Working hypotheses

3. Thesis: Precarious working conditions prevent excellent academic education and training. They also do not create incentives for good teaching or supervision of students.


Supporting scientists in early career phases is an essential part of scientific work. Incentives for good teaching are therefore necessary. The general conditions are an obstacle to this: Hierarchies stand in the way of optimal supervision. Supervisors and professors often have to oversee many doctorates at the same time, each requiring a great deal of time. PhD students and postdocs are indispensable for the implementation of teaching assignments in addition to their career-relevant research. Temporary part-time positions are the norm, although the workload resulting from these commitments can only be managed with overtime. PhDs and postdocs accumulate an average of 10 to 13 hours of overtime per week, BuWiN 2021 found, but additional hours worked are not compensated and often cannot be compensated elsewhere. Scientists in early career phases increasingly report psychological stress. Those affected drop out of their doctoral studies due to the heavy workload or are forced to disregard the rules of good scientific practice as a result. The quality of teaching has a low priority compared to publications or the procurement of research funds. As a result, there is a lack of incentives for good teaching and the quality of supervision of doctoral candidates and students is jeopardized – a vicious circle.

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