© University of Freiburg - Sandra Meyndt
The sculpture "Transform" by artist Daniel Widrig in the FIT building, Freiburg © University of Freiburg - Sandra Meyndt

International Call

livMatS Junior Research Group Program

The Cluster of Excellence Living, Adaptive and Energy-autonomous Materials Systems (livMatS) strives to promote early scientific independence within an interdisciplinary setting. The livMatS Junior Research Group Program is an essential building block of the Cluster’s early career advancement objectives.

Deadline extended!

The application deadline has been moved to 10 April 2020.


The Cluster’s Junior Research Group Program aims to provide excellent early career researchers with the means and room to establish their own group in a highly interdisciplinary environment at the University of Freiburg.

The Cluster of Excellence Living, Adaptive and Energy-autonomous Materials Systems (livMatS) at the University of Freiburg develops completely novel, bioinspired materials systems that adapt autonomously to various environments and harvest clean energy from their surroundings. The research program of livMatS is characterized by highly interdisciplinary collaboration between researchers from engineering, chemistry, physics, biology, psychology, philosophy, and sustainability sciences. Research in four interlinked research areas targets Concepts for Energy Autonomy and Integration, Concepts for Adaptive and Active Materials Systems, Concepts for the Longevity of Systems Functions, and Societal Challenges – Sustainability Assessment and Investigation of Psychological, Philosophical, and Ethical Implications of Living Materials Systems. Research in these areas is integrated through the development of technology demonstrators.

The chosen candidate will become a Principal Investigator of livMatS. They are expected to establish a vigorous and independent research program and build up an internationally visible research group that makes central contributions to at least one the four Research Areas in livMatS. The candidate is expected to publish in high-ranking journals, attract additional funding for their own group, and integrate and strengthen the interdisciplinary and collaborative environment of the Cluster.

Duration, Funding and Starting Date

Funding within the program is up to 1 Mio. € for the duration of five years. The funding can be used for the candidate’s position and the establishment of a Junior Research Group. The candidate will be employed at the University of Freiburg. The position is a full-time position (100%) for a period of five years. The salary will be determined in accordance with TV-L E 14. The funding includes a doctoral researcher position (36 months, 65%, TV-L 13), consumables and an initial investment package of 80,000 €.

We offer access to institutional infrastructure, including modern laboratory space and state-of-the-art facilities at the Freiburg Center for Interactive Materials and Bioinspired Technologies (FIT) and opportunities to collaborate with the application-oriented Fraunhofer-Institutes ISE and IWM, who are partner institutions of the Cluster, as well as career advancement training and mentoring opportunities at the University. Funding can only be used for activities at the University of Freiburg.

We envisage candidates to start their group by Fall 2020.

Target Group and Funding Criteria

The call targets researchers within three to five years of their postdoctoral experience in one or more of the disciplines contributing to livMatS: engineering, chemistry, physics, biology, psychology, philosophy, and sustainability sciences. Candidates are expected to establish a Junior Research Group within the Cluster.

Applicants must have a track record of outstanding academic work in their field, with first and/or corresponding author publications ideally within three to five years of postdoctoral research experience. Additional criteria include prizes and awards, a proven record of obtaining extramural funding, and international mobility. Excellent interpersonal and leadership skills are essential. We expect fluency in English.

The proposed concept for a Junior Research Group will be judged according to its academic and methodological quality, prospects of success, originality, and relevance to the livMatS research program.

Contact and Deadline

Applications need to be submitted by April 10th 2020 to positions@livmats.uni-freiburg.de. The use of the livMatS Junior Research Group Leader Program template is mandatory and a formal prerequisite for the submission of your application. All parts of your application need to be in English. The template that also contains an overview of the documents that need to be submitted can be downloaded below.

For administrative questions please contact Dr. Monika Schulz at positions@livmats.uni-freiburg.de. For content-related questions, please contact Prof. Dr. Jürgen Rühe at sprecher@livmats.uni-freiburg.de