Representing all PhD candidates of the Helmholtz Centers

Helmholtz Juniors 2015 Meeting in Bremerhaven


The Helmholtz Juniors (HEJU) were founded in 2005 as an initiative to represent the interests of PhD candidates at all 18 Centres in the Helmholtz Association, Germany’s largest non-university scientific organisation.

The Helmholtz Juniors represent the interests of about 4,800 doctoral candidates (as of 2011), which is approx. 15 % of the whole staff. Their primary goals are fostering exchange and networking among their peers, improving the conditions they work in and expanding the range of advanced training opportunities available to them within the Helmholtz Association.


A Helmholtz Juniors group is made up of at least two PhD candidate representatives from each Helmholtz Centre. The Helmholtz Juniors are a dynamic team that is able to respond flexibly to the current needs and requirements of PhD students within the Association. Two spokesmen represent the Helmholtz Juniors in the Associations and the public.

How do you form a Helmholtz Juniors group?

In most Helmholtz Centres, PhD candidates elect representatives for a term of one year. Two of them are delegates of the Helmholtz Juniors, which has to be decided among the representatives.

Therefore, at the DKFZ you have to be elected at the Annual Plenary Meeting, usually held in October, and as a member of the Council you can work as a Helmholtz Junior!


Annual Meetings

Annual meetings attended by Helmholtz Juniors from all Helmholtz Centres provide a forum for PhD candidates to exchange information on the situation at the different Centres and coordinate initiatives to establish better working conditions for doctoral students within the entire Helmholtz Association. The annual meetings are held at the beginning of the year at one of the Helmholtz Association’s locations.

Working Groups

The activities of the Helmholtz Juniors are organised by working groups formed at the annual meetings.

Currently, there are four groups covering:

  • Working conditions
  • Survey
  • Events
  • Communication

Get more information

Whom to contact


Sabrina Fehrenbach (in the Working Conditions group)
Juliane Hafermann (in the HEJU Survey group)

Spokesmen of the Helmholtz Juniors for 2015:

Daniel Neumann (Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht)
Meike Köhler (Helmholtz Zentrum München)

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