Possibilities and
Opportunities after
MEi:CogSci

The programme provides graduates with the necessary theoretical, intellectual, and empirical tools to pursue an academic career (PhD programme) in cognitive science or a related discipline.

Apart from basic research, graduates in cognitive science find work in applied research. Depending on students’ specialisations, prospective career fields include the IT-sector (interaction design, usability, Computer Supported Cooperative Work, knowledge management, etc.), education, and biomedical and clinical research, as well as economy. The generic skills (such as communication, reflection and evaluation skills, teamwork, and the ability to quickly learn and adapt) acquired by graduates are increasingly valued and demanded in a variety of business sectors. Graduates’ ability to mediate between disciplines qualifies them to work in highly interdisciplinary areas. This may include the fields of IT, education, consulting, human resources, or science writing.

What Our Former
Students Say 
and Do Now

Pictures and texts by our alumnis. Alumins are listed in random order at each page visit.
Charley Wu
Studied at University of Vienna

What was your bachelor's degree?

Bachelor's of Art in Philosophy at the University of British Columbia (Vancouver, Canada).

What was the most important learning experience for your professional and personal development?

It was very self-directed and research focused. I completed about 4 or 5 different research projects during the two years of my master's programme, which lead to at least one published journal article and several conference presentations.

What are you doing now?

Right now, I am a PhD student at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, where I am studying how humans seek information and actively learn about the world. More about me.

Christine Harrer
Studied at University of Vienna

What was your bachelor's degree?

Bachelor of Science in Engineering (B.Sc.) Degree in Medical and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology at the IMC FH-Krems University of Applied Sciences in Krems, Austria.

What was the most important learning experience for your professional and personal development?

MEi:CogSci opened my eyes by enabling me to look at one specific problem using different perspectives. Also, I was allowed to do my thesis at the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore, USA, investigating cognitive and psychological aspects of depression and platelet function.

What are you doing now?

I am studying Human Medicine at the Paracelsus Medical University in Salzburg, Austria, focussing on psychiatry, neurology, and psychosomatic medicine.

Daniel Attia
Studied at University of Vienna

What was your bachelor's degree?

Bachelor‘s degree in Philosophy at the University of Vienna, Austria.

What was the most important learning experience for your professional and personal development?

The most rewarding experience for me was to interact with so many intelligent and interesting people from different disciplines. I especially appreciated the integrative way of thinking and the possibility to conduct research at the department of neurology in Ljubljana.

What are you doing now?

I am a fellow at Teach for Austria, an initiative supporting the education and development of children from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds. I teach German, biology, chemistry, and geography.

Ina Bauer
Studied at University of Vienna

What was your bachelor's degree?

I studied Comparative Literature with a focus on social sciences at the University of Vienna and as an exchange student at the University of St. Andrews.

What was the most important learning experience for your professional and personal development?

What I appreciated a lot about this programme were its interdisciplinary approach towards cognitive science and the opportunity to connect with passionate people. On a professional and personal level my year abroad in Budapest, conducting research on Behavioural Economics at the Central European University, was one of the most rewarding experiences.

What are you doing now?

Currently, I am working at a consulting company specialised on strategy, leadership and transformation, where I am contributing to projects on organisational change, personnel development and corporate culture.

Işıl Uluç
Studied at University of Vienna

What was your bachelor's degree?

I got my BA and MA in Philosophy at Boğaziçi University, Istanbul.

What was the most important learning experience for your professional and personal development?

I got a good idea of the basics of cognitive science, and I could also specialise in the topic of my interest. My best learning experience was the integrative nature of the programme, leading to the cooperative environment within my cohort. I especially valued the guidance of my local AI instructor.

What are you doing now?

I am currently a PhD student at the Berlin School of Mind and Brain.

Martina Chraščová
Studied at Comenius University in Bratislava

What was your bachelor's degree?

I was an applied informatics bachelor graduate at the Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia.

What was the most important learning experience for your professional and personal development?

I really appreciated the friendly atmosphere and collegiality between students and teachers. I am proud of my progress in English during this study.

What are you doing now?

I am WebGL Javascript programmer of 3D graphics.

Zarja Muršič
Studied at University of Ljubljana

What was your bachelor's degree?

Bachelor’s degree in Biology at Biotechnical Faculty at University of Ljubljana.

What was the most important learning experience for your professional and personal development?

Throughout the programme I developed invaluable critical thinking skills by attending journal clubs and joining different research groups. It definitely fostered my curiosity and led me to pursue science further.

What are you doing now?

I am currently a PhD student exploring social learning and creativity in children at the Anthropology department of Durham University, UK.

Milena Mihajlović
Studied at University of Ljubljana

What was your bachelor's degree?

I studied General Linguistics at the University of Belgrade.

What was the most important learning experience for your professional and personal development?

