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Young Investigators

Attracting scientists with high potential

Young Investigators

Forschungszentrum Jülich conducts research on global challenges and has a high-performance scientific infrastructure. By establishing young investigators groups specifically in the field of pioneering scientific topics, we continually expand our expertise.

We have established a multi-track procedure for transparent career paths. Moreover, we offer high achievers the opportunity to take on managerial responsibilities as young investigators (YIs) and develop their scientific profile. To this end, we support them with our YI programme right from the beginning.

Application and Consultation

Application and Consultation

If you are interested in starting a research group at Jülich, we are happy to help you with your application process or finding the right programme for your external funding.

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Support and Networking

Support and Networking

To ensure a smooth start at Jülich, we offer an individual onboarding programme for all new YIG leaders within the first month of their stay at Jülich.

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Personal Development

Personal Development

We encourage you to take your personal development seriously – because we do! We offer courses and seminars on all topics that are relevant to being a successful YIG leader during the programme as well as beyond.

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Definition of Young Investigator Group

A Young Investigator Group (YIG) at Jülich consists of a leader (e.g. YOU) and at least two persons with an academic degree, who are under the direct professional and disciplinary supervision of the YIG leader. As a research group leader you will have access to the necessary infrastructure and resources within the usual framework of your home institute. You and your group will do research on a clearly defined topic that fits into the strategic portfolio of the Forschungszentrum Jülich and the thematic orientation of the subinstitute.

You will be chosen through a transparent, systematic application, selection, and quality assurance process. As a rule, a YIG is funded for 5–6 years by third-party and/or institutional funding of the Forschungszentrum Jülich. An evaluation of the young investigator group's performance will take place after 3–4 years in order to be able to assess the scientific performance spectrum of the entire group and the leadership quality of the group leader accordingly.

The position of YIG leader serves as a qualification for a professorship or other leading position within or outside the scientific community.

Current YIG Leaders


Individual career goals

Working at Forschungszentrum Jülich gives you several options for shaping your future career.

If you are aiming for a tenured appointment at a university, we will help you in achieving your goal by giving administrative support in communicating with universities for appointment to a Junior Professorship (W1) during your Young Investigator Group leadership, providing you with an ideal qualification for a full professorship later on. Having worked at a research institution outside of a university also directly qualifies you to become a full professor at a university for applied sciences.

If instead you are looking to qualify for a specialized career outside academia, you also made the right choice with Jülich. Given excellent performance and innovative results from your research group, we support you to become a renowned senior researcher with leadership responsibilities after your time as a Young Investigator Group leader. To ensure direct supervision of your employed PhD candidates, we encourage habilitation at a German university.

Alumni YIG Leaders


Do you have any further questions?

Are you looking for specific content or further advice? If so, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

YIG-Contact