Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

What does “tenure-track” mean?

“Tenure-track” includes the prospect of a permanent position (tenure) after having successfully proven oneself in a fixed-term position. 

The tenure-track professorship is a model borrowed from the U.S. higher education system. It establishes a procedure whereby the appointment to a professorship is initially for a definite period of time which turns into a lifelong professorship following a successful tenure review.

At Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin junior professorships are filled for six years and fixed-term W2-professorships for five years, both endowed with “real” tenure-track. Tenure-track professors thus already have from day one the binding prospect of transitioning to permanent professorship following a successful evaluation. The salary level of the follow-up position is already fixed by the time of job posting. The transition to a permanent professorship depends solely on passing the tenure evaluation of the achievements that were agreed upon when the holder was appointed.