Junior Research Group Leader (JRGL) Preparation Program


Early career researchers who work on post-lithium batteries or related topics and who look for a stimulating and excellent environment to pursue their research ideas are invited to apply now for one of two available positions in the POLiS JRGL Preparation Program. The application deadline is October 31 (exclusion date), each year.

What is the JRGL Preparation Program?

The POLiS JRGL Preparation Program provides early career researchers with the opportunity to raise funding for and establish a third-party funded junior research group in the Cluster. Participants spend two years as a postdoc at one of the partner universities (Ulm University, KIT, JLU Gießen) while preparing the proposal for their junior research group. Funding includes the position of the participant, a budget for supplies and travel, and initial funding for small investments. Participants are expected to complete an application for a high-profile junior research group through programs such as Emmy Noether, European Research Council, German Federal Ministry of Research (BMBF) or similar. The program provides all participants with individual support in their career development as well as in preparing their proposal.

Downloads and Contact

Who can apply?

Candidates who apply for a position in the POLiS JRGL Preparation Program must have:

  • Completed their doctorate/PhD no longer than four years ago at the time of application, depending on the specific JRGL program (Emmy Noether, ERC etc.). For applicants with children, longer periods apply (typically 2 years extra per child).
  • A promising research idea in the research field of POLiS
  • A strong scientific record of achievement (measured in relation to their career level), including publications in peer-reviewed international scientific journals, that qualifies them for a leadership position
  • Willingness to take on responsibility and develop their skills and personality as a researcher
  • Analytical and project management skills
  • Excellent communication and language skills in English and a highly cooperative working style

How to apply?

Please submit your application via our website form. The application deadline is October 31 (exclusion date), each year. The following documents must be provided:

  • Filled application form (below)
  • Curriculum vitae (max. 2 pages)
  • List of peer-reviewed publications
  • Description of your research idea (template)
  • Transcripts and copy of your university degree, copy of your doctoral/PhD certificate

Selection Process

We follow a two-stage selection process: (a) Pre-selection based on the written applications, (b) final selection during an “Exploration Week” organized in Ulm and Karlsruhe. Written applications will be reviewed by an interdisciplinary experts committee. Candidates who successfully pass this pre-selection will be invited to an Exploration Week at POLiS. During this week, applicants will:

  • Get to know POLiS and its research environment as well as get information on research funding opportunities in Germany
  • Present their research proposal to the experts committee and members of your potential host institute
  • Have the opportunity to interact with relevant people of your potential host institute as well as to discuss the integration of your research idea into the POLiS research program

The final selection of program participants will be based on the presentation of the applicants' research topic evaluated by an interdisciplinary committee of experts at the end of the exploration week. Please note that you need the support of one of the members (PIs) of POLiS to participate in the final selection.

Program benefits

  • The establishment of a junior research group at the Cluster is an important step on your career path towards a professorship.
  • Program participants will be part of an excellent research environment for carrying out their research ideas.
  • Ulm University, KIT, and JLU Gießen provide excellent support and professional skills training, and experienced members of the Cluster will provide scientific mentoring and administrative support.
  • The Cluster provides individual support in writing a successful proposal for a third-party funded junior research group.

Application Form

Personal Information
Scientific Career
Details on targeted Junior Research Group
Cooperating Organizations at POLiS
Please indicate at least one institute with a contact person at POLiS that matches your research idea and that could serve as a suitable host institute for preparing and establishing your junior research group. We strongly recommend that you contact the head of the institute you are interested in before you apply in order to discuss your options.

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