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" applies, in which the planned professorships for the years 2021-2024 and 2025-2028 have been defined.
If the appointment procedure is considered in terms of its duration and complexity, it is regulated in § 98, opens an external URL in a new window of the Austrian Universities Act 2002 (Appointment procedure for university professors) and § 9, opens an external URL in a new window9, 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 appointment procedure part of the statute, opens a file in a new window" .

The APPOINTMENTS COMMITTEES, which are appointed by the Senate of TU Wien, for professorships that are to be filled permanently or for longer than five years, play a central role in all appointments. 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 a variety of reasons. However, the aim is that appointment processes are completed within one year of the deadline for the call for applications, i.e. that the appointment negotiations have also been concluded (except in the case of 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 over around 3-4 months (at least two meetings in addition to the inaugural sitting) and begins in phase 2, the application phase, after the application deadline.

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 to be filled is initiated by the Rector's Office, taking into account the results of the search committee for § 98 professorships, and 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/or English call for application templates for § 98 or 99(4) professorships [under: internal documents, opens an external URL in a new window]). The call for applications is typically open for around 6-8 weeks; except for fast track procedures: here it is 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 at same time of the Call for applications. 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

Once the call for applications deadline is reached, the respective APPOINTMENTS COMMITTEE sets to work and holds its inaugural sitting to elect the chair of the appointments committee and then (usually) the initial sitting to look through the applications (review or fulfilment of the formal requirements) and to draw up a timetable.
Applications which do not fulfill 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 ("Befangenheiten – Kriterien zum Ausschluß von Befangenheiten"/"Criteria for exclusion of partiality", opens an external URL in a new window) will be reviewed by both experts and the members of the appointments committee to be able to determine whether all persons can continue to participate in the process (see also "Handling of bias" under Guidelines and Quality Assurance, opens an external URL in a new window).

Obtaining expert opinions and the second meeting of the appointments committee

If the decision hast been taken to obtain expert opinions from the applicant, the first hurdle in the selection process has already been taken.

The aim of the next phase of the appointments process is again to draw up a list of candidates, this time with the help of external experts, who seem best suited based on their academic and didactic qualification. The EXPERTS (at least two, better 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 attendees will identify the subset of applicants who will be personally invited to the hearings for § 98 professorships (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 candidates that has been drawn up is the same as the shortlist.

Selection of experts 

The EXPERTS (at least two, preferably 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 Vienna University of Technology).

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 appointment for applicants and is already an honor. 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 applicants who meet the application criteria must be invited to the hearings. In cases that deserve special consideration (e.g. an unusually large number of applicants), the number of 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 for the applicant to demonstrate their didactic skills (students are especially involved in this) and; secondly, an academic lecture on a topic chosen by the candidates 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. 

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 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. He / she informs the works council and the AKG of this 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.

The appointment negotiation ends with the acceptance of the offer of appointment and the signing of the employment contract. This officially marks the end of the appointment process.

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", opens an external URL in a new window).
For new professors at the TU Wien, there have been a number of welcome activities since 2020 (see also "Welcome Center, opens an external URL in a new window").