A letter to the President of the Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, on the issue of science funding in the Ukraine#

The Board of Trustees have published a letter to the President of the Ukraine on the issue of science funding in the Ukraine (26 January 2016).

The President of the Republic of Ukraine 26 January 2016
His Excellency Petro Poroshenko
11 Bankova str.
01220 Kyiv

From the President of the Academia Europaea: Professor Dr Sierd Cloetingh MAE

Dear President,

The Academia Europaea is the Academy of Europe. As such, we are honoured to have among our elected members, a number of internationally recognised researchers who are based in the Ukraine and a number of distinguished Ukrainian scholars who hold important positions in institutions of higher education and research within other countries of Europe.

The Ukraine has a very long tradition of international excellence in scientific research and we were privileged recently to be in Kyiv to celebrate and support an international meeting in celebration of Prof. Oleg Krishtal’s anniversary, at the Bogomoletz Institute of Physiology. It was a personal honour during that visit to meet with the Minister of Science and Higher Education, the right honourable Serhii Kvit and to discuss with him the importance of Ukraine science within the European family.

We have recently become very concerned to hear that national support for research and science has been downgraded, with some significant impacts already on individual discplines. This is unfortunate. The Ukraine has a very proud international profile and tradition in science, demonstrated over many years and a recognised capacity for excellence with a corresponding international impact in research. We have recently been impressed with the high quality of young researchers that are emerging through your specialist institute system. There are real opportunities for financial support for young researchers through better access to European Union funding, especially the European Research Council. But progress depends on national support for initial capacity development in the first instance. The Academia Europaea is working alongside the ERC to try to improve access and success for younger Ukrainian scholars. All of this could be put at risk because of the negative effects of short-term reductions in national support for training and infrastrucure, even where this may in face value be seen as necessary. Once lost, excellence is very difficult to regain. The Ukrainian Academy of Science institute system is generally a major asset and a key part of this infrastructure.

On behalf of the membership of the Academia Europaea can we ask that you encourage your Government to reflect carefully on the potentially negative impacts of any downgrades and consider carefully and with sensitivity the future of your younger researchers and ensure that funding continues to provide the support needed for a productive science and innovation research base within the Ukraine.

Yours sincerely,
Sierd Cloetingh, President

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