To me, the greatest value of this programme was learning by actually doing the experiments and collaborating with my colleagues who had quite different background than mine.

What are you doing now?

Today, I work as a data scientist and product owner at 30Hills.

Theresa Schachner
Studied at University of Vienna

What was your bachelor's degree?

Bachelor's degree in Equine Science, University of Veterinary Medicine and University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna, Austria) and Scandinavian Studies (University Vienna, Austria).

What was the most important learning experience for your professional and personal development?

MEi:CogSci offers a broad overview of cognitive science, but also possibilities for specialisation according to personal interests. I was fascinated by the freedom of choice – and the responsibility that comes along with it – regarding these specialisations, as well as the personal support and great collegiality among my cohort.

What are you doing now?

I am working at Roland Berger Consultancy in Zurich, Switzerland, in the area of digitalisation, blockchain, and artificial intelligence.

Thomas Wolf
Studied at University of Vienna

What was your bachelor's degree?

Musicology at the University of Vienna and Philosophy of Mind at the University of Copenhagen.

What was the most important learning experience for your professional and personal development?

There were three experiences that I enjoyed a lot during the programme and that turned out to be very useful in my PhD: working together with people from different backgrounds, applying to and presenting at the annual MEi:CogSci conference, and getting familiar with programming.

What are you doing now?

I’m currently a PhD Student in Cognitive Science at the Central European University (Budapest), working in the MusicLab there, where we investigate how people (sometimes) manage to be very well coordinated in time.

Vadim Kulikov
Studied at University of Vienna

What was your bachelor's degree?

I studied mathematics and mathematical logic at the University of Helsinki. I had obtained a PhD before entering the MEi:CogSci programme.

What was the most important learning experience for your professional and personal development?

The flexibility and freedom to choose courses and seminars from the very broad Viennese CogSci environment, the friends and colleagues that I gained for life in that environment. The exchange semester in Bratislava was also very formative for my future research.

What are you doing now?

I got a post-doc position in Helsinki and am doing research in the cognitive science of mathematics and abstract thinking, as well as mathematical modelling of cognitive phenomena.

Rahil Hosseini
Studied at University of Vienna

What was your bachelor's degree?

Master's degree in Physical Chemistry from Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran.

What was the most important learning experience for your professional and personal development?

Diversity: We got exposed to various intriguing subjects from Cognitive Biology and Neuroscience to Philosophy and Artificial Intelligence. I found it very important for developing a holistic view of the field, and necessary for building an interdisciplinary mindset.

What are you doing now?

I’m a PhD student at the department of Economics and Business, Pompeu Fabra University (Barcelona), and I'm also a research assistant at ESADE Business & Law School. My research interests are broadly focused on consumer decision making.

Vasco Queirós
Studied at University of Vienna

What was your bachelor's degree?

I have a BA in Management from the University of Lisbon (Portugal).

What was the most important learning experience for your professional and personal development?

What I most enjoyed about the programme were the people: it was very enriching to see people from so many different backgrounds united in their quest to understand the mind.

What are you doing now?

I work at a research organization in San Francisco dedicated to find truths that will help us improve the world. You should check out our website here: Leverage Research.

Nace Mikuš
Studied at University of Ljubljana

What was your bachelor's degree?

I was studying theoretical mathematics (the barely applicable paper-and- pencil version), and worked at an NGO that offered psychosocial support programs for children with behavioural and social issues.

What was the most important learning experience for your professional and personal development?

One of the most important learning experiences was putting my knowledge in perspective. I thoroughly enjoyed discovering the rich spectrum of methodologies and research questions. The other crucial (and harder) lesson, was that if one wants to contribute to science, one must leave the broadness of the field and focus on one smaller part of the whole puzzle.

What are you doing now?

I am currently working at the Neuropsychopharmacology and Biopsychology Unit of the University of Vienna, where I combine social tasks from neuroeconomics with pharmacology.

Nadine Schlichting
Studied at University of Vienna

What was your bachelor's degree?

Bachelor’s degree in Cognitive Psychology and Sensor Technology, University of Technology Chemnitz, Germany.

What was the most important learning experience for your professional and personal development?

What I like most about the MEi:CogSci programme is the diversity: courses, lab visits, research projects, etc. But mainly: my colleagues with their diverse personalities and scientific backgrounds – ensuring lively discussions during class and over drinks.

What are you doing now?

I’m a PhD student at the Department of Experimental Psychology at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, working on temporal cognition.

Soheil Human
Studied at University of Vienna

What was your bachelor's degree?

Computational Intelligence at the Vienna University of Technologies.

What was the most important learning experience for your professional and personal development?

MEi:CogSci "embodies" the plurality of science. It’s a unique chance to "enact" in an interdisciplinary "enabling space" and "experience" how much our scientific knowledge is "constructed" by our "prior" standpoints, disciplines, methodologies, paradigms, cultures, and our very nature of being human: bodies with super complex brains in a super complex world.

