Early-Career Researchers


RWTH Center for Young Academics

Four people talking © Copyright: Thilo Vogel

The RWTH Center for Young Academics is the umbrella organization for all activities promoting early-career researchers from doctoral studies to the postdoc phase to qualification periods for future professorial appointments.

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Career Paths of Junior Researchers at RWTH

Dialogue between junior professors and students © Copyright: RWTH Aachen

Early-career researchers progress through different qualification phases after their doctoral studies. However, the decision to work in industry or pursue an academic career is often made late in the process. The University has created ideal framework conditions for career development and presents its researchers with transparent career paths both at and outside of the University early on.

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Target Groups

Doctoral candidates sit at a table and listen to a presentation © Copyright: Thilo Vogel

Doctoral Candidates

You've finished your Master's and your future is wide open: Those who want to research after their studies traditionally pursue a doctoral degree. Doctoral studies at RWTH Aachen are the first phase of professional practice and are thus application-oriented.

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Man stands at podium © Copyright: Thilo Vogel


Postdocs are researchers in the first few years after doctoral studies who are expanding their academic profile through independent research work. Their career objectives are in science or science-related fields.

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Three people talking © Copyright: Andreas Schmitter

Advanced Talents

Advanced Talents are postdocs in the qualification period for future professorial appointments. At RWTH Aachen they include junior research group leaders, postdocs with awards and fellowships, and junior professors both with or without a tenure-track appointment. Our objective is to optimally support these advanced talents on their path to a permanent appointment.

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Junior Professor Christina Büsing © Copyright: Mirko Krenzel für VolkswagenStiftung

Junior Professorship

A junior professorship serves as a career step for early career researchers to gain further scientific qualifications after having completed their doctoral studies and to prepare them for a lifetime professorship. RWTH Aachen offers outstanding researchers the opportunity to do research and teach at the university in an independent manner. Successfully completing a junior professorship fulfills the prerequisite for being appointed to a professorship.

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Professor in a lab © Copyright: Sascha Kreklau

Tenure Track

Researchers appointed to tenure track positions may advance their career through the tenure track process and, upon successful evaluation, be appointed to a permanent position as a full professor.

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Researchers in conversation © Copyright: Thilo Vogel

Within the framework of RWTH Aachen's Institutional Strategy, junior researchers founded the Aachen Center for Young Researchers, AixCYR for short, in 2009. Academic staff members pursuing an academic career, principally ones who have already completed a doctoral degree at RWTH Aachen, come together in AixCYR.

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