RWTH Junior Principal Investigator Fellowships


Vice-Rector Prof. Sabine Brück-Dürkop © Copyright: Martin Braun


Sabine Brück-Dürkop

Vice-Rector for Human Resources Management and Development


+49 241 80 94002



RWTH is now inviting excellent and experienced early career researchers to apply for 6 Junior Principal Investigator (JPI) fellowships. Support will be provided for a period of four years, with an optional fifth year. The program is designed to attract and support stellar researchers with international experience. Applications from women as well as others whose background and experience enrich the culture of the university are particularly encouraged.

The fellowships offer early-career high-potential researchers an exceptional opportunity to sharpen their research profile. The experience is designed to prepare them for success in highly competitive grant programs as well as to enhance their career prospects of becoming a professor.

  • JPIs will have the chance to develop a T-shaped profile, build strong networks, shape emerging fields and produce high-impact publications.
  • JPIs are expected to take advantage of the unique opportunities provided by the University’s Profile Areas and strategic alliances.
  • JPIs are expected to help foster new interdisciplinary collaborations.

Although the fellowships are awarded based on an open call for proposals, JPIs will be associated with a specific RWTH institute or Profile Area and are expected to establish a strong presence there.


Eligibility Criteria

  • Doctoral degree, completed within the last 3 years. Subject-specific exceptions may apply, e.g. for candidates with clinical duties and education
  • Strong academic record including publications in peer-reviewed journals, invited lectures, conference presentations, and research awards
  • At least two years of research experience outside of Germany
  • Eligible candidates must have identified a host institute or Profile Area at RWTH for their research activities. Contact information for the Profile Areas can be found under RWTH Profile Areas.

What We Offer

  • Successful candidates will be employed as junior research group leaders (full position, pay grade TV-L 14)
  • Additional funding for one full-time doctoral candidate and a research budget for consumables
  • Opportunity to supervise doctoral candidates
  • Mentoring and career development support through the University’s Advanced Talents program offered by the RWTH Center for Young Academics
  • Access to the shared cutting-edge research infrastructure in the Profile Area
  • General RWTH services including access to child care and other resources offered by the Family Services Center.


The fellowship will be awarded for a period of four years, with an optional fifth year.


To apply for the 2021 JPI Fellowship Program, you need to submit the following:

  1. A cover letter, including a statement explaining what makes your research unique and stimulating (max. 1 page)
  2. An outline of your research proposal (max. 4 pages, excluding references). This should describe the main idea behind your research, the methods you intend to use, the potential impact of your research on both your field and others, as well as the importance and societal relevance of your
  3. CV (max. 4 pages)
  4. Name of your prospective host institute or Profile Area at RWTH
  5. A copy of doctoral degree certificate (and, for languages other than English or German, a certified translation of the doctoral certificate)
  6. Copies of other degrees certificates (e.g. B.A./B.Sc./M.A./M.Sc.)
  7. A list of publications including copies of your top five academic papers
  8. Contact information for references

How to Apply

The Call for applications of RWTH JPI Fellowships 2021 has closed on February 9, 2021.



All proposals meeting the formal requirements are evaluated by the rectorate, selected RWTH faculty members and external reviewers. Short-listed candidates will be invited for interviews and to give a presentation at a virtual symposium in June 2021. To protect your health as well as ours, we will not be holding any face to face interviews. Regarding the new schedule we will personally inform all candidates in time.