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Appointment – Your Path to a Professorship at a University of Applied Sciences

More than 100 professors teach and conduct research in five departments and shape the profile of the university in teaching and learning, research and transfer as well as digitalisation and internationalisation. The recruitment of professors is of strategic importance for the development of the university and is therefore subject to special quality requirements. The selection of personnel takes place in a multi-stage appointment procedure.

On this page you can find out how an appointment procedure works, which legal regulations have to be observed and what is necessary for a successful application. In addition, you will find information on the status of current appointment procedures as well as general information and recommendations for applicants.

Appeal procedure

The procedure of appointment procedures is regulated in the appointment regulations of the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam. Below you will find explanations of the individual procedural steps.

The text of the call for applications is published in newspapers, specialist journals, digital portals and on the university's website.

The text of the call for applications specifies the formal and subject-related requirements for the selection of the best candidates by the appointment committee as well as the documents to be submitted by the applicants (certificates, concepts, publications, etc.).

Formal and subject-related requirements

The Brandenburg University Act stipulates in § 43, passage 1, which (minimum) recruitment requirements must be met for professors.
The standard requirement is:

  • completed university studies and
  • pedagogical aptitude and
  • special aptitude for academic work, usually demonstrated by a doctorate of the quality of a doctorate, and
  • special achievements in the application or development of scientific knowledge and methods in at least three years of professional practice, of which at least two years must have been spent outside the higher education sector.
    What is new is that proof of professional practice outside the higher education sector can also be provided if the majority of the professional activity was carried out over a period of at least three years in cooperation between the university and non-university professional practice.

For professorships in artistic subjects, a special aptitude for artistic work and special artistic achievements in at least three years of professional practice are required, of which at least two years must also have been spent outside the higher education sector.

While the formal requirements for employment are uniformly regulated, the subject-related requirements vary depending on the subject. As a rule, however, the text of the advertisement distinguishes between necessary, alternative and desirable requirements.

You will find further information on the required certificates and on fulfilling the recruitment requirements in the notes on your application.

For the selection process, an appointment committee is formed, whose task is to submit an appointment proposal to the university bodies and in particular to the president, usually with three names in a ranking order (the so-called "appointment list").

The composition of the appointment committee is regulated by the Higher Education Act and the appointment regulations of the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam. The members of the appointment committee and the chairperson are elected by the respective departmental council. The president delegates one voting member.

Composition of the appointment committee

As a rule, the members of the appointment committee are

  • four professors of the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam
  • one academic staff member ,
  • two students
  • one external expert, usually an external expert university lecturer
  • one member delegated by the president.

The representative of severely disabled persons, the equal opportunity commissioner and the appointment commissioner of the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam participate in the appointment committee as advisory members.

At least 40 % of the voting members should be women, including at least one female professor.

After the appointment committee has reviewed the applications, it invites qualified applicants to a public hearing at the university. The hearing usually consists of a scientific lecture and a teaching sample involving students of the university as well as a structured interview with the appointment committee in camera.

Depending on the subject, qualified applicants are also invited separately to an intensive design, workshop or seminar work, the results of which are evaluated by the appointment committee.

Even if the technical possibilities are given, the personal impression is important, so that the hearing usually takes place in presence.

Further information on the hearing can be found in the notes on your application.

After the hearing, the appointment committee decides which applicants are to be considered eligible for the list and can be considered for an appointment. As a rule, three applicants are selected for an external comparative review based on the files. According to the Higher Education Act, at least two external reviews by independent, external academics or artists recognised in the field of appointment are required.

The task of the external appraisals is to assess the scientific or artistic achievements of the applicants considered by the appointment committee to be eligible for listing with regard to the requirements profile of the professorship and to propose a ranking to the appointment committee.

According to the new regulations in the Higher Education Act, the external assessment can be waived if the appointment committee includes at least three external experts and they have participated in the decision on the appointment proposal.

The appointment committee discusses the external reports and decides on a proposal for appointment, which as a rule contains three names in list order. The commission is not bound by the order proposed in the external reports, but may deviate from it with appropriate justification.

The appointment committee's proposal is submitted to the departmental council for confirmation, together with a statement by the equal opportunities representative. All professors belonging to the faculty are entitled to vote on the resolution in the faculty council.

After the resolution of the departmental council, the resolution is passed by the senate.
If the senate has also approved the appointment proposal, the appointment proposal is handed over to the President for the call.

The President shall check the legality of the procedure and issue the call to the first-placed candidate or candidates. The call is accompanied by an invitation to an appeal hearing.

In the appointment hearing, the material, personnel and spatial resources; the performance of tasks in teaching, research, transfer and self-administration; personal remuneration and allowances are negotiated and important key data on a possible civil service appointment, secondary employment and the start of the contract are clarified.

The results of the appointment hearing are recorded in an appointment protocol. On the basis of the appointment protocol, the applicant accepts the call.

In the event of a rejection by the first-placed candidate, the call is issued to the next candidate on the list.

After submission of the complete documents to the Ministry of Science, Research and Culture of the State of Brandenburg, which also include a police clearance certificate and an official medical certificate, the appointment to a salaried position or the appointment to a civil servant position is made by the Minister.

Notes for your application

One characteristic of the universities of appleied sciences is that teaching is essentially ensured by the professors. However, research, knowledge and technology transfer, continuing education, the promotion of young academics and artists as well as participation in self-administration are also part of the professorial duties. The teaching load is usually 18 lecture hours. It may be reduced for the performance of functions or tasks in self-administration as well as in research and transfer. Further details are regulated by the teaching obligation ordinance of the state of Brandenburg.

In recruiting personnel, the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam is increasingly focusing on the division of labour and setting priorities for professorships. For you as an applicant, this means that you will be actively involved in at least one other area of responsibility (research/knowledge and technology transfer/self-administration) in addition to teaching and studying.

