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Helmholtz Young Investigator Groups

We support young top researchers: Internationally outstanding postdocs are given the opportunity to establish their own research group at Helmholtz.

Following a competitive selection process, up to nine of these junior research groups are launched each year. We fund them for five years with a total of at least 1.5 million euros.

Many young talents start their scientific careers this way. After all, those who head a Helmholtz Young Investigators Group do independent research at an early stage and thus achieve high visibility in the scientific community. In addition, the junior research group leaders take part in the Helmholtz Leadership Academy.

The research groups work closely with a university partner. In this way, the leaders also gain valuable experience in teaching, build important networks and acquire all the qualifications for a successful scientific career.

The program also offers a reliable perspective: After a positive evaluation, heads of junior research groups receive a permanent position at their Helmholtz Center.

More than 200 postdocs have already been supported in this way. Most of them were appointed to a German university during their group leadership or directly afterwards.

Target group

The program is aimed at young researchers who completed their doctorate between two and six years ago. Periods of child-rearing that fall within the postdoc phase can be credited with up to two years per child.

In addition, candidates must have relevant experience abroad: At least six months should have been spent continuously working internationally, whether during the doctoral or postdoctoral phase. Periods of earning an academic degree abroad or coordinating a major international project will also be considered.

Selection Procedure

1. Apply with your research project directly to a Helmholtz Center. The Helmholtz Center will carry out the pre-selection and set the application deadlines. For further information, please contact the relevant contact person at the Center.

2. Once you have been nominated, the Helmholtz Head Office will usually obtain at least two scientific reviews of your proposal.

3. A maximum of 25 applicants will be invited to the final selection round. They present themselves to an interdisciplinary panel of reviewers chaired by the President of the Helmholtz Association. This panel selects up to nine junior research groups for funding each year.

Mona Florian

Talent Management
Helmholtz Association

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