The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic for Investments and Informatization (ODPMII) again announced a call to send three more Slovak young researchers to the University of California at Berkeley (UC Berkeley). Selection will be made from projects focusing on intelligent transport systems, IT in transport, and automotive industry. The call for universities to register their candidates is open until 17 April 2020. It is published on the website of the Deputy Prime Minister Office at https://www.vicepremier.gov.sk/sekcie/investicie/podpora-inovacii/dotacie/index.html.
The call is open to doctoral students, researchers and academic staff who wish to take a semester at the prestigious Faculty of Technology of the University of California, Berkeley. During their stay, they will have an opportunity to speed up and refine their research in state-of-the-art laboratories. A condition for the call is that the candidate leaving for the stay will be nominated by their university. The university will select them according to their own internal selection process. Schools may nominate a maximum of three candidates.
“I believe that a semester at this prestigious and award-winning school will be a very important milestone for Slovak researchers in their careers. It is an opportunity for them to work in an environment using the latest technologies and to meet top professors. At the same time, I hope that they will enrich and inspire their colleagues back home with the experience they gain at Berkeley,” said Deputy Prime Minister Richard Raši. He added that this is the best way to bring new experience, innovation and useful contacts to our research and development environment.
Successful candidates will receive a subsidy of up to 93 000 EUR. The sum will go to tuition fees of 50 000 USD and monthly expenses related to the stay. This is paid at the US University for a maximum of seven months, which is one semester. Any submitted projects will be assessed as to their importance within a particular academic area, their positive contribution for the applicant, for a particular university and for Slovakia as a whole.
Several scientists from the University of Žilina (UNIZA) have already completed their research stay in Berkeley. In autumn 2017, this University signed a Strategic Partnership Agreement with the University of California. Peter Pellegrini, the then Deputy Prime Minister, signed the agreement on behalf of the ODPMII.
One of the successful scientists is Michal Gregor, who was part of the inter-university project VEHICAL. It deals with autonomous systems, namely acoustic phenomena while driving. The Slovak scientist examined the impact of different acoustic expressions on driving style and safety. Another scientist who returned from Berkeley is Martina Kajanová. In her research, she focused on developing an approach to managing the charging of electric vehicles. The main objective of the algorithm she developed is to achieve the maximum and most efficient use of available local renewable energy sources to power charging stations.
“I am pleased that two of our successful researchers have completed a unique research stay, gained irreplaceable experience, inspiring ideas, and had launched international cooperation. They not only improved their personal credit, their intellectual and cultural potential, but also the prospect of self-realization at home at the University of Žilina. Also through such research visits, UNIZA strives to put Slovak scientists on the map of world centres, to increase the prestige of science and to extend cooperation to other areas,” said UNIZA Rector, prof. Ing. Jozef Jandacka, PhD.
The research stay enabled both of them to establish cooperation with a top research American workplace, which is extremely beneficial for the maintenance and further development of Slovak research in the field of intelligent transport systems. The University of Berkeley is one of the top five public universities in the world and is currently the 18th best university in the world. Last but not least, the university is also unique in that it boasts the highest number of Nobel Prize laureates. “Research stays at this university bring several benefits. On the one hand, it is an opportunity to cooperate in top research, but Slovak scientists will also find out how teaching and research functions at a university that is among the top world institutions,” concluded the Deputy Prime Minister Richard Raši.