the Federal government Approved new rules for employment contracts in science. The Ministry of Education announced that a decision on reforming the so-called Law on Temporary Contracts for Science could be taken in the Council of Ministers as soon as possible. This stipulates that post-doctoral scientists after completing their doctorates will only be allowed to work on a fixed-term basis for four years instead of six. Only two additional years should be allowed with a binding commitment to join.

Since 2007, the law has regulated the extent to which employment contracts at universities and research institutions are restrictive. It has long been criticized because many young scientists have a fixed-term employment contract beyond the following decade.

Federal Education Minister Bettina Stark-Watsinger (FDP) initially proposed limiting the fixed-term contract to three years instead of six. To reach an agreement, the politician reiterated her goal of wanting to improve working conditions for scientists in the early stages of their careers. “Through reform, we create more reliability, predictability and transparency in scientific processes,” Stark-Watzinger said. In addition, compatibility between family and work is improved. “At the same time, we are ensuring the performance and ability of our scientific system to work,” she said.

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