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.

PhD Programmes

Several PhD programmes offer high-class education. Together with its partner institutions, HZI has established a Graduate School in the field of infection research and pioneered a programme for doctoral students in epidemiology. The planned foundation of a new Graduate School for Biomedical Data Science responds to the growing demand for data-science experts. At HIRI, the centre has launched an internationally unique Graduate programme “RNA & Infection” to train the next generation of scientists working at the intersection of RNA and infection biology.

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.


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 complement successfully established measures such as flexible working time, holiday childcare, and a parent-child office.

Exchange with Peers

HZI scientists have the opportunity to socialize in an informal setting with colleagues in a similar phase of their research career – be it in the PhD Initiative “DO IT “ or in the Postdoc Initiative “DID IT”.
Onboarding of new employees is accompanied by our International Office offering support and guidance mainly to incoming international students and scientists abroad.

Current Jobs and PhD theses

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