Here I am talking about teaching positions in Mathematics. In the US, we know of many positions in the US (also in Canada?) that is teaching position or teaching-oriented position. For example

1) Some universities need 'regular postdocs' like other places, but they have more teaching load (3+2 courses or 3+3 courses for a year)

2)some are called 'teaching postdocs'.

3) Positions in liberal arts or community colleges etc.

Is there any such equivalent position in Europe? I have never been to Europe so far, but I hear there is no concept of 'colleges', they only have universities or institutes. I know there are some places in the UK where they advertise positions for teaching purposes. But for Europe minus UK, say Germany, Austria, Scandinevia etc. is there any such position for teaching at a higher level than high school (could be undergraduate courses, beginning masters courses etc.). Where can I find out about these positions? Mathjobs and euro-math-jobs don't seem to advertise them.

If you know any source for it, could you please provide me with the link(s)? And do you have any idea whether these positions are permanent or temporary and how much normally do they pay?

4 Answers 4


From my experience in the Netherlands, there are no teaching (oriented) positions on the university level (assistent prof level and up). There used to be an option to primarily be a teacher at university, without the requirement of a PhD even, but nowadays such a position always includes a mix of researching, teaching, and grant proposal writing.

At tradeschools (we call those HBO) there are (almost) full-time teaching positions, but these are not on a university level, and require you to speak fluent Dutch. This makes these kind of jobs hard to get for foreigners.

  • 1
    A similar situation exists in Belgium (well, Flanders), though some of the institutes previously known as hogeschools are becoming a part of the university system, but they remain primarily dominated by teaching. Mar 17, 2013 at 9:23
  • 1
    In the Netherlands, trade schools (hogeschool or HBO) are also performing more research. This is more applied research, which is probably not going to get you a tenured position... Mar 17, 2013 at 10:01

The usual disclaimer that Europe is a big place and that it's impossible to give a general answer.

In France, there exist teaching-only positions in universities. They are known by the abbreviations "PRAG" and "PRCE", meaning respectively "Professeur agrégé" and "Professeur certifié". I've written an answer about them for another question, but the question was closed.

Here's a summary. To get this kind of position, you must first obtain a national examination. For PRAG you need to obtain the "agrégation", which is a national competition (people are ranked and a better rank helps getting a better position). For PRCE you need to obtain the "certification", a national exam.

But make no mistake. These two exams are usually for people looking to teach in middle and high schools. PRAG and PRCE positions are few and far between, and there is a lot of competition for them. Once you get your agrégation or certification, then you will need to teach in middle/high school first before having any kind of chance of getting the PRAG/PRCE position. You will have to wait for an opening, and compete with a lot of people. If you refuse to teach in school, you will lose your status and need to pass the exams again. Also, speaking French is mandatory. I would say you need to want to teach in France more than anything to even consider getting such a position.

The upshot is that these are permanent positions. The pay is okay I guess. The ministry has some info. For a certified professor, you start at 1795€ gross salary the first year, and after 30 years you can rise to 3777€. For an "agrégé", you start at 2076€, and after 30 years you rise to 4555€.

(The first kind of position is not to be confused with professors who have obtained the "agrégation du supérieur", in law, political sciences, economy, or management. These professors have a position equivalent to other "usual" university professors and statutorily dedicate half their time to teaching and half to research. Yes, the terminology is confusing.)

A completely different alternative is to become "maître de conférences associé" (adjunct lecturer) or "professeur associé" (adjunct professor). This is a part-time position for people who have some professional experience (7 years for lecturer, 9 years for professor), or alternatively a high enough degree (PhD at least). You would keep your main job and teach in the university part-time. It's also possible to be recruited on such a position full-time. In all cases it's temporary, three years maximum.

I am not certain what the recruitment procedure is like, in particular I don't know if universities advertise for openings or if you have to apply on your own. It seems to me that everything is fully at the discretion of the university/department. The ministry has some information.

Perhaps a point worth stressing is that these are mostly exceptions. I haven't met many PRAG/PRCE or heard of many openings. For adjunct teachers, the "exceptional" nature is even clearer (it's a temporary position for industry people who want to teach). The "norm" are the half-teaching/half-research positions and the research-only positions (which are somewhat rarer).


In Spain all jobs of a given category have, in principle, the same responsibilities with respect to teaching and there is no concept of a "teaching position". Obtaining (even applying for) a job requires demonstrating experience in both teaching and research, and in principle there is not much variability in the profile (certainly far less variability than is possible in the US). In practice people tend to like living in big cities and certain universities are stronger than others in research; at the weaker universities the job may in fact be basically a teaching position, and hiring tribunals can adjust the criteria to favor teaching record within certain limits, but the administratative and bureaucratic requirements to get the job still always take into account research.

More bluntly - to even apply for a university position of a particular category one must first obtain a specific "acreditation" for that job category, and the requirements for these acreditations always specify having published a certain (field specific) minimum number of papers. This makes it structurally impossible to have what in the US would be called a "teaching position".


I'm not 100% sure I understand your question but I'll try to answer it anyway.

There are plenty of tertiary teaching positions in Europe. There are universities and trade schools in every country and all of these need teachers (permanent and temporary) to teach their students (undergraduate and graduate). How much they pay depends on the country.

  • Thanks, you did understand my question. But I don't see any of these advertisements being published on mathjobs, euro-math-jobs etc. Do you know by any chance where can I find the advertisements' positions for such teaching positions? Mar 17, 2013 at 1:22
  • 1
    In Switzerland, you can look here.
    – earthling
    Mar 17, 2013 at 8:50

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