Final conference of the Cooperation Programme with Croatian Scientists in the Diaspora "Research Cooperability"

On 10 October 2023, the final conference of the Cooperation Programme with Croatian Scientists in the Diaspora “Research Cooperability”, co-financed by the European Social Fund was held at the Multimedia Hall of the Croatian Heritage Foundation.

22 research projects were financed within the programme, which were implemented through cooperation of scientists from Croatian institutions and scientists of Croatian descent employed at institutions abroad in the period from 1 October 2019 to 31 May 2023.

In just under four years of implementation, more than 50 young researchers were employed, five of whom came from abroad, recognizing the PIs and Croatia as a desirable environment for starting or continuing their careers. Four new PhD degrees were awarded. After the completion of the projects, the Foundation took over the financing of the remaining doctoral students for up to 48 months, so we believe that by the end of 2023 and in 2024, this number of new PhDs will be much higher.

More than 220 papers have been published in top international and domestic scientific journals, some of which ended up on magazine covers, selected collections, etc. Project team members delivered more than 400 oral presentations, posters or invited lectures. They received awards – state, institutional, professional, received major European and other international projects, developed patents and innovations. The success of the Programme is best illustrated by the fact that more than 70% of the projects completed their implementation with the highest A score awarded to them by the Foundation’s evaluators and the Management Committee.

Research organizations from abroad involved in the Programme

During the final conference, five participants conveyed their impressions and experiences: two Principal Investigators – Prof. Miljenko Jurković (Faculty of Social sciences and Humanities, University of Zagreb) and Assoc. Prof. Ana Previšić (Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb), one postdoctoral student (Dr. Bahar Karadeniz, Ruđer Bošković Institute) and two former doctoral students and now Doctors of Science (Dr. Nikolina Kalčec, Institute for Medical Research and Occupational Health and Dr. Tomislav Polančec, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture).

A very important body in the implementation of the programme was the Management Committee, which was responsible for the management, coordination and successful implementation of the programme. It consists of five members (Assoc. Prof. Vesna Boraska Perica, Prof. Mirjana Čižmešija, Dr. Tanja Šegvić Bubić, Dr. Robert Vianello, Prof. Bruno Zelić). Dr. Vianello from Ruđer Bošković Institute spoke on behalf of the Committee, presenting their impressions of the Programme.

At the end of the programme, the best projects were announced. Five projects were selected which received the highest A score from both evaluators and members of the Committee during all four reporting periods – all in all 12/12 A marks. They are:

  • project PZS-2019-02-4129 “Mechanochemical and solvent-free strategies towards functional porous materials with advanced physico-chemical and catalytic properties” – Principal Investigators: Dr. Krunoslav Užarević and Prof. Tomislav Friščić
  • project PZS-2019-02-1624 “Global Humanisms: New Perspectives on the Middle Ages (300-1600)” – Principal Investigators: Prof. Miljenko Jurković and Prof. Zrinka Stahuljak
  • project PZS-2019-02-7879 “Biology of cytomegalovirus infection in developing brain and latency” – Principal Investigators: Asst. Prof. Ilija Brizić and Prof. Luka Čičin-Šain
  • project PZS-2019-02-1595 “Fibers and proteins as building blocks for development of novel bioactive food ingredients” – Principal Investigators: Prof. Mirela Kopjar and Prof. Josip Simunovic
  • project PZS-2019-02-2068 “Exploring halide 2D and quasi-2D perovskites: from rational structural design to enhanced efficiency and stability” – Principal Investigators: Dr. Jasminka Popović and Prof. Aleksandra Djurišić

The Croatian Science Foundation would like to congratulate once again to all team members of all 22 projects on all their achievements. We hope that their collaboration with Croatians scientists abroad will continue.