Temporary Employees

Employees who work for Fraunhofer on short-term contracts need to be given opportunities to develop skills that will help them to achieve success in their chosen profession – regardless of whether or not they decide to stay with Fraunhofer. The Executive Board therefore launched a debate on this subject, which it has followed with interest. What basic rules does the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft apply with respect to its treatment of temporary employees? 

Answers to this question are provided in a separate brochure which outlines the Executive Board’s approach to the employment of temporary employees. The standards it defines are applicable throughout the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. At the same time, each institute is free to decide how it implements these guidelines. 

As a basic rule, research scientists should not be employed on temporary contracts for longer than six to eight years. But this does not apply to administrative or technical assistance posts, where the maximum limit is two years. 

Nonetheless, exceptions can be granted. For instance, in cases where the temporary employee’s future career perspectives or personal development might be prejudiced, employment contracts can be extended beyond these limits. Doctoral candidates pursuing research at a Fraunhofer Institute or an associated university can be employed for six years after obtaining their PhD, on the condition that they have clear intentions concerning their future professional career.