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Study on the career paths of international researchers in Germany published

As a centre of research, Germany attracts scientists from all over the world. In a recent study, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) has now analysed the paths taken by international researchers from postdoc to professorship in Germany. 

The study "International Researchers at German Universities: From the Postdoc Phase to Professorship" by the DAAD and the German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies (DZHW) examines the challenges that international researchers face on their way to a professorship at German universities. 

The respondents perceive Germany as very attractive when it comes to the promotion of young researchers and research funding opportunities. According to the survey, the biggest barrier to a fast-track career for international researchers at German universities is usually insufficient German language skills. In addition, in some areas outside of research, universities are said to be ill-adapted to the needs of international academics. According to the respondents, the perceived complexity of career paths in Germany, a lack of service-orientation on the part of some German authorities and perceived xenophobia, for example when looking for accommodation, also make it difficult to decide in favour of a permanent stay in Germany. 

In response to the challenges described, the study offers recommendations for action to attract more international researchers to professorships. For example, university management can contribute to the development of skills and a cultural change by clearly focussing on the importance of the topic within the university. 

Learn more about the study here.