The Young Researchers Convent (YRC) is a subgroup of the STRUCTURES EXCELLENCE CLUSTER that brings together the young members of our scientific community. More precisely we represent students and Postdocs who are either directly funded by STRUCTURES or work on related research topics.
Any young researcher who is working in a field that fits into the concept of STRUCTURES can apply for a YRC membership.

But what exactly does the YRC do?
The short answer is that we give young, motivated scientists the necessary support to realize their own projects. This ranges from travel funds covering the expenses to participate in conferences and workshops around the globe to the organization of seminars and talks.
Additionally the resources of the YRC can be utilized to help young organizers finance their own STRUCTURES-related workshops and events. The YRC also takes part in the STEPS mentoring program, designed to promote the exchange between scientists at different stages - and especially at the beginning - of their career.

For further information check out our FAQ section or contact us directly via e-mail to structuresyrc(at)

Activities sponsored or organized by the YRC and FAQs

Click on topic boxes to expand.

Logo STRUCTURES YRC Conference 2022

This year the STRUCTURES YRC is organising the first YRC Conference from 4th - 7th October, 2022. The event is intended to bring together scientists from all of the different branches of STRUCTURES and is specifically aimed at young researches within the cluster. It serves as an opportunity to present and discuss research throughout STRUCTURES such as the CP's and EP's. During the 4 day event we will have plenary talks given by the PI’s of each CP, presentations of current projects (talks and posters) from the young researchers of the Young Researchers Convent and ample room for discussion amongst our members.

Registration is open now. You can register on the dedicated conference webpage:

The deadlines for the registration are the following:
  • for the talks and poster contributions : 7th August, 2022
  • general deadline (no contribution): 7th September, 2022

We strongly encourage our YRC members to contribute a talk or poster about their work! We are looking forward to your contributions, fruitful discussions and to seeing you all there!

Logo YRC Fundings

You want to participate in a conference or taking an online course but don’t know how to finance your journey? You need to buy equipment for your project or research but don't have the money for it ? You are looking for a certain book but can't find it in the university library? The YRC is here to support you in exactly these cases.

Three times a year (typically in March, June and October) the YRC opens a call for funds of up to 2000 Euro per person. To let the YRC members know when to apply the speakers will send around a mail to open the call. We offer several options of fundings:

  • YRC Travel Grants
  • YRC Books
  • YRC On-line Courses/Event Grants
  • YRC Travel Grants

    You can apply for the money to attend schools, conferences, collaboration meetings, that allow you to discuss and advance your research within STRUCTURES or educate yourself further in related topics. Preference will be given to activities that are difficult to fund otherwise.

    How to apply

    For your application please write a description of your planned activities (about half a page) which should contain the following information:

    • What do you want to use the funding for? How does this help you to advance your studies or career?
    • How is this activity related to STRUCTURES or how does it help you to connect with STRUCTURES?
    • How much would you need? (Not the exact amount, but an estimation. This can also cover more than one activity.)
    • Why is it difficult to get funding from your group or by other means?

    YRC Books

    You can request to buy books that you cannot get at the university library. After the use the equipment would become part of the STRUCTURES library.

    Your application should be short (max a half page) and should contain the following information:

    • Which books do you need? Specify author, title, publishing house, edition, and ISBN.
    • Why do you need it in your research or project?
    • How is this related to your activity within STRUCTURES ?
    • How much would the books cost?

    YRC On-line Courses/Events Grants

    You can apply for the money to attend online schools, conferences, courses, events, workshops that allow you to discuss and advance your research within STRUCTURES or educate yourself further in related topics. The online event or course should satisfy all of the following conditions:

    • the topic of the course is STRUCTURES related ;
    • the course is not already offered by the university as a regular course or as a part of the Weiterbildungsprogramm ;
    • the course is offered by the university but the applicant cannot attend it for a good reason (for instance: the course exists only in German and the applicant doesn't speak it, the schedule conflicts with his/her departmental duties).

    How to apply for it

    The application (max. half a page) must contain a short description of the course and the following information:

    • which course would you like to take?
    • how would it help you in your research or project ?
    • how does it connect to your activity within STRUCTURES ?
    • is there an equivalent course at the university? If yes, explain why you cannot attend it.

Logo Lectures at the Heidelberg Graduate Days

Lectures at the 45. Heidelberg Graduate Days - October 05-09, 2020

Field theory of dissipative quantum systems
Jamir Marino, Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz

Abstract: The lectures aim at providing a crash course knowledge of Keldysh field theory for dissipative quantum many body systems. We will start with an overview of the dynamics of open quantum models in Lindblad form, to construct systematically a field theory suited to describe non-equilibrium phenomena whose evolution is non unitary. The core of the lectures is represented by a broad number of applications ranging from quantum many body optics to solid state physics, including dynamics of condensed matter systems. In particular, we will analyse dissipative phase transitions in light-matter coupled models, dissipative quantum spin chains, and the dynamics of one-dimensional strongly correlated systems subject to local or global dissipative channels. The lectures will be in the format of a blackboard talk; focus will be on the mathematical constructions and on the physical effects, while some elementary technical aspects will be left to the audience as exercises.

