The Federation of German Universities (DHV) has criticized the fact that some countries have not implemented the possibility of extending contracts related to the epidemic in science in a standardized way. On Tuesday, the association again called on the federal and state governments to extend not only employee contracts but also scientific qualification positions for temporary officials in case of delays due to pandemics. These included, in particular, junior professorships as well as academic advisors or senior advisors on a temporary basis.
Responsibility for this rests with the federal states, explained the head of DHV, Professor Bernhard Kempen. But so far, only a few countries have a corresponding list. These included Baden-Württemberg, Brandenburg, Bremen, Hamburg, Hesse, and North Rhine-Westphalia. Other countries have yet to establish any coronavirus-related extension of temporary civil servant relations in the science sector. Berlin announced, Tuesday, that the study period can be extended for a limited period of up to one year.
Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania indicated to DHV that the universities had not indicated any need for action. Performance evaluations of those affected can be conducted “even under epidemic conditions”. In addition, not all scientists are affected to the same extent by the epidemic.
Kempin rejected this, saying, “The inactivity of most countries is disappointing and unacceptable. There is no justification for the disproportionate treatment of temporary civil servants and staff.” The epidemic will affect both groups of people in their qualifications in the same way. The federal states will have to take on the concerns of everyone involved in a constructive way.
Last year, the federal government extended the maximum time period allowed for employees in the Science Time Contract Act (WissZeitVG) by six months due to the coronavirus. This enabled universities, in particular, to extend contracts to young scholars with the goal of self-training for a period of six months.
Berlin Update: March 16, 2021, 3:00 PM