Conference summarizing PAS activities for Ukraine in 2022

What activities have been undertaken for the support of researchers from Ukraine? What are the plans for the future? This was discussed at a meeting of representatives of PAS and other organizations.

The meeting „Support for scholars from Ukraine: Summary and new opportunities” (5.12.20022) was devoted to the program to support Ukrainian research teams at the Polish Academy of Sciences. It brought together representatives of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS) as well as directors of institutes of the PAS hosting Ukrainian researchers. Present were also the President of PAS and the staff members International Cooperation Department from the PAS Chancellery Office, responsible for the day-to-day management of support activities. Scholars from Ukraine who have so far had the opportunity to benefit from the support program offered by PAN were also invited.

Prof. Anatoly Zagorodny, President of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (NANU) joined the meeting online. He expressed his gratitude for the continued support, especially to signatories of the 10-point recovery plan for Ukrainian science and researchers. He also stressed that there is now an opportunity to implement the plan.

The meeting had two main objectives. The first was to summarize the activities of the Polish Academy of Sciences and other involved entities in supporting Ukraine during the year. The second purpose was to present new offers and opportunities for researchers.

Plans for future support of Ukrainian researchers by PAS.

“We are beginning a new era of our cooperation. It is a privilege but also a responsibility” Prof. Jerzy Duszynski, president of the PAS, stressed during the meeting. He also added that the perspective requires a change – from the current support for individuals to support for groups of scientists. These teams will be able to become the seed for the later reconstruction of science in Ukraine.

PAS plans to extend its support also to the youngest generation of researchers, even before their doctorates. The organizers hope to demonstrate a certain model of support that could become a pattern for other organizations to follow in the future as well.

How has the PAS so far supported Ukrainian researchers

Already in the first days after the outbreak of the war, PAS began activities that made it possible to organize stays for researchers in Academy units. This would not have been possible without the support of many international partners.

The scale of support has proved to be unprecedented. Since March 2022, nearly 250 researchers (85% of them women) had received short fellowships organized by the PAS. They were hosted by a total of 50 institutes in the PAS network. Some units hosted as many as 20 fellows (the PAS Institute of Slavic Studies is the leader). The stays of scientists from Ukraine lasted from one to nine months.

Ukrainians themselves, mainly from the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (NANU), were also involved in planning activities. NANU’s president, Prof. Anatoly Zagorodny, along with partners from the U.S., Germany, and other countries, was actively involved in program development. Among other things, he also participated in July meeting of the presidents of academies of sciences, which resulted in the above-mentioned 10-point plan.

Conference summarizing support for Ukraine in 2022

The first part of the December meeting featured directors of units that have so far hosted researchers from Ukraine as part of calls organized by the PAS. Some of the units are continuing contacts already developed in this way. “We have always cooperated a lot with the institutes in Donetsk and Kharkiv – both of which have ceased to exist. So far, eight Ukrainian researchers have been with us under scholarships from the PAS. For us, this is an opportunity to maintain the existing cooperation,” says Prof. Roman Późniak, director of the Institute of Physics of the PAS.

Two researchers benefiting from PAS support shared their stories. Oksana Sakal, Ph.D., from the Institute of Rural and Agricultural Development of the Polish Academy of Sciences (working at the National Academy of Agrarian Sciences of Ukraine), talked about, among other things, the challenges of adapting damaged land for subsequent agricultural use. In turn, Dr. Olena Sych of the Frantsevich Institute for Problems of Materials Science NASU in Kyiv shared the course of her recent activities within the High Pressure Institute of the PAS.

More about PAS activities to date in support of Ukrainian researchers.

The source of information and photos: Polish Academy of Sciences