Economics and Business
- prof. Sara Dolničar, University of Queensland, Australia
Research projects: The research program Professor Dolničar is currently working on is developing and validating a new theory that explains, predicts, and elicits pro-environmental conduct in pleasure-focused settings like tourism. It is significant in challenging the assumption of conventional theories about universal drivers of human behavior, asserting instead that increased pleasure or changed infrastructure are needed to boost pro-environmental actions in hedonic contexts. The outcome and benefits will be in effective, evidenced-based social interventions that reduce the huge environmental burden of tourism and other pleasure-focused industries. Such interventions are urgently needed to manage the impacts arising from the extraordinary growth in sectors critical to the global economy.
- prof. Andres Drenik, Columbia University, USA
Research projects: Projects at the intersection of macroeconomics and international finance. Research topics include: price setting and choices of units of account, and labor markets in emerging economies. A unifying theme in the agenda is the combination of the analysis of large datasets, with quantitative models to rationalize empirical facts and analyze their implications for the macroeconomy.
- prof. Nuša Fain, Queen's University, Canada
Research projects: Dr Fain’s research spans across the areas of strategy, entrepreneurship and innovation management, with an increased focus on implementation of open innovation practices into mature organizations. Research topics she is currently pursuing include, but are not limited to: start-up mindsets in corporate innovation, new venture creation in the gig economy and design thinking for business. The majority of her research projects are practice or case based, relying on qualitative methods of data collection and analysis, such as case studies, design sprints and netnography. The ASEF fellow would contribute to research in Strategy and Organization unit of Smith Business School, where the key research focus is on the strategies and structuring of organizations, and how they relate to their economic, institutional, and social environment.
- prof. Matevž Raškovič, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
Research projects: Prof. Raškovič’s research interests focus on approaching international business phenomena through an economic sociology lens. His research focuses on the intersection of identity, culture and consumer behavior. His research in particular addresses issues related to generational cultures and their link to international consumer dispositions of young adults (i.e. consumer cosmopolitanism and ethnocentrism). A lot of his research is of comparative nature, focusing on Central and Eastern Europe and East Asia (China, Japan). His current research projects involve looking at within-country differences in consumer characteristics of Millennials in China. In another project, he is exploring the influence of indigenous cultures on internationalization patterns of firms in the South Pacific (especially New Zealand).
- prof. Tina Saksida, University of Prince Edward Island, Canada
Research projects: Dr. Saksida's research interests intersect the areas of organizational behaviour, human resource management, negotiation, and labour relations. Her recent projects explore such topics as gender and leadership, age and generational diversity at work, gender representation in business education, digitalization of work, and non-profit management (including unions). Interested candidates should have a strong background in research methods (or exhibit a willingness to learn), basic proficiency in statistical software (e.g., SPSS, Stata), a record of academic achievement in the areas or management, organizational psychology, or related fields, and advanced proficiency in English.
- prof. Sergeja Slapničar, University of Queensland, Australia
Research projects: Dr. Slapničar’s research interests focus on the effects of accountability, performance measuring and various incentives on human cognition and decision making (in particular risk-taking and motivation). She and her team research these topics in behavioral and neuroscientific experiments. In the next academic year she invites a student with information system background to join her on the project addressing the development of a cyber security scorecard comprised of a limited, comprehensible, quantifiable and causally linked set of key performance indicators together with best practices that would enable Boards of Directors to proactively engage in effective governance and management of cyber security risk, including promoting a healthy cyber security culture.
- prof. Urška Velikonja, Georgetown University, USA
Research projects: Business law, financial regulation and enforcement, white collar crime, corporate governance.
- prof. John T. Plecnik, Cleveland State University, USA
Research projects: Intersection of taxation and public policy.
Political and social studies
- prof. Ana Bračič, Michigan State University, USA
Research projects: Prof. Bračič's research is predominantly in the field of comparative politics and focuses on questions of human rights, discrimination, and the persistence of social exclusion. Prof. Bračič's mostly relies on lab-in-field and survey experiments that use innovative approaches to measurement, like videogames. In addition to working on their own research, the ASEF fellow would take part in a multi-week project preparing for and fielding an election exit poll in East Lansing, in fall 2020.
