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I worked for three different universities in the same Bundesland (state) in Germany. Although they all followed the same general regulations, the interpretation was rather different. one considered my PhD (on a scholarship, so not employed) as relevant experience, one not. one said my Cambridge University (UK) degree was a Fachhochschulabschluss, one ...


If the position is project funded, it may depend on the negotiation with the project leader. If it is a state funded position, then it should be up to the universities' policies. However given your experience, I think is unlikely that they only set you up for the first level/Stufe.


In the end that is something you can only clarify with your potential future employer. However, so far - from the little experience and insights I have - both options can occur: I know people who worked for the public administration before (which in the end is also paid according to the TV-L or TVöD) and started on Stufe (level) 1 - while others with just ...

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