Freie Universität Berlin in cooperation with the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW) as part of Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V. is looking to fill the following professorship in combination with the appointment as director of the IZW:University Professor of Interdisciplinary Wildlife Sciences W3 or equivalentBewerbungsende: 27.01.2024

Updated: about 1 month ago

The School of Veterinary Medicine at Freie Universität Berlin is a prestigious center for research, training, and veterinary services. It is one of only five universities in Germany offering education and training in veterinary medicine. The School of Veterinary Medicine currently has three locations across Berlin (Düppel, Dahlem) and Brandenburg (Bad Saarow) that are home to different specialized institutions. The research activities of the school’s fifteen academic institutes and three clinical units are part of a worldwide network of experts in the field of veterinary medicine and related areas of research.

The professorship at Freie Universität Berlin will be allocated to the Small Mammal, Reptile, Exotic Bird, and Wild Bird working group at the Small Animal Clinic, which forms part of the School of Veterinary Medicine. The professor will be expected to conduct research, cover a teaching load of two contact hours per week, and supervise bachelor’s and master’s theses as well as doctoral candidates’ dissertations.

The Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW) is an internationally renowned research institute belonging to the Leibniz Association. It conducts research in Berlin, throughout Germany, and across the world in pursuit of its vision to better understand the adaptability of wildlife – particularly mammals – in the context of global change. The institute also strives to develop innovative conservation measures to protect wild animals.

The IZW focuses on addressing organismic issues by carrying out multidisciplinary studies across different levels, from the molecular level to landscapes and communities of species. The institute employs a wide spectrum of approaches, concepts, and processes, including long-term and shorter-term projects, field studies and studies on animals in captivity, biobanking of cell and tissue samples as well as pathogens, comprehensive laboratory analytics, data analyses, and spatial and process-based modeling. It also confers with stakeholders involved in human-wildlife conflicts and develops relevant research questions together with interest groups.

With plans to realize an expansion project starting in 2024 to implement state-of-the-art technology in conducting wildlife research, the IZW will benefit from cutting-edge methods in fieldwork, biobanking, laboratory analytics, and process-based modeling, while also strengthening its ties to relevant societal actors in order to

(1) facilitate the recording of information on wild animal populations as well as the presence and impacts of pathogens and environmental changes within significantly shorter time frames and improve the quality of recording processes;

(2) more rapidly gauge when action needs to be taken on the basis of better prognoses regarding the reactions of wild animals to environmental changes;

(3) research new measures to improve the viability of wild animal populations and develop ways of applying these measures in practice.

For both Freie Universität Berlin and the IZW a leadership style that strives to maintain a work-life balance among team members, the ability to boost employees’ motivation and commitment to getting things done, as well as a willingness to further develop one’s own leadership skills are considered key aspects of the position.


The successful applicant will be responsible for managing the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research as director.

They will also cover research and teaching in the field of interdisciplinary wildlife sciences with a reduced teaching load of two contact hours per week at Freie Universität Berlin.  

Appointment requirements:

Governed by Section 100 of the Berlin Higher Education Act (Berliner Hochschulgesetz – BerIHG).

Additional requirements for the appointment include:

  • University degree in veterinary medicine, biology, or another relevant subject area
  • Internationally recognized research achievements in a field relevant to the conservation of wild mammals, ideally with a focus on interdisciplinary zoo and wildlife sciences
  • Teaching qualifications, as well as several years of experience in teaching at the university level
  • Success in acquiring and carrying out externally funded research projects
  • Skills and experience in academic management, including managing personnel and budgets
  • Outstanding leadership and communication skills, as well as strategic planning and organizational capabilities
  • Experience in interdisciplinary and international cooperation
  • Experience in science communication and outreach
  • Ideally, proficiency in German and English


Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research:

The director will oversee the implementation and long-term development of the institute’s research program in cooperation with the heads of the departments and units at the IZW. A key focus will be the strategic development of the IZW in line with the expansion project set to begin in 2024 that aims to use cutting-edge technology in wildlife research.

The director will be responsible for managing roughly 200 employees and ensuring the long-lasting success of the institute within the German and international scientific landscape. This will include representing the interests of the IZW as part of the Berlin research association “Forschungsverbund Berlin” (FVB) and the Leibniz Association as well as vis-à-vis supervisory bodies, cooperation partners, funding agencies, and political actors, while also engaging in knowledge transfer activities in dialogue with societal interest groups.

In order to realize the IZW’s full potential and the opportunities brought about by the expansion project, we are looking for a director who will lead the institute to success with a clear vision and conceptual dedication. The director’s interest in cooperating with researchers from other disciplines and promoting the full range of research subjects represented at the IZW will be crucial in achieving this goal.

Freie Universität Berlin:

The candidate will be expected to work closely with the structures and working groups of the School of Veterinary Medicine at Freie Universität Berlin and build on other cooperative projects at Freie Universität Berlin and other relevant research institutions in the Berlin-Brandenburg region.

The new professor will also be expected to teach courses in ways that are sensitive to gender and diversity issues.

For further information, please contact:

Dr. Miriam Brandt, Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, Alfred-Kowalke-Str. 17, 10315 Berlin; Fax (+49) 30 5168-110; Email: [email protected]; Website:

Applications must be written in English and should include a cover letter, CV, copies of all certificates of academic qualification in German or English (please enclose translations where necessary), a list of publications (including the top five most relevant publications), a short outline of your vision for the IZW’s further development (maximum two pages), a list of courses previously taught, and evidence of teaching aptitude. Please include information on involvement in ongoing and future research endeavors, joint research projects, and externally funded projects.

Please submit all application materials electronically via the appointment portal by the above-mentioned application deadline. Be sure to include a personal postal address and email, as well as the reference code for the position. Please use the following postal address in your cover letter:

Freie Universität Berlin

School of Veterinary Medicine

Dean’s Office

Oertzenweg 19b

14163 Berlin

Application documents will be deleted from our servers after the legal retention period has lapsed.

The regulations defined by the Berlin Higher Education Act that are relevant to professorships (Sections 99, 100, 101, 102a, 102c BerlHG) can be found online:

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