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The Warsaw Voice » Other » June 17, 2009
Awards
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Grants for Young Researchers
June 17, 2009   
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Young researchers from Cracow's Jagiellonian University (UJ) won four of eight grants in the latest round of the Ventures Program recently concluded by the Foundation for Polish Science (FNP). The winners will receive a combined zl.500,000 as personal scientific grants and research grants.

Applicants in the program were judged on criteria including their scientific achievements. They had to persuade the judges that their projects had commercial potential and would find application in the economy.

Jagiellonian University researchers joining the program received support from the university's Center of Innovation, Technology Transfer and University Development (CITTRU). The center helped them prepare the documents for the project and handle the paperwork involved. CITTRU staff also made a preliminary evaluation of the projects and handled issues including intellectual property protection and document circulation. The center's assistance is available to not only young researchers but all scientists working at the UJ who are interested in putting their research results to use in industry.

All the projects singled out for praise in the Ventures Program involve innovative ideas.

Monika Cie¶lik, a Ph.D. student at the Jagiellonian University's Chemistry Department, wants to pursue pioneering research on stainless steel implants covered with a polymer coating that is both inexpensive and safe for the human body. The funds Cie¶lik has received will help her conduct specialist tests, including costly microscope observations at both Polish and foreign laboratories. She has already planned a series of electrochemical measurements in Sweden.

Monika Ruszak, another grant-winning researcher from the UJ Chemistry Department, has set out to fight air pollution and global warming. The results of her research will benefit Polish nitric acid factories, which have to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases including dinitrogen monoxide. Ruszak says she is working on a new catalyst for the decomposition of dinitrogen monoxide that will be both cheap and safe for the environment. The Ventures Program will allow her to continue her research and apply it in industry.

Grzegorz Wojtczak, a Ph.D. student from the Institute of Environmental Sciences at the UJ Department of Biology and Earth Sciences, wants to study the "application of mycorrhizal fungi in the commercial field culture of orchids." He plans to implement his research results in industry.

Other grant winners in the program include a group of chemistry students who aim to develop a range of innovative medications for use in diseases of the central nervous system, the immunological system, and some cases of complications resulting from cancer.

Ewa Dereñ
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