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The Erwin Schroedinger Institute for Mathematical Physics

About the Institute

The Erwin Schrödinger International Institute for Mathematics and Physics (ESI) was founded in Vienna, Austria, in 1992, and became fully operational in April 1993. On June 1, 2011, the ESI assumed its role as a research centre within the University of Vienna. The mission of the Institute is:

  • to advance research in mathematics, physics and mathematical physics at the highest international level through fruitful interaction between scientists from these disciplines;
  • to support research at the University of Vienna and surrounding universities and to stimulate the scientific environment in Austria.

The transition of the Erwin Schrödinger Institute from an independent research institute to a "Forschungsplattform" at the University of Vienna was a complicated process. There are far-reaching differences in operation as a consequence of the university's involvement in the running of the Institute. This includes issues concerning payments to participants, modifications to the premises and future funding prospects. However, the Institute has continued to function, even flourish, during the radical changes of its status.

The Institute currently pursues its mission in a number of ways:

  • Primarily, by running four to six thematic programmes each year, selected about two years in advance on the basis of the advice of the International ESI Scientific Advisory Board.
  • By organizing workshops and schools at shorter notice.
  • By a programme of Senior Research Fellows (SRF), who give lecture courses at the ESI for graduate students and postdocs.
  • By a programme of Junior Research Fellows (JRF), providing support for students and recent postdocs to work on a project of their own.
  • By a programme of Research in Teams, which offers teams of two to four Erwin Schrödinger Institute Scholars the opportunity to work at the Institute for periods of one to four months, in order to concentrate on new collaborative research in mathematics and physics.
  • By inviting individual scientists who collaborate with members of the local scientific community.

Even through the transition period the ESI had to go through in the years of 2010 and 2011, the ESI has remained a leading international centre for research in the mathematical sciences. This position has been achieved with a minimal deployment of resources, financial and human, especially when compared with similar institutes in other countries.

ESI is programme- and invitation-oriented and welcomes applications for research programmes: see the guidelines for submission of programme and workshop proposals. With the exception of the ESI Research in Teams programme, individual visiting positions are not open for application.

The ESI is led by a Kollegium (Scientific Governing Board) with Christoph Dellago as Director. The scientific policy and selection of research programmes of the Institute is based upon the recommendations of its International Advisory Board, comprising up to eight foreign scientists.

For enquiries of a scientific nature or for proposals for research programmes please the Director of the Institute.

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Photo: Österreichische Zentralbibliothek für Physik