I did my PhD in a German university. I heard that it is not legally allowed to be professor in the same university. However, I see also some counterexamples in our field. Is this true? If so, why some people could still stay in the same university?

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    Whether it is legally allowed is a matter of the laws of the individual states (as education is not a federal responsibility in Germany). Normally, staying at the same university for the duration of the complete academic carrer (starting with PhD studies) is frowned upon, which is why candidates from elsewhere are normally preferred.
    – DCTLib
    Commented Feb 5, 2016 at 15:09
  • @DCTLib Do you know in which states this is not allowed?
    – Mojtaba
    Commented Feb 5, 2016 at 15:40
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    I do not think it is illegal, it is just discouraged, as far as I know. Commented Feb 5, 2016 at 15:42
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    When such rules are in place (sometimes at the state level, sometimes at the university level), they usually specify that you cannot be eligable if you are currently employed or otherwise associated there. However, I seen cases where such a "hausberufungsverbot" was bypassed by arranging a temporary position somewhere else first ... So if everybody wants you, they can find a way to make it work, if someone wants to block you (s)he can. Commented Feb 5, 2016 at 15:50
  • I edited this question and a few others because generally, to avoid tag proliferation, we try to create new tags only to categorize things that aren't classified well by existing tags. If you feel strongly that the new tags I removed (e.g. "professorship") are really needed, please raise the issue on Academia Meta.
    – ff524
    Commented Feb 19, 2016 at 8:06

1 Answer 1


In Germany you cannot get your tenure in the same university where you already working. So to speak, you cannot promote to tenure in a university while working on this university. I explain myself, if you are a post-doc in Uni A you cannot get the professorship in this uni, no matter if you did or didn't your PhD there. You'll have to apply for better positions in other universities and, eventually, get hired in uni B. What I've seen is someone working in a post-doc position in Uni A, accepting a professorship in uni B, working there for a semester and coming back to Uni A as a professor. He was not promoted to professor in uni A, so it is not illegal.

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    Could you please cite the exact law where these restrictions are spelled out?
    – Psychonaut
    Commented Feb 11, 2016 at 16:16
  • I cannot "cite the exact law". But here you have a bite from the EUI Academic Careers Observatory: "The German academic career is not tenure track: by law a junior staff member cannot be promoted to a professorial position within the same institution. However, one becomes a civil servant from Academic Assistant (C2/W2 positions in the old/new system) onwards. " eui.eu/ProgrammesAndFellowships/AcademicCareersObservatory/… My example of University A and B is based on the experience of my German supervisor.
    – Ophelia
    Commented Feb 12, 2016 at 11:44
  • Small quibbles: a) C2 and W2 are not equivalent; W2 (old: C3) are professors without a chair, while W3 (old: C4) are chairholders. The old tenured assistant positions C1 (after PhD) and C2 (after habilitation) no longer exist in practice. (W1 are junior professors, which is different concept.) b) It's true that you cannot be promoted to any professor position in Germany, but having an outside offer allows the university to offer you a better position if you stay (if they have one available). Formally, the process would be like a fresh hire, but in practice it's similar to a promotion. Commented Feb 19, 2016 at 10:55

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