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Alumni Uni Würzburg - 1000 Careers One Story

Prof. Dr. Alexandra Antoniouk, Ukraine

1. Could you please describe your academic/ professional career in a few words?

I am graduated from Kyiv National University in 1990 and entered the post graduated study at the Institute of Mathematics of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (NASU). After finishing my PhD in 1993 I have spent 1 year in Germany in the framework of a research project supported by Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. In 1996 I have received the Humboldt Fellowship. This is remarkably influenced my further research career. After termination of fellowship I have returned to Ukraine and since that I am working in the Institute of Mathematics of NASU. In 2015 I have defended my Habilitation work and since 2016 I am Deputy Director for Science in the Institute of Mathematics.

Apart this I am a participant of various civic community activities, especially connected with the reformation of the science and education spheres of Ukraine. I am the President of the Ukrainian Humboldt Club and, as the representative of the Civic Society, I am also participating in various working groups of the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine and Ukrainian Parliament. In the framework of the activity, connected with the reform of the Ukrainian RDI sphere, now I am deeply involved in the new big project on the creation in Ukraine of new type research university - Kyiv Academic University. This is the biggest challenge of my life, as I see this now.

2. What do you find most fascinating about your home country?

It seems to me that Ukraine is a terra incognito in the middle of Europe. I remember my first time in the early 90th in Germany, when people getting to know where I am from have asking me: Ukraine? Is this in Australia? This was just after the breakdown of the Soviet Union. And since that Ukraine has started to recover not only itself but also its history, which was falsified first by the Russian empire and later by Soviets. Thus the most fascinating in my country I think is that it is like mythical Bird Phoenix, obtaining new life by arising from the ashes. There are several attempts for my country to obtain its independence and the last successful one was made in 1991 after the crash of the Soviet Union. Since that Ukrainians has shown their strong willingness for freedom and justness and now we are continuing to build up a new state based on the liberal values.

3. Do you have any experience regarding a scientific or economic exchange between your home country and countries of the European Union?

Yes, I have rather wide experience of cooperation between my home institution and different universities in Germany as well in Europe. Moreover I have an experience of participation in the European program Horizon 2020 together with German colleagues. The interrelation between academia and business is not so developed, but it is a subject of the interest for our institute and Kyiv Academic University, where I am working.

4. What do you think about the importance of Alumni in terms of the cultural, academic and economic exchange?

The permanent contact with the scientific Ukrainian diaspora I consider as an extremely important. From my point of view the support for such a contacts should be done not only on the individual level, but also on the level of the research institutions and universities. This is one of the principal tasks which I am setting up myself.