Athene Young Investigator

TU Darmstadt offers its early career researchers various, parallel options and career paths up to the appointment to a permanent professorship. To promote scientific independence at an early stage, the university has set up the Athene Young Investigator Programme.

Newly appointed: Dr. Xufei Fang and Dr. Johann Isaak

The Athene Young Investigator Programme aims to qualify young scientists for their career goal professorship by

  • increasing their scientific independence,
  • supporting their commitment to teaching and to student supervision,
  • offering special training to broaden their transferable skills and extracurricular qualifications,
  • providing them with the opportunity to participate in academic self-administration,
  • improving the visibility of their individual research profile.

All Athene Young Investigators are well integrated into their respective department at TU Darmstadt and are supported by experienced senior researchers. In addition, the university offers its Athene Young Investigators

  • a funding period of 3+2 years,
  • the privilege to supervise their own doctoral candidates,
  • a discipline-specific budget of up to 15,000 EUR/year for self-determined use (research expenses, conferences, travel expenses, stays abroad including childcare, further education opportunities, assistants, publication costs, etc.),
  • opportunities for independent teaching,
  • pay grade EG 14 TV-TU Darmstadt (or supplement),
  • training courses for extracurricular qualification (i.e., soft and transferable skills) for Athene Young Investigator specifically tailored to the needs of advanced junior researchers.

The Athene Young Investigator Programme has been conceptualised as a five-year, quality-assured programme, including an evaluation during the third year.

The competitive selection process is organised in two rounds and is overseen by the selection committee “Nachwuchsprogramme” which consists of six professors (representing all disciplines at TU Darmstadt) and the Gender Equality Officer, with the Vice President acting as chair. In the first round, the committee pre-selects applicants whose proposals are then reviewed by external international reviewers.

Subsequently, candidates are invited for a personal introduction consisting of a 15-min. talk followed by a 20-min. interview. Based on the external reviews and on the interview, the committee then takes the final selection decision.

The applicant’s declared aim shall be to strive for a professorship. In addition, the applicant shall have

  • a (current or prospective) position in a department at TU Darmstadt,
  • funding for a PhD position, either self-acquired or provided by the department (exceptions may apply),
  • at least one year and at most four years of postdoc experience (compensation for maternity and/or parental leave, long sick leave etc. is possible),
  • a doctorate completed with outstanding results,
  • the support of the department/research group,
  • scientific excellence by international standards (publications with significant own contribution, collaborations, awards, etc.),
  • pedagogical aptitude for academic teaching,
  • potential abilities to take on leadership and project management roles,
  • substantial international research experience or substantial experience in the research division of a commercial enterprise.

The next call will be published in February 2020.

Athene Young Investigator Time of Appointment Portrait
Dr. Xufei Fang
Department of Materials and Earth Sciences
Nonmetallic-Inorganic Materials
October 2019 Portrait: Dr. Xufei Fang (Astrid Ludwig | TU Darmstadt)
Dr. Johann Isaak
Department of Physics
Institute for Nuclear Physics
October 2019 Portrait: Dr. Johann Isaak (Astrid Ludwig | TU Darmstadt)
Dr. Pia Domschke
Department of Mathematics,
Numerical Analysis and Scientific Computing
April 2019

(since August 2019: Frankfurt School of Finance & Management)
Portrait: Dr. Pia Domschke (Astrid Ludwig | TU Darmstadt)
Dr. Martin Grimmer
Department of Human Sciences,
Institute for Sports Science
April 2019 Portrait: Dr. Martin Grimmer (Astrid Ludwig | TU Darmstadt)
Dr. Tatiana Tatarenko
Department of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology,
Institute of Automatic Control and Mechatronics
April 2019 Portrait: Dr. Tatiana Tatarenko (Astrid Ludwig | TU Darmstadt)
Dr. Joel Eric Lynn
Department of Physics
Institute for Nuclear Physics
April 2018 Portrait: Dr. Joel Eric Lynn (Astrid Ludwig | TU Darmstadt)
Dr. Meike Saul
Department of Biology,
Synthetic Genetic Circuits
April 2018 Portrait: Dr. Meike Saul (Astrid Ludwig | TU Darmstadt)
Lin Wang, Ph.D.
Department of Computer Science,
Telecooperation Lab
April 2018

(since December 2018: Assistant Professor, Department of Computer Science, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)
Portrait: Dr. Lin Wang (Astrid Ludwig | TU Darmstadt)
Dr.-Ing. Christian Hatzfeld †
April 2018
Dr. Arash Asadi
Department of Computer Science,
Secure Mobile Networking Lab
October 2017 Portrait: Dr. Arash Asadi (Astrid Ludwig | TU Darmstadt)
Dr.-Ing. Philipp Beckerle
Department of Mechanical Engineering
October 2017

(since October 2018: Assistant Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology, Technische Universität Dortmund)
Portrait: Dr. Philipp Beckerle (Astrid Ludwig | TU Darmstadt)
Dr. Eric Grosse
Department of Law and Economics,
Production and Supply Chain Management
October 2017 Portrait: Dr. Eric Grosse (Astrid Ludwig | TU Darmstadt)
Dr. Juliane Krämer
Department of Computer Science,
Theoretical Computer Science – Cryptography and Computer Algebra
October 2017 Portrait: Dr. Juliane Krämer (Astrid Ludwig | TU Darmstadt)
Dr. Michael Muma
Department of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology,
Institute of Telecommunications
October 2017 Portrait: Dr. Michael Muma (Astrid Ludwig | TU Darmstadt)
Dr. Christina Birkel
Department of Chemistry
April 2017

(since January 2019: Assistant Professor Arizona State University, USA)
Portrait: Dr. Christian Birkel (Astrid Ludwig | TU Darmstadt)
Dr. Philipp John
Department of Physics,
Institute for Nuclear Physics
April 2017
Dr. Jurij Koruza
Materials Science,
Nonmetallic-Inorganic Materials
April 2017
Dr.-Ing. Amr Rizk
Department of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology
April 2017

(since July 2019: Juniorprofessor, Universität Ulm)
In Conversation: Dr. Amr Rizk (Thomas Lenz | TU Darmstadt)
Dr. Alesia A. Tietze
Department of Chemistry
April 2017

(since January 2019: Assistant Professor, Wallenberg Centre for Molecular and Translational Medicine, Göteborgs Universitet, Sweden)