Seeking Excellent Young Scientists by yurtgc548


									Mitglied der Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft

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                                      Seeking Excellent Young Scientists
                                      Opportunities for Brilliant Minds
Research in Jülich means …

                                  » Researchers at Jülich conduct world-class research on pressing issues facing society, science and in-
                                   dustry. Our focus lies on three main topics: health, energy and environment, and information technology.
                                   This does not just call for extensive experience but also for young talents and new ideas. This is what
                                   our committed young scientists from all over the world offer us. «
                                                                                             Professor Achim Bachem, Chairman of the Board of Directors

    Facts and Figures
    Partners                   Federal Republic of Germany
                                   North Rhine-Westphalia
                                                                            » Young scientists advance science. What they need above all else is
    Budget                            € 360 million per year                  freedom in their research. This is given to them at Forschungszentrum
                                   (including special tasks)
                                                                              Jülich. Together with the excellent facilities and close contact with ded-
    Total                                             4399                    icated colleagues, this provided me with a solid base for my research
    Scientists                                        1278
    including PhD students and scholarship holders     377
                                                                              results which were recognised by the Nobel Prize .«
    Technical staff                                   1460                                                    Professor Peter Grünberg, Nobel Prize for Physics 2007
    Trainees                                           348
    Visiting scientists                     more than 800
                          from over 50 countries per annum

          » Forschungszentrum Jülich is one of the largest interdisciplinary research institutions in Europe. Its
            scientific excellence and facilities make it an attractive location for young scientists and offer the
            best prospects for the future. We support scientists in putting their projects into practice. “We” in
            this sense means that every single member of staff gives 100 % all of the time in order to ensure
            that our research centre is positioned for success in the scientific arena. «
                                                                   Dr. Ulrich Krafft, Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors

2                                                                                                                                 Forschungszentrum Jülich | Young Scientists
Table of Contents

Focus on Young Scientists                                                            4                   Service – With a Capital “S”                                                        18
   Creative and Excellent                                                            6                      Family and Research – No Problem!                                                20
   Peak Performance within Seconds                                                   7                      Flexible Working Hours                                                           21
   Research at the Control Centre                                                    8                      Engineers with a Mind for Research                                               22
   “We`re Building the Future”                                                       8                      Central Library                                                                  23
   Insights into Living Tissue                                                       9

                                                                                                         Well-Planned Careers                                                                24
Cooperations Stimulate the Knowledge Spiral                                         10                      The Leaders of Tomorrow                                                          26
   JARA Opens a New Dimension                                                       12                      Personal Initiative is Rewarded                                                  28
   Researching in the Spirit of an Alliance                                         14                      Scientifically Independent                                                       30
   On the Happiness of Knowledge                                                    15                      “What Jülich Offers is Unique”                                                   31
   Brilliant Minds Comes From All Over the World                                    16
   Visiting Scientists                                                              17

Publication Details
Published by: Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH | 52425 Jülich | Tel.: +49 2461 61-4661 | Fax: +49 2461 61-4666 | Internet: Scientific consulting: Dr. Bärbel Köster Design
and editing: Angela Lindner, Katja Spross, Germany Authors: Uschi Heidel, Dr. Isabell Lisberg-Haag, Katja Spross, Ruth Kuntz-Brunner Translation: Language Services,
Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH Graphics und layout: SeitenPlan Corporate Publishing GmbH | Dortmund Printing: Druckerei Medienhaus Plump GmbH Cover photograph: Franziska Richter
Photographs: Ralf-Uwe Limbach (p. 4/5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10/11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18/19, 20, 21, 23 right, 24/ 25, 26, 27, 31), Marek Behr/RWTH Aachen (graphic p. 13), W.-P. Schneider (p. 22), An-
dresr (p. 23, 28), Studium Universale (p. 29) Notice pursuant to § 33 Federal Data Protection Act: Excerpts from this brochure may be reproduced without any further approval, provided that
the respective author and Forschungszentrum Jülich are referred to in the publication. A reference copy is requested. All other rights reserved. Copies published: 2000 As of: March 2008

Young Scientists | Forschungszentrum Jülich                                                                                                                                                        3
4   Forschungszentrum Jülich | Young Scientists
                                              Focus on Young Scientists
                                              • From supercomputers to deep brain pacemakers
                                              • Interdisciplinary and international
                                              • Excellent scientific environment
                                              • Outstanding scientific and technical infrastructure

                                              Forschungszentrum Jülich focuses on the grand challenges that will face society
                                              in the future and thus helps to shape tomorrow’s world. In the three research priori-
                                              ties – health, energy and environment and information technology – physicists,
                                              chemists, biologists, medical scientists, and engineers work towards finding innova-
                                              tive and sustainable solutions. With an interdisciplinary and international character,
                                              Forschungszentrum Jülich offers the ideal environment for fruitful future-oriented
                                              research. This means that Jülich, as one of the largest research institutions in Eu-
                                              rope, is in a position to target young scientists. After all, they are the leading minds
                                              of tomorrow.

Young Scientists | Forschungszentrum Jülich                                                                                              5
                                                             Creative and Excellent
                                                             Young, highly qualified researchers work hand in hand at Jülich on new
                                                             procedures and technologies and they create the foundations for future key
                                                             technologies. The close proximity to experienced colleagues and scientists of
                                                             other disciplines motivates, opens new and unexpected perspectives, and
                                                             gives rise to the creative atmosphere that world-class research requires.

    Professor Peter Grünberg, Nobel Prize for Physics 2007

                                                                        nd world-class research comes from Jülich.            the bottom of structures and molecular mechanisms in
                                                                        Physics, materials science and the simulation         the brain in resolutions that were previously impossible.
                                                                        sciences provide the basis for “brilliant minds” to   This has been made possible by combining the advantages
                                                                        obtain results that spread far beyond Germany         of magnetic resonance tomography and positron emis-
                                                             and Europe. For instance, the research of Jülich solid-state     sion tomography in the one large device. The PhyTech
                                                             physicist Professor Peter Grünberg who was awarded               experimental facility for cultivating plants is another
                                                             the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2007. Or JUGENE, which is         highlight. In the state-of-the-art greenhouse with special
                                                             currently the fastest computer in the world used for civil       solar glass and integrated climate chambers, plants grow
                                                             purposes.                                                        under field-like radiation conditions and they are investi-
                                                                 Fundamental impulses and scientific knowledge often          gated using new nuclear magnetic resonance methods.
                                                             arise at the interfaces between the classical disciplines.
                                                             This is where the strengths and the excellence of Jülich
                                                             lie. For example, physicists and medical scientists are
                                                             jointly developing the Jülich deep brain pacemaker, and
                                                                                                                                Information Technology
Research with Large-Scale                                    biologists, simulation scientists and physicists work hand         and Key Technologies
Facilities                                                   in hand on atmosphere research.
                                                                 In Jülich, strong basic research emerges that simulta-         • From components based on silicon to molecular
• Simulation sciences                                        neously exploits the broad potential for application. On             electronics
  (JSC; NIC; supercomputers)                                 campus, different areas of expertise are brought together          • From spintronics to quantum information processing
• Neutron research                                           and complement each other in quite a unique way.                   • Computational science: development of algorithms,
  (JCNS Munich, Oak Ridge, Grenoble)                         Medium-sized equipment and large-scale facilities guaran-            new architectures, grid computing
• Fusion research                                            tee an outstanding scientific and technological infrastruc-        • Biophysics: from soft matter to the system of the cell
  (TEXTOR, JET, ITER)                                        ture. A good example is SAPHIR. In the twenty-metre                • Biotechnology: development and optimisation of cells
• Hadron physics                                             long simulation chamber, troposphere researchers inves-              as factories – from the gene to the product
  (COSY, FAIR)                                               tigate the photochemical reactions of the atmosphere.              • From bioelectronics to novel architectures
                                                             Using a 9.4-tesla MR-PET, neuroscientists try to get to

