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Privatdozent (for men) or Privatdozentin (for women), abbreviated PD, P.D. or Priv.-Doz., is an academic title conferred at some European universities, especially in German-speaking countries, to someone who holds certain formal qualifications that denote an ability (facultas docendi) and permission to teach ( venia legendi ) a designated subject at the highest level. To be granted the title Priv.-Doz. by a university, a recipient has to fulfill the criteria set by the university which usually require excellence in research, teaching, and further education. In its current usage, the title indicates that the holder has completed her/his habilitation and is therefore granted permission to teach and examine students independently without having a professorship.


Conferment and roles

A university faculty can confer the title to an academic who has a higher doctoral degree - usually in the form of a habilitation. [1] The title, Privatdozent, as such does not imply a salaried appointment; it merely denotes permission to teach and examine independently at the conferring faculty without a professorial appointment. At German universities, some title holders are appointed as Dozent on a fee basis, or as senior researchers through externally funded research projects.

Many title holders do not have remuneration agreements with their conferring institution, but depending on local regulations may be required to teach in order to maintain their status as a Privatdozent. [2] In 2012 more than 5000 honorarium Privatdozenten worked at German universities without a salary. [1] A Privatdozent ceases to hold the title if appointed at professorial level or if discontinuing lecturing at the faculty. In Germany, the title can be revoked if the holder does not lecture for more than two consecutive semesters. [1]

History and future

The title has its origins in German-speaking countries in Europe before 1800. It referred to a lecturer who received fees from his students rather than a university salary.

In Prussia it started around 1810, and became established around 1860. From 1900 until 1968, most university professors who were appointed were title holders, as they obtained a habilitation and already held a teaching position.[ citation needed ]

In Germany, since the end of the 1960s the requirement of a post-doctoral degree for a professorship has been questioned and in some cases became not always necessary. In 2002 junior professorships were introduced, providing a route to a professorship without habilitation; the habilitation is no longer the gold standard against which other qualifications are measured during the appointment process. This has led to a decline in universities conferring the title Privatdozent in certain academic disciplines. [3]

Related Research Articles

An academic degree is a qualification awarded to students upon successful completion of a course of study in higher education, usually at a college or university. These institutions commonly offer degrees at various levels, usually including bachelor's, master's and doctorates, often alongside other academic certificates and professional degrees. The most common undergraduate degree is the bachelor's degree, although in some countries there are lower level higher education qualifications that are also titled degrees.

Doctorate Academic or professional degree

A doctorate or doctor's degree or doctoral degree, is an academic degree awarded by universities, derived from the ancient formalism licentia docendi. In most countries, it is a research degree that qualifies the holder to teach at university level in the degree's field, or to work in a specific profession. There are a number of doctoral degrees; the most common is the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), which is awarded in many different fields, ranging from the humanities to scientific disciplines.

Habilitation is a qualification required in order to conduct self-contained university teaching, and to obtain a professorship in many European countries. Despite changes implemented in European higher-education systems consequent to the Bologna Process, habilitation is the highest qualification issued through the process of a university examination, and remains a core concept of scholarly careers in these countries.

Lecturer Academic rank

Lecturer is an academic rank within many universities, though the meaning of the term varies somewhat from country to country. It generally denotes an academic expert who is hired to teach on a full- or part-time basis. They may also conduct research.

Doctor of Science, usually abbreviated Sc.D., D.Sc., S.D., or D.S., is an academic research degree awarded in a number of countries throughout the world. In some countries, "Doctor of Science" is the degree used for the standard doctorate in the sciences; elsewhere the Sc.D. is a "higher doctorate" awarded in recognition of a substantial and sustained contribution to scientific knowledge beyond that required for a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). It may also be awarded as an honorary degree.

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Tenure is a category of academic appointment existing in some countries. A tenured post is an indefinite academic appointment that can be terminated only for cause or under extraordinary circumstances, such as financial exigency or program discontinuation. Tenure is a means of defending the principle of academic freedom, which holds that it is beneficial for society in the long run if scholars are free to hold and examine a variety of views.

Honorary titles in academia may be conferred on persons in recognition of contributions by a non-employee or by an employee beyond regular duties. This practice primarily exists in the UK and some universities and colleges in the United States, Australia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, New Zealand, Japan, Denmark, and Canada.

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Professor Academic title at universities and other education and research institutions

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  1. 1 2 3 Laube, Stefan (29 February 2012). "Privatdozenten sind das Uni-Prekariat " [Precarity of Privatdozenten]. FAZ. Retrieved 6 June 2016. (in German).
  2. Pape, Helmut (25 March 2010). "Uni-Sklaven, vereinigt euch! " [University Slaves Unite!]. Die Zeit. Retrieved 6 June 2016. (in German).
  3. "Junior Professors on the Rise". Science | AAAS. 2 August 2002. Retrieved 5 April 2017.