FHWS building at Sanderheinrichsleitenweg Würzburg

ProPere THWS

Professorial Personnel recruitment and development at THWS

Duration: 1 June 2021 to 31 May 2027
Funding body: Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
Project number: 03FHP187


Lead project manager
Prof. Dr. Gabriele Saueressig


project coordination
Christian Böpple


Overall project goals

The goal of the project ProPere is to create long-term structural measures for recruitment and development of professorial personnel. This project focuses on the following aspects:

  • Development and testing of innovative recruiting and qualification measures
  • Increasing the quota of applicants for professorships (and improving the proportion of female professors in particular)
  • Acquisition of junior researchers for professorships
  • Improving the visibility of THWS as employing institution
  • Strengthening the reconciliation of work and family life

Current situation

Thanks to the Hightech Agenda 1,000 new professorships are being created in Bavaria until the end of 2023. Until 2026 THWS has to acquire a minimum of 85 professors, and thus finds itself in a competitive situation with other institutions of higher education, universities, and research institutions, as well as the private sector.

An especially difficult situation arises through the required double-qualification for professors at universities of applied sciences (UAS): Applicants need a strong research background, usually proven by a doctorate, and professional experience of at least 5 years. In addition, there is a lack in public consciousness for the job profile of a professor at a university of applied sciences compared to professorships at universities. Due to these circumstances, there is often an insufficient amount of suitable candidates to undergo appointment procedures at universities of applied sciences.

Thus, to support UAS, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has started a programme by the Federal & Länder governments called "FH-Personal". THWS was successful and is thus among the 64 higher education institutions within Germany receiving funding. 

ProPere sub-projects

An innovative 5-column model

In its concept, the higher education institution employs innovative ideas, tailored especially to the requirements of THWS. The measures represent structural improvements, and are divided into the following five sub-projects:

Goal of the sub-project: Development of new and innovative professorship models, by

  • Focus Professorships,
  • Tandem-Programmes / Junior Professorships.

Focus Professorships:

To provide the professors of THWS with targeted continuing education opportunities, we are offering the following Focus Professorships: 

  1. The Focus Professorship “Entering Research”,
  2. The Focus Professorship “Start Founding” and
  3. The Focus Professorship “Digital Teaching Innovations”.

By these three models and due to a limited reduction of teaching, professors can focus on one particular research topic, new forms of digital teaching or found a company. For better reconciliation of work and family life, THWS offers newly appointed professors the opportunity to reduce their teaching load by up to 50 percent for up to two years by the model “Family political part-time employment”.

Tandem-Programmes and Junior Professorships:

Many professorships will have to be newly appointed within the next six years, as the previous incumbents will enter retirement. Past appointment procedures have shown that suitable candidates could not be appointed because they lacked one of the requirements for appointment (doctorate or professional experience of 5 years), even though they would be suitable regarding their technical, didactic or personal qualification. The new tandem-programmes “Practice track” and “Doctoral track” enable THWS to better support junior researchers or professionally qualified individuals to offer them reliable career perspectives. The planned Bavarian Higher Education Innovation Act will enable post-docs without professional experience or individuals with professional experience without completed doctorate to meet the requirements of a UAS-professorship by participating in a special programme at THWS while already acting as junior professor. 

Contact persons

Sub-project manager
Prof. Dr. Axel Bialek

Research associate
Conceptualisation of innovative professorship models
Anselm Schöpf MBA

Goal of the sub-project: Retention of junior researchers, by

  • Targeted measures for doctoral sponsorship,
  • Integration of lecturers,
  • Establishment of a central alumni marketing.

To accelerate the internal promotion of junior researchers at THWS, students shall be informed about the possibilities to complete doctoral programmes with THWS and the support on their path to finishing their doctorate. The aim is to include lecturers more easily into THWS by a professional on-boarding and an easier access to University organisation.

As part of the sub-project "Promotion of junior researchers", THWS strives to support the development and establishment of a holistic alumni marketing. The aim of which is to create overall support and additional value for partly already existing activities of the faculties, and to develop targeted offers (esp. regarding digital networking / social media / marketing and PR), which can be used easily, actively and effectively. The enormous potential of alumni shall be increased further in future and the THWS alumni shall be attracted as important national and international University ambassadors.


Contact persons

Sub-project manager - Area "Promotion of junior researchers"
Prof. Dr. Axel Bialek

Project coordinator
Promotion of junior researchers

Dr. Simone Stork

Sub-project manager - Area "Alumni marketing"
Angela Kreipl

Project coordinator
Alumni marketing

Tina Müller

Goal of the sub-project: Increasing the attractiveness of THWS as employing institution, by

  • Establishment of a career website,
  • Transformation of job advertisements,
  • Active participation in information campaigns on how to become a professor at universities of applied sciences (HAW),
  • Management of the THWS LinkedIn-channel,
  • Targeted recruitment of potential candidates for UAS-professorships,
  • Establishment and dissemination of the new University mission statement.

In order to be competitive in the acquisition of candidates, the existing active recruiting processes at THWS will be extended further. This includes new concepts for applicant management and improvements of the appointment process. Innovative marketing strategies serve as flanking measures to increase the public visibility of THWS and position her as potential employer.

Contact persons

Project manager
Prof. Dr. Julia Hiemer

Project coordinator

Eva Kaupp

Project coordinator

Anna-Lena Karsten

Sub-Project manager
Mission statement & campaigns
Angela Kreipl

Project member
Mission statement & campaigns

Veronika Morgenroth

Goal of the sub-project: Development of structures for personnel development, by

  • Professional on-boarding measures for newly appointed professors
  • Measures to promote the loyalty of professor to THWS
  • Promoting a culture of exchange and networking

The sub-project is aimed at systematically developing structures for academic personnel development. Well-structured and transparent processes are developed, for example for the pre-boarding in the appointment procedure or for the on-boarding of newly appointed professors. As part of the sub-project continuing education measures, individual development measures and measures promoting networking and exchange are created.

Contact persons

Sub-project manager
Prof. Dr. Dagmar Unz

Project member

Daniela Ahrens-Wimmer

Project member
Academic personnel development

Juliane Kraus

Goal of the sub-project: Reconciliation of work and family life, by

  • Establishment of services that support families,
  • Certification as family-friendly university,
  • Networking in alliances and with other universities to promote the reconciliation of work and family life.

The aim is to promote the reconciliation of work and family life and for THWS to become a more family-friendly employer. For this, a family service is established at THWS, which is the central contact for questions on the reconciliation of work and family life. New consultation and support concepts are created; new offers are developed for employees with child(ren) or relatives in need of care. The aim is to also increase the visibility of existing offers.

In addition, THWS will be certified as family-friendly university. As part of the auditing process, THWS will thus continually improve structures and framework conditions within the next years to become more family-friendly.

The University will become active in regional networks to increase networking and exchange with regional partners on reconciliation of work and family life. The exchange with the family services of other universities will also be intensified.

Contact persons

Sub-project manager
Prof. Dr. Tanja Mühling

Project member
Reconciliation of work and family life
Thomas Schneider

Project member
Reconciliation of work and family life
Veronika Morgenroth