6                                                                                                                                                    Forschungszentrum Jülich | Young Scientists
                                                                                                                           Marjana Ležaic
Information Technology

Peak Performance within Seconds
Supercomputing is one of the most innovative fields in            They work in an outstanding infrastructure, are sup-
                                                                                                                           Information Technology
Forschungszentrum Jülich. This key competency pre-            ported by competent colleagues, and have access to
pares the way for new findings.                               high-quality hardware that is otherwise difficult to find.   A Successful Team
Supercomputers have long been the third pillar of re-         A wide range of training opportunities exists for young
search – just as important as theory and experiment.          scientists. The German Research School for Simulation        “The working conditions are fantastic”, said physicist
Simulations are one of the flexible tools used by many        Sciences offers a masters course and a PhD programme.        Marjana Ležaic. “I can find everything that I need on
scientists. The calculations show how proteins fold in the        Jülichs expertise accelerates research – not just with   campus – from quick and easy access to the large-
body, how semiconductors function or how galaxies are         short computing times, but also with professional sup-       scale facilities to first aid when my own PC goes on
formed. They become important when experiments can-           port. The team of supercomputer and applications ex-         strike.” The 36-year-old Serbian is currently setting
not be conducted because they are too big, too complex,       perts continuously analyses and optimises the software       up her own Helmholtz Young Investigators Group, for
too dangerous, too expensive, or when they are simply         employed by the scientific users.                            which she has been granted an annual budget of
impossible.                                                       More and more research groups are requesting more        € 250,000 for a period of five years and the possi-
    Jülich computer expertise is much sought after. Highly    and more computing time: they want to solve complex          bility of tenure.
complex calculations that would normally take weeks or        problems in physics, chemistry and medicine. Jülich              With the aid of supercomputer simulations,
even months can be dealt with in Forschungszentrum            supports this pioneering research in cooperation with        Marjana Ležaic investigates the magnetic proper-
Jülich within a few days. Depending on the task, scientists   German and European partners and is expanding its ex-        ties of materials and aims to optimise them. Newly
can make use of two types of supercomputers: JUGENE,          pertise and capacities correspondingly. In 2009, For-        developed materials can be used later in micro- and
which is currently the fastest civil computer in the world,   schungszentrum Jülich will break the one-petaflop            nanoelectronics, as well as in spintronics, to increase
for highly parallel problems, and a cluster computer based    barrier. In more concrete terms: a computing power of        the storage volume of data. “The supercomputer is
on the most modern processor and network technologies.        1015 floating point operations per second will then be       my everyday tool, without which I would make no
    The supercomputers in the Jülich Supercomputing           possible. With its leading role in the European PRACE        progress in my research.” The young researcher also
Centre are used for calculations by around 200 European       Initiative, Jülich is on the way to becoming a European      appreciates the possibility of being able to discuss
research groups. Materials scientists, particle physicists,   supercomputer centre.                                        scientific issues with her colleagues at any time, of
medical scientists or environmental researchers – all can                                                                  being able to invite external experts to Jülich, and of
apply for computing time. Young scientists also benefit                                                                    being able to participate in international conferences
from the facilities.                                                                                                       without the red tape.

Young Scientists | Forschungszentrum Jülich                                                                                                                                      7

Researching at the Control Centre                                  Health
People are living longer and neurological and psychi-              • Investigation of the structure and function of           They are also developing a demand-controlled brain
atric diseases are becoming more common. This is                     the brain                                                pacemaker, which is intended to improve motor skills in
the reason why Jülich scientists work on the brain in a            • The basics, diagnostics, treatment, and                  Parkinson’s patients. Team work is a matter of course
unique way.                                                          prevention of neurological and psychiatric               here: nuclear chemists work in close cooperation with
Medical scientists, physicists, chemists, psychologists,             diseases: dementia, Alzheimer’s, depression,             the brain researchers. They develop radiopharmaceu-
biologists, and engineers want to understand how the                 schizophrenia, Parkinson’s                               ticals, which help to make molecular processes, such
brain works and how the healthy and diseased nervous               • Development and improvement of imaging                   as those in the brain, visible. The young scientist, Dr.
systems differ from each other. They explore signal trans-           techniques for brain research                            Johannes Ermert, focuses on radiochemical synthesis
duction between individual neurons as well as neural               • Structural biology studies on important                  methods. The excellent facilities in the laboratories are
circuits in the system as a whole. They are creating a               proteins                                                 central to his research. “The facilities are much better
map of the brain – three dimensional and accurate to the           • Signal transduction between single cells                 than in university. I have no difficulty in obtaining new
millimetre – in order to be able to recognise changes at                                                                      substances and can avail of the latest equipment.”
an early point.                                                                                                               Another plus point: the chemist’s research results can be
                                                                                                                              quickly analysed and verified directly on campus.

Energy and Environment

“We’re Building the Future”
Dr. Zdenek Porš (30) is a group leader at the Institute of     To what extent did the scientific environment in Jülich
Energy Research – Fuel Cells (IEF-3). The mechanical en-       contribute to your success?
gineer from Prague is working on the development of a          Discussions with scientists from a variety of disciplines
compact system, which generates hydrogen for fuel cells        help my research to progress. And I benefit greatly
from diesel in a vehicle. His priority: a new design for the   from this here. The technical infrastructure also has
mixing chamber.                                                a number of significant advantages over universities.
                                                               For example, our workshop constructs customised mod-
Why did you apply to Forschungszentrum Jülich in 2002          els for me. The supercomputer is also an invaluable tool.
for a position as a PhD student?                               It allowed me to reduce my computing time from several
Forschungszentrum Jülich has an excellent reputation in        weeks to a few days.
fuel cell technology. I saw an opportunity of being able to
contribute to the development of a new way of generating       What advice would you give to young scientists?
electricity.                                                   If I had the opportunity of doing my PhD again in Jülich,
                                                               I still wouldn’t hesitate for a second. With their different
And were you successful?                                       branches of research, Jülich scientists have a lot to say to
Yes, I now own a patent, I have applied for two more, and      society – whether it has to do with new energies or better
I am involved in another patent application.                   drugs. We’re building the future.

                                                                                                             Zdenek Porš

8                                                                                                                                                   Forschungszentrum Jülich | Young Scientists
Energy and Environment

Insights into Living Tissue
After working in industry for a few years, Dr. Marion I.
Menzel decided to come to Forschungszentrum Jülich.
The 33-year-old scientist was attracted by the prospect
of playing a part in setting up the EcoNMR group at the
Institute of Chemistry and Dynamics of the Geosphere
(ICG-3: Phytosphere). “As a young scientist in Jülich, I can
conduct research on the large-scale facilities, and work
in an interdisciplinary environment on attractive scien-
tific issues.” Marion Menzel is a member of the research
group “Enabling Technologies”, which aims to establish
non-invasive imaging techniques, similar to those used in
medicine, for the analysis of plants. Among other things,        Energy and
the young scientist investigates aspects associated with
the transport of nutrients and water in plants – and she
does so without cutting them open. Magnetic resonance
                                                                 • Renewable energies:
imaging (MRI) techniques give us valuable insights into
living tissue without damaging it – this is the only way of
                                                                 • Efficient energy conversion:
conducting dynamic studies on living plants. Marion Men-
                                                                   fuel cells, materials for more
zel is working on new contrast mechanisms in order to
                                                                   efficient power plants, mem-
expand the possibilities of imaging techniques for plants
                                                                   brane development for CO2
and their root zones.
    “Having direct access to imaging equipment means
                                                                 • New energy sources: nuclear
that I benefit from significantly more measuring and
development time than young scientists at universi-
                                                                 • Nuclear safety research
ty clinics, for example”, she said. Free from teaching
                                                                 • Energy systems analysis
commitments, she can concentrate completely on her
research. The Library has proven to be extremely useful.
                                                                 • Atmosphere research: chem-
“The provision of literature is excellent.” The electrical
                                                                   istry of the atmosphere,
and mechanical workshops are also important for the
                                                                   international measurement
experimental scientist. “What is produced there is of pro-
                                                                   campaigns, model calculations
fessional quality.”
                                                                 • Plants as a system: growth and
                                                                   function, plants as raw materi-
                                                                   als and bioproduction systems
                                                                 • Insights into soil and ground-
                                                                   water: sustainable use

