Foundation Ceremony of the Young Investigator Network on May 12, 2009


On May 12, 2009 the Young Investigator Network (YIN) celebrated its foundation. This network is the first initiative of this kind throughout Germany and a forum for excellent young scientists. YIN is to serve as platform and democratic representation of interests.




The KIT is aimed at getting the best scientists from all over the world to Karlsruhe and offering them outstanding conditions of work. This goal is pursued by the KIT also with young scientists. Numerous young “high potentials” work at KIT and are in charge of research projects. The foundation ceremony was opened by the band TriTones that provided for the suitable vibes from the beginning on.



Band TriTones (Foto: PKM, S. Göttisheim)



Martin Spiewak, editor of the weekly paper “Die Zeit”, was the moderator of this event. He inducted the numerous visitors into the topic and introduced Prof. Dr. Detlef Löhe, Vice President of Research at the University of Karlsruhe.



Martin Spiewak (Foto: PKM, S. Göttisheim)

In his speech, Professor Löhe analyzed the current KIT process with emphasis on the promotion of young scientists. The network of the young group leaders represents a structure that was made possible as initiative by the boundary conditions of the KIT and is manifested officially by the establishment of YIN.



Prorektor Prof. Dr. Detlef Löhe (Foto: PKM, S. Göttisheim)

Afterwards Mrs. Dr. Beate Konze-Thomas, Head of the Program and Infrastructure Promotion of DFG, rose to speak. Mr. Spiewak asked for her statement as to YIN. Especially the young scientific talents are of particular importance to the DFG. She presented the different funding lines of the DFG. The self-governing YIN is financed from the funds of the Excellence Initiative and supported in its administrative interests by the Research office of the KIT. In the view of the current economic crisis it is important to prevent the brain drain of young scientists. This can be achieved only by the promotion of initiatives such as YIN.



Dr. Beate Konze-Thomas (Foto: PKM, S. Göttisheim)


The City of Karlsruhe, represented by the 1st Mayor Harald Denecke, sent all the best wishes for the foundation of YIN as well. Mr. Denecke stressed that especially the City stands for the well-being feeling of the young scientists.



Der 1. Bürgermeister Harald Denecke (Foto: PKM, S. Göttisheim)

Afterwards Dr. Timo Mappes, Chairman of YIN, presented the network. Due to the self-governing network YIN created a possibility of supporting each other actively by co-operative advice. In order to realize the ideas and interests efficiently, the YIN members act jointly despite the variety of personalities and topics and work actively on the organization of the KIT. According to Mappes that way each individual group of young scientists as well as the network as such are strengthened and altogether more visibly. A further education program for the young group leaders was developed especially for YIN in cooperation with the “Scientific Further Education at the Universität Karlsruhe (PE)”. This program finds large approval among the network members.



Dr. Timo Mappes (Foto: PKM, S. Göttisheim)


In his paper “Career Perspectives for Young Scientist, the System for Assistance Professorship at ETH Zurich” Dr. Thomas Eichenberger, Head of the Appointment Staff of ETH Zurich, described the current situation of a comparable institute. He spoke about perspectives and fears especially among the established professors. He also compared the goals and the procedure of the two institutes and could release that way many impulses.



Dr. Thomas Eichenberger (Foto: PKM, S. Göttisheim)


There was much applause and everybody was curious about the panel discussion „Perspectives of the Academic Future Leaders Today?“. The podium participants were the following:

• Dr. Beate Konze-Thomas, Head of the Program and Infrastructure Promotion of DFG,

• Dr. Thomas Eichenberger, Head of the Appointment Staff of ETH Zurich,

• Prof. Dr. Dieter Jahn, Senior Vice President, Science Relations & Innovation Management BASF,

• Dr. Anke-Susanne Müller, Head of one Helmholtz-Young Scientists Group at KIT and

• Prof. Dr. Eberhard Umbach from the KIT Executive Board.

The KIT development and the related problems were explored from completely different angles of view. Despite, or just because of the different starting points, the development process of YIN was seen uniformly positively. A new forum and a central element of promotion of the scientific future leaders with a self-directed personnel development of the members - all this financed from the Concept of the Future in the Excellence Initiative.

A pleasant reception in the foyer of the Audimax made the evening perfect.



from left to right Prof. Dr. Dieter Jahn, Dr. Anke-Susanne Müller, Prof. Dr. Eberhard Umbach, Martin Spiewak, Dr. Thomas Eichenberger, Dr. Beate Konze-Thomas

(Photo: PKM, S. Göttisheim)