Support for Junior Researchers / Looking to the future

ne of the important goals Goethe University has set itself is to attract outstanding junior research - ers from in- and outside Germany. Doctoral candidates receive structured education and training at the German Graduate Academy ( GRADE ); the academy supports approximately 20 percent of the 6,600 doctoral candidates. GRADE was founded as a multi-disciplinary platform in 2009 and its com - prehensive range of services includes training programmes, networking events and individual coaching and advice.

Doctoral candidates are also supported in numer - ous subject-specific graduate programmes in parallel with GRADE . Two of the total of thirteen research training groups were newly established by the German Research Foundation ( DFG ) in 2014. Under the new EU research funding programme Horizon 2020, Goethe University successfully applied for three Marie Curie Innovative Training Networks ( ITN ) for structured doctoral candidate education and training. This brings the total number of European doctoral candidate net - works in which the university is involved to 17. Three doctorate programmes are also offered, and the uni - versity collaborates with external partners such as the Max Planck Institute and the Helmholtz Associa - tion in supporting junior researchers.

The Goethe International Postdoc Programme ( GO - IN ) was specifically developed to promote excellent junior researchers from outside Germany. Postdoctor - ates can conduct their individual research at one of the university’s research foci. The fellowships are partly financed from EU funds. In 2014, they were award - ed to four junior researchers and to date a total of 19 postdoctorates have participated in the programme.

The early academic independence of postdoctoral junior researchers is also important to the state of Hesse. This is demonstrated by the state’s approval in 2014 of an extension to its internal funding pro - gramme Junior Researchers in Focus . Its purpose is to assist postdoctoral junior researchers in preparing their individual research projects and in acquiring the necessary third-party funding, thereby increasing the opportunity for academic independence at an early stage of their careers. 23 innovative projects were awarded funding under this programme in 2014. The supplementary funding line Career development, launched in 2013 with the aim of preparing doctorates for managerial posts, has been further consolidated; 43 postdoctorates have participated in the two-year programme to date.

A further two scientists successfully applied to the DFG for funding under the prestigious Emmy Noether programme in 2014; this is in addition to the existing eight Emmy Noether junior research groups at the university. The new Faculty of Biochemistry junior research group of Dr Inga Hänelt is studying the differ - ences and similarities of channels and transporters in substrate exchange, and Prof. Melissa Lê-Hoa Võ has started her research at the Institute of Psycholo - gy on cognitive knowledge structures in the percep - tion of scenes.

To mark the centenary, the annual conference of the German University Association of Advanced Graduate Training (Uni- W i ND / GUAT ), Advancing Junior Researchers 2.0 was hosted by Goethe Universi - ty in October 2014. Goethe University has been on the Board of this network of currently 39 universities since 2013. 200 participants from universities, univer - sities of applied sciences, graduate institutions, aca - demic organi sations and from government discussed the chal lenges and future for the advancement of junior research. The conference was sponsored by the Federal Minister for Education and Research, Prof. Johanna Wanka