Call for Fellows to the Academy Topic “Complexity”

Applications will be accepted by 30.11.2023 via e-mail 

About JQYA

The JQYA is an independent academy within Goethe University, which supports outstanding scientists at the beginning of their scientific independence and during their professional qualification.

Intending to inspire researchers with already established international reputations to join the academy, the JQYA provides a platform for intellectual exchange and critical discussion, as well as freedom for academic research and diverse opportunities to develop and contour a unique scientific profile.

Our academy program and the flexible and tailored support lines facilitate intellectual, interdisciplinary exchange and provide Fellows with the academic freedom to pursue highly successful academic careers. The benefits include (I) insight into research approaches across disciplines, (II) greater awareness of the integration of individual research into a larger research context, and (III) improved understanding of specific research questions through interdisciplinary debates. Our Fellows gain access to a dynamic environment that addresses challenges concerning science and society in the context of the academy topic and may inspire creative solutions with far-reaching scientific impact.

Academy Topic 2024/2025

The topic “Complexity” holds significant relevance for our contemporary society in a rapidly evolving world; it encourages our Fellows and Members to explore intricate systems, phenomena, and structures that challenge conventional modes of analysis or thought.

Complexity is an inherent facet of nature, human societies, language, art, science, and technology. The JQYA fosters interdisciplinary dialog among researchers from natural and life sciences, arts, and the humanities. Our Fellows and Members will work together to decipher the intricacies underlying these fields and analyse the interrelationships between complex systems, ecological networks, human behavior, and artistic expression. Striving for clarity, we will illuminate specific methodologies and theories, as well as innovative tools, models, and strategies, to distil the essence of complexity and to articulate our discoveries with simplicity.

Complexity underpins pressing contemporary issues. It plays a pivotal role in understanding and addressing challenges such as climate change, biodiversity, global health crises, migration, the ever-evolving digital landscape including Artificial Intelligence, and the intricate tapestry of human culture, art, and language.

The Academy Topic “Complexity” invites us to navigate the intricate web of our world, disentangling, interpreting, and enhancing our understanding of the complex systems and phenomena that shape our lives.

Call for Fellows

We invite applications of advanced R2 and R3 Early Career Researchers from Goethe University, the RMU Alliance, and partner institutions, to explore within the JQYA the academy topic ‘Complexity’.

Through their participation in the academy program, our Fellows benefit from

  • engaging in dynamic interdisciplinary debates,
  • fostering scientific exchange with other postdocs,
  • receiving dedicated support for their academic career, and
  • accessing substantial funding for their research,

all while shaping the inner core of the academy for a period of 3 years.

Applications will be accepted until 30.11.2023 via e-mail to the JQYA office.

The call for Associated Fellows is included in the annual call for Fellows, although applications are accepted throughout the year.

Support Lines

A. Scientific Development – open to all Fellows

  • Advancement of professional qualification – through courses, workshops, and the annual Academy School.
  • Use of the JQYA platform to organize or participate in conferences and workshops on subjects related to the current Academy Topic.

B. Fellowships

Early Career Researchers can apply as JQYA Fellows or as Associated Fellows. JQYA Fellows are additionally eligible for either a Sabbatical Fellowship or an Academy Fellowship.

JQYA funded activities must fall within the framework of the Academy’s Topic. We do not allocate a fixed annual budget for each Fellow. Funds are distributes upon request.

Academy Fellowships – accessible to all JQYA Fellows

  • Facilitation of international collaboration and research initiatives, e.g. short research visits abroad
  • Implementation of own research projects

JQYA Fellows receive up to €10,000 as earmarked funding for each project-related and approved application.

Sabbatical Fellowships – available for JQYA Fellows of Goethe University only

  • Release from teaching obligations for up to one semester
  • Freedom for scientific research

The funds cover costs of teaching replacement up to €32.000 and are not passed on to the Fellows. Fellows cannot be released from duties relating to administrative or departmental management.

Associated Fellowships – accessible to Goethe University’s researchers

  • Facilitation of new (international) collaboration initiatives 
  • Implementation of own research activities within the framework of the Academy Topic

No additional funding will be awarded, although Associated Fellows are welcome to submit applications for joint research projects with JQYA Fellows and Members (tandems). Associated Fellows are also eligible for Goethe University’s ECR Support, including funding for Infrastructure, Open Access, and International Liaison Fellowships. There is a special call for these applications twice a year, as part of Goethe University’s R3 Career Support program.

Application as JQYA Fellow


For a JQYA Fellowship, the Academy accepts R3 researchers, i.e. independent group leaders and W1 / W1 TT assistant professors, as well as advanced R2 researchers from Goethe University Frankfurt, the Rhine-Main University Alliance (RMU), and partner institutions.

Application Process

Candidates are required to send their application including all required documents in English in one single PDF file to the JQYA office.

The application should include:

  • Cover letter
    •  addressed to the JQYA directors,
    •  specifying the Fellowship being applied for (Academy, Sabbatical, or Associated Fellowship),
    •  explaining how this Fellowship would advance the candidate’s career,
    •  showing the motivation for joining the JQYA.
  • CV in accordance with the DFG’s new CV template including a list of publications and conference participation
  • 2 reference letters, one of them international

Selection Process

The evaluation of the applications and selection of JQYA Fellows is conducted by the JQYA Distinguished Senior Scientists.

Up to 10 new JQYA Fellows are nominated each year based on the:

  • Achievements and impact of the candidate’s scientific research,
  • Clearly defined compatibility/link with the Academy’s  Topic,
  • Candidate’s strong personal motivation to participate in the Academy Program

Applicants will be notified by email on the outcome of their application. Admission to the Academy is formalised with the presentation of a certificate during the official JQYA Award Ceremony.

Application as Associated Fellow


Those eligible to apply for an Associated Fellowship are Early Career Researchers in the advanced R2 and R3 phase, i.e. advanced Postdocs, independent group leaders, and W1 / W1 TT assistant professors of Goethe University.

Application Process

Candidates are required to send their application including all required documents in English in one single PDF file to the JQYA office.

The application should include:

  • Cover letter
    •  addressed to the JQYA directors,
    •  expressing your motivation for joining the JQYA as Associated Fellow.
  • CV in accordance with the DFG’s new CV template including a list of publications and conference participation.

Selection Process

The evaluation of the applications and selection of Associated Fellows is carried out by the JQYA directors, based on formal criteria as well as the candidate’s personal motivation to participate in the Academy Program.