scientific Assistant

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As a scientific staff employees or officers at a be College , a research institute , a federal or research institute designated to exercise the scientific activities there within its operating range. Such employees are usually assigned to a scientist in a higher position (professor, lecturer, project or department head).


Academic staff at universities work on research projects and usually also hold courses (e.g. introductory seminars , exercises , internships ). The number of mandatory weekly semester hours can vary greatly depending on the state, federal state and type of employment relationship, in Germany also within the respective federal states. In the case of civil servants , lectures are part of the official duties . In many cases, academic staff are young researchers who are working towards their own doctorate or who are employed as so-called postdocs or habilitation candidates after completing their doctorate .

A distinction must be made between civil servants (see also: scientific assistant ) and employees in salaried employment. In some federal states, a doctorate or an equivalent performance is a prerequisite for appointment to the Academic Council or Senior Council at a university. They have the following official titles:

However, there are hardly any leading academic (or scientific) directors, and overall the number of civil servants at German and Austrian universities has been declining for years. More and more civil servants are academic staff members in the university service (A 13); in this case, the teaching obligation is higher, while these employees have little or no research tasks.

The largest part of the so-called academic mid-level staff in the Federal Republic of Germany consists of academic staff who are employed on a temporary basis; they have no special official title. The time limit is mostly not based on the Part-Time and Temporary Employment Act , but rather according to the law on fixed-term employment contracts in science (WissZeitVG) created specifically for the science sector . Mostly these are qualification positions. According to current German law, the maximum duration of a temporary employment at a university is 12 years, in the medical field of a university up to 15 years. Times as an employee and a civil servant are added together, namely as the sum of all fixed-term jobs, even if they were at different universities: If you were employed at German universities for a total of 12 or 15 years, you may only be hired for an unlimited period . This regulation has been sharply criticized since it was first introduced because permanent positions are rare, so that after 12 years many highly qualified researchers are in fact forced to turn their backs on science. An extension of the fixed-term employment beyond this period is only possible in the case of certain statutory exceptions and in particular in the case of third-party funding . In Austria the time periods are similar.

Regardless of their salary group, scientific employees (for university / master’s degrees BAT IIa to I or TV-L E 13 to E 15, for university / bachelor’s degrees BAT Vb to IVb or TVöD or TVL E 9 to E 12) are considered scientific employees Employees called.

In October 2011, the German Research Foundation issued a recommendation on the payment of doctoral candidates. This shows differences in pay according to the various departments. As there is no legal differentiation between different scientific disciplines, a reduction in contractual working hours is proposed. In the humanities, a part-time employment relationship with 65% of normal working hours is proposed, whereas in engineering, 100% full-time positions are recommended. Since, in deviation from the contractually stipulated working hours, a full-time equivalent usually has to be worked, legal restrictions of the TV-L are thereby circumvented. The average monthly net income of doctoral students is 1,261 euros. 12% of doctoral students have an income of less than 826 euros and are thus below the poverty line according to the definition of the 2010 microcensus.

By law of November 7, 2007, the state of Baden-Württemberg changed the designation of academic staff to "Academic staff" (with the adjective capitalized).

In Austria , a relatively large number of employees are university assistants , another group is referred to as project assistants .

Federal agencies and courts

See also


  • Tanja Barthelmes: At the interface between science and politics? The scientific staff of the members of the German Bundestag. An empirical study . Diplomica Verlag, Hamburg 2007, ISBN 978-3-8366-5311-4 (also: Heidelberg, University, Master's thesis, 2005).

Individual evidence

  1. Science Time Contract Act (WissZeitVG)
  2. German Research Foundation: Note on the payment of doctoral candidates . No. 55.02 . Bonn October 2011 ( [PDF]).
  3. Federal Report on Young Scientists 2017 - Statistical data and research findings on doctoral candidates and doctoral candidates in Germany . S. 30 , doi : 10.3278 / 6004603w ( [accessed October 20, 2017]).
  4. Legislative decision of the state parliament - law for the implementation of federalism reform in the higher education sector . In: Landtag of Baden-Württemberg (ed.): Printed matter . No. 14/1967 , 14 November 2007 ( [PDF]).