- prof. Peter J. Verovšek, Sheffield University, UK
Research projects: Peter works in international political theory. His research examines how socially mediated collective memories serve as resources for political innovation in the aftermath of broad historical ruptures. He is currently finishing his book manuscript, tentatively entitled Memory and the Future of Europe. He is currently starting new projects on the implementation of the emerging global transitional justice norm and the role of public intellectuals in modern democracies.
- prof. Gašper Beguš, University of Washington Seattle, USA
Research projects: Experimental and computational phonology, computational linguistics, experimental fieldwork, statistical modeling of language change, neural network interpretability, speech acquisition, speech production, speech perception
- prof. Hana Beloglavec, Louisiana State University, USA
Research/Creative Activity: Performing trombone as a chamber musician and/or soloist in recitals. Performing trombone as an ensemble musician in orchestras and wind ensembles. Applicants need to include recordings of two-three pieces (movements and/or etudes) in contrasting styles with their application.
- prof. Bojan Mohar, Simon Fraser University, Canada
Research projects: Graph theory and combinatorics, especially its interplay with algebra (including linear algebra), geometry and topology. Theoretical computing, in particular algorithms on graphs, approximation algorithms, fixed parameter tractability, and computational geometry and topology.
- prof. Mateja Šajna, University of Ottawa, Canada
Research projects: Graph theory and combinatorial designs, more specifically, cycle decomposition of graphs, the Oberwolfach problem, eulerian properties of hypergraphs and designs, and applications of graph theory in science (particularly graph-theoretic analysis of fuzzy cognitive maps).
- prof. Jernej Barbič, University of Southern California, USA
Research projects: Minimum requirement: undergraduate GPA at least 9.0 (Slovenian scale; or equivalent), or a research record at leading international publication venues. I am looking for a star, promising, student, who aspires to an academic career. The following are a plus: former high school math / cs / physics olympiad members, winners of undergraduate research/thesis awards. You should be interested in at least one of the following: computer graphics, mechanics, animation, numerical solution of partial differential equations (e.g., finite element method), applied mathematics, computational topology, geometric shape modeling, mechanical engineering, biomechanics, haptics, collision detection, anatomically based human modeling and simulation. Eligible majors: computer science, mathematics, physics, mechanical engineering.
- prof. Sanja Fidler, University of Toronto, Canada
Research projects:Focus on computer vision, and intersection between vision and language. Applications of machine learning, with the focus on deep learning, to problems such as image and video understanding, captioning, question-answering, fashion modeling from photos, and music generation.
- prof. Mateja Jamnik, University of Cambridge, UK
Research projects:Projects focusing on artificial intelligence such as developing knowledge representations that enable rigorous yet accessible reasoning in diverse domains; analysing and automating the choices of human-centred representations in AI systems; the use of logic in machine learning; applications in mathematics, education, personalised cancer medicine.
- prof. Jure Leskovec, Stanford University, USA
Research projects: Projects focusing on data science and large scale network analysis. Modeling and analysis of large social, information, and biomedical networks. Applications of recommender systems, machine learning, and data mining to big data problems
- prof. Dawn Song, University of California Berkeley, USA
Research projects: using deep-learning to do program synthesis in various domains, exploring new techniques and applications in deep-learning and machine learning for security, addressing security issues of deep-learning, developing an AI system for automatic data analysis and science, and develop novel secure decentralized systems using blockchains and smart contracts.
- prof. Marinka Žitnik, Harvard University, USA
Research projects: Projects focusing on new machine learning methods for large, rich data and on translation of the methods into solutions for problems in science and medicine. Representation learning in an effort to set sights on new frontiers in computational biology, genomics, and drug discovery. Fusion of biomedical data into knowledge graphs in an effort to learn and reason over data in their broadest sense. Applications of machine learning to problems in biology, medicine, and health.
- prof. Mihaela Pavličev, University of Vienna, Austria
Research projects: Prof. Mihaela Pavličev is an evolutionary biologist working at the interface of experimental and theoretical biology. Pavličev is interested in the aspects of the genotype-phenotype map that influence the ability of the complex organisms to respond to selection, such as pleiotropy and epistasis, and the systemic properties which generate these population-level patterns. These systemic properties (developmental, physiological, metabolic networks) influence the ability to produce new patterns of variation, or to individuate traits and produce novelties. She uses theoretical approaches as well as addressing organismal systems, in particular the evolutionary history of mammalian female reproduction and mammalian limbs. The lab uses comparative approaches and a range of empirical and computational tools, including animal and in vitro models, as well as tissue, and single-cell transcriptomics.
