Working at a German University
Unlike in other systems of higher education, most German universities are public (108 out of 128 universities) and most of the students (94%) are enrolled at a public institution. The quality of instruction at all public institutions of higher education is comparably high and it does not matter a lot at which university you gained your degree.
In general, there are three different types of higher education institutions: Universities, universities of applied sciences (“Fachhochschulen” or sometimes only “Hochschulen” which is also the umbrella term for all higher education institutions) and art and music colleges. The later train budding artists. The difference between universities and universities of applied sciences (UAS) is the more professional focus of UAS in contrast to the universities who are strongly oriented towards theory, methodology, and (basic) research. Since the last decade, the system of higher education system is undergoing some changes, which strive for a further assimilation of universities and UAS, e.g. in the way that UAS are endowed with the right to confer a doctorate which they had not had for many years.
An important characteristic of German universities is the so-called ‘unity of teaching and research’ which goes back to the famous founding father of the Humboldt University Berlin. Wilhelm von Humboldt’s educational ideal of the early 19th century still serves as a role model not only for universities in Germany, but all over the world.
Due to federalism, in Germany the responsibility for education and higher education lies within the federal states, such as Rhineland-Palatinate as it comes for JGU. The federal states provide the funding of higher education institutions as well as the legal framework. Each of the states has its own Hochschulgesetz (legislation of higher education). It causes that the organization of all processes, e.g. appointments, budget decisions, etc., vary from state to state. There is only a minor legal joint framework, the so-called Hochschulrahmengesetz (German Higher Education Framework Act). For each action, the federal state wants to take in order to fund a research project at a university, an administrative agreement has to be settled. This is the case e.g. for the Excellence Strategy of the federal states and the state government or for the Hochschulpakt (University Pact).
Besides the universities, there are also non-university research centers where top-level research is performed. Research centers of the Max Planck Society, the Helmholtz Association, the Leibniz Society or the Fraunhofer Society often cooperate closely with a university but are provided their own funding (mostly) by the state government.
Within the higher education system, there are further political and intermediate organizations. Most interesting for scholars at universities is the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation, short: DFG). It is the organization for the public funding of research projects in Germany. Researchers and research institutions may submit proposals to fund research projects and their supporting structures within the funding programs. Grant proposals are decided based on scientific review and evaluation, so DFG is a so-called self-organized association.
Structure and Decision-making at JGU
JGU is both a corporation under public law and a state facility. It is headed and legally represented by its President. The major decision-making structures, processes, bodies, and responsibilities of JGU are specified by state law, in this case the Rhineland-Palatinate Higher Education Act (HochSchG) and its own Grundordnung (charter). According to the Higher Education Act, JGU is a self-administrating body and acts on its own authority. Committees with decision-making powers are composed mainly of professors, with at least one member each from the three other university status groups: students, academic staff and non-academic staff.
Research and Research Funding at JGU
JGU is located in the heart of the Rhine-Main region - a center for science, economic growth and innovation. Numerous companies in the region maintain strategic partnerships with JGU and the university supports research spin-offs by providing advice. In addition, the JGU, together with the Goethe Universität in Frankfurt and the Technische Universität of Darmstadt, is a driving force in the "Rhine-Main University Alliance" (RMU), which offers a wide range of opportunities for cooperation. As a European University we work in the network FORTHEM - Fostering Outreach within European Regions, Transnational Higher Education and Mobility (homepage only available in German) with six European universities in research, teaching and administration in order to create a permanent multilateral cooperation environment and to set a role model for other universities in Europe.
Are you looking for third-party funding for your research idea? Research Services (FT1) gives advice and support on national, European and international funding programs. Please contact the Department of Research and Technology Transfer (FT) to find your right contact person.
To help you prepare a competitive proposal, the Internal University research funding grants initial funding. Research services also gives feedback on your individual proposal, and helps you set up collaborative projects. We also offer training measures and information events on research funding. For courses in english visit this site.
For additional opportunities for Young Researchers and Artists please visit the Portal for Young Researchers and Artists.
JGU sees itself as an integral part of society with which it works closely and openly; it perceives knowledge transfer as one of its primary objectives. The Research and Technology Transfer Department at JGU provides active support for
- bilateral projects between organizations and individual university institutes as well as participation in joint projects with several partners from research and industry
- service inventions and invention consultations
- industrial cooperation and contract research
- developing a business model to finding and applying for funding opportunities for entrepreneurs
Research-oriented teaching is a special profile feature of JGU to maintain the unity of research and teaching. Our university-wide Teaching Strategy, the Gutenberg Lehrkolleg (Gutenberg Teaching Council GLK) as a strategic instrument for the further development of academic teaching skills as well as well-trained academic and non-academic staff and course evaluation, ensure high quality in study and teaching.
The Study Office supports the planning and organizing of courses. Study Offices are organizational units within the faculties that are responsible for study-related administration in the different subjects.
The members of the Study Office manage and coordinate the modularized degree programs. They organize courses and examinations. In addition they contribute to the conceptual and organizational development of the degree programs in the subject.
If you are a lecturer, please contact your responsible Study Office as soon as possible. The Study Office responsible for your subject can be found here (available only in German).
Furthermore the Academic Affairs (Central Administration; available only in German) provide relevant information about examination and study regulations as well as other relevant legislations, ordinances and statutes, Student Services forms and newsletters for student advisors.
JGU continuously monitor the area of study and teaching. In addition to the faculty-wide evaluation, lecturers have the opportunity to carry out student surveys in their courses at any time to get individual feedback. You can get more information here.
Our university offers teachers a wide range of academic didactic support. Teachers can choose from a wide variety of formats, ranging from individual teaching advice and topic-specific workshops and trainings to collegial offerings, e.g. peer observations of teaching and peer advising. You can find more information here (only available in German).
In addition, teachers of JGU have access to a wide range of statewide workshops as well as observations of teaching within the framework of the higher education didactics offerings of the Hochschulevaluierungsverbund Südwest (South-West Evaluation Association of Higher Education Institutes), with the possibility of receiving the Rhineland-Palatinate Certificate for Higher Education Didactics. You can find more information about the programme and courses here (only available in German). For information about offers in English please contact the Center for Quality Assurance and Development (ZQ), Dr. Daniel Gaus.
JGU is home to many different libraries which are open to everyone. As an employee you may borrow books to continue your research at home.
The website of the Universitätsbibliothek Mainz (University Library) will provide you with an overview for each of the locations, including openings hours, facilities, and contact details (available only in German).
Here you will also find information on the library's book and media stock. By searching through the library catalogue you can see which on and offline sources, such as books, academic journals etc., are accessible through the University Library.
The library staff at the different locations will be happy to answer any questions you may have during service hours. The central library regularly offers guided tours of its facilities. You can also find important dates, news, and events on the aforementioned website.
In order to borrow books from the library, you will need a Bibliotheksausweis (library pass). You can apply for one using this form.
The JGU Central Administration sees itself as a service provider. It supports and assists the university's employees in the execution of their duties in research, teaching and continuing education. Central Administration reports to the Chancellor and is divided into various departments based on factual aspects.
For more information on our Central Administration please consider our Administration's website.
We have provided you with an initial overview of useful information on administrative issues on the "Good to know" site.