For personnel development, the instrument of research professorships is provided for, for which you must fulfil certain requirements. The criteria and procedure are regulated in the statutes for the awarding of research professorships at the Potsdam University of Applied Sciences.

You will need the following documents to apply for a professorship:

  • Letter of application
  • Curriculum vitae (educational background, academic and professional development)
  • Overview of experience in university teaching, ideally supplemented by evaluation results
  • Overview of scientific publications
  • Overview of research and transfer activities
  • Certificates and transcripts of educational qualifications, if applicable employment references (copies).

In the case of artistic professorships, you are requested to submit appropriate evidence of your artistic activities (list of works, prizes, competition participations, etc.).

Please read the advertisement carefully. There you will often be asked to send additional documents (teaching concept, research concept, etc.) as well as relevant publications for review by the appointment committee.

The text of the call for applications addresses a large number of requirements. Do not be put off by this. Please address all points in your application if possible and make sure to differentiate between criteria that are indispensable, alternative or desirable.

It can also be helpful to name references that the appointment committee can contact.

Unsolicited documents and materials cannot be returned or can only be returned if the appropriate postage is enclosed.

Digital application documents will be deleted after the appeal process has been completed.

The recruitment requirements of the Brandenburg University Act for professors  are minimum requirements. For a successful appointment or nomination, the university must clearly prove to the responsible Ministry of Science, Research and Culture that the recruitment requirements are met. Your assistance is required for this.

In principle, the recruitment requirements must be fulfilled at the time of application; in exceptional cases, e.g. if the doctoral project is already well advanced and successful completion is expected before the decision is made in the committees, this may be deviated from.

Please note that a doctorate is considered standard for academic professorships and a doctorate is considered "qualified" if it has been completed with at least the grade magna cum laude/very good.
In the case of foreign doctorates and/or doctorates without a grade, you facilitate the work of the appointment committee if, in addition to the certificate, you submit further documents from which the special quality of the work can be read.

If you do not have a doctorate or a doctorate that does not meet the above-mentioned quality requirement, please submit publications that can be assessed by the appointment committee with regard to their scientific quality.

In order to do justice to the practical relevance of the universities of applied sciences, as an applicant for a professorship at a university of applied sciences you must have at least three years of professional experience "in the application or development of scientific knowledge and methods", of which at least two years must be "outside the university sector". Proof of professional practice outside the higher education sector can now also be provided if the majority of the professional activity has been carried out over a period of at least three years in cooperation between the university and non-university professional practice.

Please note that only periods after graduation from higher education are taken into account and that it is a matter of gainful employment to secure one's livelihood, which as a rule comprises at least 50% of a full-time equivalent. You are therefore requested to present your practical professional experience in as much detail and without gaps as possible.

In the case of freelance or self-employed work, it is advisable to submit corresponding evidence.
Activities with an employment contract at a higher education institution (also applies to research projects) cannot be recognised as non-university practice, with a few exceptions (e.g. work in the computer centre for an IT professorship).

If, in the opinion of the appointment committee, you are qualified and suitable for the professorship, you will be invited to a public hearing at the university. In addition to the appointment committee, other interested members of the university from all status groups (students, professors, academic staff, other staff) take part in the hearing; the lecture hall can be filled accordingly.

The hearing consists of a scientific lecture and a teaching sample. The appointment committee will either give you a topic or give you a free choice and combine this with a time limit. You should keep to the time limit if possible and clarify technical questions about your presentation in advance.

The teaching sample is usually linked to a concrete task to which students from the university are specifically invited for group work and subsequent assessment.

Since the language of instruction is predominantly German, the hearing will usually take place in German.
It is recommended that you familiarise yourself in advance with the teaching and research foci of the department or the university and the curriculum.

Professors have been paid according to grade W since the legal basis for civil servant salaries was changed (Professors' Salary Reform Act of 16/02/2002, Act on the Implementation of the Professors' Salary Reform Act of 02/12/2004). The W2 grade is the standard at the FHP. W3 professorships are not currently advertised at the FHP.

The salary is made up of the basic salary and the minimum performance bonus, cf. basic salary rates for the remuneration of professors in Brandenburg. Family allowances are also paid.
The appointment hearing will clarify, among other things, whether you meet the personal requirements for tenure or whether you will work as a tenured professor in the future. In the state of Brandenburg, tenure is only possible up to the age of 50 at the time of appointment.

As a civil servant, you may be entitled to a separation allowance and a relocation allowance. For more information, please refer to the separation allowance ordinance of the state of Brandenburg or the law on reimbursement of relocation costs.
In addition, the amount of the appeal allowance will be negotiated at the appeal hearing. The procedure and the awarding of further allowances is regulated in the Leistungsbezügesatzung.

Another topic in the appointment hearing is secondary employment, which is generally subject to approval. The key data are regulated in the university secondary employment ordinance and the secondary employment ordinance of the State of Brandenburg.
Equipment issues for the professorship are also the subject of the appointment hearing. Please note that as a professor at a university of applied sciences you do not have a chair with corresponding academic staff and administrative support. In this respect, the equipment concerns questions of IT (hardware and software), digital and analogue access to literature and - depending on the subject - the connection to or management of certain laboratories and workshops.

Professorships at the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam

Learn more about the appointment requirements for research, honorary and part-time professorships at the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam.

Research professorship

Within the university, research professorships open up new fields of research – synergetic and interdisciplinary.

Research professorship

Honorary professorship

Honorary professors are usually employed full-time outside the university and can be appointed to the university from practice.

Honorary professorship

Part-time professorship

The main profession should have a conducive content-related connection to the tasks of the part-time professorship.

Part-time professorship

Appointment Commissioner