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Policies for Habilitation Candidates

Jacobs University recognizes that the German Council of Science and Humanities suggests that the number of Habilitations should be reduced and terminated in the long run. However, for the current transitional period and due to major differences between disciplines with regard to the speed with which this transformation process takes place, Jacobs University wants to provide the possibility for interested scholars to pursue a Habilitation.  In cases in which policies need further interpretation or clarification, the binding decision will be taken by the Academic Board.

1. Aim of the Habilitation
The Habilitation provides for the recognition of unique scientific and/or scholarly achievement and the ability to research and teach independently in an area of expertise.
2. Responsibility of Schools/Center 
  1. The School/Center where the scientific area that corresponds to the Habilitation topic is represented within the faculty conducts the Habilitation. Should the theme of the Habilitation concern more than one School/Center, this should be reflected in the composition of the Habilitation Committee in agreement between the respective Schools/Center. However, one academic unit will take the prime responsibility for conducting the Habilitation Procedure.
  2. Once the criteria for the completion of the Habilitation are met (see Issue 7), the respective Elected Dean submits all relevant materials to the Academic Board for final approval.
3. Requirements for Submission of a Habilitation
  1. Candidates need to have completed a university degree and hold a PhD or equivalent. As a rule, previous research and teaching activity in the field of the habilitation is expected.
  2. The evaluation of sufficiency in research and teaching experience (e.g., amount and quality of classes taught, quality of publications etc.) may be stipulated by the School(s)/Center depending on the focus of the Habilitation.
4. Submission of Habilitation
The following documents have to be submitted in written form to the respective School/Center:
  1. A Curriculum Vitae,
  2. Certifications of all university degrees,
  3. A listing of all scientific publications,
  4. A report about teaching experience including supporting materials (such as teaching concepts, class materials, etc.
  5. The habilitation work: either a Habilitation Thesis or several academic works that are equivalent of a Habilitation Thesis (Cumulative Habilitation) are possible. If the latter is the case and the submitted works have been achieved by a number of collaborators, the contribution of the Candidate has to be clearly described and this description has to be signed by all collaborators;
  6. Three suggestions for topics for the scientific talk (see issue 7.3),
  7. A declaration about previous and concurrent applications for Habilitation and the results of those,
  8. Specification of the area for which the Habilitation is pursued (venia legendi).
5. Decision about the Submission for Habilitation 
  1. Upon completion of the submission requirements, the Elected Dean of the respective School(s)/Center initiates the procedure.
  2. A Candidate may not have another Habilitation in progress at the same time.
  3. The respective Elected Dean communicates the decision to the applicant and informs the university public.
The respective Elected Dean installs a Habilitation Committee (see Issue 6 for details) and informs the university public about the commencement of the Habilitation Procedure.
6. Habilitation Committee
The Habilitation Committee consists of between 3 and 6 Jacobs faculty members and the Elected Dean of the respective School/Center who chairs the Committee unless he/she chooses to ask another member to take the role of the Chairperson.
7. Habilitation Achievement Components
  1. The Habilitation is achieved through completing two components: a written and an oral one.
  2. For the written component see Issue 4.5.
  3. The oral component consists of: a scientific talk on a topic that is not closely related to the subject area of the written component of the Habilitation. The topic is chosen by the Habilitation Committee taking into consideration the suggestions of the Candidate. The decision of the Committee about the topic is communicated to the Candidate four weeks before the presentation. The didactics of the talk should be such that advanced students can follow. The talk should be 45 minutes. The talk is succeeded by a scientific discussion of 60 minutes. Talk and discussion are open to the university public.
8. Evaluation of the Habilitation Components 
  1. The Habilitation Committee asks three Referees for a written evaluation of the work of the Candidate.
  2. At least two Referees need to be professors (or equivalent) at another University or Research Institution.
  3. The Referees have three months to submit their evaluations to the Provost office. The Provost office distributes the reviews to the members of the Habilitation Committee.
  4. The written works are made available to the university public for a period of four weeks.
  5. Upon availability of the three external reviews, the Habilitation Committee decides upon the continuation of the Habilitation procedure. The Committee may decide to continue the Habilitation Procedure only if at most one referee recommends to reject the Habilitation Thesis. If the Committee decides that the Habilitation Procedure is discontinued, this does not exclude the possibility that the Candidate may resubmit a new Habilitation Thesis in due time.
  6. Should the Habilitation Committee find that the scientific and the teaching ability documented during the Habilitation Talk was insufficient, the Habilitation Colloquium may be repeated once.
9. Decision about the Habilitation
  1. Based on the Referees’ reports and the outcome of the Habilitation Colloquium the Committee decides whether or not the Habilitation was successful.
  2. In order for a Habilitation to be successful the majority of the members of the Committee have to state that it has been successful.
10. Outcome of the Habilitation
  1. After the successful completion of the Habilitation Procedure a certificate is issued to the Candidate by the Academic Registrar after having been signed by the Provost of the University and the respective Elected Dean(s).
  2. The Candidate receives the venia legendi for the field of the Habilitation and the title “Dr.habil.” is awarded to him/her.
  3. In addition, a successful Habilitation Candidate may be awarded the title “Privatdozent” by the Academic Board of the University after consulting with the faculty of the respective School/Center. Conferring this title is dependent on the regular fulfilment of a teaching obligation of one course (3 hrs per week) per academic year.
  4. The successful completion of the Habilitation Procedure does not imply any right to a work contract at Jacobs University.
11. Habilitations from other Universities
Scholars who have successfully completed a Habilitation at another university may apply to Jacobs University for the conferment of a “Privatdozentur”. A Habilitation Committee (chaired by the respective Elected Dean) decides whether or not the criteria as specified under issue 7 and 8 have been fulfilled. The respective Elected Dean submits this decision to the Academic Board for final approval. 
12. Appeals
Any appeals against the proceedings of the Habilitation Procedure have to be directed to the Provost.