                                              Marion I. Menzel

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10                           Forschungszentrum Jülich | Young Scientists
                                              Cooperations Stimulate
                                              the Knowledge Spiral
                                              • Jülich-Aachen Research Alliance (JARA)
                                              • Synergy cluster for research
                                              • New models of support for young scientists
                                              • Strategic partnerships with universities from abroad
                                              • 35 % international PhD students

                                              First-class research today is mainly accomplished in networks. Forschungszentrum
                                              Jülich takes this challenge seriously and cooperates both regionally and globally
                                              with outstanding partners – these multifaceted cooperations open new windows of
                                              opportunity for young scientists.
                                                  A striking example is the new alliance between Forschungszentrum Jülich and
                                              RWTH Aachen University. The “Jülich-Aachen Research Alliance - JARA” is one of the
                                              biggest research alliances in Europe.
                                                  Cooperations with globally leading, excellent research institutions and universities
                                              from China to the USA provide the basis for the exchange of diploma students,
                                              PhD students, and postdocs. In these strategic partnerships, the participants pursue
                                              shared interests – from setting up research priorities to training and further

Young Scientists | Forschungszentrum Jülich                                                                                              11
JARA Opens a New Dimension
Pioneering science knows fewer and fewer boundaries – whether it be between the disciplines or between the
researchers. Research can hardly be separated from technological developments. This lively exchange is being
intensified in a new alliance between RWTH Aachen University and Forschungszentrum Jülich: the “Jülich-Aachen
Research Alliance – JARA”.

                                             ARA means a new level of quality for research:           JARA-BRAIN
                                             The alliance gives structure to the diverse rela-
                                             tionships that have developed between Aachen and
                                                                                                      Team Work is a Given
                                             Jülich over the years. It overcomes institutional hur-
                                       dles, and it intensifies shared, socially relevant             JARA-BRAIN boosts the successful cooperation between
                                       research. Over 11,000 people are employed by the two           University Hospital Aachen and the Jülich Institute of
                                       institutions and their annual budget is around € 900 mil-      Neurosciences and Biophysics by providing important
                                       lion.                                                          stimuli in three areas:
                                           Today, JARA is already considered as a model for na-       • recognising changes in the brain that signal diseases
                                       tionally and internationally acclaimed partnerships with a        using imaging techniques,
                                       new degree of freedom. This includes joint appointments,       • novel treatment methods, such as the deep brain
                                       large research investments, and well-defined funding              pacemaker for Parkinson’s patients,
                                       structures for young scientists who want to acquire quali-     • technical and methodological innovations. Forschung-
                                       fications in new fields of research.                              zentrum Jülich has a unique infrastructure that is
                                           To date, there are four JARA sections: neurosciences          continuously being improved, for example, in the
                                       (JARA-BRAIN), computer simulation (JARA-SIM), informa-            fields of neuroimaging, brain mapping, cellular
                                       tion technology systems (JARA-FIT), and energy technolo-          neurobiology, magnetic resonance tomography (MRT),
                                       gies (JARA-ENERGY).                                               and deep brain stimulation.

                                                                                                      Clinical Scientist
                                                                                                      An example of the new degree of freedom in research
                                                                                                      afforded by JARA is the clinical scientist. The concept,
                                                                                                      which is new in Germany, combines clinical and scien-
                                                                                                      tific activities.
                                                                                                          Within the framework of this training programme,
                                                                                                      junior professors have the opportunity of obtaining ten-
                                                                                                      ure. Young doctors or clinical psychologists at University
                                       Katrin Amunts and Karl Zilles investigate the structure        Hospital Aachen can be granted sabbatical leave for a
                                       and function of the human brain                                period of one to two years in order to conduct research

12                                                                                                                          Forschungszentrum Jülich | Young Scientists
                                                                                                                               Jülich simulation experts are involved
                                                                                                                               in improving blood pumps as heart

at Jülich. Here, they investigate neurodegenerative dis-        tion, and will go on to receive her doctorate                                                Research School for Simula-
eases (dementia, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s), schizophre-         in Aachen. In Jülich in turn, graduates from                                             tion Sciences” takes a hand-picked
nia or manic-depressive illnesses.                              Philadelphia will conduct research over a number                                   group of excellent bachelor or masters
    The new approach: basic research, clinical research,        of weeks or months. Stays abroad are part of the                                graduates and turns them into the new
and technical and methodological expertise are closely          curriculum. In this way, PhD students learn different                       research elite of computer simulation.
intertwined. This allows the clinical scientist to obtain a     ways of thinking in different cultures, and they learn how                The language of instruction for both masters
highly-qualified profile, which is tailored to provide exper-   to interact in international research networks.                and PhD programmes is English and the curriculum is
tise for urgent social problems. The clinical scientist will                                                                   transdisciplinary in the proper meaning of the word: the
be able to put the latest research results into practice                                                                       methods of computer simulation are taught and applied
faster and ultimately apply them in new strategies for                                                                         in the engineering sciences in Aachen and in the natural
prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.                                                                                          sciences in Jülich so that the two institutions comple-
                                                                Discovering Unknown Spheres                                    ment each other in their expertise. In both disciplines to-
The International Research Training Group                                                                                      day, simulation is regarded as the third pillar of research,
The “International Research Training Group” offers the          JARA-SIM is the Jülich-Aachen Research Alliance in the         alongside theory and experiment. Many research objects
best training to scientists in search of excellent qualifi-     field of computer simulations. This key technology com-        can still only be explored in virtual space.
cations and it will be integrated into JARA-BRAIN in the        plements experimental and theoretical research to an               Creating an elite at the “German Research School for
future. A team of medical scientists and psychologists          ever-greater degree. Scientists use the Jülich supercom-       Simulation Sciences” is currently one of the most spec-
fathom the relationship between brain and behaviour             puters to work on a number of research fields with good        tacular methods of supporting young scientists between
within the framework of the research group.                     prospects for the future – from the nanosciences and           Aachen and Jülich. Yet it is only one of the many options
    The researchers compare normal and disturbed                biology through energy and environmental technologies          for young scientists who often set the pace of research
emotions such as in schizophrenia and autism. RWTH              to medical engineering. JARA-SIM does not just bring re-       with their groundbreaking work. For example, Marek
Aachen University and Forschungszentrum Jülich are              search pioneers from science and engineering together. It      Behr, an engineer at RWTH Aachen University, and Felix
involved in this project together with the University of        also involves young scientists from the “German Research       Wolf from Jülich with their simulation of blood pumps
Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.                                   School for Simulation Sciences”, which is a real institution   as heart replacements. The diverse cooperations open
    This provides the basis for international carreers – for    with premises in Aachen and Jülich. A short time ago,          up new opportunities for the younger generation. With
instance for Jen-bee Ng. The PhD student from Malaysia          the partners of the Research School established it as a        its unique infrastructure, supercomputers and powerful
investigated the anatomical and functional organisation of      GmbH, which is a company with limited liability. The           imaging systems, Jülich continues to offer a particularly
the cerebral cortex in Jülich, is now conducting research       novel concept has already attracted much interest – from       attractive environment for researchers who want to dis-
in Philadelphia on the mechanisms of neuron degenera-           industry too. The reason for this is that the “German          cover unknown spheres.

