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Our HR Strategy

Our aim is to attract the best minds through an inspiring work environment, excellent working conditions and attractive career paths. All strategic developments in this area are directed by the Rectorate, in particular the Vice-Rector for Academic Career and Staff Development.


HRS4R: Human Resources Strategy for Researchers

The University of Cologne supports the initiative of the European Commission to improve working conditions for researchers and to ensure attractive research careers within the European Research Area. A continuous enhancement of working conditions and career opportunities is one of the top priorities of our university.

Having endorsed the principles of the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers, the University of Cologne has applied for the HR Excellence in Research Award.

For further information, please consult our brief process description including our Action Plan and our policy of open, transparent and merit-based recruitment (OTM-R). In 2021, as part of the interim evaluation, the UoC has developed a Revised Action Plan.



Strategic Guidelines for Career Paths in the Post-Doc Stage

The University of Cologne’s Strategic Guidelines for Career Paths in the Post-Doc Stage delineate transparent and clearly defined career tracks within the university. The guidelines serve as an orientation for early stage researchers for their career planning.

They also clarify objectives of post-doctoral appointments and form the basis of a more elaborated evaluation and appraisal system, spelling out the job profiles and pre-conditions for long-term employment at the university. The Strategic Guidelines encourage a transparent, quality-oriented and competitive recruitment. On this basis, the faculties have developed policies on permanent positions. In addition, the Rectorate has adopted the Guidelines on Permanent Employment Opportunities for Academic and Artistic Staff at the UoC as recommended by the Senate. The reform will significantly enhance the transparency, reliability and quality control of long-term employment at the University of Cologne.


Tenure Track

The use of tenure track positions for assistant and associate professors as well as independent group leaders and other postdoctoral researchers is a central element in the career development strategy for advanced researchers of the University of Cologne.

The Institutional Strategy of the Excellence Initiative formally established the tenure track procedure in 2013. It has since been continuously expanded. In 2021, our Regulations for Quality Assurance in Tenure Track Procedures were thoroughly revised and transferred into Regulations for Quality Assurance in Tenure Track Procedures and Other Evaluation Procedures of Temporary (Junior) Professorships at the University of Cologne (Tenure Track Regulations plus). Since 2018 our revised Principles of the University of Cologne on Questions of Conflict of Interest have been in place. The Appointment Regulations of the University of Cologne were fundamentally revised in 2023. 

The University of Cologne was highly successful in the competitive funding through the Tenure Track Programme of the German Federal Government and the Federal States for new tenure track professorships. The additional funding of this programme leads to 27 new tenure track professorships in the course of 2018 to 2021. New calls for applications are posted in our Academic Job Portal.


Contract on Good Employment Conditions

The University of Cologne has committed to the Contract on Good Employment Conditions. Its implementation led to adapting a number of HR-related policies and adopting Guidelines on Good Employment Conditions for Early-Stage Researchers.