For the first time in its history, the Fondation Zdenek et Michaela Bakala (FZMB) held its annual selection interviews for the scholarship program online due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

A total of 30 candidates from various universities in Switzerland submitted their applications. Following a detailed examination of the applications, the selection committee invited 15 students to the second round of virtual interviews held in the beginning of May. Unlike previous years, when the students were most interested in UK universities, this year, two thirds of the students are interested in pursuing their studies at universities in the U. S. Public health and medicine dominated the requested fields of study. Check out the video below find out more about the new scholars, their selected universities, and studies as well as their professional dreams.

“We are incredibly pleased to have successfully managed all our candidate interviews online, despite the current challenging circumstances,“ said Ursina Boulgaris, Secretary General of the Fondation Zdenek et Michaela Bakala.  For more details on her view of this year‘s scholarship program, you can watch our interview with Ursina Boulgaris below.

This year the selection committee was comprised of Michaela Bakala, Chair of the Board, Ursina Boulgaris, Secretary General of the foundation, Phillippe Rudloff, Vice-Chair of the Board, Patricia Legler, Board member and also Giedre Lideikyte – Huber, a FZMB alumn and  Senior Research Associate at the University of Geneva. Giedre shares her impressions of the interviews in this video.

The scholarships were granted to all 15 interviewed candidates. The family of students and research fellows supported by the Fondation Zdenek et Michaela Bakala since its establishment in 2011 will now reach 93.