Young Scientists | Forschungszentrum Jülich                                                                                                                                             13
Researching in the Spirit of an Alliance
                                   » Forschungszentrum Jülich offers young scientists an ideal start: we ac-
                                    quire a good foundation for innovative research both here and through the
                                    broad Jülich cooperation network. «
                                            Maarten R. Wegewijs, head of a Helmholtz Young Investigators Group and junior professor at RWTH
                                                                                                                           Aachen University

                                         aarten Wegewijs (35) received his PhD from         How are these research networks set up?
                                         Delft University of Technology in the Nether-      In Jülich and Aachen, researchers have established a com-
                                         lands. He is currently a junior professor and      mon research tradition with their complementary methods
                                         head of the Helmholtz Young Investigators          and expertise. You just have to be active and seize the op-
                            Group “Single-Molecule Quantum Transport”. The start-           portunity to start a collaborative project. This is ultimately
                            up financing was provided by the Helmholtz Association          how it works on an international level too.
                            with the aim of creating a cooperation between Aachen
                            and Jülich in the field of molecular electronics within the     How important is teaching?
                            next six years.                                                 Jülich professors, or at least all of the heads of institutes,
                                                                                            also lecture at a university in the region and supervise
                            You lecture at RWTH Aachen University, head a Helmholtz         PhD students. Although this means extra stress, it is also
                            Young Investigators Group and are involved in a number          hugely beneficial because it strengthens our ties with uni-
                            of collaborative projects with German and foreign re-           versity. And students are still very open to testing out new
                            searchers. What is it like working in so many coopera-          research disciplines.
                            Fascinating! Cooperations make our research possible in         What does Jülich offer these students?
                            the first place. They allow us to move at the interface be-     They can get involved in exciting research, pursue their
                            tween different disciplines and competencies. In order to       own projects, and network with excellent scientists in a
                            investigate the mechanical and magnetic aspects of mo-          variety of disciplines. Could there be a better start for a
                            lecular transistors, we develop complex models to help          career as a scientist?
                            us understand experiments. Within the framework of our
                            EU project, molecules are fabricated in Modena in Italy,        What plans do you have for the future?
                            their transistor characteristics investigated in Delft in the   After three years, my young investigators group will be
                            Netherlands, and then calculated here. While Jülich boasts      reviewed and I have a good chance of being offered a
                            a unique computing potential, RWTH Aachen University is         permanent position in Jülich. For me personally, both
                            highly specialised in the development of methods.               as a scientist and as a father, this is a very promising

                            Maarten R. Wegewijs

14                                                                                                                  Forschungszentrum Jülich | Young Scientists
On the Happiness of Knowledge
Jülich – Bonn – Cologne – Düsseldorf

     ust how in touch with reality the acquisition of knowl-      A dozen institutes with wide-ranging expertise at the
     edge can actually be was illustrated by the young         interface between physics, chemistry, and biology are in-
     Jülich physicist, Jens Elgeti. He won the Günther Leib-   volved in the training. They provide young physicists with
     fried Prize of Forschungszentrum Jülich in 2007 for       an understanding of biological systems and issues, and
the best easy-to-understand presentation of a PhD thesis.      acquaint biologists with physical methods and theoretical
The physicist convinced the jury with a vivid explanation      modelling.
of how sperm propel themselves forward and why they
always swim close to the surface. If you imagine a back-       Bonn-Cologne Graduate School
stroke swimmer whose legs are continuously pushed away         In the intense cooperation network between Forschungs-
from the edge of the swimming pool with a pole, then you       zentrum Jülich and the regional universities, the graduate
have an idea of the principle that applies to sperm where-     schools and research schools are among the highlights
by the sperm’s tail is repelled by the surface. The jury       for young scientists. For example, the Bonn-Cologne
praised the lively style of the presentation and awarded       Graduate School of Physics and Astronomy. Under the
Jens Elgeti first place, which was endowed with € 3,000.       virtual roof of the graduate school, which was awarded
   His success has a pattern: the young physicist comes        funding under the Excellence Initiative, excellent national
from the tradition of Helmholtz Graduate Schools, which        and international students complete masters or PhD
provide extremely talented PhD students with excellent         programmes, which are usually financed via third-party
training for a period of three years. Here, they benefit       funds provided by the German Research Foundation
from intensive contact with PhD students from other dis-       (DFG) and the Federal Research Ministry. Jülich contrib-
ciplines, the teaching of key qualifications, such as how      utes to the success of the experimental and theoretical
to write scientific papers, and participation in a training    research topics with its expertise in nuclear, hadron and
programme for interdisciplinary qualifications.                solid-state physics and with its very specialised infra-
   Jens Elgeti currently coordinates the Helmholtz Re-         structure. Furthermore, the Graduate School uses Jülich’s
search School “BioSoft” in Jülich with partner universities    contacts to network with the top researchers and elite
Dusseldorf and Cologne. The interdisciplinary study pro-       universities worldwide. The Jülich network of synergy
gramme prepares PhD students for research into com-            clusters for research and the promotion of young
plex biological systems at the interface between physics       scientists are continuously being expanded.
and biology. The major priorities range from the interac-
tion between complex macromolecules to the function of
the cell as a whole.                                                     Winner of the Günther Leibfried Prize: Jens Elgeti

Young Scientists | Forschungszentrum Jülich                                                                                   15
Brilliant Minds Come From All Over the World
International cooperations strengthen the foundations for excellent research
in Forschungszentrum Jülich. Contacts around the world, outstanding working
                                                                                                                              Commission (Commissariat à l‘energie atomique), which
conditions and good supervision make Jülich attractive for a large number of                                                  employs 11,000 members of staff. Like Forschungszen-
young scientists from abroad.                                                                                                 trum Jülich, CEA is one of the leading research institu-
                                                                                                                              tions in Europe in the field of the simulation of scientific
                                                                                                                              and technical experiments. The cooperation includes the
                                                                                                                              exchange of scientific staff.
                                                                                                                                  Many roads lead to Jülich. Those who do not come
                                                                                                                              within the framework of a partnership tend to get initial
                                                                                                                              information at fairs such as the China Education Exhibi-
                                                                                                                              tion in Bejing or the European Career Fair in Boston.
                                                                                                                              Every year, Forschungszentrum Jülich has stands at fairs
                                                                                                                              in Russia, China, France and the USA in an effort to reach
                                                                                                                              young scientists abroad. Whoever gets a taste here,
                                                                                                                              can whet their appetite further by visiting Jülich. A visit
                                                                                                                              for this very purpose is financed by Forschungszentrum

                                                                                                                              International programmes for PhD students
                                                                                                                              Training in Jülich is organised in just as flexible a manner
                                                                                                                              as access to Forschungszentrum Jülich. A large propor-
                                                                                                                              tion of PhD students from abroad are supervised in Jülich
                                                                                                                              for the experimental part of their PhD thesis before they
                                                                                                                              go on to receive their PhD from their university at home
                                                                                                                              or from a university in Germany. Some stay for three
                     Looking at a single atom: PhD students get to grips with the latest generation of electron microscopes
                                                                                                                              months in Jülich, others three years.
                                                                                                                                  International programmes encourage young scientists

                                                                                                                              in their research. A good example is the PhD programme
         he Russian biophysicist Valentine Borshevskij         What a university rarely achieves: almost 35 % of them         with the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science
         (23) from the Moscow Institute of Physics and         come from abroad.                                              at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow and Tongji and
         Technology is working at the Institute of Neuro-         Jülich researchers work with partners abroad in more        Jiao Tong Universities in Shanghai, which was launched in
         sciences and Biophysics on the structural             than 1,000 cooperations and the Forschungszentrum              2003. Twenty young scientists from Poland and China are
analysis of cell walls using X-rays. The Chinese physicist     welcomes around 800 visiting scientists from more than         financed through this programme each year.
Xiang Dong (29) from China University of Geosciences in        50 countries every year. Cooperations with the best                Scientific achievements are heavily dependent on an
Beijing is conducting research at the Institute of Bio- and    research institutions and universities worldwide, from         appropriate environment. This is why the management of
Nanosystems on the integration of proteins in metallic         China to the USA, provide the basis for the exchange of        young scientists in Jülich is unthinkable without the For-
circuits. These are just two of the 320 PhD students cur-      diploma students, PhD students, and postdocs An exam-          eigners’ Advisory Office. This is where the bureaucratic
rently conducting research at Forschungszentrum Jülich.        ple is the cooperation with the French Atomic Energy           hurdles facing foreign scientists are overcome.