What are you doing now?

Currently, I am a researcher at the Vienna University of Economics and Business.

Oliver Lukitsch
Studied at University of Vienna

What was your bachelor's degree?

I was trying all sorts of studies like anthropology, philosophy (of science) and history of science. I studied all these subjects at the University of Vienna wondering how they can be put together in a coherent way.

What was the most important learning experience for your professional and personal development?

My most interesting experience was when I first learned about the ways in which philosophy and neuropsychiatry can mutually elucidate one another. My future research can certainly be traced back to this.

What are you doing now?

I’m a PhD-student and assistant at the Department of Philosophy at the University of Vienna, affiliated with the research-group "Phenomenological Psychopathology and Philosophy of Psychiatry".

Matthias Hofer
Studied at University of Vienna

What was your bachelor's degree?

I studied Computer Science and Economics at the University of Regensburg (Germany) and at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

What was the most important learning experience for your professional and personal development?

What I liked most was the flexibility in terms of curriculum design and the strong focus on collaborative learning. My best learning experiences were when we discussed cognitive science issues in small groups, harnessing the supportive social nature of our cohort.

What are you doing now?

I am currently a graduate student in the Brain and Cognitive Sciences department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. My work focuses on statistical models of language and higher perceptual processes.

Thomas Grisold
Studied at University of Vienna

What was your bachelor's degree?

I received my Bachelor’s degree in Advertising and Brand Management from Staffordshire University (UK).

What was the most important learning experience for your professional and personal development?

The MEiCogSci programme encourages students to pursue their own research interests, regardless of how "typical" that may be for their original background. Starting from zero in new fields is of course challenging, but it feels extremely rewarding when you can finally connect the dots across disciplines and research agendas. Also, the annual student conferences are fun and an invaluable preparation for working in a scientific environment.

What are you doing now?

I am doing a PhD at the Vienna University of Economics and Business, where I am investigating how organizations can "unlearn" parts of their established knowledge structures. I am teaching in the areas of knowledge management, organizational learning and innovation research.

Ronald Sladky
Studied at University of Vienna

What was your bachelor's degree?

Computer Science at the University of Technology, Vienna, Austria.

What was the most important learning experience for your professional and personal development?

At first, I was overwhelmed by the diversity of methods, concepts, and research topics. Some of the research questions even challenged my world view: Do we have free will? From that moment on, I have been driven by curiosity to find slightly more satisfying answers to such questions.

What are you doing now?

I am a PostDoc researcher at the Psychiatric Hospital of the University of Zurich, Switzerland.

Zdenko Kohút
Studied at Commenius University in Bratislava

What was your bachelor's degree?

I studied Information Studies at the Department of Library and Information Science, Faculty of Philosophy at the Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia.

What was the most important learning experience for your professional and personal development?

What I found to be the strongest and the most interesting part of the programme, was its emphasis on integrative treatment of psychological line of thought with computational methods, which provided me with useful skills for my current studies.

What are you doing now?

I am currently a PhD student of Cognitive Neuroscience & Neuroimaging at the University of York.

Sebastijan Veselič
Studied at the University of Ljubljana

What was your bachelor's degree?

I studied psychology at the University of Ljubljana.

What was the most important learning experience for your professional and personal development?

For me the greatest gain was a meta-appreciation and overview of scientific inquiry coupled with seeing that various disciplines that study comparable topics tend to end up in strikingly similar discourse regarding the core of what is being studied, despite apparent differences at the surface structure. Perhaps no less important was the emphasis on eliciting our own research presuppositions which I had not encountered prior to it (nor after it for that matter). This seems crucial to me in order to do honest research.

What are you doing now?

I am doing a second MSc in Computational Neuroscience and Cognitive Robotics at the University of Birmingham.

Anka Slana
Studied at the University of Ljubljana

What was your bachelor's degree?

I studied social pedagogy at the University of Ljubljana.

What was the most important learning experience for your professional and personal development?

I particularly enjoyed being involved in various interdisciplinary research projects (both at the University of Ljubljana as well as at the University of Vienna), where I got the opportunity to use my knowledge obtained through different courses into research practice.

What are you doing now?

I’m researcher and teaching assistant at the Laboratory for Cognitive Neuroscience at the Department of Psychology, University of Ljubljana as well as PhD student of Neuroscience at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Ljubljana.

Tamara Stojanović
Studied at the University of Ljubljana

What was your bachelor's degree?

I studied Multimedia Communications at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia.

What was the most important learning experience for your professional and personal development?

I highly appreciated the vast amount of specialists from many different fields that we have been offered to learn from throughout the study. Also, the programme is placing a great emphasis on interdisciplinarity and practicality, which makes up a good support in the process of shaping us academically.

