Strong Presence of the TU Wien Faculty of Informatics at the FWF Career Grant Awards

On 25th of March 2021, the Austrian Science Fund (FWF), Austria’s central funding organization for basic research, has organised a large-scale online event to festively congratulate the winners of the Hertha Firnberg and Elise Richter career grants awarded in 2019 and 2020. Entitled “Frauen in der Spitzenforschung – Auszeichnung und Networking”, the event attracted over 120 participants as well as prestigious guests such as Prof. Gregor Weihs, president of the FWF, and representatives of the ministry of education.  Besides the festive congratulations of the winners, six break-out sessions offered opportunities for discussing and networking. One of these sessions was led by Prof. Silvia Miksch, who advises the FWF on computer science related topics. 

Besides the participation of Prof. Miksch, TU Wien’s Faculty of Informatics had a strong presence at this event through winners in both categories: Katta Spiel was awarded a Hertha Finberg grant (2019) while Marta Sabou is the holder of an Elise Richter grant (2019). 

The Hertha-Firnberg Programme supports excellent early post-docs in establishing their own research agenda and academic footing.  Katta Spiel is the first officially non-binary recipient of this grant and has been awarded in 2019 for the project “Exceptional Norms: Marginalised Bodies in Interaction Design”. Between 2020 and 2023, they will critically analyse how bodies are constructed within Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and Interaction Design, conduct participatory design with people whose bodies are marginalised by technologies and create robust research products materialising alternatives to the status quo.

The goal of the Richter Programme is to support excellent senior post-docs in their work towards Habilitation and applying for professorial positions in Austria or abroad. In this category, Marta Sabou has been awarded in 2019 for the project entitled “Human-centric  Ontology Evaluation (HOnEst)”. During this four year project she aims to advance the state of the art of ontology evaluation by laying the methodological foundations of human-centric approaches to this topic. 

This event has further strengthened our faculty’s track record in securing these prestigious awards following on the successes of earlier Firnberg/Richter award holders at our faculty such as Dr. Astrid Weiss (Firnberg’2012 and Richter’2017), Dr. Magdalena Ortiz (Firnberg’2011) and Dr. Manuela Waldner (Firnberg’2015).

FWF’s own coverage of the event can be read in German here.