Sandoz Family Foundation – Programme Monique de Meuron fostering up-and-coming academics.
Competition 2016 – Natural Sciences
Success of the candidate from the University of Lausanne
As part of its programme fostering up-and-coming academics, the Sandoz Family Foundation announced a competition for a position of assistant professor in the natural sciences in January 2016. In its meeting of December 2015, the Board of the Foundation considered the candidacy of Ms Julia Santiago Cuellar, a tenure track assistant professor in the Department of Plant Molecular Biology of the University of Lausanne beginning 1 August 2016. The agricultural engineer from the University of Valencia (Spain) graduated with her master’s in biology at the University of Nottingham and received a doctors degree at the Universities of Valencia and Grenoble. She worked at the Max Planck Institute in Tübingen. After changing to the University of Geneva, she received an Ambizione grant from the Swiss National Science Foundation. She has published articles in the best periodicals. In addition to her skills as a researcher, Ms Julia Santiago Cuellar is very involved in education. She plans to develop a research programme at UNIL on the mechanisms regulating the remodelling and modification of the cell wall. The aim is to understand how the plant communicates with the external environment via the cell membrane. In due time it should be possible to select plants, which are capable of resisting environmental stress such as drought or various pathogenic infections.
The support of the Sandoz Family Foundation includes the salary of the laureate and a graduate assistant for a period of two years, renewable two times for one year, that is, a total of four years. An investment credit is added to this. The programme of the Foundation was created in 1999 on the initiative of Monique de Meuron, member of the Landolt-Sandoz family. Since then, 19 researchers have benefited from it. Today the majority of them are at a university in French-Speaking Switzerland or at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL). This corresponds with a very high percentage of success and proof of the effectiveness of the programme.
Doubling of the programme since 2016
Building on this success, the Sandoz Family Foundation has decided that, commencing in 2016, the number of researchers it supports each year will be doubled. A competition aimed at the recruitment of two researchers in 2017, one in the humanities and one in the natural sciences was launched on 1 January 2017. In 2020, there will be no less than eight assistant professors per year who will benefit from the support of the Foundation. This number is devided into four positions in the humanities and four positions in the natural sciences.
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