Within the context of Freie Universität's career path model, the Center for Research Strategy supervises several funding lines aimed at combining meaningful support for junior faculty members with the promotion of research in strategically important areas. Through these measures, highly qualified postdoctoral researchers are given a certain degree of planning security while they gain the qualifications necessary for a tenured professorship.
Integrating highly qualified postdoctoral researchers into strategically important areas sharpens the institutional profile of Freie Universität and ensures that the research performance of the university remains strong. Junior researchers also benefit from Freie Universität's international and regional partners. Through their involvement in cooperation with these partners, they contribute to expanding and reinforcing the networks that connect these institutions with one another.
The Dahlem International Network Postdocs program is aimed at young researchers at Freie Universität Berlin who have received their doctoral degree within the last three years. The 24-month-long funding period is meant to support academics in their professional development and prepare them for the next stage in their careers (such as heading a junior research group or taking on a junior professorship). A four- to six-month-long stay at a university abroad or a local non-university institution is a mandatory part of the program.
Dahlem International Network Junior Research Groups are directed at experienced postdocs and bring together the position of a junior professorship with the task of directing a junior research group. This combination allows young academics to combine their own research with many of the tasks that come with a full professorship, such as the selection and supervision of a research group and the regular teaching of classes.
A university-wide selection process determined which junior research groups can be funded. Aside from the innovativeness of the research project, the most important factor in the funding decisions was the individual research group’s networking potential. 9 out of the 16 Dahlem International Network Junior Research Groups are being established in cooperation with regional non-university partners on the greater Berlin-Dahlem research campus.
Through the creation of temporary W2 professorships, Dahlem International Network Professorships, Freie Universität is offering experienced young academics an opportunity to teach and conduct research. The university-wide call for proposals in this funding line was coordinated with that of the Dahlem International Network Junior Research Groups. The structural integration of the professorships into existing or potential profile areas was a decisive criterion in the selection process. Those chosen will all lead to the appointment of outstanding young researchers with a strong performance in strategically important areas. A total of twelve Dahlem International Network Professorships will be funded.
Junges Wissenschaftsforum Dahlem was created by Freie Universität as a platform for the exchange and generation of ideas among its junior researchers. During the events organized by Junges Wissenschaftsforum Dahlem twice every semester, young academics have an opportunity to talk about current issues and create networks that reach beyond the confines of individual disciplines or institutions.