Manja slova Veća slova RSS

Milena Vujanović receives Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship for young researchers

Milena Vujanović receives Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship for young researchers
Published date: 31.01.2018 12:17 | Author: Ministry of Science

Ispis Print

Milena Vujanović completed her studies in physics at the Faculty of Science and Mathematics of the University of Montenegro. She applied for participation at CERN’s Summer Student Programme (in physics) in 2015, which enabled her to gain competitive experience in science and eventually receive a prestigious fellowship for young scientists within Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions.

Milena talked to us about her experiences in working on an innovative project, with an emphasis on recent training for creating media content about scientific research. This is a new practice of scientific centres, implemented as part of the efforts to present science to the general public in a creative and receptive way.

# What is AVA project?

AVA (Accelerators Validating Antimatter) is a project financed by the EU Horizon 2020, the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, i.e. its segment dedicated to the professional development of scientists, Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions. The project focuses on antimatter research through the collaboration of 5 universities, 8 research centres, of which CERN is one, and 13 industrial partners.

Hundreds of highly qualified researchers applied for job placements on the project, and only 13 of us were selected. Two remaining positions are still vacant due to the high criteria set by the AVA selection commission.

The programme aims at fundamental research in the field of antimatter and the improvement of experiments in this field. Antimatter is a rather new field of physics that attempts to answer fundamental questions of physics that no one has previously asked. Great discoveries are expected in this area in the coming years.

# How have I received the fellowship? 

When I went to CERN for summer practice within the Summer Student Programme as a student of the Faculty of Science and Mathematics from Podgorica, I received an invitation from an antimatter expert, Dr. Michael Doser, to return to CERN to conduct a fundamental research in this field on his project during the period of half a year.

However, when I started working on the project, I conducted measurements that significantly helped the development of the experiment. Shortly thereafter, they put me in charge of an entire system that is a key part of the experiment. Therefore, and because of the fact that there are not many people who could do the job I did, my contract was extended to the end of 2018 and instead of six I actively participated in the experiment at CERN for 15 months.

This experience in the field of antimatter, created thanks to the summer practice programme at CERN, and the encouragement by Michael Doser, are the reasons I applied for the AVA project. After the application, I had an interview with four physicists from the Institute I’m currently working in, the Cockcroft Institute of Accelerator Science and Technology. A week later I got an offer and I had to make a decision very quickly. At the time, I had a couple of offers for doctoral programmes at several major universities in England and CERN, including the leading experiment in the field of antimatter in the world, ALPHA.

I decided to go for the AVA project because the conditions offered by the H2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions are not offered at that level in other programmes.

# What am I going to do within the fellowship?

Much of the project focuses on improving professional skills in the field of physics and computer science, and this is followed by numerous schools, workshops and conferences. Direct work on accelerators is extremely important so emphasis is placed on that. In addition, numerous workshops and trainings related to improving media-related skills are organized, and so are those related to the question of how to write and publish works and presentations, how to organize scientific conferences, how to manage a research team, how to patent inventions and the like.

# What do I expect to achieve eventually? How is this going to reflect on my career?

According to Carsten Welsch, my supervisor and project coordinator, the goal of the project is to create the next generation of top researchers who will acquire the experience and skills needed to take positions of research group leaders, university professors, project managers in industry and so on. I do not know whether I will eventually succeed to get to these positions and I do not think about it at the moment. For now, my goal is to learn as much as I can and to grow into a researcher I am trying to become one day. The AVA project will definitely help me a lot in this process.

Press Release for the AVA project, on the occasion of training on promotion of science in the media

Collaboration between the economy and academia enables media training for researchers in the European Union project

AVA represents a network formed between universities, scientific centres (such as CERN) and the economy. The project is funded by the European Union and provides revolutionary research in the field of antimatter.

Young researchers of the AVA project (Accelerators Validating Antimatter), coordinated by the University of Liverpool, took part in an innovative training course that would allow them to promote their research using film and video.

This one-week programme was held in MediaCityUK, an international hub for technology, innovation and creativity.

Professor Carsten Welsch, head of the Department of Physics at the University of Liverpool and coordinator of the AVA project, says: “Throughout their career, successful researchers often have to promote and advertise their research using professional media techniques. This programme has enabled training dedicated solely to this goal – the development of media skills that AVA researchers will be able to apply in their careers. This unique training saw the researchers develop and master the skills required to storyboard, script, film and produce their very own project video: AVA – Nature (anti)matters.

The week began with an overview of the creative process by Carbon Digital. This award-winning company is one of the partners in the AVA project and had previously worked with BBC, Sony and Unilever. The researchers began work on pre-production; text-writing, general appearance and film tone was agreed. Once this was completed, the participants were introduced to camera techniques and green screen filming; everyone had the opportunity to film and be filmed for the video. 

In postproduction, the Fellows identified their strengths and split into groups to work on different aspects of the film. This included proofing, editing, soundscaping and animating/rendering scenes to include in the final film. AVA researchers actively participated in all the steps of film creation.

Professor Welsch, who devised a training plan together with Carbon Digital, commented: “I am completely thrilled with the quality of the final film and how all the participants contributed to its creation this week. The training introduced the researchers to the challenges behind the creative and technical process of creating modern media production. This is another in a series of unique innovative trainings that we offer through various EU programmes at the University of Liverpool for young researchers. We are currently analysing how this approach can help future students.”

The film is available here:

Additional information on Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions for young researchers is available here: