Comenius University Supports YOUNG RESEARCHERS

Bratislava, 27 April 2022: This year, Comenius University Bratislava continues its long-standing tradition of financially supporting the scientific work of young researchers. Comenius University has been offering research grants for 26 years. Initially, doctoral students and young researchers were eligible, but in recent years the university has been focussing almost exclusively on PhD students. This year it distributed 218,420 euros to various research projects.

28. 04. 2022 12.31 hod.
By: CU External Relations Office

The university received 430 grant applications and decided to support 222 of them with an average amount of 980 euros per project. As before, most grant applications came from PhD researchers from the Faculty of Natural Sciences, the Faculty of Mathematics, Physics and Informatics and the Faculty of Medicine.

One of the selected projects studies the preparedness of physics teachers to meet the current goals of physics education. Silvia Novotná from the Faculty of Mathematics, Physics and Informatics plans to design an improved method of teaching physics in Slovakia. She will use observation of and interviews with teachers to develop their typology and design a specific way of teaching for each category. Her research should help inform the preparation of future physics teachers.

Another grant recipient, Lukáš Kurinec from the Faculty of Management, studies how general practitioners manage patients and their health care expenses. "In this project, we are examining the impact of redundant referrals by GPs to specialists on healthcare costs," explains Kurinec. The project will propose a system of bonuses for GPs tied to how well they approach this issue.

Kristína Mocsári from the Faculty of Education is testing a new, foreign therapy for pre-school and younger school-age children who stutter. In her project, she plans to test the therapy for six months. By comparing the results of entry, mid-point and final tests she plans to see whether the therapy helps reduce stuttering in children. "If the new therapy proves successful, it could help speech therapists across Slovakia," says Kristína Mocsári.

Karin Černickaja from the Faculty of Social and Economic Sciences proposed a project to collect and analyse the life-stories of adults with learning disabilities or attention disorders. These stories are intended to serve future psychologists or other assisting and teaching professions. They will form a tool for mitigating stigmatization, raising awareness about this issue and also provide a source of inspiration for people with learning disabilities or attention disorders and for the general public.

One of the potential markers of the severity of a COVID-19 case is the enzyme butyrylcholinesterase. Its physiological function has not yet been sufficiently researched. It is present in large amounts in our bloodstream and in most organs and is involved, among other things, in the metabolism of fats and the onset of obesity or cardiovascular diseases. Since the latter are risk factors increasing the severity of a COVID-19 infection, Lucia Markusková from the Faculty of Pharmacy wants to see if using this enzyme helps more easily identify the patients with a risk of a severe course of COVID-19 in order to improve the efficiency of their treatment.

"The diversity of our PhD’s research projects mimics the university's broad scientific focus. Comenius University grants are meant to support the research that our students will use in their dissertations. I am pleased that we are able to continue this tradition and that this support meets with great interest every year," says Comenius University Rector Marek Števček.