Marine and Environmental Affairs
- prof. Nives Dolšak, University of Washington Seattle, USA
Research projects: Prof. Nives Dolšak studies environmental policy at the international, national, and sub-national level in the U.S. and in EU. Her current research projects examine (1) the role of civil society and media in environmental policy adoption; (2) private sector's activities in climate change mitigation and adaptation; and (3) the role of social media in corporate environmentalism.
Computational and Molecular Biology
- prof. Boštjan Kobe, University of Queensland, Australia
Research projects: The group’s research theme is protein structure and function. The biological focus is on proteins involved in infection and immunity. The goal of the research is to use structural and molecular information to understand the molecular and cellular functions of proteins, validate proteins as therapeutic targets or biotechnological products, and to design new therapeutics and biotechnological applications. The main techniques involve X-ray crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy, combined with a plethora of other molecular biology, biophysical and computational techniques.
- prof. Jernej Murn, University of California, Riverside, USA
Research projects: Projects are geared towards understanding how control of gene expression at the RNA level allows cells to make decisions, respond to the environment, and communicate with one another, as well as how misregulation of RNA processing leads to cellular dysfunction and disease. We pursue these problems in two major biological settings: 1) neuronal differentiation and development of neurological disorders, and 2) stem cell maintenance, with an eye toward a related process of cancer development. We employ a broad range of biochemical, genetic, cellular, bioengineering, and computational approaches to obtain a systems-level understanding of the regulatory roles of RNA-protein and RNA-RNA interactions.
- prof. Andrej Šali, University of California, San Francisco, USA
Research projects: We aim to develop and apply computational methods for integrative determination of the structures and dynamics of macromolecular assemblies, in turn informing the function and evolution of these systems as well as how to modulate them. The broad goal is to contribute to a predictive spatiotemporal model of the cell. This goal is being achieved by a formal integration of experiment, physics, and statistical inference, spanning all relevant size and time scales. Our computational methods are implemented in the open source Integrative Modeling Platform package (IMP) and the resulting models are deposited in the PDB-Dev database. This research enhances the discovery of general principles that underlie all cellular processes, which in turn also facilitates drug discovery.
- prof. Jernej Ule, The Francis Crick Institute, UK
Research projects: We use transcriptomic approaches to unravel the assembly, function and evolution of protein-RNA complexes. We have developed iCLIP (individual-nucleotide resolution CLIP) and hybrid iCLIP (hiCLIP), along with new computational tools, to identify protein-RNA and RNA-RNA contacts quantitatively and with high resolution. The broad goal is to unravel the regulatory mechanisms, including the RNA motifs, structures and positional regulatory patterns (RNA maps), among others. We study regulation and evolution of pre-mRNA processing, mRNA translation and stability. Lately we focus on the roles of secondary structure of mRNAs and RNA-RNA interactions in RNA regulation mechanisms. We wish to understand how these RNA mechanisms go awry in neurodegenerative diseases, and we work on antisense RNA therapies for these diseases.
- prof. Gregor Gorjanc, University of Edinburgh, UK
Research projects: Gregor uses data science, genetics/genomics and breeding to manage and improve populations in diverse settings. For example, (a) to increase the efficiency of producing food, feed, and fibre, (b) to study and remove genetic defects in companion animals, and (c) to protect diversity of populations in the wild or captivity. Gregor is specifically interested in: (i) applied genetics and breeding, (ii) design and optimisation of breeding programs, (iii) methods for population and quantitative/statistical genetics/genomics and breeding, and (iv) analysis of complex traits to unravel their biological basis.
Medicine and Dentistry
- prof. Janina Golob Deeb, Virginia Commonwealth University, USA
Research projects: Clinical rotations can be arranged in undergraduate general dental clinics, graduate clinics in Advanced Education in General Dentistry, Periodontics, Endodontics, Orthodontics, Pediatric Dentistry and Oral Maxillofacial Surgery. Research activity in fields of: Dynamic and Static Navigation in Oral Implantology, Analysis of different bone grafting techniques for ridge augmentation for implant site development, Evaluation of soft tissues on intraoral scans.
