Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ


FAQ Honorary and apl Professorships

What is the difference between an apl and honorary professorship?

An apl professorship can be awarded to internal and external professors, who fulfill the prerequisites at the time of nomination. An honorary professorship can only be awarded to individuals outside of RWTH.

In order to receive an apl professorship, the candidate must fulfill the hiring requirements for university professors, according to Section 36 HG, in contrast to an honorary professorship. In order to receive an honorary professorship, the candidate must be able to provide proof of oustanding performance in a discipline represented at RWTH encompassing professional practice and application or the development of scientific discoveries and methods or outstanding performance in research, art, and teaching, which reflects the requirements for full-time professors.

Who can submit a proposal to award an apl or honorary professorship?

All members of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering are eligible to submit a proposal.

"Members of the Faculty include full-time university personnel, who are primarily employed at the Faculty, and students enrolled in a course of study offered by the Faculty." – Section 3 (1.1) Faculty Regulation

What documents do I need to submit to the Dean's Office?

The proposal or candidate must submit current copies of the following documents to the Dean's Office at the beginning of the process:

  • Proposal from the applicant, stating why the professorship should be awarded
  • General and academic CV
  • List of publications and lectures, including a list of patents if applicable
  • Academic degree certificates, doctoral certificates and honorary certificates (certified copy or presentation of the original)
  • Course evaluations from independent teaching
  • Recommendation of two external reviewers
  • Naming of five professors for the ad-hoc committee; the vice-dean is chair of the committee

If the candidate is not employed at RWTH, a certificate of good conduct – Führungszeugnis der Belegart O –  must be submitted later in the process. The Dean's Office will contact the candidate on this matter.

Who can serve as a reviewer?

Only professors from at the W2 or W3 level from other universities can serve as reviewers.

How long is the entire process?

The Dean's Office makes every effort to complete the process within six months, that is from the time the documents are submitted to presenting the certificate. However, because both the ad-hoc committee must find a suitable date for its meeting and external professors must submit their assessments, there can be delays. The legal review conducted by Division 1.1 can also take some time.

What rights and obligations do I have after being awarded the title?

You have the right to use the title of professor.

If you have been awarded an apl professorship, you now belong to the group of university professors.

In order to use this title you must regularly give classes encompassing two semester week hours. This requirement is no longer valid after you after reached the legal age of retirement. However you may continue to use the title.

If you do not fulfill your teaching duties at RWTH Aachen for more than two years without important grounds and are still under the legal age of retirement, you may lose the title.

When am I no longer required to fulfill my teaching responsibilities?

The Faculty Council can relieve you of our teaching duties for up to two years if you submit a well-founded proposal. This period can be extended to a maximum of five years, if you teach at another university during this period. After this period ends, you must fulfill your teaching duties for at least two semesters before requesting another suspension to the teaching duties.

How can I reduce my teaching responsibilities?

The dean may grant a reduction in the teaching responsibilities to one semester week hour for honorary professors upon the submission of well-founded request.

When is the title suspended?

Individuals, who have already been awarded an apl or honorary professorship, lose the title when they are awarded the title of professor, hired as a professor, or can use the title of professor for another reason.