16                                                                                                                                                   Forschungszentrum Jülich | Young Scientists
                                                                                                                                   Jerald J. Kavich
Visiting Scientists
Welcome to Jülich

         oswitha Bley is head of the Foreigners’ Advisory       I help them out with important issues – from residence
         Office in Forschungszentrum Jülich. She ensures        permits and health insurance to places for their children      Jülich | Chicago
         that scientists from abroad can enter Germany          in kindergarten.
         without any problems and is an important con-
                                                                                                                               Following in the Footsteps of a Nobel
tact person not just during the first few days.                 Where do scientists from abroad live when they come            Laureate
                                                                to Jülich?
                            What do you do to help the          Forschungszentrum Jülich has apartments in its Gäste-          “In Jülich, there are a vast number of resources and
                               young scientists settle in       haus. A number of house owners in Jülich also let out fur-     an extremely productive atmosphere. This brings my
                               and to make their stay in        nished rooms at good rates, and this is something that is      research into a new dimension”, said the enthusiastic
                               Jülich a pleasant one?           particularly appreciated by young scientists.                  American Jerald J. Kavich. The PhD student from the
                               B e f o r e t h ey c o m e to                                                                   University of Illinois in Chicago conducts research at
                                 Jülich, I answer any ques-     Should scientists be able to speak German?                     the renowned Argonne National Laboratory on ferro-
                                tions they may have, for        English is enough. This holds for Forschungszentrum Jülich     magnetic oxide layers, which he investigates using X-
                               example about visas or           as well as for the surrounding area. The people living in      ray scattering experiments. Kavich decided to come
                            life in Germany. When they          Jülich are used to our visiting scientists from all over the   to the Institute of Solid State Research in Jülich for
                           have arrived, I speak to the         world. We also offer a range of German courses, which          three months because he could learn the latest meth-
                           newcomers about all of the           many of our visiting scientists avail of – at least to learn   ods for calculating the magnetic properties of sur-
                               necessary formalities and        the basics.                                                    faces and interfaces from German professor, Stefan
                                           register them with                                                                  Blügel. He was lucky: a long-standing cooperation
                                          the authorities.      What about things to do outside of work?                       between the University of Illinois and Forschungszen-
                                                                Most of our scientists work late into the evening and tend     trum Jülich also included a scholarship programme
                                                                to eat on campus. Social events are organised by the “In-      for exchanges. Kavich: “The scientists here devote a
                                                                ternational Club” of Forschungszentrum Jülich. It holds its    lot of attention to the supervision of PhD students.
                                                                meetings directly in Jülich and it provides families in par-   For them it is a high priority.” The physicist wants to
                                                                ticular with an opportunity to meet other people. Sight-       stay in research once he has completed his PhD. He
                                                                seeing at the weekends is also a much-loved activity,          considers it a good omen for his future scientific ca-
                                                                and with good train connections to Aachen, Cologne and         reer that the German Nobel Laureate Peter Grünberg
                                                                Dusseldorf, all of these cities can be reached in less than    also made use of the “Jülich-Argonne” track in the
                                                                an hour.                                                       1980s. In the American Laboratory, he prepared the
                                              Roswitha Bley                                                                    groundwork for his future fame.

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18                           Forschungszentrum Jülich | Young Scientists
                                              Service – With a Capital “S”
                                              • Childcare from 0 to 14 years of age
                                              • Flexible working hours
                                              • Customised machines
                                              • Bibliometric analyses

                                              Science needs a good infrastructure. The environment must be right for excellent
                                              achievements. Whether it’s a question of childcare, career counselling, technical
                                              support for complex experiments, or fast computer updates – on campus at Jülich,
                                              a comprehensive range of services are close at hand.

Young Scientists | Forschungszentrum Jülich                                                                                       19
Family and Research – No Problem!
Modern staff policy must cater for the personal circumstances of every individ-
ual today more than ever. The Equal Opportunities Bureau on campus ensures
that a career in research is possible with a family.

         very woman scientist has a different set of per-         All-day care is offered for babies from the age of four
         sonal circumstances and every male researcher         months and schoolchildren up to the age of 14. Half-day
         wants different things when it comes to working       places for children under the age of three and a varied
         hours and workplace.                                  holiday programme offers opportunities that parents and
    “We try to create conditions that will suit everyone”,     children in other places can only dream of.
explained Petra Jerrentrup. The lawyer is head of the             In addition to good framework conditions, careers
Equal Opportunities Bureau, which opened in Forschungs-        need thorough and careful planning. The staff at the
zentrum Jülich in 1999. The work that Petra Jerrentrup         Equal Opportunities Bureau therefore offers intensive
and her three female colleagues do is varied: they deal        counselling services in order to help women on their way
with career counselling, childcare, teleworking, and train-    towards a career in research. They provide information
ing and further education.                                     on funding programmes and on job vacancies that suit an
    Whether relations require nursing or children need         individual’s profile, and they also organise special training
minding – female employees and their husbands can              and mentoring options. For example, the Helmholtz Net-
benefit from a number of different options. Reduced            work Mentoring Programme for young women scientists:
working hours have become as common and as normal              an experienced mentor (male or female) from another
as teleworking. Teleworkers can work up to 60 % of their       Helmholtz research centre advises and assists women
total working hours from their desks at home. A welcome        scientists for a period of one year.
                                                                                                                               Close to the campus: children enjoy themselves in good hands
trend: more and more men are availing of this oppor-              Jülich’s own Tenure Track Programme for young wom-
tunity because they want to take care of their families.       en has helped many talented young women scientists to
According to current figures, 40 % of all teleworkers are      get their careers on track.
    If both parents work and if their hours are as irregular                                                                      Between 2000 and 2005, 15 permanent positions
as those of many scientists, then reliable childcare is                                                                        were created for women in all areas of Forschungszen-
worth its weight in gold. In the “Kleine Füchse” day-care         Equal Opportunities                                          trum Jülich – a huge success on the way towards achiev-
centre, which is located right beside Forschungszentrum                                                                        ing equal opportunities. Since then, the Tenure Track
Jülich, children are in good hands. “For parents on cam-          In the last three years, around 35 men in For-               Programme has been open for young women and men.
pus, it’s extremely important that their children are close       schungszentrum Jülich have applied to work                   They can apply to head young investigators groups, which
by. This is why Forschungszentrum Jülich supports the             from home under the teleworking scheme.                      are funded by Forschungszentrum Jülich or by the Helm-
“Kleine Füchse” within the framework of a public-private          A total of 80 employees avail of an office at                holtz Association.
partnership”, said Petra Jerrentrup.                              home.

