In Germany there exists the title Priv-Doz before the name of some professors. What does it mean? Do these professors allow to hire postdoctoral applicants?

  • 1
    A comment 'cause it's not what you are really interested in. PD, a Privatdozent title gives you a fancy diploma, an obligation to teach for, like two hours a week, and hopefully an incentive to be hired as a professor. All other standing is related to the actual position that person holds, but not this title. Jun 28, 2018 at 20:01
  • @OlegLobachev: Is the diploma really so fancy? If yes, why?
    – Udank
    Jul 6, 2018 at 16:19
  • Udank: At least my diploma is. Not sure what's the reason, but the habilitation diploma is much less fancy that PD one, at least at my university. Jul 6, 2018 at 20:04

2 Answers 2


Formally it is a title given to a university teacher, translation: private lecturer. It means you are able to teach, but not yet a professor.

In practice it is the required step-up from the PhD degree, to get a permanent position.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Privatdozent

  • Can they hire postdocs?
    – user40491
    Jun 27, 2018 at 20:20
  • 1
    Yes - I know of at least two examples. The would most likely need external funding to do something like that.
    – nabla
    Jun 27, 2018 at 20:22
  • "In practice it is the required step-up from the PhD degree, to get a permanent position." At least for some fields, this information is outdated. There are alternative routes to permanent positions, including junior professorships (see the specified Wikipedia page). Oct 24, 2019 at 15:41

A Privatdozent (PD) is a university scholar who has a Habilitation and is thefore allowed to supervise PhD students, but is not (yet) a professor. They may hire postdocs if they can obtain funding. Unlike professors, their position usually doesn't come with funding for PhD students or postdocs. In fact, the title PD ist just that - a title. It doesn't indicate anything about the position that the PD may or may not have, except that they don't have the position of a professor.

In other words, in Germany and Austria a PhD thesis makes you a doctor, and a subsequent Habilitation makes you a PD. Traditionally, you need a Habilitation to be hired as professor.

  • 1
    Yep, that's the traditional way to a professorship. Still, there is "junior professorship" in some places (basically assistant professor in Anglo-Saxon world, with or without tenure-track), the "habilitation-equivalent accomplishments", leadership of elite research groups, such es Emmy-Noether programme, etc. Jun 28, 2018 at 20:04

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .