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Helmholtz – Germany’s largest research organisation

Some 15,000 researchers and 7,000 PhD students conduct research for the Helmholtz Association in 18 centres.


Over 15,000 researchers and 7,000 PhD students work for Germany’s largest research organisation. It began life in 1958 as a loose working group of a few relatively new institutions active in the field of nuclear energy, which was then considered a fascinating subject. Today, the Helmholtz Association consists of 18 independent research centres, including the German Aerospace Center (DLR) which alone has 16 different sites in Germany.

Research at Helmholtz Centres aims to contribute towards answering major and urgent questions facing science, ­society and industry. In the process, Helmholtz researchers concentrate on highly complex systems that affect humans and the environment. Research teams are examining how to keep the environment intact for future generations and developing new therapies 
for previously incurable diseases. Helmholtz research projects often involve the use of spectacular large machines.