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September 15, 2023

66 New PhD Students at ISTA

Young scientists from 28 countries and 5 continents welcomed

On Friday, September 15, a new cohort of PhD students was welcomed at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (ISTA) in Klosterneuburg. A total of 66 people from 28 countries – from Austria to Colombia, Nigeria or Cuba – have arrived on campus. During their PhD in Lower Austria, they can now leave behind the boundaries of traditional scientific disciplines: In the first year, the newcomers do research in at least three research groups of their choice, in order to get to know the methods and approaches of other disciplines – a special feature of ISTA.

“As Dean of the Graduate School, but also as an academic colleague, I am delighted to welcome our new PhD students to the ISTA campus,” said Eva Benková, Dean of the ISTA Graduate School, in her welcoming remarks.

“During your doctoral studies, you will quickly discover that curiosity has no limitations and knows no neatly drawn boundaries between disciplines. The coming years will certainly be challenging, but also very rewarding and enriching. It will allow you to grow as scientists. Take the time to walk this path – now as a part of the ISTA family.”

Eva Benková, Dean of the Graduate School © Peter Rigaud/ISTA

New life in Austria

About half of the new faces at the Institute are coming from Europe and a third from Asia. All in all, five continents are represented. That fits well with the campus, which already has people from 80 countries. In the first year, the international doctoral students have the opportunity to live on campus in order to get some orientation in Austria and the city of Klosterneuburg.

By the way, those who want to join next year should think about it soon: For 2024, the application period starts in October 2023 and ends on January 8, 2024.

The 2023 PhD cohort with Eva Benková, Dean of the Graduate School © ISTA

Round and round it goes: The unique doctoral program at ISTA

The PhD program of the Graduate School of the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (ISTA) is interdisciplinary and fully funded. It helps students to become world-class researchers in their fields, while promoting exchange and collaboration between research groups and disciplines. The training consists of both research and teaching elements. PhD students especially benefit from close supervision by world-class faculty from all major natural science disciplines. Regardless of their previous field of study, all students whose research interests match those of the ISTA research groups can pursue their doctoral studies at ISTA.

A special feature is the Institute’s rotation system: first-year doctoral students conduct research in at least three research groups of their choice in order to become familiar with the methods and issues of other disciplines. This promotes interdisciplinary thinking and scientific exchange across disciplinary boundaries at an early stage. In Austria, ISTA is a pioneer regarding this concept.

Growing interest in astronomy and chemistry

With the growth of the Institute, there are also new opportunities for the PhD students. Numerous applicants have shown interest in the new research groups at ISTA in the fields of astronomy and chemistry. The opportunities are sure to increase: By 2036, the Institute is expected to grow from 75 to 150 research groups.


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