Between the 11th of February (International Day of Women and Girls in Science) and the 8th of March (International Women's Day), the University of Primorska presented women researchers who have achieved important milestones in their research work in the last year.
Among them were also researchers from UP IAM and UP Famnit, who shared their thoughts on the position of women in science.
Dr. Vita Poštuvan, Deputy Chair of the Slovene Centre for Suicide Research at UP IAM, Associate Professor at the Department of Psychology at UP Famnit, and the receiver of Zois recognition for important scientific achievements in Suicidology and Mental Health. Dr. Poštuvan acquired an ARRS project as leader last year, titled »Humans in the grip of Covid-19: Psychological consequences of the epidemic and preventive protective measures to stop the spread of infection«. In her interview for UP, she said that what always amazed her about gender relations is that men predominate in positions of power in her profession as well, nevertheless, she never felt any particular differences at our university.
»Changing the mindset of people is not easy to achieve and especially not quickly. The mission of scientists is to share new discoveries with society. At our university, we strive to communicate about our work in various ways and, above all, to pass on knowledge to students who are our future,« said Dr. Andreja Kutnar is the director of the InnoRenew CoE institute, that in 2021 completed the construction of the largest wooden building in Slovenia. Dr. Kutnar is the Head of the Department of Technology at UP IAM, and a full Professor at the Department of Applied Natural Sciences at UP Famnit. She has acquired an important project with Austrian partners, titled »Development of wood composites with higher protection against impact sound to improve the quality of life«, funded by ARRS.
Dr. Živa Fišer has provided an extensive scientific contribution in the field of plant studies, their conservation in the natural environment, and reproductive biology. Dr. Fišer is the leader of the COST action »An integrated approach to conservation of threatened plants for the 21st Century« and is also the Coordinator of the study programme Nature Conservation at UP Famnit. In her work, she strives to implement research projects that help preserve species, that are tied to specific habitats and are threatened with local extinction, although she is aware that sometimes researchers do not have the final say.
One of the main principles of UP Famnit is interdisciplinarity which is highly valued by Dr. Elena Bužan. She is a full Professor and Vice-Dean for Quality Assurance at UP Famnit, the leader of »STEP CHANGE Science Transformation and Europe through Citizens Involvement in Health, conservation, and energy research«, an ongoing project from 2021, that is funded within the Framework H2020. Dr. Bužan is also the project manager for Slovenia's contribution to the project »BGE - Biodiversity Genomic Europe« (€ 20 million project starting in September 2022), and the coordinator of the Citizen Science Committee at ERGA.
Concluding thoughts on the WOMEN IN SCIENCE campaign was given by Dr. Klavdija Kutnar, an active researcher at UP IAM, a full professor at UP Famnit, and Rector of the University of Primorska: »We came to the Times THE list, we received a Marie Curie scholarship, many new projects of the Horizon programme, we were two and a half times more successful in Slovenia in obtaining projects than last year and I could go on and on. I am very proud of our successful researchers. In 2021, we were more successful in obtaining national projects compared to previous years, and many of these projects, which we acquired as a leading institution, were acquired by researchers, and young researchers, so there is no need to fear for the future of our university.«
Following her response to the invitation to join the international organization of the Association of Women Rectors, the University of Primorska will also be on the list of women-led universities in the world.