Early career researchers

Kiel University is dedicated to supporting young scientists during and after their doctorate. In addition to the Graduate Center, which serves as a platform for all Kiel University doctoral students, the university offers a number of coordinated programs for further scientific qualification. A Postdoc Center, whose goal is to provide support during the postdoctoral career phase, was established in 2018. Both centers operate at the interface of the faculties and institutions of Kiel University and in exchange with their target groups. They contribute significantly to ensuring that young academics from Germany and abroad find an attractive and nurturing environment at Kiel University with optimal conditions for qualification and career advancement.

Graduate Center

The Graduate Center is a core institution at Kiel University, led by representatives from the University Board, the faculties, the inter-faculty doctoral programmes and the doctoral researchers. The management is supported by an advisory committee and has its own office.

The Graduate Center offers interdisciplinary training and career planning services for doctoral researchers. It promotes the initiative and scientific independence of doctoral researchers, and supports the internationalisation of the doctoral degree phase. The service office at the Graduate Center provides advice and information about the doctoral degrees and scientific careers. Applicants for doctoral degree programmes financed by external funding can also get advice here.

Visit the Graduate Center’s web presence

The graduate center of Kiel University is located in the building on Leibnizstraße 3.


Academic career paths – Kiel University's self-image

Kiel University includes all academics with doctoral degrees in the group "young post-doctoral academics" or "postdocs" who are involved in advanced training and advanced independent scientific study at the university. Postdocs also include assistant professors.

Kiel University's education principles apply not only to students and doctoral researchers, but explicitly also to postdocs. Kiel University sees itself as a university that offers postdocs the opportunity to prepare themselves for various career paths, that is, both university-based careers, especially those leading to professorships, as well as employment outside academia.

The CAU is therefore committed to offering its postdocs appropriate framework conditions and qualification opportunities, including those in preparation for employment outside academia in industry and society. Kiel University also strives to improve career planning for postdocs while they are training through professionalisation and contract formation.

Visit the web presence of the Postdoc-Center


Kiel University's DenkRaum creates new connections between disciplines and faculties, university and society. Here, postdocs from different faculties work together on future-oriented themes that are of importance to Kiel University. As a discussion forum and a platform for projects of societal relevance, it promotes the careers of DenkRaum Fellows both inside and outside the university.

DenkRaum theme 2020-2022

The first DenkRaum theme for the period 2020-2022 is

Urban Design. The Shape and Shaping of Cities in Past, Present and Future

submitted by Prof. Dr. Annette Haug (Classical Archaeology).It was selected from 21 topics proposed in an internal call for proposals.

Other graduate institutions at Kiel University

Integrated School of Ocean Sciences (ISOS)

Integrated School of Ocean Sciences (ISOS)

The Integrated School of Ocean Sciences (ISOS) is the central platform for doctoral researchers investigating marine science in Kiel.

The programme offers researchers and supervisors a framework for comprehensive and interdisciplinary support during their studies. A central aspect of the programme is doctoral supervision by at least two supervisors. In addition, doctoral researchers can receive financial support for conferences, apply for funding for small projects (so-called mini-proposals), and benefit from a wide range of different courses & events - all related to marine science. They can also broaden their scientific horizons with supplementary education, and familiarise themselves with different career options for after their doctoral studies.

Visit the Integrated School of Ocean Sciences (ISOS) web presence

Graduate School Human Development in Landscapes (HDL)

Graduate School Human Development in Landscapes (HDL)

In order to understand the development of human societies, interactions between humans and their physical and perceived environment need to be recorded in detail.

This is demonstrated by the Graduate School "Human Development in Landscapes" at Kiel University through its numerous doctoral degree projects that have tackled and continue to tackle archaeological problems. While natural sciences describe environmental conditions in precise detail, cultural sciences and archaeology can offer important information and clues for scientific analysis.

More intensive links between academic disciplines, the growing need of doctoral researchers for analytical equipment and efficient infrastructure, but also the increasingly internationalised research landscape created the need for the establishment of a multidisciplinary graduate school (GS).

This school makes new research and communication structures available to our doctoral researchers and thus enables them to undertake innovative research. The school is part of the German Excellence Initiative.

