Finding an Academic Job in Forensic Psychology in Germany

Hello fellow job-seekers! You are about to embark on an epic journey through the deep catacombs of the university system. You will encounter friend and foe, experience anticipation and frustration, and generally be a complete mess throughout this endeavor. But, fear not! We are here to help with some useful advice on getting a job in forensic psychology (a.k.a. psychology and law, legal psychology). Be sure to check out all of the articles in this series!

This article features useful information on finding an academic job in forensic psychology in Germany, and was written by Berenike Waubert de Puiseau and Ulrike Ruppin.

The overview

Which databases, if any, are used to find academic jobs in your country?

The main source for jobs in psychology is the website by Hogrefe, where you can find jobs in any field from academia to psychiatries. A less known database, Psychology Jobs, lists job ads from all fields.

For research jobs in the Ministry of Justice of Northrhine Westfalia, you can visit their website (note that there is no guarantee that one can complete a dissertation in the course of a job with the NRW Ministry of Justice. Furthermore, these jobs are only available for people with very good German skills).

In addition, the DGPs (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Psychologie) hosts an email list. Every member automatically receives these emails. On a fairly regular basis, job announcements regarding academic positions are sent out via this list. However, only members can receive these emails and only students who have completed a psychological degree can become members of the DGPs. Note that all websites are available in German only. Most of the emails sent out to the DGPs list are in German, too.

How do you typically hear about academic jobs?

 

We usually hear about them through the DGPs email list.

How are applications typically submitted?

This depends on the university. Most professors accept applications via email. Only very few institutions have online portals for the application process. Almost no institution requires an application via mail.

Does your country have positions for international applicants who do not speak the local language?

Usually, yes. However, this depends on the institution, the department, the project etc. The graduate schools that have recently been founded in various universities (for example the Centre for Doctoral Studies in the Social Sciences, CDSS, at the University of Mannheim) commonly teach in English and welcome applications from overseas students. However, thus far, none of these graduate schools focuses on psychology and law. Nonetheless, you can negotiate about selecting a dissertation topic related to psychology and law.

What are salary expectations for entry level academic jobs in your country?

Most PhD students have a part-time position as a lecturer/teacher/researcher in a psychological department. Hence, they usually earn - after taxes and health insurance - around 1000 euros per month (with a 50% position) and a little more in case of a 65%-position. Some universities or institutes (like the Max Planck Institutes) offer scholarships that range between 1000 and 1500 euros (no tax deduction applies, however, students have to pay the full fee for their health insurance, which is around 150-200 euros per month).

What are the qualifications needed for different kinds of academic jobs?

Basically, the German academic system is as follows:

  1. You count as a student until you have obtained your masters degree.
  2. You can then do a Ph.D.
  3. Once you have finished you Ph.D., you can get a post-doc position, in the course of which you can write your habilitation. A habilitation is required to become a professor. Nowadays, many researchers complete their habilitation cumulatively, i.e., they summarize around 8-12 papers in one field.
  4. Recently, an intermediate position - between post-doc and professor - has been introduced: the junior professor. Usually, only researchers within five years after the completion of the Ph.D. are eligible.
  5. Upon completion of the habilitation, one can become a professor.

When are jobs typically posted for academic jobs?

Many jobs are posted during summer (i.e., July-September) starting in October (which is the winter semester). However, in fact, jobs are posted throughout the entire year.

When do academic jobs typically begin in your country?

Many jobs begin in October (winter semester) or April (summer semester), however, lots of jobs are independent of the semesters.

The specifics

Academic jobs specifically for forensic/psyc-law psychologists in Germany.

At the moment, there are no offers for academic jobs specifically for forensic/psyc-law psychologists. However, you could get in touch with professors whose research projects are of interest to you. Find more information about this here.

Related academic jobs, that forensic/psyc-law psychology graduates would be eligible for in Germany.

There are no related academic job offers for forensic/psyc-law psychologists at the moment. Check out the Study Psychology and Law in Germany section for institutes that may offer jobs. In addition to the institutes listed in the Study Psychology and Law in Germany section, you could also check out the websites of forensic institutes or psychiatries as some offer jobs in research, like (Note: these websites are available in German only):

Other kinds of jobs that might be of interest to those seeking employment in Germany.

Here is a list of non-academic job offers that might be interesting for forensic/psyc-law psychologists (German only). For other interesting jobs, you might think of outpatient clinics for (sexual) offenders or prisons.

Jobs in Forensic Psychiatric Hospitals:

Jobs in Institutes for Expert Testimony:

For more information on forensic psychology in Germany, visit our post on studying in Germany.

 

Want more details?

For more details on finding a job in specific countries, read our country-specific posts!