Promotion of young researchers

Phase Model for Young ResearchersWith the HU Phase Model, the Humboldt-Universität’s Institutional Strategy places a particular focus on promoting young researchers from their first degree to professorship. Thereby, it puts special emphasis on the transitions between each stage of their career. Funding concentrates on transitions with a high drop-out rate, for example the one from a PhD to the postdoctoral phase or from there to a professorship. There is also a special focus on young female researchers – this is to address the problem of the number of women in top-level research decreasing with each career stage.

In the coming years, Humboldt-Universität will promote outstanding young researchers through the following programmes:

  • Promoting young researchers at the bachelor’s level: Research-oriented teaching will be expanded in the coming years using the €13 million in funding from the Quality Pact for Teaching of Germany’s federal and state governments. The core project, the HU Q Programme, aims to make students excited about research at the beginning of their studies.
  • Easing the transition between graduating from a master’s programme and acquiring PhD funding: Humboldt-Universität awards Research Tracks to excellent master’s students so that they can fully concentrate on preparing for their PhD.
  • Expanding the structured PhD programmes: Faculties and departments can be awarded sets of PhD scholarships for small structured PhD programmes. The idea is to further improve the quality of PhD training and to increase the number of structured PhD programmes.
  • Promoting young female researchers early on in their path to top-level research: The grants awarded as part of the Caroline von Humboldt Programme aim to mitigate the structural barriers that women face in their academic careers. They are also designed to get young female researchers interested in a PhD at Humboldt-Universität at an early stage, or to support them in a research stay abroad during their PhD.
  • Providing systematic support in the postdoctoral phase: Humboldt-Universität’s Postdoctoral Scholarships make up a new programme that provides support during the difficult phase between PhD and professorship. They give individuals time to write proposals and applications, and to prepare for an academic career. To increase the number of women in top-level research, half of the Postdoctoral Fellowships and Scholarships will be awarded to female applicants.
  • Developing the tenure track concept for the Junior Professorship: Sometimes there can be a gap between the end of a Junior Professorship and the opening of a professorship. In such cases, junior professors, whose high qualifications have been confirmed in a progress report and subsequent evaluation, can be awarded interim funding from the Institutional Strategy to allow for their appointment up to three years in advance.
  • Expanding the Humboldt Graduate School: The Humboldt Graduate School will expand its support services for member programmes. It will offer administrative assistance in PhD matters, and guidance on applying for third-party funding for PhD and postdoctoral scholarships. It will collaborate with Humboldt-Universität’s International Office to perform a number of services, such as helping to arrange stays abroad. It will set up an Office for Gender Equality and Family Friendliness, and an information desk at Adlershof to promote crosscampus networking.