Excellent supervision in doctoral studies guarantees high-quality research and teaching in the long term. However, in the context of the increasing quantification of scientific achievements, special commitment in doctoral supervision does not always receive the recognition it deserves. Therefore, in 2013, the University of Graz established the Seraphine Puchleitner Award, an award for doctoral supervision that is still unique in Austria.
Seraphine Puchleitner (1870-1952) enrolled in the academic year 1898/99 as the first regular female student at the University of Graz. She majored in geography and minored in history, and on July 1, 1902, she became the first woman at the University of Graz to earn a doctorate in philosophy. The title of her dissertation was: "Attempt at a cartographic representation of the territorial distribution of Krain under French administration with a division on the civil organization of the Illyrian provinces". Seraphine Puchleitner finally received the teaching qualification and worked as a lyceum teacher.