On 21 January, seven applicants presented themselves for the position of FWF President at a virtual hearing before the FWF Assembly of Delegates. The delegates then held a secret ballot to decide on a shortlist of three candidates. On 10 February, the Supervisory Board of the FWF will elect the next president from the trio of Christof Gattringer (University of Graz), Sabine Schindler (University of Innsbruck), and Miranda Schreurs (Technical University of Munich).
After the premature end of Klement Tockner’s term of office as President of the FWF, the FWF Assembly of Delegates sent invitations in mid-December 2020 to a total of seven out of 19 applicants from Austria and abroad to participate in a hearing. During this next stage in the process of electing the future President of the FWF, the applicants presented themselves to the group of delegates on 21 January.
The four male and three female candidates first presented their plans, ideas, and visions for the FWF in the coming years. The delegates then used the opportunity to pose questions to get a good idea of the candidates and their priorities. After the hearing was over, the delegates withdrew under the chairmanship of Michaela Fritz (Medical University of Vienna) to consider and discuss the candidates. They then held a secret ballot to decide on the shortlist of three candidates to be submitted to the Supervisory Board of the FWF for electing the new president.
“I would like to express my sincere thanks to the seven applicants. No matter how the Supervisory Board’s election turns out, we will take away a lot of constructive suggestions for the future from the conversations with the candidates”, said Michaela Fritz, Chairwoman of the FWF Assembly of Delegates. “I would like to wish the three shortlisted candidates the best of luck in the next stage of the process. The Assembly of Delegates is already looking forward to working with the new President”, added Fritz.
All three candidates shortlisted by the Assembly of Delegates have extensive expertise, international experience, and high academic standing. The names in this shortlist are not ranked and appear below in alphabetical order.
Particle physicist Christof Gattringer has been a professor at the University of Graz since 2005 and Vice-Rector for Research and Junior Researchers’ Promotion since 2019. He has conducted research, for example, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston, at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, and at the University of Washington in Seattle. The physicist has received FWF funding for numerous projects and was the spokesman of an FWF doctoral programme.
Astrophysicist Sabine Schindler has been a professor at the University of Innsbruck since 2002, where she also served as Vice-Rector for Research from 2012–2017. In addition, she was the Rector of the Tyrolean Private University UMIT TIROL from 2014–2020. Since 2010, she has been a full member of the Mathematics-Natural Sciences Class of the Austrian Academy of Sciences.
Political scientist Miranda Schreurs has been a professor at the Technical University of Munich since 2016. Before that, the native-born American worked at the University of Maryland from 1994–2007, at the Free University of Berlin from 2007–2016, and at the University of Oslo from 2012–2015. She has conducted research stays abroad at the Universities of Harvard (USA), Utrecht (Netherlands), as well as Keio, Chuo, and Rikkyo (all in Japan).
FWF Assembly of Delegates
The Assembly of Delegates is made up of representatives of universities and non-university research institutions. Just like the representatives of BMBWF [Austrian Ministry for Education, Science and Research] and BMVIT [Austrian Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology], the FWF Executive Board is among the non-voting members. One of the central tasks of the Assembly of Delegates is to submit a shortlist of three candidates for the position of President of the FWF.