May 11, 2022

FIAS supports Ukrainian scientists

Seven scientists have found a temporary research position at Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies (FIAS). Personal commitment and the support of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and the Polytechnic Foundation of Frankfurt am Main ensure financial security, research opportunities, and a temporary home in Frankfurt for two professors, five (post)doctoral students and their families.

Roman Poberezhnyuk, a theoretical physicist with a doctorate from Kiev, was surprised by the war against his home country when he was on vacation in Spain. Since he had already spent several months as a visiting scientist at FIAS on several occasions, FIAS co-founder Horst Stöcker immediately invited him to Frankfurt. The FIAS administration helped find accommodation. "I am glad and happy about the help and the productive atmosphere here," says Poberezhnyuk. He initially received a temporary fellowship from the Polytechnic Foundation of Frankfurt am Main and is now supported for six months with a fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. Poberezhnyuk has been working with researchers at FIAS for years to understand the thermodynamic properties of dense elementary matter.

Oleh Savchuk previously also spent a year as a visiting student at FIAS. He now has a one-year fellowship at GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research and is a PhD student at Mark Gorenstein´s lab. Prof. Gorenstein is chief scientific researcher at the Bogolyubov Institute for Theoretical Physics, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, in Kiev. "We experienced the first bombardments in Kiev, practically moved into a bomb shelter, and finally decided to flee to Germany by car in March," says the Alexander von Humboldt Prize Winner in 2001. Thanks to a fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Gorenstein is now able to live in Frankfurt with his wife, daughter, and granddaughter, conducting research at FIAS as well as experimentally investigating phase transitions and their signatures in cooperation with GSI.

Maria Khelashvili also reports on the bombings and frequent air alerts in Kiev. She was working on her PhD on ultralight dark matter at the Bogolyubov Institute. "I appreciate very much the opportunity to continue my research activities at FIAS," says the physicist. She can earn her living thanks to a grant from the Polytechnic Foundation. Khelashvili conducts research in general relativity and continues her work at FIAS on the statistical analysis of dark matter candidates.

Oleksandr Stashko, a PhD student from Kiev, is also working in the field of general relativity, gravitation and matter. In fall, he will go to Princeton, USA, as a postdoctoral fellow. Until then, he is hosted as a visiting scientist at FIAS, financed by the Polytechnic Foundation. "I am incredibly grateful for the full support of my research stay here", says Stashko. In late summer, Dmitri Anchyshkin, also a professor at the Kiev Bogolyubov Institute of Theoretical Physics, is expected to arrive with his wife, possibly daughter, and grandson. Another graduate student, Zhanna Huranova, who completed her master's degree in physics and astronomy in Kiev two years ago, will probably start working at FIAS as a doctoral student.

The Ukrainian scientists and their families were temporarily accommodated in guest houses of the Goethe University foundations and the Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften in Bad Homburg. The visiting scientists and FIAS owe thanks to Horst Stöcker and his great commitment. He says: "I was concerned with providing rapid transitional assistance to colleagues I knew personally, some of them quite hesitant and frightened."

Like the German Allianz der Wissenschaftsorganisationen (Alliance of Science Organizations), the FIAS Board strongly condemns the war of aggression on Ukraine. Even though science should be largely free of politics and has repeatedly built bridges across international conflicts, no one should stand idly by and watch these acts of war. Therefore, FIAS tries to offer help to Ukrainian scientists.

see also FIAS in solidarity with Ukraine

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