Denise P. Barlow Award

Watercolour portrait of Denise P. Barlow (1950-2017)
by artist Lisl Spurny-Schwarzmüller
(c) CeMM/Klaus Pichler

The Denise P. Barlow Award
for Best Thesis on Biological Mechanisms

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Denise P. Barlow: A career in epigenetics:

In Memory of Denise P. Barlow

On October 21, 2019 we commemorate the second anniversary of Denise P. Barlow’s demise. She has been a formidable researcher who inspired the molecular biology community in Austria and beyond. In Vienna, Denise has been associated with four institutions: IMP, where she was a group leader, MFPL, where she has been a professor, IMBA, which has provided laboratory space for some time, and CeMM, where she has been ten years as principal investigator.

The Award

These four institutions hereby launch a yearly academic talent award in Denise’s name. The purpose is to recognize merit and manifest appreciation of exceptionally interesting PhD theses carried out in one of the four institutions. Specifically, the Denise P. Barlow Award intends to promote the academic career of young scientists, strategically addressing the transition of graduated PhD students to postdocs, by offering a small financial help that will alleviate the costs associated with relocation or career development (move, transport, child care, furniture, training etc.). The Denise P. Barlow Award amounts to € 5,000 and will be given once a year. After two years of postdoc awardees will be invited to give a talk, and while in Vienna, participate to the award of the next winner. The costs of this invitation will be covered by the institution hosting the event, in a rotating manner among the four. The topic of the thesis can vary and cover basic cell biological, biochemical, molecular biological, structural and computational work, with an emphasis on insight on new biological mechanisms, something Denise P. Barlow was fond of. Calls and Awardees are featured on the websites of all four institutions. Together with the money prize there will be a certificate featuring the name of the awardee, the prize and Denise P. Barlow’s portrait.

The Committee

The Committee consists of seven people, the four scientific directors of the institutes and three additional persons covering as much scientific ground as possible.

The Procedure

Candidates must have performed their PhD in one of the four institutes. From the moment they have submitted their thesis they are eligible for a year. Each institute can propose up to 2 candidates per institute and year. How the institutes decide who are the candidates is left to the decision of each institute. The proposal should consist of 1) a presentation letter/form by the principal investigator of the student, 2) a CV, 3) the thesis, and 4) up to two papers/manuscripts (unless part of the thesis).

What is Evaluated

The committee considers the entire performance/output of the candidates over the whole PhD period. Emphasis will be given on the depth of the insights gained and the originality of the contributions. In line with Denise P. Barlow’s scientific interests, the thesis should have provided insights into a biological mechanism, in a broad sense.


Deadline for application: June 30, 2019. For any IMP, MFPL, IMBA, and CeMM student who has submitted her/his PhD thesis between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019. The Award Ceremony will take place end of October 2019.