The own junior research group
Junior research groups are independent working groups at a university or research institution (within an institute or Department ). An early career researcher with a doctorate and about 2-5 years of experience after the doctorate leads them. Junior research groups enable the group leader to conduct independent research and to develop a scientific profile. In selected programs, the junior research group leader even acquires the ability to be appointed to a professorship.
The management of junior research groups – a component of a scientific career
Various funding agencies provide funding for junior research groups – from the DFG and the EU to foundations such as the Volkswagen Foundation, and ministries.
The conditions and scope of funding vary significantly in some cases. Nevertheless, some common points of the funding formats can be outlined:
- Typical size: 3-5 persons
- Typical duration: 5-6 years
- Typical equipment: approx. 1.5 million euros
Leading a junior research group provides you with the best prerequisites for an appointment as a university lecturer. As a rule, leading a junior research group is recognized as a habilitation-equivalent achievement (depending on the subject area). In detail, this means:
- Independent research
- Own budget = own third-party funds
- Independent management of an own working group
- Supervision of doctoral researchers
Overview of the different funding programs
at least 2 to max. 4 years of research experience after the doctorate (+ 2 years per child)
- 6 (3+3) years, approx. 1-1.5 million euros (experience values)
- substantial international research experience
- demanding publications in international high-ranking journals or similar
- only in exceptional cases: return to the place of the doctorate
- Applications also possible from junior professors in temporary employment and early phase
- without deadline
Excellent early career researchers with 2-7 years of research experience after the doctorate
- 1.5 million euros (plus 500,000 euros devices) for 5 years
- (depending on the time of career) at least 1 “important” publication without doctoral supervisor
- Further benchmarks:
- Publication with first authorship
- Presentations at international conferences or
- International Science Awards
- Observe deadlines
The state and federal governments also support junior research groups within their specialist framework programs and in the course of specific calls for proposals. Please note the following for junior research groups funded by the ministry:
- Application-oriented basic research
- Matching the proposed projects to funding policy objectives
- Qualification for management tasks in business or research
- Technology transfer and product perspective
- Concrete relation to industrial implementation
- Aim of the research work including products and processes with sufficient market relevance and added value
Junior Research Groups at a Glance
If you are interested in applying for a Junior Research Group, please contact us as early as possible. Applications must usually be signed with a legally binding signature and usually preceded by a declaration from the employer. In addition, it must be clarified in advance with the respective Department whether the applicant is entitled to a doctorate.
The preparation of applications for external funding follows standard processes at the TU Dortmund University, which ensure that researchers receive the best possible support and that formalities and deadlines can be fulfilled or met.
Services and contact persons
Research Support Services offers you a comprehensive range of services regarding the application for a Junior Research Group. We are happy to support you both from the Grants Services and from the Graduate Center TU Dortmund.