- prof. Dimitri Krainc, Northwestern University, USA
Research projects: The overarching goal of Dr. Krainc's research is to study molecular mechanisms of neurodegeneration, focusing on Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease, to facilitate the development of targeted therapies. In the area of PD, his group identified a positive feedback loop between alpha-synuclein and glucocerebrosidase in sporadic and genetic forms of PD (Mazzulli et al, Cell, 2011). They also described convergence of mitochondrial and lysosomal dysfunction in midbrain neurons from PD patients (Burbulla et al, Science, 2017), as well as direct contacts between lysosomes and mitochondria (Wong et al, Nature, 2018). Prospective students can work in the area of neurogenetics, cell and molecular biology.
- prof. David Križaj, University of Utah, USA
Research projects: The team investigates molecular mechanisms that mediate multimodal sensory transduction in the mammalian eye and their dysfunction in blinding diseases such as glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and ocular trauma. Experimental approaches combine bioengineering, physiology, basic and translational neuroscience.
- prof. David Sarlah, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, USA
Research projects: Our research focuses on synthetic organic chemistry. Central to our research program is the discovery of new reactivities, development of new methodologies, and their application in synthesis of complex, biologically active natural products.
- prof. Maruša Bradač, University of California Davis, USA
Research projects: The cosmic Dark Ages (time when the Universe was filled with neutral hydrogen that acts like fog and makes the Universe opaque to visible light) are thought to have ended around 500 million years after the Big Bang when early light sources produced enough energetic photons to ionize the neutral hydrogen. This era is referred to as reionization and is also an era of the formation of the first galaxies. But when exactly did reionization occur and how long did it last? What were the sources responsible for ionizing the neutral gas? Was it the first galaxies? Now for the first time we can peer far enough into space (and therefore backwards enough in time) to answer these questions. In this project, researchers will use galaxy clusters as cosmic telescopes that, similar to ordinary glass lenses, magnify objects behind them. We will look for magnified galaxies that formed in the early history of the Universe. The researchers will have access to the data from the best telescopes, Spitzer, Hubble Space Telescope HST, and the new James Webb Space Telescope JWST in the future, that play complimentary roles in this effort.
- prof. Kristjan Haule, Rutgers University, USA
Research projects: Working in theoretical condensed matter physics, developing theoretical tools, concepts, and algorithms to describe and predict behavior of many-body quantum systems, properties of solids under extreme conditions, and to find novel quantum states.
- prof. Robert Jeraj, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA
Research projects: The main research focus of the Image-Guided Therapy Group is understanding tumor heterogeneity, and the related origins and development of treatment resistance. We are studying tumor heterogeneity and treatment resistance in numerous clinical trials with extensive imaging endpoints for different types of interventions, such as radiation therapy, chemotherapy and molecular targeted therapies (e.g., VEGFR TKI, AR-directed therapies). We are developing a number of imaging biomarkers based on quantitative molecular imaging techniques to quantify spatio-temporal development of tumor heterogeneity and treatment resistance. We are modeling tumor progression based on imaging inputs to better understand complex relationships leading to tumor heterogeneity and treatment resistance.
- prof. Andrej Prša, Villanova University, USA
Research projects: Computational astrophysics, involving the development of the theoretical framework for modeling eclipsing binary and multiple systems, solving the radiative transfer problem in contact binaries, parameter estimation using machine learning and artificial neural networks, modeling transiting exoplanets and circumbinary objects with Kepler/K2 and TESS data, developing variable star metrics for the ongoing mission Gaia and upcoming Large Synoptic Survey Telescope.
- prof. Uroš Seljak, University of California Berkeley, USA
Research projects: Theoretical, observational, and numerical astrophysics and cosmology, data science applied to large astronomical datasets and other applications. A few examples: physics based generative models in cosmology, optimal extraction of parameters in models with very high dimensional planet detection using timing transit variations, analysis of time stream data with generative models, counter-factual analysis of econometrics data, gravity wave analysis of LIGO, uncertainty quantification with Bayesian posterior analysis, evaluation of normalizing constant etc.
