18.01.2024: In autumn 2023, the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna launched its interdisciplinary PhD programme on the topic of "One-Health". The English-language doctoral programme is aimed at international students who want to conduct research at the interface between animal and human health, food safety and environmental sustainability.
The One Health concept is based on the idea that human, animal and environmental health are crucially linked. For example, many diseases caused in humans by viruses and bacteria originate from the animal kingdom and many discoveries in human medicine have applications in the veterinary sector and vice versa. This so-called "comparative medicine" opens up completely new approaches to research and innovation. The Vetmeduni has been pursuing such a holistic approach in research and teaching for many years and, with its expertise, spans the spectrum from physiological processes to the molecular mechanisms of disease development, epidemiology and systems medicine through to the animal-human relationship and ethics.
New One Health PhD programme at the Vetmeduni
Integrating transdisciplinary approaches and concepts even more closely into research is the goal of the newly established interdisciplinary One Health PhD programme. The new programme complements the activities of the Austria-wide "Uni-Med-Impuls 2030" initiative at the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna. As a partner in this initiative funded by the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research, Vetmeduni can contribute its expertise, particularly in the fields of epidemiology and infectiology as well as comparative medicine, to the network of medical universities and thus further advance medical progress.
Vetmeduni commissioned the Vienna Science, Research and Technology Fund (WWTF) to put together an international panel of experts to assess the projects submitted to Vetmeduni, which ultimately selected 15 PhD projects, each with a duration of three and a half years, from the fields of infection biology and comparative medicine for funding. These PhD positions were advertised internationally and, following a rigorous selection process, were awarded to highly committed young scientists not only from Austria, but also from other EU countries, Iran and Cameroon.
Training for future One Health researchers
In terms of content, the new doctoral positions at the Vetmeduni reflect the diversity of global challenges. The topics of the individual PhD projects are broadly interdisciplinary in the fields of infectiology and comparative medicine and combine basic research with application-oriented questions.
In addition to intensive research activities, a multi-faceted curriculum covers topics in epidemiology, infectious diseases and non-transmissible diseases, microbiology, data science, food safety and also aspects of ecology and environmental protection. The members of the teaching staff are experts in their field and offer students high-quality training and practical research experience. Evidence-based knowledge is thus passed on to the next generation. In addition to interdisciplinary collaboration, the focus is on knowledge exchange, joint training and international networking. The dedicated management team of the PhD programme at Vetmeduni includes Christine Aurich (Head of the Clinical Centre for Reproduction), Susanne Kreuzer-Redmer (Centre for Animal Nutrition and Animal Welfare Sciences) and Kathrin Kober-Rychli (Centre for Food Science and Public Veterinary Medicine).
Further information on the interdisciplinary One Health PhD programme at the Vetmeduni can be found here: One-Health PhD