NextGen (EN)


Why NextGen?

“Universities of Applied Sciences (UoAS) need excellent junior researchers. They need junior researchers with double qualifications. This entails scientific competencies (usually a Ph.D.) as well as several years of seminal work experience in leading positions. These people are rare. Academia or the industry tend to fish them off before UoAS can recruit them. It is almost hopeless trying to recruit such candidates in new and innovative academic fields.The solution is NextGen.”

Prof. Ludwig Hilmer
Rector of Mittweida University (until 2023)

What we do

As Mittweida’s first independent qualification program, we support researchers on their way to a UoAS professorship on three different levels of their academic careers.

This way, we pave the road directly towards appointment eligibility. Once a team member has become eligible, new team members may be added.

How we do it

Every team member signs an individual objective agreement, which is based on their initial qualifications upon joining NextGen and includes five pillars with respect to professorial appointment eligibility:

Research and transfer of knowledge
Teaching and didactics
Professional experience and practical projects

The Challenge

Scientific qualifications by virtue of a doctorate degree and several years of work experience outside of academia – the double requirements for future professors at universities of applied sciences are known. University didactic skills expand this list of requirements, and of course the junior researchers do not only have to be an expert in their own discipline, but have to provide an interdisciplinary portfolio facilitating out of the box-thinking.

These manifold requirements pose several difficulties for scholars, especially in young and dynamic research fields. Either scientifically qualified candidates lack the work experience, or the experienced workers lack the option for scientific qualification.

Moreover, Mittweida University of Applied Sciences is competing for junior researchers within the industry (where candidates tend to be paid well) and within academia. Recruiting junior researchers is, therefore, a big challenge that Mittweida University faces.

UoAS need excellent young professors, scientifically qualified with several years of work experience in the industry.
NextGen shapes them.

Prof. Dr. Ramona Kusche
Project Leader


Mittweida faces the challenges posed in terms of junior staff recruitment with its own qualification program:
NextGen is one of three Saxon and 64 German UoAS concepts chosen by a selection committee of the Joint Scientific Conference for funding within the framework of the federal-and-state program FH Personal.

The NextGen Advancement Concept

One of the key qualification approaches of NextGen is a strong focus on peer learning and knowledge transfer across discipline boundaries and career levels. The heterogeneous professional orientation of the individual team members is the foundation and idea pool for joint, cross-university projects of the NextGen team.

The program receives external impulses by virtue of external coachings and qualification offers as well as yearly external evaluations.

The team members ensure knowledge transfer past university borders by participating in (international) conferences and regularly publishing their work.

The project is heterogenous and interdisciplinary, which is one of its key characteristics.
Peer-learning is a central concept for us.

Dr. Angela Freche
Project Management


NextGen has officially kicked off on April 1st, 2021. A first team workshop at the end of April 2021 set the foundation for the target agreements. The researchers on three different career levels (research associate, academic assistants, assistant professors) pass through the program in accordance with their current qualifications – all while participating in the daily university life of their disciplines and in their faculties.

The focus is set not only on the academic training of professional and didactic development, but also on work experience qualifications. That way, researchers develop their career with the goal of professorial appointment eligibility firmly in mind. Once team members are eligible, new members can be added to the team.

In the long run, NextGen will develop the professorial staff of Mittweida University by means of lifelong qualification measures. For the pilot phase, innovative, cross-sectional research areas were identified: digital platform economics, applied data monitoring, network analysis and turbulence management in communication, digital forensics, teaching and learning technologies during the digital transformation, as well as interdisciplinary assistance systems and inclusion.

Individual target agreements are regularly negotiated with each team member. These are made up of three qualification areas that lead to appointability. They are “research and transfer of knowledge”, “teaching and didactics” and “professional experience and practical projects”.


The name says it all.
Here comes the next generation!

Kerstin Strangfeld
Process Management


This project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research under the funding code 03FHP145. The authors are responsible for the content of this publication.
This project is co-financed by tax funds on the basis of the budget decided by the Saxon state parliament.
Project Management
Prof. Dr. phil. Ramona Kusche
Funding Period
01.04.2021 until 31.03.2027
Funding Volume
5,2 Mio Euros
Funded by
Program for Advancement of Recruitment and Development of Professorial Staff and Universities of Applied Sciences (“FH-Personal”)