Dr Milica Đurić Jovičić, Acting Director Of The Science Fund Of The Republic Of Serbia

Investing In Science Means Investing In The Future

The Science Fund of the Republic of Serbia was established by the Government of Serbia in 2019, with an important mission: to support scientific excellence and secure the required conditions for the continuous development of science in Serbia. The Fund developed quickly and today has eight different programmes supporting projects in all fields of science

We will launch a new call for young researchers in 2023, and will very attentively wait to see what their future contributions to science will be like, as we know that, by investing in science, we support the social, technological, cultural and economic development of Serbia ~ Dr Milica Đurić Jovičić.

In just the three years that it has existed, the Science Fund of the Republic of Serbia has really achieved a lot.

Our team comprises only 40 people, but they are smart, hardworking and dedicated. They today provide support and management by monitoring the implementation of 282 projects and coordinating the evaluations of 800 projects together with 1,300 international experts from more than 60 countries.

The entire system is constructed on the good practice of successful science foundations from the EU. Although the Science Fund is a young institution, we’ve earned respect and a good reputation with our hard work and high standards, but also with our openness to learning, listening and improving further.

Through our eight programmes, 74.5 million euros is being invested in the development of science. This includes investments in scientific research work, equipment and consumable supplies, international cooperation, publications and scientific research organisations in the Republic of Serbia.

Our calls attract outstanding interest, while we ultimately support around 10-15% of the highest ranking projects

Are there enough projects, innovative ideas and potential among young researchers?

Our scientists’ research projects are based on brilliant ideas and scientific innovations. Our calls attract outstanding interest, while we ultimately support around 10-15% of the highest ranking projects. Project quality is evaluated by international reviewers from more than 60 countries.

Our programmes are devised carefully in order to support and empower researchers and areas of research with the greatest potential and impact. We invest in all areas of research, but we similarly conceive special programmes that are aligned with identified national priorities, such as the development of artificial intelligence, research on COVID-19, cooperation with the scientific diaspora around the world. We launched a special thematic programme during 2022 for cooperation between science and industry, which targets the development of new solutions to reduce air, water and soil pollution.

The success of our programmes is already evident through the PROMIS programme for young researchers. We trained and enabled a new generation of project leaders and managers. They formed their own teams, worked on ideas and problems that motivate them, acquired new skills and achieved important scientific results. PROMIS has supported 59 projects that have already resulted in the publishing of 416 international scientific publications, including 115 in top international journals. Moreover, several research teams have already received additional funding and prestigious international grants from the EU.

How important to our scientists is the Science Fund’s membership in the association Science Europe?

Science Europe is an association that enables connection with the most important institutions financing research in the EU. We exchange knowledge and experience through this organisation, and it opens Serbia up to the European research community even more. As we are the youngest institution, and one of the newest members, we have received huge support from our colleagues in the EU. During November 2022’s annual General Assembly of Science Europe, Science Fund of the Republic of Serbia was also commended by the Swiss National Science Foundation, which hosted the event.

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