The Institute of Science and Technology Austria (ISTA) is a young international institute dedicated to basic research and graduate education in the natural and mathematical sciences, located in Klosterneuburg on the outskirts of Vienna.
ISTA is committed to conducting world-class research. By 2026, up to 90 research groups will perform research in an international state-of-the-art environment.
One of the hallmarks of the ISTA PhD program is the shared graduate school experience. An initial stage of exploration encourages broad exposure to important scientific approaches and problems. This allows students to lay a solid foundation for intensive research in the second phase of the PhD program.
Dedication to Basic Science Research
ISTA’s faculty hiring strategy is encapsulated by the motto People before area; quality before speed. We are dedicated to bringing the best minds of the world to ISTA to pursue cutting-edge basic science research. The Institute was inaugurated in 2009 and will grow to about 90 research groups by 2026. This exciting momentum is driven forward by every scientist added to our team, including every PhD student.
International and Diverse Scientific Community
Our scientists, from professors to postdocs to students, hail from all corners of the world, representing over 80 different nationalities, and building on research and degrees earned from the finest global scientific institutes and universities.
We use English throughout the institute as the language of instruction and communication.
Our Graduate Program is characterized by modern comprehensive training with a special focus on interdisciplinarity.
Cutting-edge Research Training
Students work closely with outstanding faculty within small research groups and have access to first-rate facilities. Students spend the first year completing coursework and rotations before affiliating with a group.
This first phase of exploration allows students to be sure that the research topic, as well as the research group, are the best match for them before they embark on in-depth thesis research in the second phase.
Entry with a Bachelor's or Master's Degree
We welcome students with a bachelor’s or a master’s in science to apply to our PhD program.
7 Tracks of Study
There are seven tracks of PhD study:
- Chemistry & Materials
- Computer Science
- Data Science & Scientific Computing
- 60 research groups in 2022
- 90 research groups by 2026
Scientific Service Units
Scientific Service Units (SSUs) provide support for scientists’ research needs. The following SSUs are hosted by ISTA:
- Bioimaging Facility
- Electron Microscopy Facility
- Life Sciences Facility
- Miba Machine Shop
- Nanofabrication Facility
- Preclinical Facility
- Scientific Computing
In all fields of research, funding is a very important topic. ISTA relies on diverse funding sources to support all its researchers. The Grant Office is there to support ISTA scientists who would like to apply for external funding.
PhD students are employed by ISTA and receive internationally competitive salaries and full social security coverage. Students also receive financial support to attend scientific conferences and workshops during their studies.
The weekly Institute Colloquium is the principal research seminar at ISTA. Scientists from around the world and from across all disciplines of the natural sciences are invited to present their latest findings.
On a regular basis, the institute is visited by international review panels consisting of leading scientists from around the world (including Nobel prize laureates) to form an independent evaluation of the institute.
Our distinguished alumni have gone on to successful careers after their PhD studies at ISTA.
PhD students receive support through our mentorship and career development programs which focus on training in transferable skills for academia and beyond. Throughout their studies, PhD students are supported by Career Services, which provides career development advice and training.
There are also regular TWIST talks organized by the Technology Transfer Office, which aim to support researchers in the commercial development and use of their research results.
Where do our alumni go?
This infographic shows where our alumni go after they graduate.
Where is ISTA ?
The Institute is only a 25-minute bus ride from Vienna, which is consistently voted one of the best cities in the world to live in. Our students have the choice of living in Klosterneuburg, a quiet area surrounded by beautiful woods, or right in the hustle and bustle of Vienna. We also have a number of housing options on campus.