On May 16, contributing to the Russian-German day of the conference «Science of the Future» held at the Educational Centre Sirius in Sochi, the Russian Science Foundation and the Helmholtz Association (Germany) organized a special seminar "Methods of organizing research work in international collaborations: advantages and challenges for young scientists". 12 representatives of six Russian-German project teams, awarded funding in the first two rounds of the joint RSF-Helmholtz calls for proposals, took part in the discussion on how young scientists can work successfully within the existing mechanisms of support of international research projects.
"Today we present to a wide research community and general public the first results of the projects that we carefully selected together with our German partners from the Helmholtz Association on the basis of the independent assessment of the research excellence by both Russian referees and foreign reviewers", Sergey Konovalov, who is in charge of RSF international projects, told the participants of the conference "Science of the Future". "Six projects today represent a half of the current RSF-Helmholtz research portfolio. These projects cover a number of hot interdisciplinary areas within the grand challenges ranging from big data and biomedicine to climate and future energy research. Very soon we expect to expand the range of our projects supported as we release our new awards in July."
A spokesman of the Russian Science Foundation noted the wide geography and diversity of the Russian teams representatives – from Siberia to Nizhny Novgorod, and highlighted the great engagement of young scientists in the implementation of these projects. Mr. Konovalov went on to share a number of recommendations to the conference participants and young researchers who may not have a prior experience of grant applications on how to develop a successful project proposal, including ones within international collaborations.
On behalf of the Russian part of the international project teams, Anton Tyazhev (Tomsk State University), Vyacheslav Ilyin (Kurchatov Institute), Pavel Subochev (Institute of Applied Physics, RAS) and Xenia Vereschagina (Irkutsk State University) presented their projects and shared study findings jointly with their counterparts from Germany.
What mechanisms and tools in the international projects can be considered successful? What pitfalls can young scientists face? What examples of high quality, value-adding interaction of scientists from different countries can be called today? These and other important issues were raised by the participants of the seminar. Young researchers planning to join international collaborations were able to get additional detailed information and insights from the representatives of the RSF and the Helmholtz Association right away, particularly about the existing and prospective funding opportunities.
The Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres is the largest research organisation in Germany combining capabilities of 19 research centers. The official mission of the Association is "solving the grand challenges of science, society and industry" by conducting top-rate research in the fields of Aeronautics, Space and Transport; Earth and Environment; Energy; Health; Matter; and Key Technologies. Scientists at Helmholtz therefore focus research on complex systems which affect human life and the environment.