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The pathway to success

Three researchers at the University of Freiburg receive “STAY!” and “Come and STAY!” scholarships

Freiburg, Nov 26, 2020

The pathway to success

Miriam Ruess (left), Gina Fiala (right, Pictures: Thomas Kunz), Sarah Katharina Stein (center, Picture: Jürgen Gocke)

University of Freiburg and the New University Endowment Freiburg will support three women scientists in 2020: Dr. Miriam Ruess and Sarah Katharina Stein will be awarded the “STAY!” bridging scholarship and Dr. Gina Fiala will receive the “Come and STAY!” scholarship. The scholarships are intended for female researchers who have completed their doctorates and wish to continue their academic careers but do not yet have follow-up funding, as well as for female researchers who have taken up academic work abroad and wish to implement their next research project at the University of Freiburg.

The monthly funding of 1,800 euros runs for twelve months with an additional stipend of 300 euros per month per child upon application. During this period, female researchers can submit an application to head a research group or prepare a research exposé with which they apply for project positions and advance their scientific career. The Gender and Diversity Office at the University of Freiburg coordinates the awarding of the fellowships.

People perceive stimuli that they generate through their own actions earlier than those that occur without any preceding action. For example, they perceive lights that are turned on by themselves earlier than lights, which are switched on by a timer. At the Department of Psychology, psychologist Dr. Miriam Ruess investigates how time perception and the experience of causality are connected. So far she has revealed essential basic conditions of this so-called intentional binding - such as the course of time - and has shown that subjective time distortion is closely related to the experience of causality. This is of great importance for human-machine interactions, for example. Ruess studied psychology at the University of Regensburg. She completed her PhD entitled “Time in action contexts: The influence of delay duration on the magnitude of Intentional Binding” in September 2019 at the Department of General Psychology at the University of Freiburg.

In the “war on terror” some states use so-called targeted killings: Sarah Katharina Stein at the Institute of Public Law focuses on these official, authorized and premediated eliminations of previously determined individuals through the military or intelligence officials without any judicial process. The practice touches on three levels of international law: the right to war, international humanitarian law, and international human rights law. Stein wants to establish a common interpretation of the originally separately treated levels of law, uncover dependencies as well as contradictions and contribute to strengthening human rights and giving states legal certainty. Stein studied law at the Leibniz University of Hannover, University College Dublin in Ireland and Columbia Law School in New York. From 2013 to 2019 she was a research assistant at the Institute of Public Law, where she wrote her dissertation in 2019 entitled “Privatization Trouble: The unease about the privatization of military tasks.” In 2018 she was a visiting researcher at Yale Law School in New Haven, Connecticut in the US, from 2019 to 2020 she was a research assistant at Columbia University in New York and since 2020 she has been working as legal advisor to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.

T- and B-lymphocytes are the main components of the adaptive immune system in human beings. Biologist Dr. Gina Fiala is investigating the development and function of a subgroup of T lymphocytes at the BIOSS Centre for Biological Signalling Studies. These specific T cells can kill tumor cells and enable protective reactions against cancer, but also promote tumor growth. Fiala studied biology at the University of Freiburg with stays abroad in Rome and Madrid. She did her doctoral thesis at the University of Freiburg and at the Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics. In 2015 she received her PhD with her thesis “Spatial organization and novel interaction partners of the B cell antigen receptor.” From 2018 to 2020, she did research with a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship from the European Union and a Long-Term Fellowship from the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) in the “T cell differentiation & tumor targeting laboratory” at the Institute of Molecular Medicine at the University of Lisbon in Portugal.


Bridging scholarship STAY!/Come and STAY!


Sarah Katharina Stein
Institute of Public Law
Faculty of Law
University of Freiburg
Tel.: 0761/203-2250

Dr. Gina Jasmin Fiala
BIOSS Centre for Biological Signalling Studies
University of Freiburg
Tel.: 0761/203-67516

Dr. Miriam Ruess
Department of Psychology
Faculty of Economics and Behavioral Sciences
University of Freiburg
Tel.: 0761/203-98672


Press photo for download
Photo: Thomas Kunz, Jürgen Gocke