Take the stage - find strong scientific partners in Germany to pursue the Sustainable Development Goals

The new Leibniz Open Topics 2020 format is aimed at international postdocs in the

life sciences.

The Leibniz Association will invite a selected number of highly qualified international postdoctoral researchers to Berlin, where they will present their innovative research ideas for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Selected candidates will meet top scientists from the Leibniz Association to establish valuable contacts for future collaboration and gauge career opportunities.

Your qualifications
  • You are a highly qualified postdoctoral researcher with an outstanding doctoral degree
  • You completed your doctorate no more than 5 years ago (child-raising and care periods are credited as two additional years)
  • You have come up with an innovative research idea that can help reach the Sustainable Development Goals
  • You are able to present your idea in 10 minutes maximum and inspire a scientific audience
  • You have an excellent command of the English language
  • You are currently not based in Germany
Our profile

Interdisciplinarity, sustainability and promotion of promising researchers are three of the guiding principles of the Leibniz Association. Leibniz researchers are among the best in the world in the fields of life sciences. The institutes within our Life Sciences section focus on the following key areas: biodiversity, infection and inflammation, lifestyle, environment and healthy aging, bioactive compounds and biotechnology. They pursue a holistic, interdisciplinary approach to investigating the complex interrelationships between the individual disciplines. For instance, some of the research topics of the Leibniz life sciences institutes are related to the Sustainable Development Goals ‘Good health and well-being’, ‘Climate action’ and ‘Life on land’.

The idea

Send in your application briefly describing your innovative research idea. Selected candidates will be invited to the Leibniz Headquarters in Berlin, all expenses covered. Meet the most high-profile researchers in your field. The exchanges will focus on sharing ideas and gauging potential cooperation and funding opportunities. You will find many of our institutes in the metropolitan regions of Hamburg, Central Germany and Berlin/Brandenburg and also in other parts of Germany. You can find a list of all the institutes here.

Leibniz Institutes of the section
What can you expect?

Leibniz Open Topics 2020 allows you to present your next research idea to first-class researchers from the life sciences. Stand out, showcase your research idea and make new contacts with outstanding institutes. Successful candidates will be offered an exploratory stay of up to one week at a Leibniz Institute of their choice in order to gauge future cooperation possibilities. The programme will also include a top keynote address, information about funding opportunities and a coaching session on how to prepare successful applications.

Required application documents
  • Detailed CV with a list of publications
  • Transcript of doctoral certificate (PhD), possibly provisional certificate
  • Letter of recommendation from a university professor or a senior researcher
  • One-page motivation letter
  • Cover sheet incl. abstract of your research idea and keywords (PDF)
  • Outline of your research idea, three pages maximum
  • Proof of outstanding scientific achievements

Please send the cover sheet, your CV and attachments as three separate PDF files. Maximum file size 10 MB. The PDF file names should follow this format: Cover_LOT2020_LifeSciences.pdf, Lastname_Firstname_CV.pdf and Lastname_Firstname_documents.pdf


Your completed application must be in by 23 February 2020. Applications can only be accepted by email. Participating Leibniz Institutes will select candidates for Leibniz Open Topics 2020. You will be informed of their decision in spring 2020.

Please email your application to opentopics(at)leibniz-association.eu

Who we are

The Leibniz Association is one of the most prominent research organisations in Europe with a total budget of 1.9 billion euros. The 96 independent research institutions within the Leibniz Association employ almost 20,000 staff dedicated to knowledge- and application-oriented research. Our goals are scientific excellence and societal relevance. We practise cooperative science and interdisciplinarity through Leibniz Research Alliances and Leibniz ScienceCampi.

Dr Britta Nehlsen-Marten
Leibniz Association
Chausseestrasse 111
D-10115 Berlin