Students in Jena city

Honours Programme for Future Researchers

Students in Jena city
Image: Christoph Worsch (University of Jena)

The Idea of the Programme

In the field of teaching and research, one of the core activities of the Friedrich Schiller University is the promotion of talented students who are enthusiastic about science. Teaching staff at all faculties make an effort to identify students excelling in their studies, provide them with individual support, and enable them to engage in research activities. The Honours Programme provides a structure and multiple opportunities to identify and promote talents at an early stage.
Coordinated by the Graduate Academy, this cutting-edge programme is one of the essential parts of the “LIGHT, LIFE, LIBERTY – Connecting Visions” strategy of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena. It is funded by the university allowance provided by the Excellence Strategy of the German State Government and the Länder.

The Honours Programme is about giving talented and research-oriented students from all disciplines a deeper insight into research processes during their studies, enabling them to participate in the scientific community, and preparing them for a scientific career. Students apply together with a supervisor and their own small research project.

The Honours Programme consists of three components: individual support provided by the Honours mentoring, key qualifications and interdisciplinary exchange in the Honours workshops, and financial support provided via the Honours funds.

Honours Mentoring Show content

To participate in the Honours Programme, students are asked to apply in a tandem with a professor or postdoc. Upon successful application, the selected students will be supervised by the researcher with whom they have applied in tandem. The University invites professors and advanced postdoctoral researchers to opt for supervising talented students. Depending on the research culture, the supervision may comprise a small individual research or publication project, or the responsibility for a subsection of a joint research project; it may also be combined with participating in graduate programmes, advanced seminars or doctoral colloquia as well as with participations in congresses and conferences.

The mentoring in the Honours Programme is based on these guidelines [pdf, 1 mb].

Honours Workshops Show content
Workshop in Auditorium of House for Young Researchers "Zur Rosen" Workshop in Auditorium of House for Young Researchers "Zur Rosen" Image: Jan-Peter Kasper (University of Jena)

The Graduate Academy offers several workshops and other events to the selected students. These events will focus on certain topics beyond the standard contents of study programmes. Among others, there will be workshops on scientific writing and presentation, on good scientific practice, on the philosophy of science and research ethics and, last but not least, on the very first career steps as a researcher. In taking part in these workshops, the participants will be able to train research-related key qualifications at an early stage of their studies as well as reflect on their own research and their experience of the research culture. Through these workshops, as well as through regular networking events, the University also seeks to encourage the interdisciplinary exchange of the selected students, and strengthen their sense of belonging to the scientific community.

Honours Funds Show content
Wachstum durch finanzielle Förderung Wachstum durch finanzielle Förderung Image: / Micheile Henderson

The funds should support those activities of the selected students which are not directly related to the requirements in their studies but to their research project, for example, travel expenses when taking part in congresses, or other material costs of up to €1,000 per year.

In addition, also initiatives of the selected students may be funded, for example, so that the recipients may be able to invite visiting lecturers to the University or organize their own student research congresses.

In general, funding is initially granted for one year. Upon application, the funding can be extended to a maximum of two years. However, the individual funding period also depends on the status of the studies. Answers to some typical questions about the funding period can be found here [pdf, 51 kb] de.

Please find the programme's guidelines here [pdf, 141 kb].

The programme is evaluated annually. The results of previous programme evaluations can be viewed here: Evaluation de.

Honours Students

Pilot Phase 2019
24 students were selected for the pilot phase 2019
Goldglitter mit der Jahreszahl 2020
Honours Students 2020
68 students were selected in 2020
Honours Students 2021
60 students were selected in 2021

Here is what Honours Students say about the Programme

Dongik Chang


For general inquiries, please contact

Office of vice-president for young researchers and diversity management
Annika Bartsch, Dr
Dr. Annika Bartsch
Haus für den wissenschaftlichen Nachwuchs - Zur Rosen
Johannisstraße 13
07743 Jena
Office of vice-president for young researchers and diversity management
Sarah Jamski
Sarah Jamski
Haus für den wissenschaftlichen Nachwuchs - Zur Rosen
Johannisstraße 13
07743 Jena
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