20                                                                                                                                                   Forschungszentrum Jülich | Young Scientists
                                                                                                                             Carola Meyer

» Jülich offers me both: challenging research and good childcare. That’s
 why my decision to come to Forschungszentrum Jülich was spot on. «
                                                                      Renu Batra-Safferling, 37 years of age,
                                              group leader at the Institute of Neurosciences and Biophysics


                                                                                                                             Alone Amongst Men
                                                                                                                             She received a phone call from her current Jülich
Flexible Working Hours                                                                                                       colleagues because they desperately wanted to work
                                                                                                                             with her, the specialist for quantum computing and
                                                                                                                             nanoelectronics. Carola Meyer is used to being one
The same amount of research in a reduced number of hours                                                                     of very few women in her discipline. This is why she
                                                                                                                             has a high regard for targeted support: “Positive
                                                                                                                             discrimination functions with financial incentives. If

                                                                                                                             institutes are given money and positions for excel-
    am familiar with the work situation of women scien-             She has since had two children, obtained her habilita-   lent women, then they will employ women research-
    tists in many different countries and the conditions        tion, and now has a permanent position as a group leader     ers – it’s as simple as that.” Having spoken to the
    here at Jülich are amongst the best”, said Renu             at the Institute of Neurosciences and Biophysics. After      Jülich researchers from the Institute of Solid State
    Batra-Safferling. The biologist was working at Co-          the birth of each of her children, she returned immediate-   Research, Carola Meyer applied for the Tenure Track
lumbia University in the City of New York when she saw          ly to work – with a reduced number of hours as planned.      Programme for women and had to fend off hard com-
the advertisement for the “Tenure Track Programme for           This too has to be learnt: “I began with 20 hours and am     petition. The answer she got from Jülich was positive
Women” in “Nature” in 2001. Since she and her German            now on a 34-hour week. Naturally, you miss a few things      and the then 32-year-old left Delft University of Tech-
husband wanted to return to his native country, she be-         and you can’t play the leading role in research anymore,     nology at the end of 2005. The highly qualified physi-
gan to sound out the market. “Most of the offers I got          but I have the benefit of both: an interesting job and a     cist has not ruled out the idea of having children. At
were from large companies, but Jülich was the only place        family.”                                                     the moment, she and her partner commute between
where I could conduct independent research”, said the               Her husband also plays his part. He has also reduced     Jülich and Berlin, but she hopes that this phase will
37-year-old Indian.                                             his working hours and works one day a week from home.        be short-lived. She hopes to have her evaluation
   The promise of a five-year contract, an evaluation           Renu Batra-Safferling now brings her two children to         behind before then together with the offer of a per-
after three years, and the possibility of a permanent           the “Kleine Füchse” day-care centre every morning. She       manent position, and she wants to continue to be
position after this time were important points for her ca-      knows that both of them are well looked after there and      involved in science and equal opportunities policies.
reer plan. But for Renu Batra-Safferling, these were not        she can pursue her passion for research to her heart’s       “I want to encourage talented young women to make
the only aspects: from the beginning, family and career         desire.                                                      the decision in favour of undertaking challenging re-
were important for her. She found it encouraging that                                                                        search. They can’t allow themselves be scared away
working hours could be reduced without any problems                                                                          by the conditions and the way of thinking that is still
when need be.                                                                                                                very often dominated by men.”

Young Scientists | Forschungszentrum Jülich                                                                                                                                      21
     Engineers with a Mind for Research
     Researchers have lots of ideas and need machines and facilities that are de-
     signed for their experiments. Models available on the market are often unsuit-
     able. In Forschungszentrum Jülich, the Central Technology Division ensures
     that researchers’ dreams come true.

                 ow can I use an aircraft to capture ambient air       The solution: analyse the soil sample with computer
                 without the air touching a solid body? How can    tomography. ZAT receives around 30 requests per an-
                 I keep sea urchin sperm under a microscope        num, and half of these end up as projects. Just like in
                 at a constant temperature of 15 °C? How can       science, the engineers with a mind for research often
     I determine if there is a hole made by an earthworm in a      need good stamina. Many of the projects are conducted
     soil sample? These are the types of questions that Ralph      over a period of two to three years – from the initial pre-
     Sievering and his colleagues are confronted with every        liminary study and calculations through the design and
     day. “We build things that do not yet exist. That’s what’s    construction to the first test run. For Ralph Sievering, the
     exciting about our everyday work”, said mechanical engi-      varied and highly demanding work is important because
     neer Sievering, head of the Central Technology Division       it continuously poses new challenges for him and his col-
     (ZAT) at Forschungszentrum Jülich.                            leagues. A good example is the project with the air that
         A total of 170 members of staff – physicists, engi-       must not touch any solid matter. “We calculated a tube
     neers from different disciplines and mechanics – produce      system through which the air that is sucked in can flow.
     what the researchers need for their work. What is just        The outer part of the flow of air that touches the sides of
     as important here as in science is the right composition      the tube is separated and only the core flow ends up in
     of the teams of experts. Simulation specialists are just      the measuring device”, he explained. This sounds simple
     as sought after as X-ray specialists. After all, we think     and yet it is difficult to realise.
     laterally in Jülich: in order to determine how water and          In addition to ZAT, other institutes ensure that excel-
     therefore pollutants spread in soil, the researchers asked    lent research is made a reality in Jülich and that it can be
     ZAT to develop an analytical technique for discovering        communicated. Chemical analyses, systems engineering
     whether soil samples contain earthworm holes. These           for experiments or statistical evaluations of research
     holes falsify the natural direction of flow of water.         performance are all a given at Forschungszentrum Jülich.
                                                                   The interdisciplinary way of working does not just apply
                                                                   to research. The service institutes also cooperate with
                                                                   each other so that they can put good ideas into practice
                                                                   quickly and easily, get the latest equipment up and
     Central Technology Division: here, things that do             running, and benefit from a comprehensive way of
     not yet exist are constructed for researchers                 thinking.

22                                                                                        Forschungszentrum Jülich | Young Scientists
                                                                                                            Services offered by the Central Library: excellent
                                                                                                            provision of literature and bibliometric analyses

Central Library
Measuring Scientific Reputation Accurately

         o be successful in science, publishing is a must.     which the scientists work. “This allows us to collect data
         Only when a scientist’s results are cited often       on cooperations between individual countries”, explained
         enough in a renowned journal is the reputation        Ulrike Burkard. Only recently the Jülich information spe-
         of a scientist and an institute safe. “Some of        cialists completed a study on a German-Indian scientific
the institutes in Forschungszentrum Jülich want to know        cooperation.
exactly how often their publications are cited. We con-
duct in-depth bibliometric analyses for them”, said Ulrike     Between Aachen, Cologne and Dusseldorf
Burkard.                                                       Forschungszentrum Jülich is situated two kilometres from
   The mathematician works at the Central Library as           the Roman town of Jülich – between Aachen, Cologne
a subject specialist. Burkard and her colleagues look at       and Dusseldorf. The institutes are scattered on a campus
how a Jülich institute is perceived and cited in compari-      measuring a good two square kilometres. The local train
son to other institutes. “It`s particularly interesting when   “Rurtalbahn” runs from Düren and has a stop for the
                                                                                                                                              On Campus
we analyse the research activities of individual institutes    “Forschungszentrum”. The SB11 bus and Jara buses bring
                                                                                                                                              •   Graphical Media: publication services
over a longer period of time. Then we can see when             researchers and visitors from Aachen directly onto the
                                                                                                                                              •   Medical Services
institutes attract a lot of public interest, for example”,     campus – mornings and evenings every half an hour, and
                                                                                                                                              •   Travel Agency
explained the librarian. Universities and research institu-    during the day every hour. A large number of PhD stu-
                                                                                                                                              •   Canteen with function rooms for official events
tions outside of Jülich also avail of this service.            dents live in the university towns of Aachen, Cologne and
                                                                                                                                              •   Sports grounds (adjacent)
    In addition to publication and citation data, the data-    Düsseldorf.
                                                                                                                                              •   Language Services
base also contains information on the institutions in

Young Scientists | Forschungszentrum Jülich                                                                                                                                          23
24   Forschungszentrum Jülich | Young Scientists
                                              Well-Planned Careers
                                              • Structured training
                                              • Reliable supervision
                                              • Scientific independence early on
                                              • Comprehensive continuing professional development
                                                in every phase
                                              • Helmholtz Management Academy

                                              Forschungszentrum Jülich offers PhD students long-term financial planning perspec-
                                              tives, good supervision, outstanding resources, and a powerful infrastructure. Young
                                              scientists sharpen their profile in interdisciplinary research. Their scientific inde-
                                              pendence is fostered, and as project leaders or heads of young investigators groups,
                                              they also take on a responsibility for staff.
                                                 Human resource development is extremely important in Jülich and begins at an
                                              early stage: young scientists are supported from the time they are PhD students.
                                              Further education measures are always adjusted to suit the current situation of the
                                              individual. The Personnel Department offers a range of services on all issues related
                                              to professions and careers.

