Excellent scientists from abroad return to do research in Slovakia
The SASPRO project launched by the Slovak Academy of Sciences in 2015 is now being continued. It is the most successful scheme to combat the brain drain abroad in Slovakia. This time, the Slovak University of Technology (STU) and the Comenius University (UK) also participated in the SASPRO 2 project. Since last year, 39 young researchers have been gradually coming to start working at their new workplaces, 19 of them will work at the Slovak Academy of Sciences, 10 at the STU and 10 at the UK.
Scientists from abroad are drawn back to Slovakia by an attractive salary, their own research team and decently equipped workplaces, which are standard at the Academy and universities thanks to structural funds. It is a great advantage for them to choose their own research topic and thereby bring authentic results to the company. The research of successful applicants is focused, for example, on the development of new oncological diagnostic procedures using artificial intelligence, control of the behaviour of tsetse flies, measurement and modelling of light pollution or gaining knowledge about new therapeutic options for the prevention and treatment of diabetes.
"We create excellent conditions for scholarship holders of the SASPRO programme, however at the same time, we expect high quality from them. The benefits of this successful project can be seen in the results of the work of the first graduates of SASPRO, who are today leaders of top scientific teams at the institutes and achieve world-class results in the areas they research," said President of the SAS, Pavol Šajgalik.
The involvement of the largest Slovak universities in the project is positive news. Scholarship holders will thus work not only at SAS workplaces, but their research teams will also expand in the environment of universities. Another important news is that scientists can work in companies for a period of one to three months.
"Current scholarship holders have the opportunity to work in a selected company as long as the nature of their project allows it. Researchers thus have a unique opportunity to verify the applicability of their research directly in practice. The selection committee also took into account the connection with the field of application during the selection evaluation," says Comenius University's Vice-Rector for science, doctoral studies and project activities, prof. Jozef Masarik.
"Foreign scholarship holders significantly participate in the internationalization of the research environment at our workplaces. They bring a different perspective and a different "culture" as well, which mirrors our approach. That is also the purpose of their presence, to bring new ideas that can be applied in our conditions," said Prof. Ján Híveš, STU Vice-Rector for science and research.
The SASPRO programme allows scientists to apply for a working stay from 12 to 36 months, while the field of science in which they can apply is not limited. The project is supported by the amount worth approximately 9 million euros within the Horizon 2020 call in the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions – COFUND category.
More information can be found on the official website of the project.
Edited by Katarína Gáliková
Foto: Martin Bystriansky