Structure of an appointment procedure

Fundamentals of the appointment procedure

In principle, all planned professorships are defined or "bestowed" on the basis of an internal process in a UNIVERSITY´S DEVELOPMENT PLAN. At TU Wien, the "Development Plan 2025+ of TU Wien, opens an external URL in a new window" (in German, Version 3 from October 2021) applies, in which the planned professorships for the periods 2021-2024 and 2025-2028 have been defined.
The basic procedure of an appointment procedure is regulated in § 98, opens an external URL in a new window of the Austrian Universities Act 2002 (Appointment procedure for university professors) and § 99, opens an external URL in a new window and 99a, opens an external URL in a new window (Fast track appointment procedure for university professors) and explained in more detail by the two university-specific parts of the statute "Appointment procedure, opens a file in a new window" and "Notes on the statute Appointment Procedure, opens an external URL in a new window" .

The APPOINTMENTS COMMITTEES play a central role in all appointment procedures for professorships that receive a permanent contract or at least a 5-year contract. They are composed of representatives from the groups of "university professors", "academic employees" and "students", and are set up by the Senate of TU Wien , opens an external URL in a new windowon the proposal of the faculties, opens an external URL in a new window. Deans , opens an external URL in a new windowand Deans of Studies may also attend the meetings of the appointments committee to provide information, as well as representatives of the Committee on Equal Treatment, opens an external URL in a new window, who play an advisory role.

Duration and phases of an appointment process

The DURATION of an appointment process may of course vary for several reasons. However, the aim is that appointment processes are completed within one year of the deadline for the call for applications anticipating that also the appointment negotiations have been concluded (exception: fast track procedures).

The activity of the APPOINTMENTS COMMITTEE generally extends over 6-8 months (at least three meetings in addition to the inaugural sitting), in the case of an abbreviated procedure around 3-4 months (at least two meetings in addition to the inaugural sitting) and begins in Phase 2 - the Application Phase - after the deadline for the call for applications.

The basic five PHASES of an APPOINTMENT PROCESS are as follows and each one lasts on average between 2-4 months:

Establishing the search committee – following the initiation of the process itself and the agreement in principle of the call for applications by the Rector's Office – constitutes the beginning of the first phase of every appointment process for § 98 professorships. The aim of this is to analyse the applicant situation for the upcoming call for applications and to define the timeliness and future viability of a call for applications area. On completion of its activities – at the latest two months after its initiation – the search committee submits a final report to the Rector. This concludes the Search Phase.

Search reports are not necessary for fast track procedures. They will be approved or rejected by the Rector's Office immediately after they have been initiated.

Call for applications

The call for applications for the new professorship is initiated by the Rector's Office, taking into account the results of the search committee (§ 98 professorships). It is in coordination with the Dean responsible and published in the TUW University Gazette, opens an external URL in a new window as well as on the TUW Careers Portal, opens an external URL in a new window. In addition, § 98 professorships must be publicly advertised nationally and internationally. The text of the call for applications contains all the information about the faculty concerned (there are German and English templates for § 98 or 99(4) professorships [under: internal documents]). The call for applications is typically open for around 6-8 weeks, except for fast track procedures: this call is open for at least 3 weeks.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: It is recommended, that all different measures according to the Richtlinie zum Entfall der Wiederholung der Ausschreibung, opens an external URL in a new window of the Committee on Equal Treatment start with the preparations of the call. These measures should follow the suggestions of the Formblatt des AKG für Professuren, opens an external URL in a new window.

Subsequent initial sittings of the appointments committee

After the deadline of the call for applications, the respective APPOINTMENTS COMMITTEE sets to work and holds its inaugural sitting to elect the chair of the appointments committee. The aim of the first subsequent sitting is to look through all applications. Applications which do not fulfill the formal requirements of the call will be withdrawed. As a result a list of candidates will be compiled, which should be evaluated by external experts. In addition, any partiality ("Criteria for exclusion of partiality", opens an external URL in a new window) of  all members of the appointment committee will be reviewed: this is important as it determines whether all persons can continue to participate in the process or not (see also "Guidelines and Quality Assurance, opens an external URL in a new window). In addition it is recommended to draw up a timetable for all further activites of the appointment committee.

