BIH Johanna Quandt Professors

1. Preamble

The BIH Johanna Quandt Professorships are W2 temporary professorships with full tenure track. They 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. At the same time, two new structural approaches are being pursued with the BIH Johanna Quandt Professorships that are also to play an exemplary role beyond Berlin. The professorships are tailored to women academics and therefore represent a novel impulse in promoting equal opportunities in the life sciences during the phase of establishing oneself in the science system, which has as yet received little support. Furthermore, the professorships feature special thematic openness by offering the women professors the opportunity to develop the translational and systems medicine orientation of their professorships themselves, also beyond the usual biomedical disciplines. Thus they can have an innovative impact on the BIH range of subjects.

2. Funding objectives

With the BIH Johanna Quandt Professorships, Stiftung Charité applies funds from its Private Excellence Initiative Johanna Quandt to establish professorships for BIH. With two special features, the BIH Johanna Quandt Professorships create a direct strategic added value for BIH:

  • The professorships explicitly address women in order to attract experienced women scientists1  eager to engage in innovation to top BIH posts and thus make a substantial contribution to achieving equal opportunities in health research in Berlin.
  • Calls for the professorships do not refer to any medical or natural science disciplines in particular. Appointments relate to a field of translational and systems medicine research chosen by the applicant herself. The crucial aspect is that the subject area incorporated in the professorship bears an innovative and interdisciplinary concept in order to improve the transitions from basic research via clinical research to patient care practice and vice versa.

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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

Stiftung Charité funding is provided to establish BIH Johanna Quandt Professorships. The Professorship is a new BIH professorship with the W2 salary group. Appointment to the professorship is via a joint appointment by BIH and Charité (this will probably be as a Sonderprofessur with remuneration on the part of BIH for the research achievements in the context of the professorship).2 There is a once-off temporary appointment for a period of five years with the opportunity of a fully tenured chair with a W2 or W3 salary group. The total limited period of five years is determined with the first appointment; there is no option for an extension of the limited period later on and for a subsequent delay in the continuation of the professorship as a life tenure professorship.

Stiftung Charité supports each BIH Johanna Quandt Professorship with funding of up to 200,000 Euro a year, limited to a period of five years in all. Funding can be used to cover salaries in the W2 salary group including performance allowances, accruals for pensions, and benefits as well as for first academic personnel and basic equipment and material (basic endowment). Rises in costs over the years cannot be reclaimed from Stiftung Charité later on but are to be fully taken into account in advance. No lump sum is paid to cover administrative costs of BIH, Charité or MDC.

Funding by Stiftung Charité is conditional on BIH providing – where necessary – the additional funding for further personnel, equipment and material required for a successful appointment out of its own funds or by providing already existing BIH workplaces and infrastructure during the first five years (supplementary endowment). BIH approves additional funding of up to 300,000 Euro a year (more in exceptional cases), so that the total appointment costs of a BIH Johanna Quandt Professorship amount to a maximum of approx. 500,000 Euro a year.

Funding by Stiftung Charité is also conditional on the professorship being continued as a W2 or W3 permanent chair after the funding period provided that an evaluation performed by BIH, Charité and MDC in accordance with the usual standards during the last but one year of funding at the latest arrives at a positive result (full tenure track). The BIH Johanna Quandt Professorship can be (1.) continued as a joint chair of BIH and Charité (with costs being reimbursed on the part of BIH for research achievements), (2.) transformed to a joint chair of MDC and Charité (with costs being reimbursed on the part of MDC for research achievements, for example in the context of heading a MDC research group) or (3.) funded solely via the Charité budget as a university chair, for example in the context of a regular appointment or advance appointment that happens to suit requirements. Clear and binding regulations on which of these three tenure track models is to be chosen and which institution therefore continues the temporary professorship and is responsible for its funding after the five years of funding by Stiftung Charité, pending positive evaluation, are to be agreed in the context of the appointment negotiations; these regulations cannot be postponed until the evaluation. The model chosen should be oriented on the candidate’s profile and should be referred to in a binding career path description.

Funding will only be provided by Stiftung Charité when Charité, MDC or BIH have committed themselves both to contributing additional funding and to guarantee a full tenure track. Depending on its content orientation, the professorship carries the cross-disciplinary denomination “BIH Johanna Quandt Professorship for Translational Medicine” (German: “BIH Johanna Quandt Professur für translationale Medizin”), where applicable with the supplement “with a focus on” (deutsch: „mit Schwerpunkt auf“) and with a possibly formally required assignment to a subject area.

