BIH JOHANNA QUANDT PROFESSORS

1. Preamble

BIH Johanna Quandt professors hold newly established temporary W2 professorships with a real tenure track that are funded by Stiftung Charité. With these professorships, the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) and the shared research area of Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin (Charité) and Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) are to be further developed and expanded. At the same time, the BIH Johanna Quandt Professorships pursue three structural approaches that also serve as role models beyond Berlin. Firstly, the professorships are aimed specifically at women and therefore represent a novel impulse for the promotion of equal opportunities in the life sciences during the phase of establishment in the science system, which so far has received little funding. Secondly, the professorships are provided with a binding option for permanent tenure as a lifetime professorship (real tenure track). Thirdly, the professorships are open to all topics, offering the women professors the opportunity to develop the orientation of their professorships themselves, also beyond the usual biomedical disciplines, and to have an innovative impact on the range of subjects covered by BIH.

2. Funding objectives

With the BIH Johanna Quandt Professors program, Stiftung Charité is establishing new professorships for BIH with funds from its Private Excellence Initiative Johanna Quandt. BIH Johanna Quandt professorships are aimed in a special way at women who have acquired their own scientific profile and initial scientific independence after completing their doctorate, and who also have international experience1.  These women scientists are to be recruited for BIH and their profiles to be further developed with a view to future scientific leadership positions. The aim is to make a targeted contribution to equal opportunities within the life sciences and university medicine in Berlin.

The BIH Johanna Quandt Professors will be provided with a real tenure track.

In addition, the BIH Johanna Quandt Professorships will not be advertised for a specific medical or life science discipline. The appointment will be made in a subject area chosen by the applicant herself from the entire spectrum of the life and health sciences. An innovative and interdisciplinary orientation of the professorship with the goal of an improved transition from basic research via patient-oriented research to care practice and vice versa (translation) is decisive.

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1 oriented on „R3“ career level in accordance with the Euoropean Commission´s definition. Cf. European Commission: Towards a European Framework for Research Careers. Brüssel 2011. Hyperlink

3. Funding volume

The support of Stiftung Charité serves to establish BIH Johanna Quandt Professorships. These are new professorships with the grade W2. The appointment to the professorship is based on a joint appointment of BIH and Charité (presumably as a special professorship with reimbursement from BIH for the research work associated with the professorship)2. The appointment will be made for a once-off limited period of five years with the option of a subsequent permanent appointment as a lifetime professorship at grade W2 or W3 (real tenure track). The total duration of the fixed term of five years will be determined with the first appointment on a temporary basis; a later extension of the fixed term and an associated delay in the appointment as a lifetime professorship will be ruled out.

Funding ranging between1,500,000.00 and  3,150,000.00 euros (equivalent to 300,000.00 to 530,000.00 euros per year plus up to a total of 500,000.00 euros in investment funds) can be provided to each BIH Johanna Quandt Professor including all costs over a period of five years. The amount applied for must correspond to the concept for the respective BIH Johanna Quandt professorship. The applicants therefore enclose a binding budget plan with their concept. Higher sums within the range of 1,500,000.00 to 3,150,000.00 euros are intended for professorships whose equipment requirements are higher, in particular in the case of a strongly clinical and/or strongly experimental orientation.

Stiftung Charité supports each BIH Johanna Quandt Professor with an amount of 750,000.00 to 1,000,000.00 euros for a limited period of up to five years. The grant can be used to cover salaries in grade W2 including all additional costs such as performance bonuses, pension provisions and allowances as well as to provide basic equipment for scientific personnel and material costs. Cost increases over the years cannot be claimed retrospectively from Stiftung Charité, but must be fully taken into account in advance. Stiftung Charité does not pay any administrative costs.

BIH contributes additional funds to finance additional personnel and material costs as well as the provision of workplaces and infrastructure for each BIH Johanna Quandt Professor in the total amount of 750,000.00 to 2,650,000.00 euros over a period of five years as well as necessary investment funds of up to 500,000 euros. The funding by Stiftung Charité requires that BIH commits to this additional funding and that the appointment costs of a BIH Johanna Quandt Professor amounting to a total of 1,500,000.00 to 3,150,000.00 euros are covered for a period of five years.

