Science policy

The research group Science Policy focuses on surveys, proposals and events on different aspects within the context of science and politics.

Ein Foto von einer Gesprächsrunde, bei der die Redner auf einem runden Podium im Zentrum des Raums sitzen.
Foto: Evangeline Shaw

The research group Science Policy focuses on surveys, proposals and events on different aspects within the context of science and politics.

This task has an academic as well as a scientific-political dimension: Not only does it demand a verdict on the efficiency of funding regarding the set goals and the non-intentional consequences of the measures, as far as they can be predicted, it also demands the weighing of contradictory goals as well as a verdict on the reasonableness and the desirability of the goals themselves. These questions have to be asked in view of the currently politically feasible possibilities as well as with a view to the long-term perspectives of the science system's development.



Under the Joint Federal Government-Länder Tenure-Track Programme, the German government is providing one billion euros to fund 1,000 additional tenure-track professorships. The programme runs until 2032. The two selection rounds took place in 2017 and 2019, as a result of which a total of 1,000 additional tenure-track professorships are to be funded at 75 universities throughout Germany.

Members of the RG Science Policy have made it their task to accompany this process together with the Deutsche Gesellschaft Juniorprofessur e. V. (DGJ). On the website (only in German), a platform for scientists in the early career phase initiated jointly by DGJ and Die Junge Akademie in 2017, the recorded announcements for tenure-track positions at German universities are visualized on a map and made available together with information about tenure-track professorships that have been filled. The map offers a simple and intuitive access to the advertised positions of the Joint Federal Government-Länder Tenure-Track Programme. It allows navigation to the participating locations as well as a thematic selection via the search function and filtering by federal state. Details on the denomination and grade of the respective professorships can also be found. The data is updated regularly and is based on the Tenure-Track Programme Portal of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as well as research of other freely accessible sources.

Persons holding a tenure-track position are welcome to contact the project officers via and to add their information to the datasets and keep the links on the map up-to-date.

Press release (27.01.2023)


External Funding Metrics

Academic research is becoming increasingly reliant on external funding. The increasing pressure being felt by academics to acquire their own funds leads to tougher competition, which reduces the success rate further and in turn increases the pressure to write more applications at an even higher standard. This vicious cycle eats up even more working hours as more and more time is being spent on applications for external funding. As the tough competition reduces the chance of success, it is more likely that the time spent on these applications ends up being wasted. To the academic community and wider society, this wasteful use of academics’ time may appear to be somewhat absurd. And yet individual academics do not have much choice but to engage in these ineffective scrambles for external funding.

Despite the best efforts of the applicants and the application reviewers, the current funding system does not constitute a reliable way of reviewing the quality of research applications for the most part. Within the framework of this project investigating external funding metrics, the authors looked into the extent to which the costs of funding schemes outweigh the benefits for the individuals involved and society as a whole.


Symposium „Replacing professorial chairs with departments“

Following last year's publication of the opinion piece "Departments statt Lehrstühle", the research group Science policy organised a symposium to expand on the discussion of the opportunitites and challenges which the introduction of the departmental system would pose to the German Higher Education system.


„Replacing professorial chairs with departments“

Is the personnel structure of German universities up-to-date? Answers to this questions are given by five members of Die Junge Akademie with this new proposal. The authors are Jule Specht, Christian Hof, Julia Tjus (geb. Becker), Wolfram Pernice and Ulrike Endesfelder.

May 2016

„Federal Professorship“

Excellent scholarship requires sharp minds and long-term opportunities. However, the German academic system currently lacks long-term support tailored to individual needs. Members of Die Junge Akademie seek to counter this lack and have recently published their own contribution to the public debate. In this contribution, they present a proposal for the establishment of a Federal Professorship. Supported through long-term federal funding, this position would provide successful young academics with a permanent contract and enable them to teach and conduct independent research at a university of their choice.


„Peer Review“

Peer Review is a science simulation game for 4 to 6 Players by Cornelis Menke. Its goals are to educate junior scientists and encourage self-reflection in established scientists, as well as to give a broader interested public some insight into the mechanics of the scientific system. Project page


Position paper „After the excellence initiative“

In a position paper on the personnel structure of German universities, the Research Group Science Policy of Die Junge Akademie puts forward new proposals in the debate on the future of the academic system after the excellence initiative. Thus, 30 members and alumni of Die Junge Akademie call for the gradual replacement of the traditional Lehrstuhl system and a corresponding rise in the number of professorships as the key to better performing universities. Position paper (German, pdf)

Whether it is junior professors or the reform of the Framework Act for Higher Education, questions of gender equality in academia, sense and nonsense of research ratings or the intertwining of careers in academic relationships: With its surveys and position papers on science policy, Die Junge Akademie has made itself heard within the academic community.

Occasionally, Die Junge Akademie has been labelled the voice of young academics by the press. This description is not strictly true, since members do not take on representational functions. But it does emphasise the significance and responsibility Die Junge Akademie has concerning questions of university and research policy.


participating Members

participating Alumnae / Alumni