Obtaining expert opinions and the second meeting of the appointments committee

The aim of the next phase of the appointments process is again to draw up a list of applicants, who seem best suited based on their academic and didactic qualification. This time this will be done with the help of external experts. These EXPERTS (at least three), who are required for this purpose in accordance with international standards, were appointed prior to this by the Senate's university professors on the proposal of the university professors of the relevant faculty. One of the experts MUST be external (i.e. not employed at TU Wien). At the end of this phase - during the second meeting of the appointments committee - the members of the appointment committee will identify the subset of applicants who will be personally invited to the hearings for § 98 professorship (this is usually 5-6 people depending on the number of applicants).

The appointments procedure ends here for § 99(4) professorships, as the list of applicants that has been drawn up with the help of external experts is the same as the shortlist.

Selection of experts 

The EXPERTS (at three) required according to international standards are appointed by the university professors of the Senate on the proposal of the university professors of the relevant faculty in the §98 procedure, whereby one of the experts MUST be external (i.e. is NOT employed at the TU Wien).

In the  §99 (4) procedure, the appointment of the experts is different. The appointment committee proposes potential experts to the rector and the rector selects at least two experts, one of which is external, from this list.

Holding of hearings, final meeting of the appointments committee including creation of the tripartite proposal

Being invited to hearings is the first step towards an appointment and is already an honor for the applicants. Usually - depending on the original number of applicants - 5-6 people are invited. As we give applicants enough time to prepare for the hearings, this phase lasts around 2-3 months.

IMPORTANT: All female applicants who meet the formal application criteria must be invited to the hearings. In cases that deserve special consideration (e.g. an unusually large number of female applicants), the number of female applicants to be invited can be reduced with the written consent of the Committee on Equal Treatment.

Hearing

The HEARINGS consist of applicant lectures and subsequent interviews:
- The applicant lectures consist of two parts; firstly, a demonstration lesson on a given topic in order to demonstrate the didactic skills (students are especially involved in this) and secondly, an academic lecture on a topic chosen by the applicatns themselves. 
- During the subsequent interviews, administrative and faculty-related questions are discussed and the applicant is given the opportunity to present his/her motivation and goals in more detail. In addition, the applicant has the chance to look around TU Wien and get to know his/her potential new colleagues.

After the hearings, the final task for the appointments committee is to draw up a SHORTLIST ("tripartite proposal") during its FINAL MEETING, which is submitted to the Dean. 

IMPORTANT: Hearings are only required for § 98 professorships, but not for fast track procedures.

The dean is now responsible for writing an opinion on the appointment proposal, which he/she has received from the appointment committee. He/she sends the statement and all other relevant documents (minutes, final report, appointment proposal, etc.) to the Rector. After receiving all relevant documents and a formal check, the Rector decides whether to accept the appointment committee`s proposal and to start the appointment negotiations. Finally the rector informs the works council and the AKG of the final decision.

Upon receipt of all the relevant documents, the Rector commences the appointment negotiations, which may include everything relating to the workplace itself (equipment, resources, transfer of research projects, staff, salary), family-related matters such as searching for employment for the candidate's partner and suitable schools/nurseries (Dual Career Advice, opens an external URL in a new window), as well as compensating relocation costs, assistance with looking for somewhere to live and other administrative matters.

The end of the appointment negotiations marks the official end of the appointment process and ends with the acceptance of the offer of the appointment and the signing of the employment contract. 

If finally the appointment negotiations have been successful and an employment contract has been signed, the new professor can start working (see also  "New Professors"). 
For new professors at the TU Wien, there have been a number of welcome activities since 2020 (see also "Welcome Center, opens in new window").