CSH launches Graduate Program in Complexity Science (c) BKA/Florian Schrötter



CSH launches Graduate Program in Complexity Science

The first group of PhD students will start in the fall. Through the interdisciplinary program, they will have the opportunity to cultivate expertise in tackling global issues like climate change 

In collaboration with its partner universities, the Complexity Science Hub (CSH) is launching the Digital Innovation School. Starting in the fall, the Digital Innovation School will offer a PhD program in complexity research. With long-term funding of around 12.5 million euros from the Austrian government, the program presents a unique interdisciplinary training opportunity.

“With our PhD program, students will gain expertise in data, network, and complexity research that can help them address current challenges in sustainable development, economy, health, green transition, and society,” explains CSH president Stefan Thurner


“The Digital Innovation School provides a new training opportunity for Austria’s digital experts of the future. With a duration of at least ten years and funding of more than €12 million, we are also securing the new doctoral program for the long term. Furthermore, the results of the research will be made publicly available in interactive dashboards and working materials for children will be developed,” explains Austrian Education, Science and Research Minister Martin Polaschek.

“Along with efforts to increase digital skills in the population, we must not forget the urgent need for IT experts. To accomplish this, we are establishing the Digital Innovation School with the Ministry of Education and the CSH,” adds State Secretary Claudia Plakolm.


“The Digital Innovation School occupies a top position in the training segment. Our goal is to help catch up in terms of digitalization so that we can better position ourselves for the digital age. This is why this initiative, which was significantly supported by the then Austrian Secretary of State for Digitalization Florian Tursky, is so important,” evaluates Hannes Androsch, Chairman of CSH Strategic Advisory Board.

A central reason for the establishment of the Digital Innovation School is the growing need for specialists who can find solutions to current and future challenges facing society and the planet –- ranging from climate change to supply insecurity to online disinformation.

“We need to be able to use the best of the next generation to create usable and actionable meaning out of the vast amounts of data that describe our world. We at the Complexity Science Hub, together with our member institutions, are creating opportunities to bring digital talent to Austria and establish a tradition of digital excellence,” says Thurner.


A minimum of five outstanding students will be accepted into the program each year. There is no requirement for these students to choose a scientific niche. Rather, the program integrates a wide range of topics and disciplines, such as data, network, and complexity science, to quickly transfer ideas and tools from one area to another. Students will also gain valuable experience in translating research results into policy and practice — by participating in internships and collaborating with government agencies and companies. 

The Complexity Science Hub runs the Digital Innovation School in collaboration with its partner universities. The Medical University of Vienna is one of the supporting universities, which is also a central founding partner of the CSH and has also made a significant contribution to establishing complexity research in Austria. Additionally, the Digital Innovation School relies on its close relationships with numerous other institutions in Austria and around the world. 

The Digital Innovation School is funded by the Austrian Ministry for Finance and the Austrian Ministry for Education, Science and Research. Carrie Cowan leads the graduate program office, which supports students with all aspects of their doctoral studies at CSH.

About the Graduate Program

You can find more information about the graduate program at: https://csh.ac.at/education/graduate-program/  



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