Supporting early-career researchers and fostering German-Ukrainian scientific cooperation
The German-Ukrainian Forum of Young Researchers took place in December 2017 in Ukraine and in February 2018 in Germany
On February 8, 2018, the second part of the German-Ukrainian Forum for Young Researchers started at the Embassy of Ukraine in the Federal Republic of Germany.
This event was organized by the Eberhard Karls University Tübingen in cooperation with the German-Ukrainian Academic Society. From December 7- 12, 2017, a group of researchers from Germany and from different cities in Ukraine took part in an exploratory and networking tour “Research in Ukraine” and visited Kyiv, Lviv and Kharkiv. Then, in February 2018, selected participants with joint ideas for collaborative projects came to Berlin for an intensive workshop on “Grant Writing Skills”. During the kick-off event of the second part of the Forum and the subsequent reception, Prof. Olga Garaschuk, neurophysiologist of the Eberhard Karls University Tübingen and the President of the German-Ukrainian Academic Society/ The UKRAINE Network, gave a lecture “Brain aging and new insights into Alzheimer’s disease” within the lecture series “Science first hand”, organized by the regional group of the Society.
In the second part of the Forum, 10 German-Ukrainian tandems were selected by an expert commission based upon their outlines for joint research projects. The participants had an opportunity to further elaborate on their ideas for joint research projects and to learn at first-hand from experienced researchers with significant reviewing experience of grant applications and from experts in research funding. Moreover, research partners from Ukraine were offered an opportunity to visit the laboratory/ research institute of their prospective or existing cooperation partner in Germany in order to learn more about their current research and to discuss possible future joint projects.
The Forum was characterized by a particularly positive atmosphere and a lively scientific and cultural exchange. “I consider the Forum the most remarkable recent event on the Ukrainian scientific landscape in terms of geography, logistics and number of the involved people and institutions”, said Dr Svitlana Potapenko, historian from Kyiv. Dr Maksym Tsizh, a cosmologist from Lviv, added: “All parts of the Forum were important – interaction with my partner, tips about writing proposals and the expert advice. I now have all contacts I need, and a solid plan for my next steps – all thanks to the Forum and the German-Ukrainian Academic Society”. Both the participating young researchers and the experienced scientists who participated in the Forum have made new contacts and exchanged ideas. The talented young researchers with promising research ideas are now better equipped to advance their research careers and, in doing so, contribute to fostering German-Ukrainian scientific cooperation.
This Forum was funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) from the funds of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).
The organizers are grateful to the trainer Dr Julia Staykova-McKinnon (Scriptorium Training & Consulting) for her excellent tailor-made course and useful supporting materials. Expert advice and tips on funding and further development of joint proposals offered at the individual coaching sessions by Prof. Robert Luxenhofer (Chair (Lehrstuhl) for Chemical Technology & Material Synthesis, University of Wüerzburg), Dr Denys Makarov (Leader of the Research Group “Intelligent materials and devices”, Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR)) and Dr Christian Schaich (Administrative Director, Centre for Eeast European and International Studies (ZOIS), Berlin) was extremely valuable to the participants. Special thanks to the DAAD Berlin office for their organizational support.