I'm a research assistant (Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter) in Germany in a BMBF funded project. I just got an offer to join a project that has a longer runtime than my current project and offers more opportunities. My professor is supports the switch. My role in the team is vital to the project (full time position) and there is no replacement for me in sight. There is a colleague who could to my part of the work but that would mean that he would have to qualify for the position (learning effort, etc.) and has less time for his role.

I'm relatively new in the position of a research assistant so I don't know how the legal situation is here. Is such a switch from a legal perspective even possible when the project is not done? How to justify the switch? Could someone dispute the switch, considering my new role was not advertised publicly?

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    If the prof supports you, they should be the one to talk to, they can answer your questions or find out the answers without dropping your name. They can also help you in finding a replacement without burning bridges or leaving your old team stranded. – Dirk Jul 23 '19 at 11:44
  • What if there is no replacement when my new contract starts next week? Could there be a problem with the BMBF or a former coworker asking and invalidating my new contract? – user111145 Jul 23 '19 at 11:50
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    Formally, you'll resign from the project. That will be communicated to BMBF. Happens all the time. Now, giving you a new job without first advertising the position is usually not legal. However, you don't get a new job, you only get new duties (in the new project). Happens all the time for employees. – Roland Jul 23 '19 at 12:35

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