The European Commission's Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) has recently published selection results for the call Capacity Building in the field of Higher Education 2020. According to them, Lviv Polytechnic became one of the three Ukrainian universities to coordinate the capacity building projects.
The main goal of the “Open Practices, Transparency and Integrity for Modern Academia" (OPTIMA) project is implementing Open Science ideas and practices in Ukraine to improve the quality of National higher education services. OPTIMA's priorities include engaging disadvantaged academic communities of displaced Ukrainian universities, focusing on climate change as well as inclusivity by means of modern information technologies.
The start of this three-year project is scheduled for January 15, 2021. Its total budget is over 930 000 euros, of which about 340 000 have been allocated for Lviv Polytechnic.
The OPTIMA consortium also includes Vasyl Stus Donetsk National University, Sumy State University, Lutsk National Technical University, National Antarctic Scientific Center and the National Agency for Higher Education Quality Assurance. Project’s diverse international partners are Graz University of Technology (Austria), Wrocław University of Science and Technology (Poland), University of Côte d'Azur (France), the European Council of Doctoral Candidates and Junior Researchers (Eurodoc, Belgium), Stichting eIFL.net (Netherlands). Associated partners: Council of Rectors of Displaced Universities, Centre for Innovation and Sustainability for International Development and Antiplagiat Ltd.
OPTIMA project contains four main work packages:
- Development of an open peer review platform as an online community of both early career and established researchers.
- Ensure open reviewing of materials submitted to at least ten scientific conferences for students and early career researchers all over Ukraine. These conferences will be also used for raising awareness and sharing best practices.
- Development of open online courses on Open Science and academic integrity in Ukrainian.
- Development of courses in Open Science and reproducible research in various disciplines for masters and PhD candidates.
Prof. Pavlo Zhezhnych, Vice-Rector of Lviv Polytechnic and project coordinator, believes that OPTIMA’s topic is extremely relevant: “Today, Open Science practices, which are almost unknown in Ukraine, are becoming a de facto standard in Europe and worldwide. This project gives us a chance to take an important step towards capacity building and European integration.”
Dr. Oleksandr Berezko, Associate Professor at the Department of Social Communication and Information Activities, General Board Member of Eurodoc and author of the project idea, stressed the importance of effective international cooperation: “We were lucky to gather a really strong consortium around a common idea. Let me mention that the consortium’s core was shaped in the walls of Lviv Polytechnic during the forum "Litteris et Artibus" in 2019."