About Die Junge Akademie

Die Junge Akademie was founded in 2000 as the first academy for outstanding young academics. Its members hail from all scientific disciplines and the arts. They explore the potential and limits of interdisciplinary work and aim to start conversations between science, art and society, and to generate momentum in discussions on science policy. The Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities (BBAW) and the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina are the supporting academies. Since its founding, Die Junge Akademie has developed into a role model and example for similar initiatives in many other countries.

Tasks and Forms of Work

Founded in 2000 with the conviction that young academics in Germany generally have little opportunity to develop freely or shape the academic system, Die Junge Akademie has prioritised the following two tasks since its founding:

  • the encouragement of academic, especially interdisciplinary, discourse among outstanding young academics and artists and
  • the promotion of initiatives at the intersections of science, art, science management, science policy and society.

Die Junge Akademie is free to choose its forms of work. The members meet regularly in varied groups online or in person, and three times a year at the Plenum to discuss their current research plans and to organise joint projects and publications.


Ten members are selected annually as laid down in the Statutes of Die Junge Akademie. Direct applications from young, outstanding academics and artists are possible every two years.

More about membership and the selection procedure

Committees and office

As part of the spring plenary session, the members elect the members of the Board and its Chair for Die Junge Akademie. The term of office for the Board starts after the summer plenary session and lasts one year.

More about the Board

Content-wise, its work is supported by the Council of Die Junge Akademie. It advises the members and connects Die Junge Akademie within science, art and society. The up to seven Council members are elected for three years and come from various scientific and artistic disciplines as well as other areas of society, science management and science policy. Alumni of Die Junge Akademie are also regularly involved.

More about the Council

The office in Berlin provides practical project support and is responsible for administrative and organisational tasks.

More about the office

Institutional integration and funding

Die Junge Akademie is owned by the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities (BBAW) and the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. During the first ten years of its existence it was classified as a project within the BBAW and was funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and, until 2005, by the Volkswagen Foundation.

Since 2011, Die Junge Akademie has been institutionalised and permanently incorporated in an administrative sense in the Leopoldina’s budget (see also History). Today Die Junge Akademie is funded 90 percent by the BMBF, with the State of Saxony-Anhalt and the BBAW each contributing a further 5 percent.

Since August 3, 2022, the Bodo-von-Borries Foundation has been funding Die Junge Akademie with 150,000 euros. Projects can be funded over a period of seven years in which physicists are significantly involved in the processing and deal with topics that have a significant scientific connection to physics.


Die Junge Akademie was launched on 30 June 2000, initially for 10 years. Its work began with the founders’ criticism of the deficiencies of the German academic system, which offers young academics little opportunity to develop freely or help shape the academic system. Paul Baltes, then Director of the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin as well as a member of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities (BBAW) and the German Academy of Natural Scientists Leopoldina, turned to the then BBAW President Dieter Simon with a first draft regarding the establishment of a “Nachwuchsakademie" in 1996.

Founding Speeches (in German)