ASciNA's 10th Anniversary & Awards Celebration in Vienna

The OST network of Austrian scientists & scholars abroad was established by the Office of Science & Technology (OST) at the Austrian Embassy in Washington, DC, and focuses on the outreach of government-related agencies to Austrian scientists in North America. Its main objective has been to support the scientific community with information and specific advice wherever necessary and requested.

Encouraged by the OST, an independent association - ASciNA (Austrian Scientists and Scholars in North America) - was founded in 2002 with local chapters being established all over the US and Canada. For further information about ASciNA please visit www.ascina.at.


bridges vol. 36, December 2012 / News from the Network: Austrian Researchers Abroad

ASciNA logo On December 17, 2012, ASciNA will celebrate the 10th anniversary of its establishment. The event will be hosted by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science and Research (BMWF) in Vienna, Austria. The celebration will feature a presentation of ASciNA, followed by a look back at the past 10 years of ASciNA's work. In addition, the 2012 ASciNA Award Ceremony will be held in conjunction with the association's 10-year anniversary celebration.

About the ASciNA Award

The ASciNA Award was established in 2008 under the ASciNA presidency of Eva Schernhammer (2004-2008), currently an associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology at Harvard University. Schernhammer, along with a group of fellow ASciNA members, initiated the idea of the ASciNA Award. The first award – bestowed in 2008 in Vienna, Austria, by the former Austrian Federal Minister for Science and Research Johannes Hahn – was awarded in conjunction with the Wittgenstein Award (see the bridges report on the first ASciNA awards).

Only ASciNA members are allowed to submit applications for the ASciNA Award. These are reviewed by an independent jury of scientists nominated by the Austrian Research Fund (FWF). The award is given annually to two young scientists for their remarkable achievements in work conducted in North America, as demonstrated through their publications or projects in their research field. Each awardee receives a €10,000 prize endowed by the Austrian Federal Minister for Science and Research (BMWF). The purpose of the ASciNA Award is to raise awareness of the achievements of young Austrian scientists in North America as well as to foster scientific and academic cooperation between Austria and North America.

Hubert Zajicek, managing director of the North Texas Enterprise Center for Medical Technology, Inc. and current ASciNA president, was among the group of ASciNA members that helped Schernhammer usher in the founding of the ASciNA Award. "The Award supports our mission to assist Austrian scientists and scholars before, during, and after a North American scientific or scholarly stint," said Zajicek. "To ASciNA members, the Award serves as a symbol of Austria's continued desire to stay in contact with the expat Austrian.

This year's ceremony marks the 5th year of the ASciNA Awards and will be held again in Vienna. Austrian Federal Minister of Science and Research Karlheinz Töchterle will present the prizes to the awardees in two categories: Students and postdocs were invited to submit in the "Young Scientists Award" category, and a "Junior Principal Investigator Award" will be given to a scientist who is more advanced in his or her career and leading his or her own research group.

The official program will be followed by a reception, providing opportunities for exchanging views and networking.

For more information on the event, send an e-mail to: info[at]ascina.at

About ASciNA: ASciNA – Austrian Scientists and Scholars in North America – is an independent association established in 2002 with local chapters founded throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico. ASciNA aims to support Austrian scientists and researchers in North America as well as Austrians who have returned from North America to Austria or Germany.