Certificate program: On track to university professorship

“On Track to University Professorship” is a certificate program specifically tailored to support you through at the challenges of qualifying for a professorship. The program focuses on research funding, leadership skills and didactics and is supplemented by a portfolio of networking, consultation and continuing education courses.

With this program, the University of Stuttgart will support you as a Tenure Track Professor, Junior Professor or Independent Research Group Leader, structured to suit you on your individual path to gaining a university professorship. The joint offer from Office of Academic AppointmentsDivision Research and Transfer, Graduate Academy of the University of Stuttgart (GRADUS)University Didactics, Personnel development and FoKUS (Competence Center for Research Data Management) prepares you professionally and personally for the envisaged W3 Professorship and also offers a wealth of insight into the specifics of the University of Stuttgart and its environment.

The basic modules focus on the areas of leadership, research and transfer, as well as teaching. Each basic module is weighted the same and requires from three to four working days to complete. The obligatory content required for the certificate comprises around 75 to 100 hours of intensive further education. Furthermore, the program also comprises two further, optional modules that focus on interdisciplinary and intergenerational networking, as well as further career planning and personal development.

Programm, Module englisch

For an enlarged view please click on the image.

The onboarding module supports you in networking both within and outside your discipline, and helps you to start your career at the University of Stuttgart on a positive note. The module includes the annual Welcome Series for newly-appointed professors organized by the Rectorate, and is supplemented by a mentoring program. The onboarding module provides you with ample opportunities

  • to learn about the University of Stuttgart and its management,
  • to make contacts outside your faculty or department,
  • to learn about selected institutes or
  • to get support from established professors to help you get started in your professional career.

As a general rule, you will be personally invited to take part in both programs during your first year of employment at the University of Stuttgart.

Welcome Series
The Welcome Series for all newly-appointed professors each year usually begins by eating dinner together. This is when the university management presents the core values and visions of the University as well as its overarching philosophy and strategic goals. This is followed by two lunch meetings among the same group held at alternating institutions within the university, which give you an insight into the latest goings-on and research highlights.

If you have any questions about the Welcome Series, please get in touch with the Office of Academic Appointments by E-mail.

Sub-module coordinator:
Martina Takors

Mentoring program
As part of our mentoring program, you will be accompanied on a non-committal basis by established colleagues for a period of two years. This means that during the early stages of your career at the University of Stuttgart you will be given support tailored to your individual requirements and needs related to your career development, settling into your job as a professor or networking across disciplines.

Information on the mentoring program is available on the GRADUS website.

Sub-module coordinator:
Dr. Jürgen Hädrich

The leadership module is based on the University of Stuttgart’s comprehensive leadership program, and supports you to develop your leadership skills in a way which is tailored to you. To be awarded a certificate, it is usually necessary to participate in the annual Foundations of Leadership workshop as well as in at least one other event from the ever-changing offering from the leadership program. A variety of in-depth seminars are available to choose from, for example on communication and management, conflict management, employment law, or on the role of leadership in academic self-administration. In future, target group-specific workshops especially for tenure track or junior professors will also be held on a regular basis. You will receive optional extra support through a planned tenure-track circle of future leaders as well as individual coaching and advisory sessions.

The leadership program offers opportunities for all members of staff at the University of Stuttgart with employee responsibilities to enhance their leadership skills. As part of the On Track to University Professorship certificate program, achievements which have already been completed are taken into account for the Leadership certificate which is currently being set up.

The following events are offered as part of the leadership module on a regular basis:

  • Leadership at the university
  • Communication and managing employees
  • Conflict management
  • Holding employee meetings
  • Change management
  • Healthy leadership
  • Employment law
  • Academic self-administration – committee work

Workshops are also offered on particular target group-specific issues on an occasional basis. If you have any suggestions, please get in touch by sending us an E-mail. You can get additional information about the leadership program and the contents of the individual workshops as well as an overview of the events currently being offered on the Leadership website [de].

Module coordinator:
Sonja Rapp

At nine contact hours per week, teaching makes up a significant part of the job of a university professor and requires adequate preparation. The reduced teaching load during the junior and tenure-track professorship creates conditions which are conducive to gradually meeting the new challenges with support from the University Didactics department.

