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© Matthias Freynschlag

Call for the Young Investigators Award 2024

The objective of the Young Investigators Award is to honor and support up-coming researchers at the University of Salzburg. Early career scientists get the opportunity to present their scientific work and communicate with each other.

The evaluation & presentation is performed in the following topical areas:

  • Making Sense: Theology, Philosophy and Religion
  • Investigating Language, Literature and the Arts: Humanities
  • Understanding Society: Education, History, Social Sciences
  • Exploring Law, Business and Economics
  • Explaining Nature: Natural and Life Sciences
  • Research on the Data Driven: Digital and Analytical World

In each subject area, three awards will be made to the best candidates: 1st € 300,-; 2nd € 200,-; 3rd € 100,-. The winners will be announced during the final ceremony at the “Night of Excellence”. At this ceremony, the audience will, additionally, choose the one presentation – across all disciplines – which will receive a Special Audience’s Choice award.



To apply for the YIA, candidates must submit an abstract of up to 600 words (incl. a maximum of five references) as well as their curriculum vitae and, if already completed, the dissertation, existing chapters or completed papers from it. The topic of the abstract must be part of the dissertation (at the PLUS) of the first author.

Please submit the completed application form and in addition either a paper on the topic, the doctoral thesis or a chapter of the doctoral thesis to . Submission deadline: 30 June 2024.

Submissions will only be accepted if they meet the following criteria:

  • Valid registration for a doctoral programme with approved research proposal at the PLUS or completion of a doctoral programme at the PLUS in the past year (within 30.6.2023 to 30.6.2024)
  • Completion or expected completion of the doctoral programme within the maximum of twice the scheduled study period. The jury may allow a submission if the deadline is exceeded for good reason.
  • The age limit is 35 years. The jury may allow a submission if the age limit is exceeded for good reason.
  • Submissions can be made in English or German.
  • Prize winners from previous years cannot take part.


The evaluation is performed in the 6 topical areas listed above by the members of the Scientific Committee. The members of the Committee ensure that the award is processed in two rounds of evalutaion: Abstract Rating (2.1) & Oral Presentation (2.2). The special audience’s award will be presented at the Night of Excellence ceremony (3).

2.1) ABSTRACT RATING: Submissions – primarily on the basis of the submitted abstracts – will be assessed (rated) according to 9 criteria: Evaluation criteria. The three to five best-ranked candidates in each topical area are invited to present their research in an public event.

2.2) ORAL PRESENTATION: Candidates present their dissertation project in a hearing open to the public, with a presentation time of 8 minutes and 6 minutes time for discussion. The presentation can be given in English or German. The jury will communicate requirements as necessary. Slides or similar presentation aids are permitted.

The presentation assessment focuses on the candidates‘ ability to communicate their dissertation topic or results to a scientifically educated, but not necessarily subject-related audience in a given time. A member of the SC chairs each session. The SC decides over the winner of each topic area.


The winners will be announced to the public at the “Night-of-Excellence”-ceremony in November. The award winners present their scientific work in the form of short presentations (3 minutes). The audience selects the best presentation via live voting.