Two researcher analyse pictures of the brain

Junior professors and tenure track

RUB offers its researchers a wealth of opportunities: in addition to traditional appointment, RUB provides two alternative paths to a tenured position.

Tenure Track

A tenure-track professorship is an attractive station along the career path of early career researchers: it facilitates independent research and teaching in a professorial position at an early stage. After a successful evaluation process, they can be sure to be tenured.

With its innovative holistic concept to support early career researchers, RUB has acquired 20 tenure-track professorships in the federal-state programme for the promotion of early career researchers. The university has allocated these professorships to different disciplines primarily in the field of digitalisation, advertised them on the international level and awarded appointments.

But this was just the beginning: starting in 2021, every firth permanent professorial vacancy in the categories W2 or W3 is advertised and awarded as a tenure-track professorship

Tenure Track

Open Field

The clue is in the name, as the open-field professorship offers freedom of choice. RUB provides two of these unrestricted professorships to each faculty, in addition to the regular professorships. The faculties have thus the chance to offer a tenure option to renowned researchers and outstanding early career researchers who have secured high-quality third-party funding.

The following third-party funding schemes qualify for an open-field professorship:

  • Heisenberg professorships of the German Research Foundation (DFG)
  • DFG Emmy Noether Research Groups
  • Starting, Consolidator und Advanced Grants of the European Research Council (ERC)
  • Sofja Kovalevskaja Grants of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation
  • Lichtenberg Professorships of the Volkswagen Foundation

An open-field professorship is tailor-cut to match the individual researcher's academic profile and is firmly established in the faculty.

Open field


The programme constitutes a unique chance for highly qualified RUB researchers who had not originally been on the path towards tenure: academics who show outstanding performance in their discipline can be recommended for a Career Track professorship by their faculty. RUB has thus created an alternative to traditional appointment procedures.

The RUB Career Track is open to the following researchers:

  • junior research group leaders
  • junior professors
  • members of the Academic Senate on limited appointment
  • postdocs
  • outstanding early career researchers who have received an appointment from outside the university.

RUB Career Track

Novice bonus

In this programme, the university awards the acceptance of a first proposal for an independent research project by the German Research Foundation (DFG). The purpose of the scheme is to provide an incentive for early career researchers to conduct independent research at an early stage and to overcome potential inhibitions associated with submitting a proposal for the first time.

The programme addresses all researchers at RUB whose proposal had been accepted by DFG as a “First DFG Proposal”. It is part of the initial funding scheme, introduced by DFG in June 2009.

Novice bonus (German)

Other university programmes

In order to promote talents in research and education, RUB supports researchers through strategic university programmes.

Other university programmes (german website)

Talent promotion
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