Funding by Stiftung Charité also requires that the BIH Johanna Quandt professorship in question be held as a W2 or W3 lifetime professorship at the end of the five-year period of funding, provided that an evaluation by BIH, Charité and MDC to be carried out at the latest in the penultimate year of funding according to the usual standards comes to a positive conclusion. The BIH Johanna Quandt Professorship can (1.) be continued as a joint professorship of BIH and Charité (with reimbursement of costs by BIH for research services), (2.) be transferred to a joint professorship of MDC and Charité (with reimbursement of costs by MDC for research services, for example within the framework of the management of a non-university research group) or (3.) be transferred to Charité's sole budget as a university professorship, for example within the framework of a regular appointment with appropriate content or an early appointment. A clear and binding regulation as to which of these three tenure track models will be chosen and which institution will consequently budget the tenured professorship after the five-year funding period has expired, subject to a positive evaluation, is to be made in the course of the appointment negotiations; a postponement of this regulation until the evaluation is not possible. The model chosen should be based on the applicant's profile and the subject area she proposes for the respective professorship and be set out in a binding career plan for the applicant.

Funding by Stiftung Charité will only be provided if both the financing of the additional equipment by BIH and a commitment of continuity on the part of Charité, MDC or BIH has been bindingly promised. The professorship will be awarded with the interdisciplinary denomination "BIH Johanna Quandt Professor of ... " and the addition of a title or field proposed by the candidate.

The appointment can, for example, also be made for female clinicians on an employed basis. Remuneration is then paid in the same way as for the above salary groups. 

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Cf. Act on the establishment of the Berlin Institute of Health, April 9, 2015 § 11

4. Application of funds

For a BIH Johanna Quandt Professorship, remuneration in grade W2, including all additional costs such as performance bonuses, pension provisions and allowances as well as funds for scientific personnel and equipment (basic equipment) totaling 750,000.00 to 1,000,000.00 euros for a period of up to five years can be applied for. Further funds for scientific personnel and additional equipment as well as investments for a total period of five years will be provided by BIH. The required basic and additional equipment must be specified and justified by the applicant in the application to Stiftung Charité within the framework of a budget plan.

Funding of a BIH Johanna Quandt Professorship by Stiftung Charité is performed as payment of a lump sum to BIH or Charité. BIH and Charité have a free choice of appointment. The funding decision taken by Stiftung Charité is bound to an individual, i.e. under the condition that the BIH Johanna Quandt Professorship funded is filled by the selected applicant and within the scope of funding described. BIH and Charité can waiver a call of their own – which is, for example, also common practice with the Heisenberg Professorships funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) – and directly appoint the applicant in favor of whom Stiftung Charité has taken a funding decision or request the City State Government to approve such an appointment provided that this is in accordance with City State Higher Education Law.3

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3 Cf. Berlin Higher Education Act § 94 Section 2

5. Eligibility requirements

BIH Johanna Quandt Professorships can be applied for by women scientists who

  • have a doctorate,
  • have worked scientifically for several years after obtaining their doctorate and, during this time, have achieved their own scientific profile and initial scientific independence (e.g. by working as a junior professor, assistant professor or associate professor or by leading a scientific or clinical research group) through their achievements in the areas of research, teaching and transfer,4 and
  • have international scientific experience, either by currently working at a scientific institution abroad or by having worked for at least 18 months at a scientific institution abroad after graduation (periods during the doctorate can be taken into account).

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4 oriented on “R2” and “R3” career levels in accordance with the European Commission’s definition. Cf. European Commission: Towards a European Framework for Research Careers. Brussels 2011. Hyperlink

6. Proposal and assessment criteria

The application for a BIH Johanna Quandt Professorship essentially consists of:

  1. proof of own scientific achievements and qualifications,
  2. a concept for the BIH Johanna Quandt Professorship, in particular stating the content and interdisciplinary orientation as well as how this orientation contributes to the realisation of BIH's guiding idea and main areas of work from the applicant's perspective, and
  3. a budget plan that sets out the financial framework within which the concept for the BIH Johanna Quandt Professorship can be implemented.

