The Changing Paths in Academic Careers in European Universities: Minor Steps and Major Milestones

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The academic career in Europe used to be much more unstructured and much less competitive than today. Currently, as reflected in interviews carried out throughout Europe, “each step in a career is competitive“, from doctoral and postdoctoral to junior academic and senior academic positions. There are significant variations across the European countries studied regarding the level of competition, often different in different places occupied in the academic hierarchy. But increasing competition has come to the academic profession and is bound to stay: the competition for part-time and full-time academic positions, for research grants and research funding, and tokens of academic prestige. The academic progression today has to be made systematically, in increasingly clearly defined timeframes, and the academic career seems to be sliced into comparable time periods across European systems. Usually, the timeframes are doctoral studies, employment in postdoctoral and junior positions, employment in lower-level senior positions and, finally, in higher-level senior positions (such as traditional chair holding and/or full professorships), and all career steps have to be reached within a certain time period.




academic profession, Europe, European universities, academic labor market, academic employment, university governance, university missions, junior faculty, senior faculty, Polish higher education, academic progression


In: Tatiana Fumasoli, Gaele Goastellec and Barbara M. Kehm (eds.), Academic Careers in Europe - Trends, Challenges, Perspectives. Dordrecht: Springer, 2014



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Uniwersytet im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu
Biblioteka Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu
Ministerstwo Nauki i Szkolnictwa Wyższego