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MBG Young Investigator Career Programme

With the MBG Young Investigator Career Programme, MBG wishes to create a stimulating scientific environment where young scientists can establish themselves as group leaders. The intention is that 5 – 7 years as a group leader at MBG will form an excellent platform to apply for tenure at Aarhus University, another Danish university or internationally.


Early-to mid-career non-tenured scientists, who are awarded one of the following career grants:

  • Villum Young Investigator; any of the Novo Nordisk  Emerging Investigator grants; ERC starting grant; DFF Sapere Aude; Lundbeckfonden Fellowship.

How to participate in the MBG young investigator Career programme:

Candidates for the career programme are recruited through participation in the MBG Young Investigator Symposium, or by direct contact to the head of Department or other staff members (see fig. 1). It should be emphasized that these are the only ways for non-tenured candidates to engage in an investigator grant application with the department. “Local” candidates (already at the department) should follow (2).

Figure 1. Candidates for the mentor programme are enrolled either by participation in the MBG Young Investigator Symposium or by direct contact to the department. Candidates who have not participated in the symposium will meet with the MBG research committee and pitch their idea prior to grant application.    

Admission into the young investigator programme follows a three-step process, in which selected applicants initially present their work online at the

MBG Young Investigator Symposium (May/June)

Based on evaluation of the presentations and discussions of research plans, a number of applicants will be invited to visit Aarhus University and learn more about the department and the Danish funding opportunities, meet relevant PIs, and discuss career strategies and support offered at Aarhus University at the

MBG Young Investigator Site Visit (August)

Based on a final evaluation, several candidates will be offered to enter the Young Investigator Research Programme and receive mentoring on funding with the aim of establishing a research group at MBG for a period of 5-7 years.

Application process:

The applicant is assigned a personal mentor who will discuss the project and review the application before submission. There will be administrative support from the AU Research Support Office and departmental scientific coordinator. Together with the candidates, we will develop a plan for applications (which grants to apply for and when).

The MBG Young Investigator Career Programme (after funding)

  • Personal mentor - monthly meetings on science, management and career development
  • Quarterly lunch meetings with Head of Department
  • Biannual meetings with the Research Committee members
  • Fundraising support
  • Courses on project management, leadership and teaching
  • Free laboratory space
  • Monthly seminars with invited (international) speakers or fellow mentees
  • Access to core facilities
  • Teaching experience
  • Access to the AU Junior Researcher Development Programme

The extent of the programme corresponds to the length of the career grant
Outstanding candidates might negotiate a 2 years extension of the programme covering the salary of the candidate

Erik Østergaard Jensen

Institutleder Institut for Molekylærbiologi og Genetik


For further questions, please contact Head of Department Erik Østergaard Jensen (eoj@mbg.au.dk)