The Young Scientists Committee of the SAS has organized its first “Professional Development Workshop” for PhD students and postdoctoral fellows of all scientific disciplines on 9-11 October 2023 at the SAS Congress Centre in Stara Lesna.

The aim of this event was to present career opportunities and develop skills important for a more promising career in the scientific sphere. More than 30 young scientists from almost 20 institutes participated in the event, including a large group of foreign language students. The entire workshop programme was in English.

The meeting was opened by prof. Karol Marhold from the Centre for Plant Biology and Biodiversity of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, v. v. i., who guided the audience through the process of publishing scientific articles. During his presentation he introduced the participants to the issues of scientometrics and predation practices. In the next item of the programme, the platform of the Young Scientists of the SAS was presented by the chair of its committee Barbora Buzássyová, who also outlined the vision of the future direction of the organisation. The first day of the workshop concluded with a presentation on the pitfalls of applying for ERC grants, followed by a stimulating discussion with ERC grant holder Elżbieta Drążkiewicz.

The next day’s programme focused on improving the communication and presentation skills of the participants, who, under the guidance of Ivana Studená from the Institute of Prognostics of the CSPV of the SAS, v. v. i. and Petr Boháč from the Institute of Inorganic Chemistry of the SAS, v. v. i., learned new strategies for presenting their research to colleagues from other disciplines. In the afternoon, the programme continued with a presentation by Zuzana Reptova from the Horizon National Office on the possibilities of the MSCA grant scheme. This session included a practical demonstration of project evaluation – participants could try out the role of an application assessor.

On the final day of the workshop, Lýdia Tobiášová and Dáša Tacho-Velichová presented the scholarship opportunities covered by Fulbright Slovakia. Participants also heard practical advice on how to write a formally complete application for each scholarship programme. Finally, Radoslav Mizera from SOLVED and Barbora Szepeová from SARIO presented the Practice for Universities project, which connects the academic field with the corporate sector. The workshop programme ended with an excursion to the Astronomical Institute of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, v. v. i., connected with a visit to the observatory.

Organizing committee of the event: Barbora Buzássyová (Institute of History of the Slovak Academy of Sciences), Monika Bírová (Institute of Physics of the Slovak Academy of Sciences), Kamil Goliáš (Institute of Experimental Physics of the Slovak Academy of Sciences), Tomáš Goga (Institute of Geography of the Slovak Academy of Sciences), Miroslav Caboň (Botanical Institute of the CBRN of the Slovak Academy of Sciences).

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