The Romanian Young Academy (RYA) is addressed to early career researchers within 7 years from the bestowal of their PhD who are interested in pursuing both independent research and joint civic action. For its first three years, the RYA will be hosted by the University of Bucharest and funded by Stiftung Mercator. Its establishment has also been supported – both financially and logistically – by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. The first RYA call for applications was announced on the website www.rya.org.ro on the 15th of April 2020. The themes proposed for the first three years are also those of the present Humboldt Kolleg: 1) Technological development and human health/ quality of life; 2) Climate change and environmental sustainability; 3) Democracy and social cohesion.