Young Scientists | Forschungszentrum Jülich                                                                                            25
The Leaders of Tomorrow
Forschungszentrum Jülich offers its PhD students structured professional training.
Their PhD projects are integrated into Jülich’s research priorities. The young scientists also acquire
key qualifications, such as how to present their research results.

                riting a PhD thesis at Forschungszentrum
                Jülich is particularly attractive. Three impor-                                                                   Advantages for PhD Students
                tant factors are in Jülich’s favour: a reliable
                time frame, an inspiring environment, and                                                                         • Research at the interfaces of scientific
outstanding supervision.                                                                                                            disciplines
    PhD theses usually take three years to complete. The                                                                          • Individual talents fostered
reason: the 320 PhD students currently at Jülich – around                                                                         • Outstanding facilities and an excellent
35 % of whom come from abroad – can concentrate com-                                                                                infrastructure
pletely on their theses and therefore work efficiently on                                                                         • Long-term perspectives with a financed PhD
them.                                                                                                                             • Doctorate within three years
    Just like all researchers, PhD students benefit from                                                                          • Training in key competencies
the unique large-scale facilities and medium-sized equip-                                                                         • Close cooperation with scientists and
ment, as well as from the modern resources in the labo-                                                                             intensive supervision in the institutes
ratories. This environment is strengthened by a range of                                                                          • Close contact to other PhD students
scientific and technical services. For example, Graphical
Media help PhD students to design and print posters for
conferences. Personal computers are centrally serviced
and maintained.
    Supervision is taken seriously on campus. In-depth
discussions in the institutes between experienced scien-          mean that supervisors can help their PhD students to find    reports submitted by the PhD students. In this way, the
tists and PhD students are the norm. The collaboration            places as researchers. “We are delighted when PhD stu-       committee can recognise problems and offer assistance
between engineers, technicians and laboratory assistants          dents go on a research trip abroad while working on their    early on.
is another plus. PhD students network with the univer-            thesis. They gain experience on a professional level as         In the three research priorities – health, energy &
sities through their supervisors who are usually also             well as on a personal level, and they have an opportunity    environment, and information technology – Forschungs-
university professors. RWTH Aachen University and the             to network internationally”, said Bärbel Köster, coordina-   zentrum Jülich is setting up graduate schools. Bärbel
universities in Bonn, Dusseldorf and Cologne count as             tor of “Young Scientists”.                                   Köster: “The aim is even better professional training
close partners.                                                      The Doctoral Committee monitors the progress of all       so that Jülich’s interdisciplinary potential can be better
    Forschungszentrum Jülich also encourages PhD stu-             PhD theses. Professors, representatives from the per-        exploited. PhD students will profit from the fact that
dents to go abroad on research stays. Long-standing               sonnel department and the non-professorial academic          physicists, chemists, biologists, medical scientists and
contacts with universities and institutions worldwide             staff meet on a monthly basis and evaluate the progress      engineers all work together here.”

26                                                                                                                                                    Forschungszentrum Jülich | Young Scientists
                                                            Imke Koch

Key Competencies                                            PhD Students

Targeted Support for the Top Talents                        Integrated from the Beginning
While working on their doctorates, PhD students can         “The programme for transferable skills provided me with
acquire qualifications beyond their chosen disciplines.     important qualifications for my PhD”, said Imke Koch
Interest in the more than 80 seminars offered is huge.      (29). Giving lectures, writing scientific papers, managing
PhD students can avail of training courses that range       projects, cooperating on an interdisciplinary basis –
from presenting the results of their research and design-   these skills will also be useful later on in her career.
ing posters to search strategies for the Internet. PhD          The food chemist is writing her PhD thesis on an inter-
students from abroad can also enrol in intensive German     disciplinary topic that lies somewhere between biology
courses. Internal and external trainers teach the young     and chemistry. She is using tobacco plants to investigate
scientists.                                                 the impact of the stress factor ozone. Her basic research
    One of the measures for the targeted support of top     allows new insights into the metabolism of plants.
talents is the programme for transferable skills. Every         Right at the beginning of work on her PhD thesis,
year, twelve PhD students can participate. “We consider     Imke Koch participated in the qualification programme
interdisciplinary cooperations and networking to be         as one member of a team of twelve young researchers.
extremely important. This is the reason why we allow        “This was excellent for my orientation because I only
only one participant from any one institute”, explained     knew Forschungszentrum Jülich a little thanks to a place-
Mathias Ertinger, head of Human Resource Development        ment while I was still studying at Bonn.” The small group
at Forschungszentrum Jülich.                                meant that she met PhD students from other institutes
    The programme runs for around a year and is com-        and was integrated right from the beginning.
posed of six modules that are directly related to the           Now, Imke Koch is almost finished writing her PhD
thesis. The first module deals with information on the      thesis. In planning her future career, she also receives
framework for completing a PhD in Jülich. The following     support from Jülich in the form of a seminar focusing
five modules deal with communication and cooperation        on job applications that has been specially designed for
in interdisciplinary teams, the presentation of research    young scientists with PhDs.
results and dealing with media, project management,
learning and visualisation techniques, and strategies for
career planning.

Young Scientists | Forschungszentrum Jülich                                                                         27
Personal Initiative is Rewarded
Studium Universale is run by around twenty PhD and diploma students from Forschungszen-
trum Jülich. They organise lectures, podium discussions and meetings that go beyond the
daily research routine. The result: young scientists at Jülich make contacts across the insti-
tutes and support each other.

28                                                                                               Forschungszentrum Jülich | Young Scientists
» Studium Universale makes it possible for us to
 think outside the box and it gives more pep and
 inspiration to the some 400 PhD and diploma
 students at Forschungszentrum Jülich. «
             Nicolai Jablonowski, biologist and environmental researcher,
                                             as well as voluntary organiser

                                                                                              A team: young scientists exchange ideas on both a professional and personal level