The overall evaluation criteria are defined as follows:

  1. performance and qualifications of the candidate in the areas of research, teaching, knowledge and technology transfer, management and leadership, and patient care, provided that the candidate is clinically active and remains clinically active under the proposed BIH Johanna Quandt Professorship,
  2. expectability that the applicant will become a leading scientist in her field within the next five years,
  3. the quality of the concept for the BIH Johanna Quandt Professorship, with particular regard to its innovative strength, thematic openness and timeliness within five years,
  4. the potential of the designed BIH Johanna Quandt Professorship to be continued and expanded at the level of a W2 or W3 lifetime professorship after five years, and
  5. financial adequacy of the budget planning.

The application is made using the application portal provided by Stiftung Charité (create an account on the application portal and select the call for the Johanna Quandt Professorships).

When applying, and in the case of funding being approved, the Rules of Safeguarding Good Scientific Practice of the German Research Foundation as well as the ethical principles of the European Union’s Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (Horizon 2020), including the European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity, are to be observed. In addition, the Stiftung Charité approval principles apply.

7. Selection procedure

Stiftung Charité announces the funding call, accepts applications and subsequently conducts a science-guided selection procedure consisting of the following steps:

  1. The BIH Board of Directors issues a statement on whether and to what extent the professorship proposed by the applicant fits into the existing organizational structure and general structural and profile development of BIH.
  2. The Academic Advisory Council (hereinafter referred to as the Council) set up by Stiftung Charité for the Private Excellence Initiative Johanna Quandt carries out a pre-selection, arranges for written expert opinions to be obtained for the pre-selected applications and sets up a selection committee consisting of the following members:
    • Chair of the BIH Board of Directors (ex officio),
    • Chair of the MDC Board of Directors (ex officio),
    • Dean of the Medical Faculty of Charité (ex officio),
    • one scientist (ad personam) appointed by the Chair of the BIH Board of Directors,
    • one scientist (ad personam) appointed by the Chair of the MDC Board of Directors,
    • one scientist (ad personam) nominated by the Dean of the Medical Faculty of Charité, and
    • approx. five external technical experts who cover as broad a range of subjects as possible (in each case ad personam).
  3. The selection committee will draw up funding recommendations on the basis of the written expert opinions and after carrying out presentations or individual interviews with the preselected applicants.

The Council accepts the funding recommendations of the selection committee and makes the funding decisions on this basis. The funding decisions are initially made subject to the proviso that the respective applicant can be successfully appointed to a corresponding temporary W2 professorship for an initial period of five years, that BIH provides the required additional funding for the first five years and that the respective W2 professorship will be maintained as a W2 or W3 lifetime professorship within the framework of one of the above mentioned tenure track models after the five-year funding period has expired.

Following the funding decision of Stiftung Charité, BIH and Charité are responsible for the joint appointment (e.g. by waiving the invitation to tender and the direct appointment), the contractual design and the granting of the call. In the course of the appointment negotiations, the tenure track model has to be chosen for the respective candidate and where or how the BIH Johanna Quandt Professorship will be budgeted after the five-year period must be bindingly determined. The call is to be made at the latest six months after the positive funding decision by Stiftung Charité.

The funding of Stiftung Charité begins when the appointed applicant takes office. The appointment should take place at the latest nine months after the positive funding decision by Stiftung Charité.

8. Deadlines / dates

June 24, 2019Application deadline
September 2019Pre-selection of candidates and invitation to presentations and interviews
Est. December 2019Meeting of the selection committee with presentations and interviews with pre-selected applicants in Berlin
Est. January/February 2020Announcement of funding decision by Stiftung Charité
Subsequently(Shortened) appointment procedure of Charité and BIH

9. Contact

Dr. André Lottmann
Head of Science Funding

Stiftung Charité
Karlplatz 7
10117 Berlin (Germany)

Telefon: +49 (0)30 450 570 - 586
Telefax: +49 (0)30 450 7570 - 959
E-Mail:   lottmann(at)stiftung-charite.de

FUNDING DECISIONS

  • Prof. Dr. Il-Kang Na, BIH Johanna Quandt Professur "Therapie-induzierte Re-Modellierung in der Immuno-Onkologie"
  • Prof. Dr. Petra Ritter, BIH Johanna Quandt Professur "Gehirnsimulationen"
  • Prof. Dr. Ute Scholl, BIH Johanna Quandt Professur „Hypertension und molekulare Biologie endokriner Tumore“