerlHG).

Proobation progress review, interim evaluation and tenure evaluation use fully transparent procedures

At the probation progress review, interim evaluation and tenure evaluation stages, candidates are evaluated based on the performance standards and targets set out in the Tenure Track Statutes and the performance agreement signed at the time of the tenure track offer. The evaluation of performance is subject to fully standardized procedures.

Probation progress review

The probation progress review for W1 Tenure Track Professorships is conducted pursuant to the statutes setting out the procedure for the evaluation of Junior Professorships at Charité. In addition to evaluating a candidate’s performance, this progress review also provides an opportunity to provide career guidance. As such, reviewers may provide advice on alternative career paths or suggest additional training and/or qualifications. A positive evaluation will result in the reviewers recommending that the W1 Professorship be extended by another three years. In the event of a negative evaluation, the candidate may request a grace period of up to one year.

Tenure evaluation and decision regarding tenure offer and promotion to W2 or W3

The final evaluation is known as the ‘tenure evaluation’ and determines whether or not a candidate has met all of the agreed performance targets to allow tenure to be granted. The tenure evaluation process also determines whether a candidate has met all of the requirements for tenure. If the Tenure Review Committee determines that all of the agreed performance targets have been met, the Committee will initiate the procedure for tenured appointments. If the evaluation is unsuccessful, i.e. the agreed performance targets have not been met, the candidate may request a 12-month grace period.

Specific performance standards for Tenure Track candidates in academic medicine

Evaluation is subject to a standardized procedure, which determines whether the performance targets agreed in relation to the following areas (as set out in the Tenure Track Statutes) have been met during the (term-limited) tenure track period:

•    Research
•    Teaching
•    Academic administration/service
•    Support for early career researchers
•    Knowledge and technology transfer
•    Research training and
•    Leadership and management skills

For clinical professorship candidates, the review process will also include the area of patient care. The evaluation process also determines whether a candidate meets the necessary specialist expertise and the pedagogical and leadership skills required for a tenured academic position. Charité’ is committed to ensuring equal opportunities, meaning that the evaluation process also takes into account the issue of equal access to leadership roles.

A detailed list of criteria to be considered as part of the evaluation process can be found in Charité’s Tenure Track Statutes.