Throughout Germany, the assistant professorship is, in addition to the habilitation, another career path to a lifetime professorship, which is established differently depending on the discipline. The aim of the University of Rostock is to strengthen the assistant professorship as a career path to a lifetime professorship and to increase the attractiveness of employment conditions with regard to the planning of career paths.
The assistant professorship is to be understood as a qualification position, therefore - provided that an employment as a research assistant has taken place before or after the doctorate - the doctoral and employment phases together should not exceed nine years. Assistant professorships are established at grade W1, have a teaching commitment of four to six semester hours per week, and are usually temporary. The temporary civil service status may be extended on application by up to two years per child, up to a maximum of four years in total, if one or more children under the age of 18 are being cared for, provided there are no official reasons for not doing so. Junior professors are considered to be university teachers. Their status is the same as that of other professors, which includes academic independence: According to section 57(1) of the State University Act, "the professors and lecturers [...] shall independently perform the duties incumbent upon their university in the fields of science and art, research, teaching and further education in their subject in accordance with the terms of their employment contract.
Some of the assistant professorships are awarded with tenure track or tenure track option (i.e. with the possibility of appointment to a W2 or W3 lifetime professorship, without advertisement). The University of Rostock has already established the first tenure track procedures in 2012. In 2016, five assistant professorships with tenure track could be introduced via the support program for early career researchers called for by the Ministry of Education M-V. In 2019, the University of Rostock was able to acquire four new tenure track professorships in the federal and state program for the promotion of science. In addition, strategy consultations take place every two years between the university management and the faculties, in the course of which decisions are made on the establishment of further assistant professorships with tenure track or tenure track option, taking into account the four profile-forming research foci of the university and the orientation of the respective faculty.