Women clinicians can, for example, also be appointed on a salaried employee basis. Remuneration will then be in line with the above-mentioned salary groups for civil servants.

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2 Cf. Act on the establishment of the Berliner Instituts für Gesundheitsforschung of 9 April 2015 § 11

4. Application of funds

For a BIH Johanna Quandt Professorship, the salaries of salary group W2 including all additional costs such as performance bonuses, pension accruals and benefits as well as funding of academic personnel and equipment (basic endowment) can be applied for up to a level of 200,000 Euro a year and for a period of up to five years.

Further funding of academic personnel and equipment (supplementary endowment) for a period of five years can be taken over by BIH in the course of the appointment negotiations. The applicant should already provide as much detail as possible of necessary endowment for the professorship in her proposal for Stiftung Charité.
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. it is conditional on the professorship being funded also being staffed with the respective selected applicant. 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 – 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

5. Eligibility requirements

BIH Johanna Quandt Professorships can be applied for by experienced women scientists  from the fields of translational, systems medicine research themselves. The applicants have to be able to demonstrate their suitability for appointment with corresponding academic achievements in research, teaching and knowledge transfer.

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3 Cf. Berlin Higher Education Act §94 Section 2
4 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

6. Proposal and assessment criteria

The proposal for the funding of a BIH Johanna Quandt Professorship consists of two parts. The first part is to provide proof of the applicant’s academic achievements and qualifications. The applicant must demonstrate that she is not only suitable for appointment but has performed outstandingly in her field of translation and systems medicine in the areas of research, teaching, and transfer. Details of the documents required will be given together with the funding announcement.
The second part consists of the applicant’s concept for the BIH Johanna Quandt Professorship. It is to demonstrate

  • the contents the professorship is to focus on and
  • how, from the applicant’s perspective, the professorship, with the contents it is oriented on, can contribute to realizing the guiding notion of BIH of translational and systems medicine research.

All proposal forms are handed in to Stiftung Charité by the applicant herself using the proposal forms provided. Women scientists can and should apply without being requested to do so. When applying, and in the case of funding being approved, the Rules of Safeguarding Good Scientific Practice of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft 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, theStiftung Charité approval principles apply.

7. Selection procedure

Stiftung Charité announces the funding offer, receives the proposals and subsequently conducts a science-guided selection procedure consisting of the following steps:

  • The BIH Board 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. This statement is to be used in a pre-selection by the Academic Advisory Council of the Private Excellence Initiative Johanna Quandt.
  • The proposals are subjected to an independent expert appraisal. The details of the expert appraisal procedure are determined by the Academic Advisory Council of the Private Excellence Initiative Johanna Quandt. In each case, it appoints a selection committee comprising the following members:
    • the Chair of BIH Board of Directors,
    • the Chair of MDC Board of Directors,
    • the Dean of Charité,
    • one scientist each to be appointed by BIH, by Charité and by MDC and
    • approx. three to five external experts (depending on the number and content scope of the proposals). 
  • The Academic Advisory Council of the Private Excellence Initiative Johanna Quandt takes the funding decision on the basis of the expert appraisal. Funding is announced pending the successful appointment of the applicant to a W2 temporary professorship (limited once-off for a period of five years) with the option of a subsequent continuation as a W2 or W3 life tenure professorship. Funding is only approved when this condition has been met.

The funding decision having been taken, BIH and Charité hold responsibility for the joint appointment (for instance via waiver of announcement and direct appointment), for the subsequent appointment procedures and the appointment itself. In the course of the appointment procedures, a binding decision has to be taken on the tenure track model to be chosen for the candidate to be appointed and on where and how the chair is budgeted after the five-year period. Appointment is to be performed six months after the positive funding decision by Stiftung Charité at the latest.
Stiftung Charité funding commences with the appointed applicant taking office. Assumption of office ought to be twelve months after the positive funding decision by Stiftung Charité at the latest.

8. Deadlines / dates

March 31, 2016

Application deadline

October, 2016

Announcement of funding decision

9. Contact

Dr. André Lottmann
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“