Guest of the Science Festival, a scientist from Lithuania Julija Baniukevic: it is difficult to maintain motivation virtually

Iryna Martyn, Student Weekly Newspaper «Audytoriya»
Юлія Банюкевич

Julija Baniukevic is a scientist from Lithuania, Vice-President of the European Board of Young Scientists (Eurodoc). At the end of 2016, Yulya came to attend the Science Festival which took place in Lviv Polytechnic. She told us about Eurodoc community and about her scientific interests.

– How did You become a scientist?

– I have been a scientist since 10th form. I joined a Chemistry club and was offered to become engaged in science there. My first research work was connected with studying red cabbage. It happened so that I can’t look at this cabbage now, I can neither eat it nor hear about it (she laughs), because I was studying it for three years, I experimented on it, I ate it…

Then I entered Vilnius University to study Biochemistry. I came to my scientific supervisor, with whom I had worked while studying at school. Together we were trying to find what I should research further. It happened so that I started carrying out interesting experiments partly connected with Physics. Then my scientific supervisor invited me to his nanotechnologies laboratory. That’s how I got to the centre of nanotechnologies. My current research deals with investigating immunosensors.

And now could You tell us about European Board of Young Scientists?

– It is an international community of young scientists from 32 countries. It was founded in 2002 in Brussels. Its aim is to consolidate young academic environment in Europe and represent their interest at the European level. Our work is very important in the context of ERA development, when all scientists have the same status of researchers professionals and, therefore, equal rights and opportunities for financing, social security, improving working environment conditions… Of course, it is also about co-operation between the national organizations, exchange of young scientists’ ideas and experience, forming a common stand of young scientists in Europe.

I joined Eurodoc through its Lithuanian organization. It was in 2013 when I went to the conference for the first time. Since that time I have been a delegate of Lithuanian organization. And in spring 2016, I was elected Vice-President.

– As a scientist, how do You benefit from being a Eurodoc member?

– It is a possibility to help young scientists – hold training sessions for them, help those who experience problems in preparing their thesis. Of course, the advantages include establishing new contacts, communicating with young scientists, which in future can grow into joint projects. Experience proves that our co-operation is efficient.

– What are Your objectives as Eurodoc Vice-President?

– First of all, it is helping President with organizing things. I also communicate with members from all countries, try to get to know them better and make them even more interested in our co-operation.

Working in Eurodoc has a complicated system, since the community unites many people from different countries, who communicate in person only once a year during conferences. We hold conferences in different countries of Europe. We discuss relevant problems of the professional development of young scientists there. The rest of the time our communication is virtual. And it is very difficult to maintain motivation virtually.

– Do young Ukrainian scientists participate in the work of the international academic community?

– They do. Ukraine has been a member of all-European movement of young scientists since 2014, when, thanks to the efforts of Oleksandr Berezko from Lviv Polytechnic, the Board of Young Scientists within the State Agency for Science, Innovations and Informatisation of Ukraine became 32nd Eurodoc member. It happened in Budapest.

In spring 2016 in Luxembourg, young Ukrainian scientists became members of the administration board and working bodies. Hence Iryna Dehtyaryova from Dnipro Regional Institute of Public Administration of the National Academy of Public Administration (Office of the President of Ukraine) officially represents Ukraine in the administration board. Yuliya Ovchynnykova from Donetsk National University is the head of the working group on interdisciplinarity, and Oleksandr Berezko from Lviv Polytechnic has been elected Eurodoc web-master.

At that time Ukrainian delegates presented their report «Challenges and prospects for young scientists in Ukraine: priorities of the Young Scientists Board of the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine» at the plenary section «Priorities of national organizations (examples of individual countries)». Young scientists from Ukraine participated in the working group on the problems of academic career, education-science policy, open access and mobility.

I would like to stress that all scientists from Ukraine are invited to co-operation with Eurodoc, and Lviv Polytechnic scientists, too. Within the structure of the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, there is your association-participant, which represents interests of young scientists in Eurodoc at the state level. You can join our work on various problems – we have the respective working groups.