HSE International Laboratories Celebrate 5 Year Anniversary
It is five years since the HSE began setting up international laboratories. HSE’s Deputy Vice-Rector, Marina Litvintseva, Head of Laboratory for Algebraic Geometry, Fedor Bogomolov, and Ronald Inglehart and Eduard Ponarin from HSE Laboratory for Comparative Social Research reflect on the results of the work conducted last year and on the achievements of the laboratories.
Marina Litvintseva, Deputy Vice Rector
The purpose of international laboratories at HSE is to bring Russian academic research to a new global level and improve HSE’s international ratings in general. Since they began, the laboratories have produced significant results. Financed by the government mega grants programme the mathematics and sociology laboratories of leading academics Fedor Bogomolov and Ronald Inglehart proved to be a success and, as a result, HSE has gone on to set up a whole row of new laboratories. There are 22 of them at the moment and two centres of advanced research, The Institute for Statistical Studies and Economics of Knowledge (ISSEK) and the Centre for Cognition and Decision Making.
In 2014 the international laboratories have:
— had 520 research fellows working (362 of them are under 40);
— attracted 145 students and postgrads to research work;
— produced 427 academic articles, 316 of which have been published including 114 in international peer-reviewed journals;
— presented 450 papers at conferences and symposiums outside Russia. The fact that research teams have received grants from the Russian Scientific Foundation is a sign of the value of their work.
Funding only produces results when the team works effectively under the skillful guidance of a major international researcher and the laboratory director on the Russian side. International specialists are picked for the job as a result of partnerships running projects jointly between the laboratory teams and academics at foreign research centres and universities.
One of the tasks of the Laboratories is to attract young specialists, postgraduates and HSE undergraduates. They organise open seminars and conferences and recruit their own junior staff. As a rule, the senior researchers are most active in this process. The laboratory invites potential candidates to seminars, they make joint presentations and only then, offer them a job on the team. That’s how Ronald Inglehart does it and there is a growing interest in his laboratory as a successful working model.
Laboratory of Algebraic Geometry
Fedor Bogomolov, Academic Supervisor of the Laboratory, Professor New York University
Besides achieving concrete results the existence of the international laboratories has significantly raised the level of research activity at the HSE Faculty of Mathematics. In five years the laboratory has become one of the most recognised international centres, working in the field of algebraic geometry. The speakers at the founding seminar were leading figures in our field from all the research schools around the world. The laboratory has been a base and an active force for organising important conferences at HSE and in other countries. The School of Algebra and Geometry for students, postgrads and young researchers which the laboratory organises every year regularly attracts leading international mathematicians as lecturers and is hugely popular among students and graduates in Russia and the FSU.
Main results of work by the Laboratory of Algebraic Geometry:
- Over five years the laboratory has published more than 200 articles in peer-reviewed journals indexed in Scopus, and or Web of Science.
- Head of the Laboratory Alexander Kuznetsov and deputy head, Misha Verbitsky were Invited Section Lecturers at the International Congress of Mathematicians in Seoul in 2014.
- The Laboratory has run four mathematics summer schools on Algebra and Geometry, more than ten large international conferences and taken part in organising many other schools and conferences.
- Laboratory Research Fellow Alexey Zykin won the Moscow Mathematical Society prize
- Laboratory team members won prizes from Dmitry Zimin’s Dynasty Foundation for young mathematicians and All-Russian Mobius competiton.
- 24 team members won Simons Foundation Grants for mathematicians, teachers and researchers.
- Four members of the laboratory team won Presidential grants.
The Laboratory of Comparative Social Research
Ronald Inglehart, Academic Supervisor of the Laboratory, Professor of Political Science at the University of Michigan
We set ourselves the task of developing the skills of young Russian researchers in the social sciences to be able to analyse large inter-country masses of data. From the moment it began, the LCSR became a leading centre for research in Russia on nationalism, adherence to religion, subjective well-being, interpersonal trust, cultural changes, modernisation and development of human potential. The LCSR managed to bring together a group of remarkably talented young researchers from all over Russia and the FSU. Between 2011 and 2015 altogether 41 undergraduates and master’s students and 24 postgrads have taken part in realising academic research projects and have mastered advanced techniques for conducting social research at seminars and LCSR summer schools.
