I was invited for an interview in a German university in Ruhr area, for a Junior Professorship position. In total three people (including me) were interviewed, so I guess it should not take so much for the committee to decide! Does any one have any idea how long it will take for them to conclude the recruiting process? I have an offer for a postdoc and need to let them know if I would take the offer for the postdoc. Thanks.

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    In principle, the hiring process for a W1 position is exactly the same as for a W2 or W3 position. academia.stackexchange.com/a/24457 mentions six months (assuming you're the first person on the list), which is reasonable (note that reference letters are usually requested after the interviews in Germany). The only major difference affecting timing is that for a W1, there is usually not much room to negotiate (as always, depending on the field), so going down the list if the first person declines the offer will be a bit faster. (For W2/3, I'd estimate another 6 months per offer.) Sep 11, 2016 at 14:40
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    Also, it's entirely possible that you will never get (official) feedback if you're not offered the position. Sep 11, 2016 at 14:41
  • Thanks a lot Christian, so you mean provided that I'm (hopefuly) the first choice, the first feedback (official or informal) would be provided to me in six month after interview?!
    – Yashar
    Sep 11, 2016 at 14:57
  • Actually I read the link you shared here before poseing my question, but I was not certain the "first feedback" was infact the "offer letter".
    – Yashar
    Sep 11, 2016 at 14:59
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    Formally we do indeed have to inform those who did not get the position, but we don't do that until someone (place 1, 2, or 3) has assumed the position. That might take years :) Oct 27, 2016 at 21:54

1 Answer 1


Christian Clason's comment is basically correct. The hiring process for W1 is the same as W2 and W3 and reports are collected after the interviews. So the time from interview to notification is not short. However, it don't need to be six month.

What usually happens after the interviews is that the committee solicites reports and the referees get about six to ten weeks for their reports. Then the committee meets again and forms its recommendation. This is the first point at which you may be told your suggested listing, but this is unofficial and at some places even against the rules. The next steps are that a number of committees have to approve the list (can be something between two and four) and only after the head of the university has approved the list, the first place may be informed officially. This whole process may well take six months, but it can be less, but do not expect less than six weeks between interviews and unofficial notification and not less then three months between interview and official offer.

  • I thank you very much for so much detail. Highly appreciated.
    – Yashar
    Sep 11, 2016 at 15:17
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    Beat me to it :) A few additional remark: 1) If they are really in a hurry, they might bypass the external reports by having more external members in the committee itself (some universities have regulations that allow this). In this case, it's possible that the hiring committee made their list right after the last talk -- rare, but possible (a starting date of October for the position would be an indicator for this). 2) You will never get any unofficial notification in writing, even by email. If you need to know, you should call a member of the committee or try to talk to them at a conference. Sep 11, 2016 at 15:23
  • I see, they might be in a hurry as the starting date for the position was 1st of September (which is past). There were 2 external members in the Advisory Appointment Board, 1 representative for the researchers of the university, 1 representative for the students of the university and 5 other internal members.
    – Yashar
    Sep 11, 2016 at 15:34
  • @cristianclason Sorry, I thought that you did not plan to write an answer after a longer comment...
    – Dirk
    Sep 11, 2016 at 15:36
  • Update: After 2 years still I am not made aware of the search committee's decision. I even wrote an email once and got no answer. I checked their page and figured they have hired a German candidate.
    – Yashar
    Oct 17, 2018 at 23:11

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