What are you doing now?

Currently, I am a researcher at the Laboratory for Proteomics at the Medical University of Vienna.

Valentina Oblak
Studied at the University of Ljubljana

What was your bachelor's degree?

Languages and Literatures in Modern Cultures at the University of Trieste (Italy).

What was the most important learning experience for your professional and personal development?

I loved especially Neurology, Programming and Artificial Intelligence for both the study fields per se and the highly preparated teachers we had. I really enjoyed the microcosmos of things we learned and how this study programme stimulates you to deepen your knowledge and gives you the will to continue studying.

What are you doing now?

After finishing my master's I did an Advanced Master's Degree (2nd Level Master's Degree) in Clinical Neuroscience and then I almost completely changed my path again: I am currently working as a radio-television journalist.

Ingrid Pleschberger
Studied at the University of Vienna

What was your bachelor's degree?

I studied Art History and Comparative Literature at the University of Vienna and the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.

What was the most important learning experience for your professional and personal development?

The most important learning experience were the intercultural and interdisciplinary groups that enabled fruitful discussion and helped me develop the ability to shift perspective and communicate across diverse backgrounds. Additionally, I got insights into different scientific approaches and the possibility to work on topics outside of my previous education. This was only possible because of the support and flexibility of the members of this outstanding programme.

What are you doing now?

I am currently the head of the international office of the University of Applied Sciences BFI Vienna, where I also research mainly about the topic of intercultural competence development. Together with my colleague Jeanna Nikolov-Ramirez who I got to know in the cognitive science programme, we founded an association devoted to art and science communication called ArtCognito.

Forian Bögner
Studied at the University of Vienna

What was your bachelor's degree?

I was enrolled at the University of Vienna in theater, film and media studies.

What was the most important learning experience for your professional and personal development?

Being from the humanities I learned empirical methods and to understand another way to create knowledge. I also enjoyed the diverse group: different scientific and cultural backgrounds. Due MEi:CogSci's interdisciplinary setting, I learned how important it is to ask open questions to understand approaches and assumptions.

What are you doing now?

After two years in science communication I am now a freelance circus trainer and artist.

Cristina Siserman-Gray
Studied at the University of Vienna

What was your bachelor's degree?

I graduated with a BA in Applied Modern Languages (English and French) from Babes-Bolyai University in Romania, and a degree in Law (J.D) from Babes-Bolyai University and Jean-Moulin University Lyon 3 in France.

What was the most important learning experience for your professional and personal development?

I particularly enjoyed studying with a group of passionate and driven colleagues with very diverse backgrounds from whom I learned a lot. A particularly rewarding experience was my exchange year at the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia, where I had the opportunity to develop and work on a project at the intersection of neuroscience and law.

What are you doing now?

I am currently finishing my PhD in Law at the University of Vienna in the field of science, technology and law. I am also working in an international organization in areas related to technology and global security.

Eugen Secara
Studied at the University of Vienna

What was your bachelor's degree?

A bachelor's degree in psychology at the University of Bucharest.

What was the most important learning experience for your professional and personal development?

The peer-teaching sessions, as they offered a friendly, relaxed environment in which one could both acquire new information from a plethora of domains and revisit basic assumptions which are mostly taken for granted during regular disciplinary studies.

What are you doing now?

I am doing a second MSc in clinical psychology and psychotherapy at the Babeș-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca while implementing previously elaborated research projects under the tutelage of the "Babes-Bolyai – PsyTech" Psychological Clinic.

Indre Pileckyte
Studied at the University of Vienna

What was your bachelor's degree?

I studied psychology at Vilnius University (Lithuania).

What was the most important learning experience for your professional and personal development?

I loved the opportunity to pursue different disciplines while finding new ways to connect them, as I enjoy applying methodologies of one field to another. The mobility opportunities allowed me to start a research career in cognitive neuroscience in Ljubljana. Oh, and I met my husband in the programme, so I can make sure I can talk science both at work and at home!

What are you doing now?

At the moment, I am still working as a researcher at University of Ljubljana, but I have received an INPhINIT doctoral fellowship from la Caixa to do a PhD in Information and Communication Technologies at Pompeu Fabra University (Barcelona).

Selin Ersoy
Studied at the University of Vienna

What was your bachelor's degree?

I studied Psychology with focus on Biopsychology at the İzmir University of Economics and as an exchange student at the University of Bolton.

What was the most important learning experience for your professional and personal development?

I liked that the MEi:CogSci programme had many opportunities to gain experience on different topics which helped my academic development substantially. The programme is also very special in a way that it gathers a group of people with broad interests and backgrounds, and that leads to very nice discussions during courses. I learnt from my colleagues as much as from the courses.

What are you doing now?

I am a PhD student at the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ) & University of Groningen working on animal personality of red knots and its effect on life history traits.

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