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Supporting young people and early-career scientists is one of Forschungszentrum Jülich's central concerns. Introducing children and teenagers to research, developing innovative structures for vocational training, and providing early-career scientists with outstanding conditions for achieving excellence – these tasks have been brought together under the banner of juelich_horizons. The strategic development of Jülich's support for young and early-career scientists is coordinated within Corporate Development.

Promoting Action at All Stages of Education

Foto Heads


works with outstanding early-career scientists at postdoc level.

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Foto Chances


addresses students and graduates from Germany and abroad.

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Foto Tracks


is aimed at young people in their training and early career stages.

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Foto Impuls


targets children and young people, starting with kindergarten children and covering all types of schools.

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Promoting Excellence, Equal Opportunities, and Internationalization

All support services aim to generate excellence in all stages of education, training, and career development. Broad-based support will be applied at first wherever it is appropriate and feasible, especially in the early stages of the educational process – to provide impulses, discover talents, and foster excellence. In this way, Forschungszentrum Jülich introduces children and young people to research and helps to further knowledge transfer while simultaneously fulfilling its special responsibility as a publicly funded research institution.

Another guiding principle is the promotion of equal opportunities for men and women. Bearing scientific career paths in mind, Jülich's self-imposed quotas (which are distinctly higher than those recommended in the Helmholtz Association guidelines) are particularly important for achieving this aim. In order to achieve a better balance between the sexes, the Board of Directors has therefore decided to implement quotas for the share of women scientists at different stages of the career ladder. The aim of these quotas is to incentivize the promotion of women, to employ the best talent at Forschungszentrum Jülich regardless of gender, and in doing so to ensure truly equal opportunities. Creating appropriate employment conditions will also allow employees to balance their work at Forschungszentrum Jülich on the one hand and their family obligations on the other. In December 2013, Jülich was re-certified as a family-friendly employer in the "berufundfamilie" (career and family) audit.

Another important element in promoting young talent is internationalization. International frames of reference have become more and more important and this development must be continuously sustained in order to remain competitive both in Europe and at a global level. This process of internationalization always follows scientific objectives and is continuously fostered both internally and externally. It is reflected not only in the institutional structures of cross-border educational and research associations and large-scale projects, but also in the competition to attract the best minds of tomorrow. This has less to do with "brain gain" (international recruitment) or "brain drain" (the loss of expertise), and more with recognizing that the promotion of "brain circulation" will be a key to the future internationalization strategy. Creating conditions that promote international networking on an institutional as well as an individual level and hence prepare early-career scientists in particular to compete globally will have a positive knock-on effect in the long term and make Forschungszentrum Jülich a more attractive employer.

Through transparent and competition-oriented promotion, selection, and evaluation processes, Forschungszentrum Jülich will take a tactical approach in its support for young scientists under the banner of juelich_horizons and will anchor the guiding principles stated above to all four cornerstones of its work in supporting young scientists.