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October 8, 2013

Preparing for the future

Supported by generous scholarships, six student scholars start at IST Austria’s Graduate School

IST Austria Scholarship 2013
From left: Roshan Prizak, Kristóf Zoltán Huszár, Dámaris Ketinó Rangel Guerrero, Ximena Contreras, Isabella Tomanek, Alexander Zimin

This fall, 29 new students enrolled at IST Austria’s Graduate School, bringing the total number of students at IST Austria to 81. The students of 2013 were selected from a total of around 350 applicants. Six of the new students received a special honor at the very beginning of their scientific career: they were chosen as named scholars, meaning that their study will be financially supported by two donors.

As of this year, Steven Heinz, Austrian co-founder of the investment company Lansdowne Partners and Managing Director of Lansdowne Partners Austria GmbH, supports IST Austria’s scholarship program with € 120’000. The Vienna-based oil and gas company OMV has been supporting IST Austria since 2008. The contributions to the scholarship program are part of this package.

Thomas Henzinger, President of IST Austria, highlights the importance of donations like these as surpassing their monetary value: “A crucial indicator of IST Austria’s success are the donations it receives. Giving scholarships is one way in which donors may support especially young researchers at IST Austria. I am grateful to Steven Heinz and the OMV for their trust in the quality of our education and research.”

Roshan Prizak from India earned his degree in Electrical Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay. Ximena Contreras, who studied genomic sciences, also worked as teaching assistant during her bachelor studies at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. Kristóf Zoltán Huszár from Hungary studied Mathematics at the Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest and at the Ruprecht-Karl-University Heidelberg. Dámaris Ketinó Rangel Guerrero studied Neurobiology at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. Isabella Tomanek from Austria studied in Molecular Microbiology at the University of Vienna, where she won scholarships for her excellent grades. Alexander Zimin from Russia received his Master of Science in Applied Mathematics from the Central European University in Budapest.

These six especially promising doctoral students were chosen by a jury consisting of IST Austria postdocs, based on their achievements as undergraduate students. Prizak and Contreras were named as Heinz Scholars while Huszár, Rangel Guerrero, Tomanek and Zimin were awarded OMV scholarships.

For Steven Heinz, a knowledge-based society relies on basic research as a long-term investment. Heinz also intends to set an example for establishing philanthropy as an important source for education and for promoting excellence in all fields in Austria and Europe. Walter Böhme, Head of Innovation at OMV, underlines the importance of basic research for a major oil and gas company like OMV: “In the long run, scientific findings are the foundation of all technological progress. Therefore, supporting basic research will provide not only us as a company but society as a whole with relevant outcomes which will secure our future.”

Henzinger concludes: “For me, supporting young scientists means investing in not just their but our future. Every donor honors IST Austria as the donation shows that we are giving aspiring researchers the right education and training. Scholarship donations allow especially talented doctoral students to study at IST Austria. Providing a scholarship is a donation given with the mutual understanding that there are no obligations towards the donor. Nevertheless, we fully appreciate the responsibility that comes with this donation for attracting outstanding doctoral students, training them to become world-class researchers, and disseminating their science.”


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