Impact.Award for 8 doctoral candidates of the University of Vienna

The Impact.Award 2021 funded by the City of Vienna Cultural Affairs was given to eight active PhD students of the University of Vienna. The prize was awarded for outstanding dissertation projects with the potential to reach target groups outside the scientific community and to achieve social, cultural or economic added value.

We would like to thank our jurors of the expertjury:

Stefan Dullinger, Prof. Dept. Botany & Biodiversity Research

Fares Kayali, Prof. Dept. of Teacher Education

Jörg Matthes, Prof. Dept. of Communication

Micheal Stampfer, CEO WWTF

Edeltraud Stiftinger, CEO AWS

Alice Vadrot, Prof. Dept. of Political Sciences

Theresia Vogel, CEO Climate and Energy fund

Katrin Vohland, Director Natural History Museum Vienna

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Award Winners

Faime Alpagu

Faime Alpagu is PhD candidate at the Department of Sociology at the University of Vienna. In her research project Migration Narratives Juxtaposed: A Sociological Analysis of Photos, (Audio)Letters and Biographies of "Guest Workers" from Turkey living in Austria, she aims to reveal the complex interactions between different modes of expression (visual/verbal), time relations (now/then), and spatial constellations (here/there) and consequently to contribute to a differentiated and critical view of the migration discourse. In the course of the Impact.Award, Faime Alpagu focuses on the biographies of the research participants through an open dialogue format, an exhibition, and a workshop with experts, thus providing a platform for recognition and visibility.

Julia Holzer

Well-being is considered an important resource for health, positive development, and successful learning. My dissertation at the Faculty of Psychology focuses on well-being in educational contexts. My work has two main foci. Three separate studies address the question of conceptualizing school-related well-being - What are the building blocks that make up well-being? How are these components related to motivation and achievement in school? Second, in three further studies, my dissertation addresses maintaining motivation and well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, my work provides important insights into the promotability of well-being and motivation in educational contexts, as well as implications for addressing consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. With the resources available through the Impact Award, I would like to prepare these findings in the form of a documentary film for classroom use.

Marieta Kaufmann

Dipl.jur. Marieta Kaufmann: Conflict of laws and substantive law issues regarding the liability of Austrian companies to claim indemnification for human rights violations in countries of the Global South in the context of global production networks and corporate structures. Supervisor: Associate Professor René Kuppe Are Austrian companies liable for damages for human rights violations caused in the context of global economic interdependence by subsidiaries or dependent business partners in countries of the Global South or against Indigenous Peoples? The thesis answers in detail this question, which has suddenly gained topicality due to the accumulation of "strategic human rights litigation" against parent and commissioning companies throughout Europe. In an EU directive (draft) planned for autumn 2021, the question of liability of European Companies will gain central and not uncontroversial importance; the thesis makes clear how far suitable existing Austrian tort law and conflict of laws is for this - ethically and economically relevant - core question of economic globalization.

Adria Nogales Moral

I’m Adrià, a PhD student at the Max Perutz Labs. I work with tardigrades, one of the most resilient organisms on Earth. When exposed to stress tardigrades enter cryptobiosis, a reversible ametabolic state that can be maintained until the environmental conditions turn habitable again. In my work, I apply high-resolution microscopy techniques in addition to high-throughput proteomic methods to investigate how tardigrades react to cryptobiosis. I’m planning to use the impact award to approach tardigrade research to the general public in order to raise interest on this new and exciting research field and to boost multidiciplinary collaborations within the University of Vienna.

Alexandra Schurz

Alexandra Schurz is a uni:docs fellow at the Department of English and American Studies. In her research, she is working on the impact of English language teaching and spare time English on the development of automatized and/or implicit grammatical knowledge across European countries. In order to establish a dialogue between researchers and teachers and to connect teachers cross-nationally, she is launching the English Language Instruction Network (E-LINK). This will be based on an online platform and teacher workshops to be organized for the fall.

Wanda Spahl

Wanda Spahl is a university assistant at the Centre for the Study of Contemporary Solidarity (CeSCoS), Department of Political Science. In her dissertation study, she researches refugees’ health needs at the intersection between the healthcare and the asylum system. Her in-depth study combines ethnographic research with refugees in Vienna (qualitative Interviews, observations at medical consultations, etc.), interviews with healthcare providers and politicians, and an analysis of relevant legal frameworks. It provides knowledge about the Austrian healthcare system that is needed to provide everybody living here with the care they need.

Blanca Spee

Blanca T.M. Spee is a PhD candidate at the Faculty of Psychology, Vienna CogSciHub coordinator, ARTIS project team member at the University of Vienna, and a scholar at Radboud UMC in the Netherlands. Her research implements a novel approach combining the investigation of empirical art and creativity with neuropsychopharmacology. Herein, a special emphasis lies in integrating this research into the field of Parkinson’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders to foster the communication between patients, artists, researchers, and healthcare stakeholders. With this transdisciplinary approach she takes the first steps towards new therapeutic advances by bridging the gap between art, neuroscience, and medicine.

Sarah Zlokilikovits

Sarah Zloklikovits is a physics educational researcher at the Austrian Competence Centre for Physics at the University of Vienna. She is currently working on her dissertation on teaching electromagnetic radiation in middle school. The Impact Award is an opportunity for her to impart basic knowledge about electromagnetic radiation to people outside from school. She hopes to clear up typical misconceptions about electromagnetic radiation.