I recently got to know that I am third in a shortlist of four candidates for a full professor position in a German university. I am not that experienced about German academia, since I worked in other countries, so far.

Unofficially, I have been told that the first candidate, who is already a full professor, quite likely is not really interested in the position, but rather she/he is trying to negotiate better conditions in her/his current university. I have no info about the second candidate. In case also this second candidate does not accept the job, I would be invited to the negotiation.

According to your experience, what are the chances that candidates, who are not in the top positions of the shortlist, can access the negotiation? In other words, what are the chances that top candidates leave the position to lower-ranked candidates, for any reason?

I have been told that anything could happen, even that none of the shortlisted candidates accepts the position (well, actually I would accept). But I have no clues about statistics. How likely is, according to your experience, that I will be invited to the negotiation? Having a hint would be very useful. Thanks a lot!

  • very very slim, but it happens many times that first two think they are Gods and can request anything – SSimon Jul 4 '20 at 6:02
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    Currently there is a pandemic and universities are experiencing financial difficulties. Therefore people are very unlikely to turn down offers. I'd rate your chances very low. – Anonymous Physicist Jul 4 '20 at 7:35
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    I am confused about why you would be told such a thing. – Anonymous Physicist Jul 4 '20 at 7:36
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    @AnonymousPhysicist German universities are almost all publicly funded and a lot of that funding is long term and cannot be changed so easily. Some of it is even dependent on the number of students, which usually rises in recessions. So the only financial difficulties would be in fields like engineering which are more strongly dependent on third-party funds. – mlk Jul 4 '20 at 7:43
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    @AnonymousPhysicist not case for germany, in some weird way of financing, recession are good for German universities – SSimon Jul 4 '20 at 8:11