UG Amendment 2021 – Positions and Impact
Elise Richter Network – July 2021

Career trajectories | Employment history | Career barriers | Impact §109 chain
contract rule | Institutional career development | Impact of Covid-19 on research

Female top scholars in Austria who received an Elise Richter Excellence Award
between 2006 and 2020.
Response rate 35% (since 2006 funding of 251 Richter awards, 222 of these PIs in
Elise Richter Network, 77 survey participants).

Quantitative results
– Mean duration PhD to Richter award 7.4 yrs.
– Mean duration Richter award to professorship international 3.6 yrs.,
professorship in Austria 8.3 yrs., tenure track position approx. 5 yrs.
– An excellence career for female scholars in Austria (PhD to tenure track) takes
12.4 yrs. on average.

Career trajectories

Career trajectories of Richter Fellows
Figure 1. Career trajectories of Elise Richter awardees 2006- 2020. Left vertical axis year of award, right vertical axis current position (2021).

Qualitative results
Majority of participants targets a career in Austria
– Employment history >> 10 temporary contracts.
– 57% of survey participants on temporary contracts.
– Professorships achieved by scholars with Richter awards received before 2014.
– Paradigm shift towards tenure track positions at later time points (2014-2020)
– Institutional career development is lacking and turns into career barriers (bad practice examples).
– Acute research delays and interruptions were encountered due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

UG Amendment 2021
– The §109 chain contract rule will lead to massive brain drain, even more
reduced career perspectives and a loss of expertise in Austria.
– The maximal employment duration drastically counteracts diversity efforts and gender balance in academia.
– Planned science careers with targeted career development.
– A national strategy for long-term, funded career models is missing.

Action points
1. Systematic increase of diversity and gender-parity in academic top positions by nation-wide career models, generation of funded positions under the perspective of gender-balance and binding new parameters reflecting measure implementation of diversity and gender-parity in academia.
2. Absorbing the negative effects of §109 by targeted acute funds for successful scholars and canceling retrospective effectiveness of maximal employment duration.
3. Compensation of Covid-19 related delays in running projects.

We also suggested the implementation of an accompanying monitoring and impact study to track the further development / progression of non-male FWF grantees and Elise-Richter grantees.