Career Paths

The Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) offers diverse career options for scientists. Young researchers have the opportunity to found their own groups, for instance aided by the Young Investigator Groups programme of the Helmholtz Association. In cooperation with our partner universities we appoint professorships on two different levels.

HZI Careers

Our programme “HZI Careers” offers a structured career development process with ongoing support for all employees. Postdoctoral researchers and young investigators driven by curiosity are the main target group. Besides intensive scientific training, young researchers receive the opportunity to improve their soft skills and advance their interdisciplinary knowledge. Structured processes are designed to facilitate the exchange of professional experiences at the centre so that postdocs can benefit in particular from senior staff. (Guidelines for career support in the postdoc phase at the HZI)


  1. PhD Programmes

    Several PhD programmes offer high-class education. Together with its partner institutions, HZI has established the Graduate School GS-FIRE in the field of infection research and pioneered a programme for doctoral students in epidemiology. The HZI sites also offer various graduate programmes with focal points such as natural product research, RNA-based medicine or data science.

  2. Young Investigators

    Every year, young scientists are invited to apply as group leaders at HZI. Candidates present themselves in a public symposium, selected applicants are then asked to write a grant proposal. HZI and the Helmholtz Association are funding successful applicants over a period of five years. Apart from the Helmholtz Young Investigator Groups programme, HZI is supporting excellent young scientists that fund their work groups via other programmes or third party grants.

  3. Professorships

    In cooperation with universities, HZI is appointing professorships on two different levels: “W2” for group leaders and “W3” for department leaders.

Advanced Training

Dedicated clinician scientist programmes with MHH will be further developed to strengthen in-house expertise in clinically oriented translational research.
For scientists seeking a career in translational infection medicine, the TRAIN Academy of the biomedical Translation Alliance in Lower Saxony offers a unique two-year extramural programme.


Equal opportunities are a prime goal of HZI. Training and mentoring programmes specifically designed for women in science can be taken up and complement successfully established measures such as flexible working time, holiday childcare, and a parent-child office.

Welcome Office

The Welcome Office assists all employees with the onboarding process and provides support with visa applications and administrative procedures, for example, and offers information and assistance on all work-related matters.