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.