RWTH Junior Principal Investigator Fellowships


Doris Klee, Vice-Rector for Human Resources Management and Development at © Copyright: Peter Winandy


Doris Klee

Vice-Rector for Human Resources Management and Development


+49 241 80 90221



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 institution or Profile Area and are expected to establish a strong presence there.


Eligible Individuals

  • must have completed their doctoral degree within the last three years
  • must have a strong academic record including publications in peer-reviewed journals, invited lectures, conference presentations and research awards
  • should have at least two years of research experience outside of Germany
  • must have identified a host institution or Profile Area at RWTH. Contact information for the Profile Areas can be found at 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 2020 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. A copy of doctoral degree certificate (and, for languages other than English or German, a certified translation of the doctoral certificate)
  5. Copies of other degrees certificates (e.g. B.A./B.Sc./M.A./M.Sc.)
  6. A list of publications including copies of your top five academic papers
  7. Contact information for references

How to Apply

The call for applications for RWTH JPI Fellowships 2020 closed on February 26, 2020. Candidates are welcome to apply for the call for RWTH JPI Fellowships 2021 from December 15, 2020.



All proposals meeting the formal requirements will be 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 symposium.

The corona pandemic is currently having a significant impact on everyone's professional and private lives. Therefore, in the interest of public safety, we are currently not holding any selection interviews in person. We will personally inform candidates of the new schedule in due course.