Stavros S. Niarchos Foundation Fellowship

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) is one of the world’s leading international philanthropic organizations, providing grants to nonprofit organizations around the world in the areas of arts and culture, education, health and medicine, and social welfare, since the commencement of its grantmaking activities, in 1996. The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Fellowships were established to mark the celebration of a 70-year partnership between Canada and Greece.

The Fellowships are awarded annually to exceptional Greek Master's and PhD applicants across a wide array of graduate programs at McGill. This allows Greek graduate students the opportunity to pursue their studies at McGill, and to contribute to building the foundation for future collaboration between Canada and Greece.

2023/24 - Christos Montsenigos, Architecture

Stavros Niarchos - Christos Montsenigos In response to this century’s unprecedented environmental crisis, identifying historical facts about climate, politics, and their discursive construction acquires a new sense of urgency. Whatever consensus scientists have reached on the causes of climate change, understanding its cultural and ideological basis is work best done within the humanities. I wish to contribute to this field through the historical investigation of designed landscapes. By dissecting the interplay of imperialism, conservation, and garden design in Eighteenth-century Britain, I aim to reveal the threads linking colonial legacies and environmental policies. I applied to the Peter Guo-hua Fu School of Architecture, drawn by the faculty’s rigorous approach to critical considerations of space and architectural practice. Under the mentorship of Professor Martin Bressani, I am now eager to establish my voice within the school’s doctoral community.

The Stavros S. Niarchos Foundation Fellowship makes for an invaluable validation of my decision to pursue a doctoral degree. The award will offer me significant financial stability during the first pivotal years of my studies at McGill, allowing me to delve into my research with a sharp focus. Bringing architecture and landscape to bear upon emerging considerations of environment and crisis, thereby fostering a more informed and resilient society, I hope that I can make a worthwhile addition to the network of leading researchers and initiatives sponsored by the SNF.

2022/23 - Antonios Valkanas, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Stavros Scholar - ValkanasOne might argue that Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology has been the most impactful invention since the inception of the Internet more than three decades ago. To name a few applications, AI techniques guide self-driving vehicles, curate web content, and form an integral part of most functions of a modern smartphone. The fact that AI remains in a high growth phase even after more than a decade of continuous breakthroughs attests to its seemingly boundless potential.

Graph-structured data emerge across natural and social sciences, from social networks to protein interaction networks. However, graph-structured data form a particularly challenging area for AI algorithm development due to their non-Euclidean domain. This often renders the existing mathematical tools of general AI techniques inapplicable; hence, new ones are needed. In my dissertation, under the supervision of Professor Mark Coates, I aim to advance the state-of-the-art in graph learning by developing machine learning algorithms for graphs. Besides theoretical research, I plan to apply graph learning techniques to computer-based human motion prediction, recommendation systems, and telecommunication networks.

I am more than grateful to the Stavros Niarchos Foundation for supporting my work. Had it not been for the Niarchos Fellowship, graduate school would have doubtlessly been financially stressful for me. Thanks to the Foundation’s generous financial aid, I am able to study for my courses, attend international conferences, and, most importantly, devote my full attention towards answering important research problems of potentially high impact reaching far outside my field.

Previous Years

Stavros S. Niarchos Foundation Fellowships for Excellence in Graduate Education

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Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, McGill University.

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