The finals of the third INTER popularisation competition organized by the Foundation for Polish Science as part of its SKILLS project* were held on 22 November 2014 at the Jabłkowski Brothers Department Store building in Warsaw. The 19 finalists had five minutes each to present their interdisciplinary research projects. The presentations were evaluated by the competition committee: Prof. Maciej Żylicz, FNP president, who acted as the committee’s chairman, Ilona Iłowiecka-Tańska, PhD, Halina Waś, PhD (a prize-winner of the INTER 2013 competition), and journalists Dorota Romanowska, Krzysztof Michalski and Edwin Bendyk.
The finalists could win one of the following prizes: 120,000 zlotys – 1st prize,100,000 zlotys – 2nd prize, and 80,000 zlotys – 3rd prize (of the prize money, 80% is a grant to carry out the presented research project while 20% is a personal stipend for the recipient). The competition committee could decide to award a given prize to more than one person.
The first prize worth 120,000 zlotys went to:
- Magdalena Kulma, PhD, from the Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw, who presented the project “How to Disarm a Toxin”. She was also the winner of the audience poll and received an additional prize of 10,000 zlotys.
- Wiktor Lewandowski, PhD, from the Faculty of Chemistry of the University of Warsaw, who presented the project “The Graphene Game, or How to Force Bacteria to Produce Gilded Carbon”,
- Karol Perlejewski, MSc, from the First Faculty of Medicine of the Medical University of Warsaw, who presented the project “If They Are Out There, They Already Know About Us: Using Next-Generation Sequencing to Identify Potential Pathogens Inducing Multiple Sclerosis”.
The second prize worth 100,000 zlotys went to:
- Kamil Jurowski, MSc, from the Faculty of Chemistry of Jagiellonian University in Kraków, who presented the project “Side Effects of AIDS Treatment: Genes and Lipids”,
- Piotr Mrówka, MD, PhD Eng.,from the Faculty of Health Sciences of the Medical University of Warsaw, who presented the project “Let’s Print Ourselves a Bone! Interaction Between Cells and Biomaterials Produced Using a 3D Printer”,
- Karolina Piecyk, PhD, from the Faculty of Chemistry of the University of Warsaw, who presented the project “The Fascinating World of Nematodes, or Why do Parasites Need Two Caps?”,
- Kacper Pilarczyk, MSc Eng., from the Faculty of Physics and Applied Computer Science of the AGH University of Science and Technology in Kraków, who presented the project “Artificial Neurons: From Semiconductor Hybrid Materials to Brains in Test Tubes”.
The third prize worth 80,000 zlotys went to:
- Jakub Jernajczyk, PhD, from the Faculty of Graphic Arts and Media Art of the Eugeniusz Geppert Academy of Art and Design in Wrocław, who presented the project “Thinking in Images: The Role of Digital Media in Popularising Science”,
- Katarzyna Nawrotek, PhD Eng., from the Faculty of Process and Environmental Engineering of the Łódź University of Technology, who presented the project “Can Crab Claws ‘Suture’ Ruptured Nerves?”,
- Jan Paczesny, PhD, from the Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw, who presented the project “How Quick Is Evolution and Why So Quick?”,
- Jakub Piątkowski, MSc, from Collegium Medicum – Medical College of Jagiellonian University in Kraków, who presented the project “AIP – What Else?”,
- Anna Zdziarska, PhD Eng., from the Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw, who presented the project “Do Hookworms Use a Trojan Horse?”.
The call for applications in the final, fourth edition of the INTER competition ended on 17 October 2014. The finals of the last INTER competition will take place on 24 January 2015 – detailed information on the finals will be posted in due course on the FNP website.
The media patrons of the INTER 2014 competition finals are: the Polish Press Agency’s Nauka w Polsce (Science in Poland) service, Forum Akademickie (Academic Forum) and the studentnews.pl portal.
On the picture: Magdalena Kulma, PhD, winner of the competition.
* The SKILLS project is co-financed with European Union funding from the European Social Fund.