Students and professors from the RSA met in JINR

News, 13 June 2019

On 3 June 2019, two events were launched in the JINR Visit Centre: the 1st stage of the UC Summer Student Practice for students from universities of the Republic of South Africa started, and the 12th JEMS training programme was launched in which deans of four RSA universities took part. Students and professors from the RSA met each other in the JINR Visit Centre at an introductory lecture about the Joint Institute.

RSA students and participants of the JEMS training programme in the JINR Visit Centre, 3 June 2019

RSA students and JEMS participants spent a week getting acquainted with JINR in the frames of programmes of the Summer Practice and JEMS training. On 8 June, which was the JEMS final day, professors and students from the RSA met again at an away-from-home meeting to discuss science and learn about students’ first impression of JINR.

The professors’ party at the meeting was represented by Nokuthula Kunene, Dean of Science in the University of Zululand, Prof. Louisa Warnich, Dean of Science in the University of Stellenbosch, Prof. Samson Mashele, Dean of the Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences in the Central University of Technology, Prof. Mantile Lekala, Dean of the College of Science and Engineering Technology in the University of South Africa, as well as Senior Researcher of iThemba LABS Mlungisi Nkosi familiar to students thanks to the joint scientific school of iThembaLABS and JINR during which participants of the present UC Practice were prepared and selected. One more representative of the University of Stellenbosch Arnaud Rossow, a former participant of the UC practice and a present FLNR Senior Engineer and coordinator of RSA scientists in JINR, also took part in the meeting.

During the discussion, RSA students told professors about their study and scientific projects conducted in the frames of the Practice as well as described the vision of their future. The general idea that was expressed almost in everyone’s speaches was that the Joint Institute and its scientific infrastructure deeply impressed them. Future scientists gratefully commented on their experience and wisdom of their supervisors in JINR. Students also emphasized that it was a unique experience for them, and that they were very lucky to come to a scientific centre with such a number of significant scientific discoveries. A question about the possibility to meet the key scientific figures of JINR was discussed several times. For example, students would like to meet with Yuri Oganessian.

Moreover, comments of the youth considered some difficulties they met. They asked questions to senior mentors and asked for advice. The discussion referred to the difficulty of choice of the scientific field and sustaining the self-motivation. The adaptation to an absolutely new for them scientific and cultural environment was also considered. Students expressed an opinion that a supervisor from the RSA familiar with local peculiarities would have helped them a lot.

Hopes and worries of future scientists found a vivid response among senior participants of the meeting each of whom had met the same challenges in their careers. However, they told young students that only the ability to focus on the task, no matter what difficulties would be met, would lead them to serious scientific results. It was highlighted that modern science had always been as an international enterprise. It is possible to obtain a valuable experience of work in international projects in JINR. According to South African professors, JINR gives a great chance to start the scientific career that always demands personal initiative and independence but particularly this will give specialists a competitive advantage. Prof. Louisa Warnich commented it: “You are young, you are bright, and you can become brilliant scientists. You are very lucky to be here for three weeks, and it is a crucially important moment for your career. Grab this chance with both your hands, use every minute of being here.”

Photos by Igor Lapenko