When the Federal Report on Young Scientists (BuWiN) was presented at a virtual press conference last Friday, the decisive moment came in the 24th minute. In it, Manga Scholl, Research Minister in Brandenburg said: “There is exactly one place in the world where the 40- is counted. People over the age of 40 who can refer to long lists of publications, who have worked abroad, who often run third-party funded projects worth millions, are among the next generation: the German university. ”
The offspring means nothing more than “not yet true, not yet finished,” according to the Social Democrats, which goes against the current that scholars have placed in this staircase including their first appointment as professorship. Schüle believes that this is “nonsense,” since all PhD candidates and graduates perform independent research, teaching and knowledge transfer assignments at universities. Consequently – her argument is now pointing to an internal extension – it is also correct to claim more permanent positions in the scientific community.
The BuWiN Act has shown once in every legislative period since 2008 just how necessary it is in the opinion of many. Created by a consortium led by the Institute for Innovation and Technology (iIT), this time providing data from 2018 for the report: 92 percent of non-professed academic faculty under the age of 45 were hired on a temporary basis. Among people under the age of 35, 98 percent had to work their way from a temporary contract to a temporary contract. The situation is as bad as it was ten years ago.
“We pretend that this is normal,” said Scholl, while it was “a great injustice and a waste of resources, because whoever should be watching the next project, the next extension of the contract, is not good in my opinion, the research still knows well.”
GEW Calls Contract Periods “Underground”
It is a criticism of one’s title, because the federal states are responsible for primary funding, that is, the long-term, predictable employment of universities – and thus also for permanent positions. Limited federal funding programs are less suitable for this purpose. Therefore, the Association for Education and Science (GEW) is calling for an expansion of core funding again on Friday, but also wants to tighten the Science Time Contract Act in order to reduce subjective time limits. Conditions remain “confidential,” says GEW Vice President Andreas Keeler: “The average length of a work contract with doctoral candidates is 22 months, with postdoc researchers it is 28 months.”
If the young researcher encounters the hurdle of obtaining a PhD, his career opportunities continue to grow exponentially – well beyond the academic world. 70 to 80 percent of the shift to the private or public sector within one to two years, BuWiN explains. Then your unemployment rate is constant at one to two percent. “It’s worth getting a PhD,” Federal Education Minister Anja Karlichik said in a videoconference on Friday. According to BuWiN, doctoral candidates outside universities can expect much more management positions than non-doctoral candidates as well as higher salaries, so lawyers and engineers earn around € 10,000 a year.
It looks different in universities. If a doctoral candidate can reach professorship over various periods of time, he is already 40 years old on average. And even these first appointments often lead to temporary positions. It is not easy to escape from the small stairs.