Internal Differentiation of Professorships

An Analysis of Developments concerning the most important Career Position within the German Higher Education System

Start of the project: 01-Apr-2018 - End of the project: 30-Sept-2019

Professorships can be regarded as archetypical elements of higher education institutions (HEI) as well as small institutions, i.e. historically long-lived, unquestioned role and structure patterns. This small institution is integrated into the university organisation in the form of a position. In Germany, the professorship is the most important type of position in the system of higher education at all. However, for about one and a half decades, there have been signs of an internal differentiation so that different types of professorships might be distinguishable now.

The project examines

  • the extent of differentiation as well as structural features of emerging new types of professorships,
  • relevant causes and factors influencing the processes of differentiation,
  • effects and consequences with regard to expectations professors have to meet, to their budgets and resources, their concepts of professional performance, their integration into the HEI and their internal and external networking.

In this context, analyses of the legal framework over time and a discourse analysis of relevant periodicals related to higher education will be combined. In addition, several guided expert interviews will be conducted, and data taken from a survey among researchers realised by the German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies (DZHW) in 2016 will be statistically evaluated.

The examples of open-topic-professorships, gender-professorships, professorships financed by foundations, professorships with joint vocations of both HEI and research institutions as well as shared professorships in cooperation of higher education institutions and companies will be studied in detail.

Intended outcomes of the project are congress papers and presentations of results, publications of articles in peer-reviewed journals and the preparation and submission of an application for a further multi-year project close to this topic.

This interdisciplinary project is carried out in cooperation between the DZHW and the Chair of Public Law, International and European Law at the Leibniz University Hannover (Professor Volker Epping) at the Leibniz Center for Science and Society (LCSS).

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Senior Researcher

Monika Jungbauer-Gans
Prof. Dr. Monika Jungbauer-Gans Senior Researcher +49 511 450670-910
Bernd Kleimann
PD Dr. Bernd Kleimann Senior Researcher +49 511 450670-363


Thorben Sembritzki

External Contact

Press contact

Daniel Matthes
Daniel Matthes +49 511 450670-532
To press section

In cooperation with

Leibniz Forschungszentrum Wissenschaft und Gesellschaft