The teaching module prepares you for your new role as a member of the teaching staff at the University and imparts the basics of higher education teaching. You can freely select 32 work units from Module 1 and Module 2 of the Baden-Württemberg Certificate in Higher Education Didactics. If you wish, you are also welcome to take advantage of individual teaching coaching and counseling sessions

Module coordinator:
Simone Loewe

Offers of the university didactics

The research and transfer module deals with the challenges of the German and international research system in the digital transition and with the special features of the University of Stuttgart and the local area. A number of different workshops are offered, alongside a regular introductory event explaining the research and funding structures at the University of Stuttgart. Individual advisory sessions are also available. To be awarded a certificate, candidates must provide evidence of attending at least two one-day workshops as well as the opening event. Some events held as part of the research and transfer module are only offered on a half-day basis, in which case two half-day workshops shall replace a day-long workshop.

The following events are offered as part of the research and transfer module on a regular basis:

  • Research data management (half-day)
    The workshop gives an overview of the requirements for research grants, national (NFDI) and international (EOSC) developments and local Stuttgart-based services related to research data management. Individual solutions are developed together based on examples from industry.
  • National third-party funding and application requirements (half-day)
    The workshop presents the most important research funders in Germany (DFG, BMBF etc.) as well as their requirements. The typical pitfalls when submitting an application are highlighted as well as ways to circumvent them. Individual advisory sessions can also be held in addition to the workshop on request.
  • Publications and open access (half-day)
    The workshop gives an overview of the different options available for publishing the results of your research as well as the services available in Stuttgart supporting the individual publication strategy. There is a special focus on open access publications and existing funding opportunities.
  • Knowledge and technology transfer (half-day)
    When the results of research lead to new findings and inventions, the following questions are asked. How can your rights to the finding be protected? What can be patented and what can’t? The workshop provides information on existing protection measures, the different strategies available and the support measures provided by the University of Stuttgart.

You can find an overview of the latest offering in the registration form.

If you have any questions about the research and transfer module, please get in touch by sending an E-mail to the Research and Transfer Division.

Module coordinator:
Dr. Vanessa Hanke

The optional career and lifelong learning module offers you a variety of opportunities to develop beyond your specialization. As well as a wide range of qualifications aimed at developing your skills, e.g. in university committees, academic self-administration or scientific communication, the offering includes individual coaching sessions as well as various formats aimed at professional development. Training sessions about how to apply for professorships are also regularly held for junior professors without tenure in particular. We also offer individually tailored interdisciplinary career planning discussions on request.

The module can be customized individually regardless of the offering in question, and participation is not compulsory for the certificate to be awarded. Registration for the events from this module is directly via GRADUS.

Additional information on the range of events currently being offered and on how to apply can be found on the GRADUS website.

Module coordinator:
Dr. Jürgen Hädrich

Feedback wanted

Do you want an event to be held on a different topic or do you want a certain workshop to be held more often? Do you have any ideas for us or suggestions on how things can be improved? You can contact us via this feedback form. We will try to include your requests in our program plan where possible.

Organizational tips

Participating in the certificate program as well as the offerings contained in it from the three compulsory modules, with a focus on the areas of leadership, research and transfer, is free of charge. You can register for the events by filling out the registration form. Your registration will be forwarded to the institution organizing the event, no additional registration via the respective event pages is required. The registration deadline for most events is two to four weeks before the event begins.

You are also individually invited to participate in the Welcome Series as well as in the mentoring program from the onboarding module, it is not necessary to apply via this form. You can register for the optional events from the Career and Lifelong Learning module via the GRADUS websites.

Please get in touch with us if you are interested in the individual advisory and coaching sessions being offered.

Please note that registration is only possible when sufficient places are available on the respective workshop. Individual events may be canceled if there is an insufficient number of participants. Comparable achievements which can be verified may be taken into consideration for the certificate program; in such case please get in touch with the program coordinator.

You can submit a non-binding request for an individual consultation or coaching session by filling out the contact form.

Apply for a certificate

Please send the participation certificates for the obligatory events in the three basic modules of “Leadership”, “Teaching” and “Research and Transfer” as well as the optional module “Career and Lifelong Learning“ to the program coordinator as a PDF by E-mail, so that we can issue you with a certificate in both digital and print form.



Program Coordination

This image shows Cornelia  Frank

Cornelia Frank


Consultant Early Career Researchers

This image shows Manfred Bischoff

Manfred Bischoff

Prof. Dr.

Vice Rector for Research and Early Career Researchers

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