21 February 2023, by Christina Krätzig
The fast-track program also poses some challenges: Maya Herrscher is doing her doctorate at the same she is completing her master’s program.
The fast-track program at Universität Hamburg—University of Excellence provides outstanding students with an opportunity to do a doctorate directly after completing their bachelor’s program. Maya Herrscher, from the Department of Informatics, is one of the students being funded through the program.
IT security is a topic that already grabbed Maya Herrscher’s attention when she took part in an IT project at school. “I am fascinated by codes and cryptography—that doesn’t just mean encrypting information but information security in general. So I focus on designing information systems that can resist manipulation and unauthorized reading.”
Herrscher wrote her bachelor’s thesis on this topic and her dissertation will also focus on the issue. She has already started her dissertation, directly upon the heels of her bachelor’s studies. This is possible thanks to the University’s fast-track program. Students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in the Faculty of Mathematics, Informatics and Natural Sciences; the Faculty of Humanities; or the Faculty of Education are eligible to apply. If you are chosen for the 2-year funding program, you can pursue your master’s and doctorate at the same time.
“For me, it’s a great opportunity despite the double burden,” says Herrscher, who has been receiving funding since Winter Semester 2022. She was motivated to apply on the one hand by her supervising professor and on the other by her interest in the topics that she can examine more closely for her doctorate.
“I would like to research how different building blocks that ensure IT security can interact. Encrypting is only the best-known technique; beyond that, there are many other possibilities for transferring and processing data. How you combine these to use the various possibilities offered by the various building blocks is incredibly exciting to me,” she explains.
Maya Herrscher will receive €1,300 monthly until the summer of 2024. Subsequently, she would like to complete her doctorate as a research associate at Universität Hamburg. “My dream is to work in academia in the long term,” she says. “Because I can conduct basic research here and devote my energies to questions important to the future without having to orient my research interests to the immediate needs of industry.”
The fast-track scholarship was created within the framework of the Excellence Strategy of the Federal and State Governments at Universität Hamburg—University of Excellence. There are calls for applications once annually.