Germany Tries to Break Its Habilitation Habit

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Science  03 Sep 1999:
Vol. 285, Issue 5433, pp. 1525
DOI: 10.1126/science.285.5433.1525

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HEIDELBERG, GERMANY-- In Germany, young researchers seeking an academic career must undergo Habilitation, a post-Ph.D. degree consisting of a long postdoc spent in the laboratory of a senior professor that ends with recipients in some fields pushing 40. But the Habilitation's days may be numbered, at least in the natural sciences: In July, Germany's Conference of Rectors and University Presidents agreed that the time from entry into a Ph.D. program to qualification for a tenure-track position should not exceed 10 years.