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Forschungszentrum Jülich - Annual Report 2011

ImpartingKnowledge 5151 A great opportunity for early-career sci- entists: Helmholtz young investigators groups. Successful applicants head their own working groups only a few years af- ter completing their PhD and simultane- ously gain the necessary qualifications for a career in academia. This means scientific independence at an early stage of their careers and the possibility of a permanent position if evaluated positively – unique conditions in Germa- ny. The young scientists receive funding of up to € 250,000 per year for five years. In 2011, 226 scientists from Ger- many and abroad applied for these at- tractive positions and approximately one third of these were women. In the final round of a multistage competition, ten women and nine men were selected by the interdisciplinary jury of interna- tional experts on the basis of their ex- cellent research projects and their abili- ty to convince the jury that they had the necessary leadership skills to head their own research team. The proportion of women exceeded 50% for the first time since the programme began. Three of the new HGF young investi- gators groups are based in Jülich and two of them are headed by women. In the group headed by Dr. Dörte Rother, “Modular Synthetic Enzyme Cascades”, biologists, chemists and engineers work together at the Institute of Bio- and Geo- sciences on using synthetic enzymes Young people take the lead connected in series to develop building blocks for use in drugs, for example – on the basis of renewable resources and in an energy-efficient manner. The team headed by Dr. Martina Mül- ler, “Oxide Spintronics Laboratory”, in- vestigates materials for data processing and storage. The young investigators group at the Peter Grünberg Institute explores the properties of magnetic and ferroelectric oxides and aims to use them for novel electronic components. Dr. Evgeny Alekseev has set up his young investigators group “Actinide Sol- id State Chemistry – A Direct Link from Fundamental Science to the Safe Man- agement of High-Level Nuclear Waste” Number of young investigators group in Jülich 2004–2011 The figures comprise Helmholtz young investigators groups, Jülich groups, 2 DFG groups and 1 BMBF group 2004 2 2005 4 2006 8 2007 13 2008 12 2009 22 2010 21 2011 22 Note: One offer was rejected in 2010 and two in 2011 despite successful reviews. Dr. Evgeny Alekseev focuses on the safe management of nuclear waste. Dr. Martina Müller heads the “Oxide Spin- tronics Laboratory” group, which investi- gates new materials for data processing. In her “Modular Synthetic Enzyme Cas- cades” group, Dr. Dörte Rother develops building blocks for medications. at the Institute of Energy and Climate Research. He hopes that his findings will provide the scientific basis for the dis- posal of nuclear waste. Another young investigators group is headed by Dr. Nicole Helbig. Since Au- gust 2011, the DFG has funded her work at the Peter Grünberg Institute on the topic of “Ab initio description of double and charge transfer excitations: from solvable models to complex systems” as part of the Emmy Noether Programme.