PhilippTher MichaelWagner Credit FWF Novotny
Philipp Ther, Michael Wagner © FWF/Novotny

The recipients of Austria's most highly endowed science awards have been chosen: The FWF’s international expert jury confers the Wittgenstein Prize 2019 on the historian Philipp Ther and the microbiologist Michael Wagner. The jury selected the two top researchers from the University of Vienna from among 24 nominees. They will receive grants of 1.5 million euros each to enable them to further develop their cutting-edge research activities. In addition, the international jury, which includes two Nobel Prize laureates, awards the coveted START Prizes to six excellent up-and-coming researchers.

"The Wittgenstein Awards recognize world-class research achievements,” said FWF President Klement Tockner in a first reaction. “Both of the chosen researchers are breaking new scientific ground and yielding profound insights into issues that concern society as a whole. My heartfelt congratulations go to the winners of the Wittgenstein Award and the six START Awards.”

Minister of Science Iris Rauskala also congratulated: "These awards are not only a prestigious recognition for great research achievements, but also the basis for new important findings in the field of basic research. Austria can be very proud to have outstanding scholars in many different disciplines. Today we are bringing some of them on stage, and I congratulate all the prize winners on receiving this award."

The 2019 Wittgenstein Award Winners

Philipp Ther
“The Great Transformation. A comparative social history of global upheavals”
Department of East European History, University of Vienna

Michael Wagner

Department of Microbiology and Ecosystem Research, University of Vienna

The 2019 START Award Winners

Moritz Brehm
“Silicon light emitters based on defect-enhanced quantum dots“
Institute of Semiconductor and Solid State Physics, Johannes Kepler University of Linz

Christa Cuchiero

“Universal structures in Mathematical Finance“
Institute for Statistics and Mathematics, Vienna University of Economics and Business

Bruno de Nicola
“Nomads’ Manuscripts Landscape“
Institute of Iranian Studies, Austrian Academy of Sciences

Christoph Gammer
“Nanoscale strain mapping of metallic glass composites“
Erich Schmid Institute of Materials Science, Austrian Academy of Sciences

José Luis Romero
“Time-Frequency Analysis, Randomness and Sampling“
Faculty of Mathematics, University of Vienna

Richard Wilhelm
“Ion Impacts in Real-Time (time4ions)“
Institute of Applied Physics, Vienna University of Technology

The Wittgenstein and START Awards of the Austrian Science Fund FWF

The Wittgenstein Award is open to excellent researchers from all disciplines. Endowed with 1.5 million euros per winner this year, the award enables the winners to conduct their research with the utmost freedom and flexibility. Researchers are thus enabled to intensify their research activities at the highest international level. Based on opinions from international experts, the proposed winners were chosen by the international START/Wittgenstein Jury. The jury is composed of top international researchers, thus ensuring the highest possible level of objectivity in the selection process. Janet Wolff from the University of Manchester, UK, chaired the jury meetings.

The START programme is aimed at top young researchers from all disciplines, designed to enable them to engage in longer-term planning for their research with a high degree of financial security. By setting up and/or expanding a research group working under their leadership, principal investigators of START projects have the opportunity to qualify for a foremost position in the world of science. The START projects are endowed with up to 1.2 million euros each.


Link to press kit (in German) (pdf, 11.45MB)


Marc Seumenicht
Dep. Head of Communications, Spokesman | @FWF_at | @FWFOpenAccess

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