This year our Selection Committee decided to grant scholarships to 15 amazing young talents who will join the growing family of Bakala scholars. Get familiar with their life stories and plans for the future!

Bettina KAST

Current university: The Graduate Institute
Future university: The George Washington University, Elliot School of International Affairs

Bettina would like to work for an NGO or a governmental organisation in the realm of
environmental protection. More specifically, she is interested in regulations of CO2 emissions. Therefore, she chose to study courses from Global Energy and Environmental Policy specialisation track during her exchange semester at the GWU.

Lara JOST

Current university: UNIGE
Future university: St. Andrews

Lara hopes to pursue an academic career in philosophy and get a tenure-track position. She will do her PhD research in contemporary epistemology with the aim to provide a new model of knowledge that incorporates epistemic resources coming from lived experiences. Lara is very passionate and enthusiastic about her field. Lara was also a speaker various international conferences in recent years where she could present her work.

Robin CORMINBOEUF

Current university: UNIL
Future university: LSE

Robin is pursuing an MSc in Sociology at LSE, which provides rigorous and in-depth training in sociological theory, methodology and key areas of sociological research. His main focus is on LGBT issues and social inequalities. Having turned to academic studies at a later state, Robin would like to be able to combine all his experiences to work later at an NGO or to continue his research with a PhD.

Thibault DECOPPET

Current university: EPFL
Future university: Oxford

Since high school, Thibault knew that studying abstract mathematical objects was what he wanted to do in his life. He studied topology, category theory and abstract algebra in his undergraduate degree and decided to focus on algebraic topology in his DPhil in Mathematics at the University of Oxford, where is plans to write a PhD thesis under supervision of Prof. Douglas, who is an international leader in the fields of mathematical physics, category theory and algebraic topology.

Eliis Maria PETERS

Current university: UNIGE
Future university: Oxford

Ellis believes that multicultural education in humanities is central for safeguarding democracy. For that reason, she wishes to devote herself to education and cultural politics. Her research project is looking back at the first major European refugee crisis of twentieth century to consider identity politics and intersubjective experiences in refugee literature.

Florian LIENHARD

Current university: ETH
Future university: Cambridge

Florian’s passion is extrasolar planet research, a young emerging research field with the intent to acquire a deep understanding of the nature and formation of planetary systems. It will enable us to finally answer the question whether there is life outside of the planet Earth and where it may be located. Florian will conduct his PhD at Cambridge under supervision of Prof. Didier Queloz, a leader in this field.

Mona ZIMMERMANM

Current university: The Graduate Institute
Future university: Tufts University, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy

Mona is pursuing an impactful and socially engaged career in the field of political risk analysis. That is why she chose to spend an exchange semester at Fletcher, the oldest school of international relations in the US. She has a particular interest in political risk analysis and cyber security.

Lea SCHNEIDER

Current university: UZH
Future university: King’s College London

Lea focuses her studies on international private and public law and human rights law. Pursuing a double degree with the Dickson Poon School will enable her not only to study foreign legal system and the UK case law in particular, but also to compare the Swiss and British legal systems.

Fabian BAUMER

Current university: HSG
Future university: University of Edinburg

Fabian gained passion for the complexity of human rights during his undergraduate studies and decided to work for a humanitarian NGO later in his life. As he wants to add more legal experience to the skills he already gained having studied international affairs, he is now pursing an LL.M at the Edinburg Law School.

Nathanja BAUMER-SCHUPPLI

Current university: UZH
Future university: University of Edinburgh

Nathanja’s goal is to become a vicar in the reformed church of Switzerland. Therefore she applied to study Biblical Studies at University of Edinburg, where the main focus lays on working with biblical texts.

Simone Diego FASCIATI

Current university: ETH
Future university: Oxford

Simone is heading to Oxford to do his PhD in condensed matter physics, specifically the experimental field of superconducting circuits for quantum computing. His vision is to work on the development of this exciting new technology, which might lead to radical changes in all kinds of areas such as physics, chemistry, drug development and communication security.

Fidan SULJIK

Current university: EPFL
Future university: Oxford

Fidan decided to pursue his career in particle physics, a field that has a significant importance to Switzerland, as the country is home to the largest particle physics laboratory in the world – CERN. Fidan has worked on the Large Hadron Collider beauty (LHCb) experiment in CERN and he will focus on LHCb in more detail throughout his PhD studies in Oxford.

Felix Böwing

Current university: ETH
Future university: Stanford

Fascinated by the idea of autonomous cars in the streets of our cities, Felix wants to develop algorithms to coordinate the charging of the car fleets. Charging is currently one of the biggest obstacles of electric cars, as uncoordinated charging creates load peaks in the power grid. Felix will be addressing this challenge as a visiting researcher in a top-tier lab of Prof. Pavone at Stanford.

Luisa Egli

Current university: UZH
Future university: University of California, Berkeley

Luisa’s long-term interest lies in international business law and in comparing Swiss legal system to those all over the world. By obtaining a rigorous legal education in Swiss, EU and American law, she will be able to contribute to the international exchange and cooperation on a professional basis.

Blaise Robert

Current university: Harvard Medical School
Future university: Harvard Medical School

When writing his master’s thesis, Blaise became fascinated by how sound can carry complex information and emotions as well as by the capacity of brain to adapt depending on our past experiences. Therefore, he decided to continue his research in this topic and started his PhD in speech and hearing science. His goal is to develop novel therapeutic strategies to treat sensory disorders like ringing in the ears by harnessing the power of the brain to adapt and reorganize.