The Olympia Morata Programme of Heidelberg University is funding four junior female researchers working on their postdoctoral or comparable qualifications. After a successful review of their applications, Dr Laura Schmidt (psychology), Dr Lisa Baumann (biology), Dr Julia Bauer (medical physics), and Dr Giulia Pelillo-Hestermeyer (Romance studies) have been selected as award recipients. The goal of the university is to increasingly attract women to university and scientific careers.

Dr Laura Schmidt works at the Institute of Psychology in the research unit “health psychology” on health-related behaviour over the entire life span. Her postdoctoral project focuses on practical approaches intended to promote health-related behaviour and well-being through technology-based interventions and psychological techniques on behaviour modification.

Dr Lisa Baumann leads a research group at the Centre for Organismal Studies at Heidelberg University. In the Aquatic Ecology and Toxicology working group, she is researching the effects of endocrine disruptors on fish. Her habilitation thesis investigates the influence of thyroid hormones on the development of sensory organs in zebrafish.

At the Department of Radiation Oncology and Radiation Therapy at Heidelberg University Hospital, Dr Julia Bauer is studying particle therapy used to treat cancer patients. Her habilitation project deals with the clinically relevant development of different methods to improve radiation precision to reduce therapy-induced side effects, among other things.

Dr Giulia Pelillo-Hestermeyer is a faculty member in the Department of Romance Studies of Ruperto Carola. Her research focuses on multilingualism, cultural diversity, and transcultural communication. Her habilitation project examines linguistic and cultural diversity in the context of globalisation and mediatisation of communication.

The four researchers have been recognised for independent research achievements since obtaining their respective doctoral degrees. In furtherance of their university careers, they have been awarded positions for a period of two years offered through the gender action plan of Heidelberg University. The programme commemorates Olympia Morata, an Italian poet and humanist scholar who died in Heidelberg in 1555.

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