The homology of data
Nina Otter, UCLA - University of California, Los Angeles

Abstract: Techniques and ideas from topology - the mathematical area that studies shapes - are being applied to the study of data with increasing frequency and success.
In this lecture series we will explore how we can use homology, a technique in topology that gives a measure of the number of holes of a space, to study data. The most well-known method of this type is persistent homology, in which one associates a one-parameter family of spaces to a data set and studies how the holes evolve across the parameter space. A more recent and less well-known technique is magnitude homology, which one can think of as giving a measure of the "effective number of points" of a metric space. In this course we will introduce the theoretical background for persistent and magnitude homology, and then dive into applications using software implementations and statistical analysis tools on real-world data sets.

Logo Schöntal Workshops

The aim of the Schöntal Workshop is to bring PhD students from different areas of STRUCTURES together to engage in discussion over topics that go beyond the standard curriculum of a lecture.
16 students and two invited experts, who offer their expertise whenever needed will participate in the workshop.
The workshop consists of discussion rounds which are conducted by the participants and provide an environment for discussing.

2022 Renormalization, Effective Theories and Scales

The registration for this year's edition of the Schöntal discussion workshop is now open. The topic of the workshop will be Renormalization, Effective Theories and Scales. The Schöntal workshop has been called into life a couple of years ago and is designed to stimulate discussions between young researchers about a specific topic.

The format is as follows: Prior to the workshop participants are organized in four groups, each of which is assigned to a sub-topic according to their preferences. The groups are then expected to carefully prepare these topics in the weeks and months before the workshop, such that an in-depth discussion during the workshop is possible. Each sub-topic will be shortly presented by the respective group during the workshop, followed by an extensive discussion. Since the discussions of open questions and ideas are at the heart of the workshop an active participation both during the workshop and during the preparation are highly encouraged.

As tradition demands the workshop is taking place in the quiet and beautiful Schöntal Abbey from 16.08 to 19.08. This year's topic is specifically chosen to allow for interdisciplinary discussions including physicists and mathematicians. To create an atmosphere where vivid exchanges of ideas are possible the total number of participants is capped at 16.

If you are interested in participating in the workshop you can register here. Please do not hesitate to contact us in case you have further questions (Organisers: Christophe, Denis, Iris, Tristan).

2020 Entanglement


  • Entanglement in Quantum Mechanics
  • Experiments on hidden variables
  • Entanglement and information theory
  • Entanglement and GR: Black hole information paradox

Invited guests:
PD Stefan Flörchinger (ITP)
Prof. Artur Widera (U. Kaiserslautern)

2019 Entropy


  • Classical entropy in thermodynamics and statistical physics and the relation to phase space
  • Entropy in maths and computer science: Information entropy, Cryptology, Mutual Information
  • Entropy in Quantum Systems
  • Entropy in self-gravitating and self-interacting systems and extensions of the concept of entropy (e.g. Black Holes)

Invited guests:
Prof. Matthias Bartelmann (ZAH)
Prof. Manfred Salmhofer (ITP)

Logo Positivity in Lie Groups

The aim of this seminar is to understand the notion of θ-positivity and how it relates to Higher Teichmüller theory. θ-positivity is a notion of positivity in semisimple Lie groups and was recently introduced by Guichard and Wienhard as a generalization of Lusztig's total positivity. The workshop is aimed at graduate students in the held and no previous knowledge is assumed. Some familiarity with Lie groups or representations of surface groups is helpful, but not necessary. Every participant will play an active role in the seminar -either by preparing a talk, or by organising an exercise session to consolidate what we have learned.

The workshop took place at the IWH in Heidelberg from January 10 to 14, 2022. More than 30 particpants participated in person, coming essentially from Germany, Switzerland and France. The participants all prepared a talk or an exercise session. The workshop concluded with a Q&A session with Anna Wienhard who brought her expertise to all the participants.

More information:
Young Researcher’s Workshop on Positivity in Lie Groups

logo Almost a PhD

In the lecture series 'almost a PhD', PhD students shortly before or shortly after their defense give their PhD talk.
In this format PhD candidates benefit by practicing their talk in front of a live audience and listeners are presented with understandable and hopefully high quality talks about a broad variety of current research topics. And if you are currently in your PhD yourself, you can collect ideas for your own talk in the future!
After the talk is finished and all questions are answered we would love to invite everyone to a virtual get-together. Grab a beer or snacks in front of your computer and have an informal discussion or chat.