Visit the Graduate School “Human Development in Landscapes” web presence

International Max Planck Research Schools (IMPRS)

International Max Planck Research Schools (IMPRS)

A new graduate school focussed on evolutionary biology has been established in Kiel and Plön, as a joint project by Kiel University, the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology in Plön, and the Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel (GEOMAR).

It is called the International Max Planck Research School for Evolutionary Biology (IMPRS), and provides doctoral researchers of evolutionary biology with an interactive forum for exchanging new ideas and research results.

Visit the International Max Planck Research Schools (IMPRS) web presence

Research Training Group 1743 - genes, environment, inflammation

Research Training Group 1743 - genes, environment, inflammation

Within this Research Training Group we will study the environmental influences responsible for the development of complex, chronic diseases. Moreover, we will systematically examine the previously understudied interplay between the (micro-)environment and predisposing genetic factors. Our research is based on a highly interdisciplinary and technology-driven approach and involves scientists from many different countries.

Our results will help to define novel pathophysiological trigger factors and aid the development of innovative therapeutic approaches. Much of our work is based on mouse models, as these warrant a homogeneous and controlled modification of the environment; for example, different diets can be fed and the impact on the gut microbiome and inflammatory conditions measured. Having access to patients, we will validate our findings in the human model system, too.

Another focus of our Research Training Group is on the gut microbiome, an organ-like system that recently received a lot of attention due to its relevance in metabolism, health and disease, and due also to the avenue that it may be modified by means of pre- and probiotics.

Visit the Research Training Group 1743

Research Training Group 2154: Materials for Brain (M4B)

Research Training Group 2154: Materials for Brain (M4B)

The treatment of patients with chronic brain diseases is mainly based on systemic drug treatments. Sufficiently large drug concentrations in the brain are often accompanied by side effects affecting other organs in the body. Neural implants, which allow localized and individualized therapy, are an alternative solution if they can satisfy the following requirements: they must be compact, biocompatible, resilient and highly flexible, particularly when used in kids and teens.

Defined, nano-scale, therapeutically active coatings as well as suitability of the implants for diagnostics with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can open up new prospects for novel therapies. In order to reach these goals, micro-structured, functional materials based on thin film technology will be investigated for innovative local treatment of epilepsies, brain tumors and vascular diseases. Material-controlled drug release and implant interactions with cells will initially be studied using cell cultures. Subsequently, the effect of the implants on specific structures and functions of the brain will be investigated in disease-related animal models by histological and in vivo approaches by MRI and functional tests (behavioral tests, electroencephalography).

Visit the Research Training Group 2154

Junior research groups

ERC Starting Grants

ERC Starting Grants

AcronymProject titlePrincipal InvestigatorDuration
MALEPREGMale pregnancy – Unravelling the coevolution of parental investment and immune defence Prof. Olivia Roth2018-2024
NanoBeamQuantum Coherent Control: Self–Interference of Electron Beams with NanostructuresProf. Nahid Talebi2019-2024
DULICAT Dual Ligand-Enabled Palladium Catalysis: Unlocking Novel Reactivities and Selectivities in Aromatic C–H ActivationProf. Manuel van Gemmeren2021-2026
MicroTMicrobiota-T cell interactions - antigen-specificity and regulation in health and diseaseProf. Petra Bacher2022-2027


Project titlePrincipal InvestigatorDuration
Timeless Arctic - commercial hunting in the reconstruction of human impact in Svalbard Dr. Frigga Krusesince 2018
BMBF Junior Research Groups

BMBF Junior Research Groups

Project titlePrincipal InvestigatorDuration
FairFAnK: Die Finanzierung von Anpassung an den Klimawandel im globalen Süden. Auf der Suche nach gerechtfertigten und praxistauglichen Verteilungsverfahren und KriterienDr. Christian Baatzsince 2020

Network project and programme coordinators (graduate support)

Research network and graduate programme coordinators at Kiel University provide graduate support and are assisted by the network project and programme coordinators, who provide specialist expertise for internal exchanges between CAU colleagues.

You can find the relevant contact persons on the research department’s website, sorted individually according to the type of programme. All colleagues listed there are regularly invited to the networking events.

To the contacts on the research department’s webpage (internal university link)