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Postdoctoral Qualification at the Department

Thank you very much for your interest in attaining the qualification as university lecturer in the Department of Political and Social Sciences.

Early Career Researchers who wish to pursue a university career and to attain the qualification needed to apply successfully for a professorial chair can either strive for a post as junior professor or choose the traditional German "Habilitation" – a postdoctoral examination procedure. As a rule an existing post-doctoral examination procedure (current or completed) constitutes a disqualifying criterion for the award of a junior professorship. 

Admission to the Post-Doctoral Examination Procedure

One of the special features of the postdoctoral examination procedure is that the postdoctoral thesis (an extensive monograph, a monograph plus cumulative works or an exclusively cumulative thesis) has to be submitted even when the admission to the postdoctoral procedure is being applied for.

Proof of having acquired a minimum teaching experience (summarily eight hours per week in a semester covering a broad area of the subject during the past six semesters, four of which need to have been taught in the Department of Political and Social Sciences) has to be submitted as one of the attachments to the application for admission to the postdoctoral examination.

In addition to that you need to have found all potential members of your examination commission yourself and be able to name them in the application for admission to the postdoctoral examination.

All further attachments to the application form § 4 of the regulations for the conduct of postdoctoral examinations requires you to submit (master´s degree, doctoral certificate etc.) are listed both on page 2 of the application for admission to the postdoctoral examination (pdf) and in the regulations for the conduct of postdoctoral examinations (German only). With the aid of our chronological overview you will keep track of the status of your procedure.

The Department´s Council will decide whether admission to the postdoctoral procedure can be granted and who will be appointed as member of your examination commission. 

The Examination Commission

Your commission will consist of

  • five members who are entitled to vote
    (professors or members of the department´s council who have already completed their postdoctoral examinations) and

  • four members with advisory functions
    (two research assistants and two students)

The commission will appoint the reviewers for your postdoctoral thesis and - taking their assessments into consideration – will decide whether it will recommend that the Extended Department´s Council either accept or the reject your thesis.

If the committee recommends the acceptance of your thesis, it will also recommend a choice for one of the three distinctive proposals for a public lecture you have previously submitted. The Extended Department´s Council will then decide whether it accepts or rejects your thesis and choose the subject of your public lecture in camera.

The Examination Commission will present a report on the candidate´s teaching performance and his/her didactic capacity which will be taken into account when the Extended Department´s Council draws its decision on the conferment of the teaching qualification. 

Oral Examination

Once the Extended Department´s Council has accepted the postdoctoral thesis and determined the topic of your public lecture, you will be granted a period of four weeks to prepare the lecture. The public lecture shall have a length of approximately 30 minutes and be followed by an academic debate. The members of the Extended Department´s Council as well as the members of your Examination Commission will participate in the debate, with the permission of the Chair members of the public may also ask questions.

The Extended Department´s Council will decide in an in camera session and in seperate ballots on the assessment of your performance in the public lecture and the debate.  

Attaining the Qualification as University Lecturer (facultas docendi)

If the Extended Department´s Council approves of the thesis and the oral performance, it will reach an overall decision to confer the qualification as university lecturer. Consequently a certificate confirming your qualification as university lecturer will be issued and conferred. Should you apply for a professorial chair the facultas docendi constitutes sufficient verification of your qualifications.  

Granting the Title of a Honorary Lecturer (venia legendi)

In addition to the qualification as university lecturer you can apply to be granted the title of a hono­rary lecturer and attain the venia legendi. The German Privatdozent*in has the same qualifications as university professors do but does not hold a chair and is not employed by the university. Privatdo­zent*innen are corporate members of the Freie Universität, have the right to vote and to act as examiner the but also have to meet their teaching duties of two "Semesterwochenstunden" (i.e. two hours per week during one term or, as a rule, one course) per year.

Your Contact in the Department:

Daphne Stelter