- prof. Jure Zupan, University of Cincinnati, USA
Research projects: Theoretical particle physics with emphasis on rare processes involving flavor changing neutral currents, the properties of dark matter both in direct and indirect detection, as well as collider physics, including Higgs physics. Major common themes are searches beyond the standard model and uses of effective field theories.
- prof Andrej Košmrlj, Princeton University, USA
Research projects: Projects at the intersection of mechanics, physics and biology. Projects are focused on investigation of mechanical metamaterials, mechanics of structures, statistical mechanics of shells, and morphogenesis during the embryonic development.
- prof. Miloš Žefran, University of Illinois at Chicago, USA
Research projects: Robotics, autonomy and safety-critical cyber-physical systems. Main research areas are physical and multimodal human-robot interaction, collaborative manipulation, runtime safety monitoring and haptics. Applications include robot assistants for the elderly, collaborative robots for the industry, and autonomous cars.
- prof. Mitja Trkov, Rowan University, USA
Research projects: Robotics and physical human-machine interactions in biomedical applications. We use analytical and experimental approaches that integrate dynamics and control, mathematical modeling, and use of experimental platforms with human subject testing to develop new principles and tools. These principles are applicable for robotic applications in soft robotics, rehabilitation, and biomedical engineering fields.
- prof. Domen Novak, University of Wyoming, USA
Research projects: Our research focuses on human-machine interaction. We are primarily interested in virtual reality and computer games for physical exercise, but also carry out studies on automated recognition of mental states from physiological responses, low back exoskeletons, computer games for memory training, and similar technologies.
- prof. Gregor Verbič, University of Sydney, Australia
Research projects: Dr. Verbič’s research is contributing towards the transformation of the current electricity infrastructure into a ‘smart’, electronically automated system that delivers services to customers more economically and with improved energy efficiency. His expertise spans power system operation, stability and control, and electricity markets. To solve challenging research problems that arise in the nexus between power systems, decision theory and data science, Dr Verbic uses applied optimisation, machine learning, data analytics and game theory. His research interests focus on grid and market integration of renewable energies and distributed energy resources, future grid modelling and scenario analysis, wide-area coordination of distributed energy resources, and demand response. His main recent focus has been on harnessing the untapped potential of behind-the-meter distributed energy resources, including rooftop solar, battery storage and electric vehicles, to be used as a system resource while minimizing energy expenditure for the end-user.
- prof. Jurij Karlovšek, University of Queensland, Australia
Research projects: A significant proportion of total annual shotcrete volume used in Australia goes into the construction of underground lining support. Unplanned cracking of lining is serviceability related problem that continues to occur in a large number of structural elements. The aim of the present investigation is to establish a relationship between the restrained shrinkage behaviour of shotcrete ring specimens and shrinkage in tunnelling lining construction. We are currently working with University of Ljubljana in mechanically and experimentally solving this problem.
Digital heritage and virtual museums
- prof. Kaja Antlej, Deakin University, Australia
Research projects: Interdisciplinary projects in the area of digital heritage and virtual museums at the intersection of heritage interpretation/museum communication, human-centered experience design, human-computer interaction and visitor/user experience studies. At Deakin’s CADET Virtual Reality Lab lead by Associate Professor Ben Horan - amongst other areas dedicated to training and simulation - we explore how to develop, design and evaluate engaging and immersive museum/heritage experiences using Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), Mixed Reality (MR), Extended Reality (XR), serious/applied games and additive manufacturing or 3D printing.
Geoinformation Sciences and Urban Planning
- prof. Alenka Poplin, Iowa State University, USA
Research projects: Her research interests include serious online games and games for change, online geogames for civic engagement, big data for smart cities, happy cities, emotions related to places, mapping emotions in a geographic information system (GIS). She is actively involved in the project Big Data for Sustainable City Decision-Making. Her recent publications include articles in the Computers, Environment and Urban Systems (CEUS), Journal of Cartography and Geographic Information, Journal of Urban Technology, The Cartographic Journal and others. She edited five books, the last one titled The Virtual and The Real in Planning and Urban Design: Perspectives, Practices and Applications, was published in 2018 by Routledge.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the important dates?
Call for applications opens on December 15 2018
Applications are due February 15 2019
We anticipate making final decisions by March 31 2019
Applications are due February 15 2019
We anticipate making final decisions by March 31 2019
When will the visit take place?
