HRA spotlight Bahrenfeld – Understand the Wissenschaftszeitvertragsgesetz (WissZeitVG)
The law on fixed-term employment contracts in German academia (Wissenschaftszeitvertragsgesetz, WissZeitVG for short) regulates the possibilities of setting a time limit for research staff at universities in Germany. The so-called 12-year rule applies in particular to early career researchers. According to this, research staff can be employed for up to six years during the doctoral phase and for a further six years in the postdoc phase (nine years in medicine). The duration of the fixed term of an employment contract must fit the desired qualification. Although the WissZeitVG is designed to limit short-term contracts and thus improve career prospects in the long term, current working conditions in academia often give rise to ambiguities and concerns regarding one's own career planning and personal situation.
- What do I have to consider when signing the contract?
- What periods of employment apply to the 12-year rule?
- How are periods of interruption, e.g. parental leave counted?
- How does the WissZeitVG affect scholarships, third-party funds and employment at non-university research institutions?
HRA spotlight Bahrenfeld: The Hamburg Research Academy offers regular short information sessions on topics central to the doctoral and the postdoctoral career phase. Experts provide basic information and answer your questions.
Please note that the "Bahrenfeld" series is specifically designed for postdocs in the STEM research areas. Participation is free of charge, prior registration is requested. For further information please read the conditions of participation.