UNICO-Research Groups

University Industry Collaborative (UNICO) Young Investigator enables junior staff employed in industry to have a university connection to TU Darmstadt in the field of applied research and engineering science. They have access to extensive university research opportunities through a part-time position at TU Darmstadt. In addition, you can be involved in the supervision of doctoral candidates and in teaching. In addition to your career in industry, you will also have the opportunity to gain further academic qualifications.

The UNICO Young Investigator Programme aims to promote the permeability between non-academic and academic careers for young engineers through

  • access to university research and related research infrastructure,
  • participation in applying for and carrying out university research projects with public funding bodies,
  • the publication of scientific results,
  • the integration into the supervision of doctoral candidates and the integration into teaching.

In addition to the integration into the departments and subject areas and the support of experienced professors, TU Darmstadt offers:

  • a part-time position at TU Darmstadt, the scope of which is subject to individual case agreements,
  • a minimum funding period of one year and a maximum of five years,
  • access to university research and related research infrastructure
  • integration into the supervision of doctoral candidates,
  • the possibility of participation in teaching
  • a lump-sum expense allowance of a maximum of €1,500 per year for additional costs.

The receiving department receives € 5,000 annually for the provision of the infrastructure and € 15,000 annually for the financing of the employment.

UNICO Young Investigator is designed as a quality-assured programme lasting a maximum of five years.

The selection committee “Young Investigator Programmes” of TU Darmstadt (six professors from all disciplines and the Gender Equality Officer) is supplemented by two further professors from industry-related engineering sciences for the UNICO Young Investigator selection process.

Junior employees who apply for UNICO Young Investigator would like to gain further academic qualifications in addition to their career in industry. They meet the following requirements:

  • a full-time employment relationship in an industrial company with a research-related activity,
  • an outstanding doctorate (not TU Darmstadt) in the engineering sciences, which dates back no more than four years,
  • interest in university research,
  • the support of a host department of industry-related engineering sciences at TU Darmstadt,
  • the willingness to publish the scientific results achieved at TU Darmstadt,
  • the ability to take on management and project management tasks.

Applications can be submitted at any time by the heads of the host departments.

TU Darmstadt has introduced the University Industry Collaborative (UNICO) Research Groups especially for the area of industry-related engineering sciences. UNICO group leaders conduct research in close cooperation with industry and thus qualify for both an industrial career and a professorship.

By settling in a department, they benefit from the existing infrastructure and the industrial and university relationships of the department heads. The second call for proposals started in August 2017.

University Industry Collaborative (UNICO)-Research Groups are a new career model of TU Darmstadt for engineering scientists. The leadership of a junior research group offers the opportunity to conduct independent and applied research in close cooperation with industry and paves the way for a career in both industry and university. The engineering research groups are each assigned to a specialist area and thus benefit from the existing infrastructure and relationships with companies. In the 5 years (provided there is a positive interim evaluation), the candidates deepen their own scientific profile and develop leadership skills.

Following the concept of the UNICO Research Groups as part of the Excellence Initiative, two UNICO group leader positions were filled in 2012. The UNICO pilot project continued in August 2017 within the framework of a second call for proposals.

Title Team leader
Reactive Flows and Diagnostics Dr. rer. nat. Steven Wagner
Institute Reactive Flows and Diagnostics
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Urban Health Games Prof. Dr.-Ing. Martin Knöll
Urban Planning
Department of Architecture