The exact time of the visit is flexible and will be discussed with the particular research group and the professor. Roughly, the visit takes place sometime during the summer (June to September).
Do students need health insurance?
What is the fellowship amount?
ASEF will work with the fellows to identify funding sources to help cover all expenses of the fellow: airfare, housing, and living expenses. In general, students will stay with a Slovenian family and then work with the professor at a university.
What is the review procedure?
In addition to considering the research plan and recommendations presented in each application, the Scientific Advisory Committee must give weight to the many intangibles involved, including interpretation of the Foundation's objectives. The Committee ranks the candidates and the Board of Directors then votes to approve the fellowships.
What are student’s obligations to ASEF?
The selected fellows will become part of the ASEF Alumni Club, where they are expected to participate at the ASEF promotional activities, help advertising the ASEF Fellowship and other programs, and act as peer mentors for future fellows, to help educating them about the USA/Canada/UK/Australia/New Zealand culture and preparing them for the research visit.
Who were past ASEF fellows?
Summer 2018: (Click Here For More Information) - Lucija Dežan (University of Oklahoma, Political Science) - Lara Gubeljak (University of Utah, Medicine) - Barbara Ikica (Stanford University, Computer Science) - Petra Janež (Georgetown University, Law) - Erik Janežič (University of Toronto, Computer Science) - Peter Kmecl (University of Wyoming, Electrial Engineering) - Petra Kukanja (UC San Francisco, Molecular Biology) - Luka Lapajne (University of Utah, Medicine) - Blaž Leban (Villanova University, Astrophysics) - Matevž Marinčič (Princeton University, Mechanical Engineering) - Nina Mrzelj (Stanford University, Computer Science) - Kristjan Nemac (University of Washington Seattle, Marine and Environmental Affairs) - Rok Razpotnik (UC Riverside, Molecular Biology) - Aba Reberc (University of Sheffield, Political Science) - Jakob Robnik (UC Berkeley, Physics) - Marko Rus (UC Berkeley, Computer Science) - Aleks Smolkovič (University of Cincinnati, Physics) - Anja Sotošek (Virginia Commonwealth University, Dentistry) - Jan Zavodnik (Princeton University, Mechanical Engineering) Summer 2017: (Click Here For More Information) - Gorazd Čibej (Harvard University, Law) - Teja Golobič (Cleveland State University, Law) - Kaj Jež (University of Washington Seattle, Marine and Environmental Affairs) - Žiga Gosar (Princeton University, Mechanical Engineering) - Jaka Kukavica (Georgetown University, Law) - Urška Lampret (University of Sheffield, Political Science) - Marija Lukič (Virginia Commonwealth University, Dentistry) - Tilen Marc (Stanford University, Computer Science) - Aleš Omerzel (UC Berkeley, Computer Science) - Ajda Rojc (UC San Francisco, Biology) - Luka Starčevič (Princeton University, Mechanical Engineering) - Robert Vidmar (UC San Francisco, Biology) - Angelika Vižintin (University of Cincinnati, Evolutionary Biology) - Patrik Zajec (Stanford University, Computer Science) Summer 2016: (Click Here For More Information) - Aleksandar Dimitriev (Stanford University, Computer Science) - Veronika Cencen (Princeton University, Mechanical Engineering) - Vid Kocijan (Stanford University, Computer Science) - Neven Polajnar (Harvard University, Political Science) - Joze Rožanec (UC Berkeley, Computer Science) - Jan Rozman (Princeton University, Mechanical Engineering) - Matej Srebre (UC Berkeley, Physics) - Kaja Travnik (Harvard University, Political Science) - Matej Vizovišek (UC San Francisco, Biology) Summer 2015: (Click Here For More Information) - Aljaž Gaber (UC San Francisco, Biology) - Filip Kozarski (UC Berkeley, Astrophysics) - Andraž Hribernik (Stanford, Computer Science) - Peter Us (UC Berkeley, Computer Science) Summer 2014: (Click Here For More Information) - Matej Cepin (University of Santa Clara, Social studies) - Niko Colnerič (Stanford, Computer Science) - Marinka Žitnik (Stanford, Computer Science) Feel free to reach out to them directly and ask them about their experiences.