Out of the Box Award

The Vienna BioCenter PhD Program is committed to foster and support creative and interdisciplinary thinking in science.

As an incentive to address complex problems using creative, non-standard approaches, we award a yearly stipend of 10 000 Euros, which should be used to cover consumables, for designing the best curiosity-driven, high-risk experiment. 

One PhD student, or a team of PhD students, can participate in the design and implementation of the experiment, which does not have to be within the immediate scope of their own projects (although some connection to it might help with feasibility). The experiment must be an inter-lab collaboration and can be performed in any VBC laboratories as long as the lab heads are on board.

A written proposal should contain the rationale and background of the experiment and a brief description of the techniques involved, as well as the results expected and their significance. The applications will be assessed by the steering committee of the Vienna BioCenter PhD Program. 



  • Application deadline: September, the specific timeline is announced via email each July.
  • Award announcement: at the annual VBC Symposium taking place at the beginning of November.
  • Start of experiment: any time, but should be completed within a year. The outcome will be presented at the next award ceremony.


For more information, don't hesitate to contact the head of the scientific training unit.