New rules for young researchers: Law Amendment of Wissenschaftszeitvertragsgesetz

In December, the Bundestag passed the amendment of the Wissenschaftszeitvertragsgesetz, which will officially come into law in spring 2016. The significant changes for young researchers are the following:

Regarding temporary work contracts justfied by the qualification period before or after the doctorate (12-year-law), in future the contract periods have to be "adequate in relation to the intended qualification". This means that the qualification objectives will have to be specified and explicitly named, in order to evaluate the adequacy of the contract period. Besides the Habilitation or habilitation-equivalent achievements, further scientific qualifications come into consideration during the postdoc phase. Examples of qualification objectives would include learning new research methods, publishing scientific results, raising third-party funds or enhancing the knowledge in project management.

For temporary work contracts within projects financed by external or third-party funds, the contract period will generally be the same as the time period of the approved project. 

The German Research Foundation (DFG) has compiled a handout that provides a brief overview of the upcoming changes (in German). Further information about the Wissenschaftszeitvertragsgesetz can be found here.

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