July 14, 2024

Working Conditions in Science: University offspring keep pedaling

Working Conditions in Science: University offspring keep pedaling

The new science time law is very convenient for universities. This will keep the young staff hanging, just a little shorter.

Welcoming the first semester at the University of Cologne Photo: Christoph Hardt/Imago

Another failed reform of scientific contract law? With the bill now published, the Ministry of Science has largely adopted the position of running universities and non-university research institutions. Although lip service to improve the status of scientific personnel, they want to change the current framework as little as possible.

The fact that universities are now allowed to hire post-PhD staff for four years instead of six unconditionally will not prompt them to change their current staffing structures. They will continue to try to cheat their way in because they are locked in with their fragmented power structures that cannot be resolved without changing the framework.

The now proposed division of the arbitrary limit of six years for postdocs into four years of mentoring and two years of probation is meaningless in terms of content either. Is the four-year period really suitable for career guidance, or is it just a limited working time? What goals do you want to achieve in the next two years?

Universities assume no responsibility

In case of doubt, the irresponsibility so prevalent in universities would now be reduced from twelve years to ten years. Young scientists will have and will have to do everything possible, and they will continue to chase uncertain opportunities to get in.

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After four years of post-doctoral work, the universities will continue not to bear any responsibility, but they will continue to try, as before, to limit the time on the basis of third-party funds and state university laws or not to continue to hire scholars, most of whom have not obtained professorships by then.