Helmholtz Young Investigator Groups

Helmholtz Young Investigator Groups allow the Helmholtz Association to support the early independence of young scientists and offer them reliable career prospects.

Our Offer

Helmholtz Young Investigators Groups allow the Helmholtz Association to offer internationally outstanding postdoctoral researchers the opportunity to establish their own research groups. Up to 15 Young Investigator Groups are announced in January each year, identified through a highly competitive selection procedure, and funded for six years with a total of at least 1.8 million euros.

As head of a Helmholtz Young Investigator Group, you will gain early scientific independence and high visibility at the Center and in your community. You will also enjoy the outstanding leadership training of the Helmholtz Management Academy. You will conduct research in close cooperation with a university partner, gain valuable teaching experience, and acquire all the qualifications and have access to all the networks you need for a scientific career in Germany.

The program also offers reliable career prospects: After a positive evaluation, heads of Helmholtz Young Investigators Groups will be offered a permanent position at their Helmholtz Center. More than 200 early career scientists have received support through the program – and most of them were appointed to a German university during or immediately after the funding period.

Target Group

The program is aimed at young scientists who completed their doctorates two to six years ago. Periods of child rearing that fall within the postdoctoral phase can be credited (up to two years per child).

Candidates must also have relevant experience abroad. This can be at least six months of continuous experience abroad during the doctoral or postdoctoral phase, the acquisition of an academic degree abroad, or the coordination of a major international project.

Selection Procedure

1. Apply directly to a Helmholtz Center with your research project. The Center in question is responsible for organizing the pre-selection.

2. If your Helmholtz Center nominates you, the Helmholtz Association Head Office will generally obtain at least two written scientific appraisals for your proposal.

3. Applicants (no more than 30) with positive written assessments will then be invited to meet with an interdisciplinary panel of experts chaired by the President of the Helmholtz Association. As a rule, 15 Young Investigators Groups are approved for funding each year.

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  • Photo of Johannes Freudenreich
    • Dr. Johannes Freudenreich
    • Promotion of young and early-stage researchers
      Helmholtz Association

Helmholtz Young Investigator Groups

With its Helmholtz Young Investigator Groups Program, the Association offers internationally outstanding postdoctoral researchers the opportunity to set up their own research group.

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