Germany amends research contract limits

Starting next month, German researchers must no longer leave public institutions after 12 years, a change officials hope will benefit mid-level scientists

Gunjan Sinha
Starting April 1st, scientists working on contract at public institutions in Germany will be able to continue working at any of those institutions past the 12-year limit, to the relief of scientists who have long argued the time limit hurts the career prospects of mid-level scientists.The new act, passed by the both houses of the German parliament earlier this year, places a caveat on the 12-year limit law, which included time spent earning a doctorate and completing a postdoc. Next month, scientists at public institutions in Germany will be able to continue working on contract at those institutions after 12 years, provided there is grant money to support them. German scientists mostly applauded the change. "This is clearly a step in the right direction," said Meinhard Hahn at the department of Molecular Genetics of the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg. Hahn and fellow scientist Armin Pscherer have...

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