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In the most prominent research nations, retirement age does not necessarily mean that professors close down their research. Quite the opposite, professors emeritus/a play a vital role as mentors for younger researchers and the increased measure of freedom after retirement, for example no more administrative tasks, may result in important new scientific contributions.

A professor emeritus/a  is a retired professor who remains scientifically and pedagogically active and is linked to his/her seat of learning. Becoming an emeritus/emerita often means a partially new role in operations.

Professors emeritus/a may not be elected to university governing bodies and also bear no responsibility for operations in their own departments. This reduction of administrative tasks provides expanded opportunities for personal research.

However it may be difficult for such professors to gain scientific council grants as research councils are not keen on awarding grants to retirees, but there are good opportunities available for emeriti to utilize their experience and authority to assist their younger colleagues. The role of the professor emeritus/a in operations is often described as mentor or adviser, someone who uses his/her expertise to help younger researchers to see pitfalls and identify wise solutions.