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The heart of any higher education institution with a strong background in research is its academic staff. This is certainly the case at WHU – a business school with university status, which has been entitled to award post-doctoral degrees since 1984. Since it was founded, the business school has seen 25 researchers awarded a WHU post-doctoral degree and has become acclaimed amongst renowned research institutes both at home and abroad. For young researchers, there is also an alternative path into research: becoming an assistant professor. By doing this, candidates automatically become qualified, without having to obtain a "Habilitation" to become a professor, as is normally the case. All of our assistant professors are provided with "tenure tracks". As part of this scheme, a process of professional development is launched which includes, in particular, a detailed peer review. This allows young academics with an outstanding doctoral thesis to carry out research and teach independently.
The high level of research capability at WHU is the result of three research prinicples: Quality, international orientation, and practical as well as academical relevance. Only the interaction of these three principles can, in our opinion, bring about outstanding research. This is the reason why our research findings are regularly published in leading international and national journals.
Guaranteeing academic freedom whilst still keeping a finger on the pulse of the economy – the close interlinking of these two factors is illustrated by the existence of our many WHU centers, one of the key components of our practice-oriented applied research. These centers are largely funded by renowned companies.
An international atmosphere is part of daily life at WHU, as we are convinced that diversity is the key to progress. That is why colleagues come here from different countries, bringing with them the experience of varying backgrounds. This sense of internationalism can, however, also be observed in our intensive collaboration with internationally recognized educational and research institutes, as well as the numerous international guest professors and speakers who regularly make their way to WHU.
As a campus business school, WHU provides the opportunity for colleagues from different fields of research to work closely together both in Vallendar and in Düsseldorf, thanks to the relatively small distances between our research centers. This close working relationship is further fostered by our group structure. This structure facilitates cooperation and communication between individual academics active in similar fields. Furthermore, good transport links mean that partners of colleagues in Vallendar can also easily get to work in Bonn, Frankfurt and Cologne.
The research conditions at WHU are extremely favorable, which is certainly one of the reasons why our faculty members have already been able to make a name for themselves in the world of science by way of a multitude of national and international research projects and research publications. This is made possible not least by the provision and self-administration of a dedicated budget for chairholders. Unlike in state universities, chairholders at WHU have relatively free rein over their budget.
Our academic staff are divided into seven groups, in which chairs and institutes are combined. The aim of this structure is to create synergies between research and the business school’s practice-related activities, as well as to improve coordination between the degree programs in the units involved. We also provide our faculty members with a stimulating environment for research and teaching by way of the facilities we have to offer. Our Behavioral Lab, for example, offers the opportunity to run computer-based experiments and carry out group observations. We possess an extensive collection of academic literature as well as company and financial databases, and our library collection at present contains 45,000 books, 183 current periodicals in print form, 63,000 journals in digital format, and 7,000 e-books.
The WHU Research Seminar forms an integral part of the research done at WHU. Through academic lectures, critical reflections, and discussions, participants are able to learn about research currently taking place within various business-related and economic disciplines. In general, the defining features of WHU are its intensive cooperation with researchers from a host of academic institutions and the large quantity of guest lecturers and speakers from the fields of science, politics, and the business world.
WHU is on the lookout for outstanding scientists and scholars with a passion for their research field who are committed to integrity, fair-mindedness, and honesty – not just academically speaking – and who respect the dignity and the rights of others. We are looking for professors with proof of scholarly success in their teaching career (with a strong emphasis on courses taught in English) and in their research career, who also have personal and professional experience of working in an international environment.
Our friendly atmosphere, the relatively small size and the location of our business school, our culture and general "open-door policy" encourage integration and facilitate the transition to a new working environment. Our assistant professors in particular benefit from special mentoring and orientation from more senior faculty members or the relevant Group Speaker.
We were one of the first German universities to respond comprehensively to the requirements of the Bologna Process and to implement intelligent solutions to ensure the quality of our teaching. An example of one of the instruments we put in place is the Faculty Review. This contributes to quality assurance on the one hand and lays the foundations for regular evaluation of teaching and research on the other. Moreover, it forms the basis for our internal system of incentives in the form of the Merit Increase and Research Support Model. This system enables faculty members with outstanding performance in teaching and research to further their research activities to the highest level with the help of various financial and human resources.
Finally, we encourage our professors to regularly take sabbatical semesters and to play an active role in academic bodies and scientific organizations.