Hausdorff Chairs

The five Hausdorff Chairs complement the faculty spectrum with outstanding scholars.

close-up view of a scientist writing on blackboard

The creation of five new permanent full professor positions, the Hausdorff Chairs, has made it possible to complement the faculty spectrum by outstanding individuals, in particular from outside the German university system, without the usual constraints in terms of timing and fields. Moreover, a new and more active search and hiring process had been implemented for these positions.

Complementing the faculty spectrum.

Our philosophy has been to seek individuals at the proper time and to pursue a careful build-up rather than to cover five fields at high speed. The following general criteria have served as guiding principles for the fields:

  • We have sought candidates in areas that are not sufficiently represented in Bonn or Germany.
  • We have sought candidates who embody the symbiosis of mathematics with some specific field in another science.
  • We have sought candidates who build new ties between more distant participating institutions.

Internationally attractive positions.

In order to attract outstanding scientists, in particular from other countries, the Hausdorff Chair positions had to be attractive. The W3-scale for academic salaries, which are no longer negotiated with the state government but directly with the university, offers more flexibility and the possibility of matching. Candidates have not been expected to speak German. The Hausdorff-Chair is endowed with two postdoctoral positions, half a secretarial position, and a start-up package. In the spirit of the Excellence Initiative, the permanent Hausdorff Chairs are a net gain for the participating institutes.

Search and hiring process.

For the recruiting of the HCM Chairs, an entirely new recruitment process was implemented. These positions are not attached to specific research directions, and there is a single hiring committee for all positions, the Senior Search Committee (SSC), with members from all participating institutes. An open-ended call for applications for the Hausdorff Chairs was published in February 2007, and the SSC continuously reviewed applications. More importantly, however, the SSC has pursued a proactive candidate-driven approach, a practice commonly used by top international institutions. The formal university hiring procedures have been implemented in accelerated form. In each case, rather than producing a shortlist of candidates, a single candidate proposal has been submitted to the governing bodies of the university.


All five Hausdorff-Chairs have hitherto been appointed: Appointments