          lbert Greiche, one of the Studium Universale         The initiative is active well beyond the boundaries of        be happy with their work and the general conditions in
          organisers, knows from his own personal ex-          Forschungszentrum Jülich and invites experts from sci-        Forschungszentrum Jülich. Jülich has become even more
          perience how important it is for new PhD and         ence, industry and politics to give lectures at Jülich. The   attractive to young scientists thanks to the activities of
          diploma students to have a contact point. “I         experts encourage students to think outside the box and       Studium Universale and this is one of the main reasons
didn’t know anybody when I started here”, said the plas-       look beyond their own research work. PhD and diploma          why this group of extremely dedicated PhD students have
ma physicist. Through Studium Universale, he quickly got       students learn how to see their own scientific research       my full support”, said Chairman of the Board of Directors
to know his fellow students and start networking.              in the context of the larger picture and they discuss so-     Professor Achim Bachem. Representatives of the Board of
   On campus in Jülich, Studium Universale helps stu-          cial changes with the experts. For example, the young         Directors meet on a regular basis with the organisers of
dents make contacts on both a personal and professional        scientists spoke to a representative from the company         the initiative to discuss various issues. “We see ourselves
level. Networking beyond the boundaries of their own           “Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and En-         as the spokespeople for PhD and diploma students at
discipline is important to the organisers of the initiative,   ergy” about climate research, or to be more exact, about      Forschungszentrum Jülich”, explained one of the organis-
as is encouraging interdisciplinary research. In a series of   the demands that politics makes on the scientists, how        ers Nicolai Jablonowski. They discuss matters such as
lectures entitled “What do they actually do in …?”, Jülich     society perceives global problems, and how the scientific     the organisation of a central party for students who have
researchers and service providers, such as the Central         community reacts to this perception.                          just received their doctorates or the creation of an alumni
Library or the Central Technology Division, give presenta-         Studium Universale also organises events on all sorts     database.
tions on their work. In this way, the young scientists are     of topics dealing with PhDs and professional careers.            For the students who are active in Studium Universale,
given an overview of what research is conducted where          These events range from podium discussions on scholar-        their involvement has a positive side effect. They learn a
and who provides what services. For example, it is useful      ships during and after PhDs to lectures by scientists from    tremendous amount about a range of things that go be-
to know that the Central Technology Division develops,         other institutions on beginning a career in industry, in      yond their own scientific research: starting with organis-
designs and constructs all types of equipment, facilities,     research or continuing on as a postdoc. In the past, such     ing events and ranging up to maintaining contacts. These
and processes required by Jülich researchers and for           activities were not organised in Jülich.                      are exactly the sort of skills that are expected from young
which there is currently no technical or commercial solu-          Studium Universale has filled a gap for PhD and diplo-    professionals everywhere.
tion. PhD students benefit from direct contact when it         ma students. The Board of Directors supports the com-
comes to organising their research. Studium Universale         mitment shown by Studium Universale and the activities
organises regular gatherings: the high point is the annual     it organises. “I have a very high regard for the scientific
summer party with a football tournament.                       achievements of our PhD students and I want them to

Young Scientists | Forschungszentrum Jülich                                                                                                                                          29
Scientifically Independent
An optimum research environment, a networked way of working, autonomous research, human resource
development - Forschungszentrum Jülich regards promoting young scientists as one of its most important
tasks. Here, it’s worth while taking on responsibility.

    n the fruitful work and research climate on campus,       or a career in administration. The first option leads to a    Up-and-Coming Leaders
    internationally acclaimed results emerge. The 175         position as a postdoc, a working group leader or head of
    postdocs, 20 heads of young investigators groups,         department upon completion of a PhD and perhaps even
                                                                                                                            Top Training for Professional
    and 190 group leaders make a decisive contribution        a stay abroad.                                                Careers
to this success. They are scientifically independent and          “Some young scientists qualify for an academic career
take on responsibility for personnel at an early stage        and are appointed professors; others prefer to work as        “The professional development of young scientists
in their groups. Another big advantage is the fact that       scientists and look after small working groups”, explained    plays an extremely important role in further training
everything is at hand: the researchers can discuss            Bärbel Köster, coordinator of “Young Scientists”.             activities at Jülich”, said Mathias Ertinger, head of
scientific issues with their colleagues whenever they             Applied research also creates many links to industry.     Human Resource Development at Forschungszentrum
want, they can invite external experts to Jülich, and they    Andreas Gubner, fuel cell specialist, came to Jülich from     Jülich. Training opportunities for the up-and-coming
can participate in international conferences without the      a Canadian company and set up a successful group com-         leaders include “professional people management”,
red tape.                                                     posed of chemists, physicists, and information scientists.    “holding meetings”, “project management”, and “in-
    Young scientists in Jülich benefit from the fact that     The chemical engineer with a PhD returned to industry,        tercultural competency” – in short, all of the skills
the Forschungszentrum is a member of the Helmholtz            but he still remains in contact with his colleagues from      that open up doors in the professional world.
Association. Example: heads of Helmholtz Young Investi-       Jülich today.                                                     The development programme is designed for
gators Groups. Young scientists with a PhD from all over          Attractive prospects are also offered in science admin-   twelve outstanding group and project leaders and it
the world can apply for these leadership positions. The       istration – the second career path – by “Project Manage-      prepares scientists and administrators specifically for
Helmholtz Association chooses the best candidates in          ment Jülich”. This large organisational unit coordinates      their leadership tasks. The comprehensive fourteen-
a competition. They receive funding for a period of five      research projects that have been approved for funding on      month programme combines individual coaching with
years and if their evaluation is positive, they have a good   behalf of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research      training phases in the group. After an in-depth devel-
chance of being offered a permanent position. In Jülich,      The scientists working here are responsible for both the      opment analysis, the programme consists of training
all of the heads of Helmholtz Young Investigators Groups      financial and content-related side of projects.               modules on communication, change management and
are appointed junior professors in a joint procedure with         Anja Mataruga chose a career in administration. With      interdisciplinary thinking.
the universities. In this way, they are qualified for a ca-   a PhD in biology, she coordinated the development of the          “We place particular weight on the composition
reer in Forschungszentrum Jülich as well as for a career      Helmholtz Research School BioSoft and is now assistant        of the team in the development programme. Partic-
in academia.                                                  to the Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors at Jülich,     ipants should have the same goals and come from
                                                              Ulrich Krafft. Her opinion: “I have received so much          both administration as well as from different scientific
Promotion Opportunities                                       support in my career moves to date. The overall working       institutes. Exchanging experience, networking and
The opportunities for promotion in Jülich are manifold.       atmosphere is characterised by open dialogue and              interdisciplinary cooperations are important pillars of
Generally, there are two options: a career in research        constructive and trusting cooperation.”                       work in Jülich”, said Mathias Ertinger.

30                                                                                                                                             Forschungszentrum Jülich | Young Scientists
“What Jülich Offers is Unique”
Helmholtz Young Investigators Groups

        elix Wolf (35) is head of a Helmholtz Young In-         hand, I can conduct my research independently, and on the
        vestigators Group at the Institute for Advanced         other, I get all the support I need from the head of institute
        Simulation and is junior professor at RWTH              and from my colleagues in Jülich and Aachen.
        Aachen University. The computer scientist con-
ducts research in the field of “scientific computing” and       What does it mean to be a junior professor at RWTH
together with his team develops software tools that aim         Aachen University?
to optimise the use of supercomputers.                          Head of a young investigators group and junior profes-
                                                                sor – this combination involves a lot of work but it is also
You worked as a scientist in the USA. Why did you decide        particularly attractive. It allows me to lecture and to train
to return to Germany?                                           diploma and PhD students. For a career in academia, this
The main reason was the programme for Helmholtz Young           experience is extremely important.
Investigators Groups in Jülich. What Jülich offers is unique:
as head of a young investigators group, I receive funding for   What do you learn as a participant in the Helmholtz Man-
a period of five years and have enough financial resources      agement Academy?
to employ other scientists and PhD students. Third-party        The academy prepares us for an executive function in
funds have already allowed me to expand my team. If             research. The training programme, which lasts almost two
my evaluation is positive, I will be offered a permanent        years, teaches management and leadership competencies
position. The prospect of tenure is a huge plus.                in the complex environment of challenging research. We
                                                                learn how to set goals, to organise efficiently, to make
What status do heads of young investigators groups have         the right decisions, and to support and encourage team
in Jülich?                                                      members.
I feel very welcome. Forschungszentrum Jülich attaches
great importance to its young scientists. Here, an open
climate for autonomous free research reigns. On the one                                                              Felix Wolf

Young Scientists | Forschungszentrum Jülich                                                                                       31
Young Scientists           Human Resource Development   Foreigners’ Advisory Office
Dr. Bärbel Köster          Stephanie Heil               Roswitha Bley
Forschungszentrum Jülich   Forschungszentrum Jülich     Forschungszentrum Jülich
52425 Jülich               52425 Jülich                 52425 Jülich
Germany                    Germany                      Germany
Tel. +49 2461 61-1595      Tel. +49 2461 61-4660        Tel. +49 2461 61-4474

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