If your defense is coming up and you are keen to practice your talk yourself or you finished and want to share your impressions with others, write a mail to structuresyrc(at) a mail with your topic and your preferred date. We will provide you 'drawing pads' that can be connected to a computer, to simulate an actual blackboard presentation.

Upcoming talks:

  • no upcoming talks at the moment

Logo Trust Professors

Our trust professors offer their support and guidance for the young researchers within the YRC. They can mediate in case of issues with your group or your supervisor, or if you are simply in need of helpful advice for your next career step.

Our current elected trust professors are:
  • Angkana Rühland (Institut für Angewandte Mathematik)
  • Anna Wienhard (Mathematisches Institut)
  • Matthias Bartelmann (Institut für Theoretische Physik)
  • Ullrich Köthe (Interdisciplinary Center for Scientific Computing)

Logo FAQs

What are CP's and EP's?

CP stands for Comprehensive Project and denotes the 7 main projects of STRUCTURES. Each CP is a collaboration of many groups and can span a variety of topics.
EP's are smaller, more speculative Exploratory Projects with max. two years of funding that investiagte new ideas and questions that come up. Every member of STRUCTURES can propose an EP as a single person or in a small group of members. Also non-members can participate.

What are PI's?

PI stands for Principal Investigator and is the term used for scientists that work on the CP's.

What is the steering board?

The steering board is an assembly of 5 PI's, the speaker of the YRC and the managing director as permanent guest. The board takes all kind of managing decisions for STRUCTURES, such as the evaluation of new research proposals (for example for EP's) and the filling of positions within STRUCTURES and prepares all decision proposals for the General Assembly.

What is the YRC?

Probably the best way to describe the YRC is as a platform that assembles students, PhDs and postdocs working on topics related to STRUCTURES.
Our goal is to support our members in their research endeavors by offering travel funds, networking opportunities, workshops etc.
The YRC strongly encourages and offers financial support to any member or group of members who wish to organize events of their own.

What are the tasks of the YRC speakers?

Officially the YRC is run by a speaker and a deputy speaker. They are elected once a year in the YRC's general assembly. The speakers have several functions:
  • The first speaker is part of the Steering Board and is therefore the voice of the YRC in the decision process of the cluster.
  • Decisions on membership applications are taken together by both speakers.
  • The speakers prepare the funding calls and evaluate the applications together.
  • The speakers speak on behalf of the YRC in the general assembly.

I am a student and my supervisor is part of STRUCTURES. Does this mean that I am automatically part of the YRC?

No, if you are not directly funded by STRUCTURES you are not automatically part of the YRC.
However, any student who is either part of a PI's group or works on a topic that is related to one of the CP's can apply to become a member of the YRC by sending a mail with their name, their supervisor and institute to structuresyrc(at)
A good indicator to find out whether you are part of the YRC is if you receive e-mails from us or not.

I am not part of a group of one of the PI's but would be interested in becoming a YRC member.

Anyone can apply for a YRC membership. If you can draw a clear connection between your work and topics covered in STRUCTURES, and argue why a membership would be beneficial to you and the YRC you can get accepted as a member. Whether the application is granted or not has to be decided by the YRC speakers.

Do I have any responsibilities if I become a YRC member?

As a YRC member you have no scientific obligations and can choose to be as active as you want. Once a year you will have to participate in a 5min survey to keep the funding giver „DFG - Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft“ up to date about people being enrolled in their projects. STRUCTURES is a DFG funded Cluster of Excellence. Keep in mind, though, that the YRC lives from the impulses and ideas of its members. The more active the community, the more benefit every member draws from it.

What are the benefits of becoming a YRC member?

As a member of the YRC you will always be up to date about activities that take place within STRUCTURES.
You can also apply for travel grants in order to get financial support to go to conferences, summer/winter schools and other scientific journeys.
Additionally the YRC is offering financial support to any member or group of members who wish to organize events on their own.

I would like to become more active in the YRC.

We are always happy to welcome new active members!
We have regular meetings in the brand new STRUCTURES offices in Mathematikon.
If you want to join us, drop a mail at structuresyrc(at)

How can I apply for funding?

Three times a year the YRC speakers open a funding call that all members can apply for.
You can get funding for travel grants, online equipment, books, as well as online courses.
For more details, check out the section on the funding calls.

I want to organize a workshop/event myself. How should I proceed?

If you have an idea for a workshop, want to invite an external speaker to give a talk or have other exciting ideas for possible events you can always contact us at structuresyrc(at)



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