7.5The professorial career at Flemish universities

By Noëmi Debacker (UGent)

From 1999-2000 till 2016-2017, almost 3,400 persons began their assistant professorships at one of the Flemish universities. In addition, another 1,300 persons started as associate or (senior) full professor without a previous position as assistant professor within Flanders.

To date, little is known about the career trajectory of assistant professors at one of the Flemish universities: how long do they stay employed as an assistant professor, do they leave the Flemish universities or do they move on to become an associate professor and/or eventually a (senior) full professor? The current chapter focuses on those starting out as assistant professors: what are their characteristics, what does their further academic career in Flanders look like and are there differences with regard to nationality, gender and scientific cluster?

This was investigated using the database Human Resources in Research Flanders (HRRF update 2016-2017) that contains the appointment data of all researchers who have been affiliated with one of the Flemish universities since 1990 and the data of all registered and defended doctoral dissertations. The database was commissioned by the Flemish Government within the remit of the Expertise Centre for Research and Development Monitoring (ECOOM). For the current analysis data from the academic years 1999-2000 onwards were used.