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Panel Urges New Slots for Young Researchers

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Science  21 Apr 2000:
Vol. 288, Issue 5465, pp. 413-414
DOI: 10.1126/science.288.5465.413a

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Efforts are under way to loosen up Germany's hidebound university research structure and speed young scientists' passage into independent academic research. Last week, a panel of German scientists and public officials recommended phasing out the notorious post-Ph.D. Habilitation requirement--a kind of extended postdoc that puts young researchers under the thumb of senior professors for 10 years or more--and replacing it with "junior professor" slots similar to assistant or associate professors at U.S. universities. And last month, the DFG, Germany's major granting body, added peer reviewers in part to speed up its review procedures.