More than twenty students and postgrads from Harvard, Oxford, Humboldt University, the Universities of Essex, Haifa, Bremen, Mannheim etc, have been to the laboratory’s summer schools and working seminars. This summer LCSR is holding its 5th annual summer school from 25th July to 3rd August at the Voronova Study Centre outside Moscow. The school this year is an Introduction to Factorial Design and Data Visualization with R (- R is a computer programming language for working with data in statistics). You can find out more about the course and apply for it on our website.
Eduard Ponarin, Head of LCSR, Honorary Professor at HSE
The laboratory has created a large network of international cooperation; about 80 colleagues from almost 20 different countries come to our meetings regularly. LCSR is training a new generation of young researchers who are already a part of international projects and connections. The vast majority of our researchers are under 35. They have published articles in journals like Journal of Conflict Management and Resolution, Democratization, Journal of Party Politics, World Politics, Social Forces, and other prestigious publications.
LCSR Main results:
- Besides the 45 articles in peer-reviewed journals, LCSR colleagues have published their work in a series of academic pre-prints, contributing directly to research at HSE. Between 2011 and 2015 more than half of academic pre-prints in English on sociology were published by members of the LCSR team. The laboratory is building up HSE’s reputation with its regular summer schools, working seminars and annual international conferences. LCSR is involved actively in devising the programme for the HSE’s April Conferences and organises a series of special sections and honorary lectures. In the last two years, Ronald Inglehart, Eric Uslaner, Christian Welzel and Arne Kalleberg have all given honorary lectures.
- LCSR has worked on a number of practical projects. The report Russian Elites has been an important and high profile result, prepared for the Valdai Club in 2013-2014 (see the webpage for more details). The laboratory conducted research jointly with the Eurasian Bank of Development (EABR) and the World Bank on the mobility of pensions in the CIS, (see the webpage for more details). The results were presented at the 7th Astana Economic Forum in 2014. The results of another joint project with the EABR and the UN Development Programme on migration and human capital in Central Asia were presented at the WAPOR and EABR conference in 2014-2015 and will be published.
- LCSR is involved in teaching at HSE. LCSR opened an English language Master’s programme in September 2014 on Comparative Social Research. It currently has 6 international and 11 Russian students. In 2015 the intake will be increased. The courses are popular with HSE’s foreign exchange students. LCSR has devised a number of courses for HSE Summer University on working with large quantities of cross-national data.
- LCSR has won prizes and awards for its achievements. Ronald Inglehart has received two prestigious awards - the Johan Skytte prize in Political Science and the WAPOR prize. LCSR Head Research Fellow Christian Welzel won two international prizes for his new book Freedom Rising: Human Empowerment and the Quest for Emancipation and his world standard academic theory. He presented the theory at the 2014 April Conference. The results of another important book by Welzel were presented at the conference this year. Eduard Ponarin was appointed to the executive committee of WVS (World Values Survey) and Tatyana Karabchuk joined the staff of the Principal Investigators of WVS and EVS (European Values Survey) and was appointed Deputy Director of the Eurasian Monitor with whom LCSR signed a partnership agreement in 2014.
- Since 2011 LSCR and associated research laboratories have published 45 articles in peer-reviewed journals affiliated to HSE, indexed in Web of Science and Scopus and have published a total of 270 books, lectures and articles.
- The results of LCSR’s population survey using WVS methodology in six CIS countries (7500 respondents) and in six Russian regions (6000 respondents) are published in five peer-reviewed foreign journals and numerous other related articles are due for publication.
- LCSR have devised a unique toolkit for collecting and analysing genetic data for use in sociological theory on the basis of WVS questionnaires in six Russian regions (3000 respondents) and are writing articles about it with geneticists.
Source: The 102 issue of Okna Rosta (Windows of Growth)
HSE University has announced the winners of the Project Competition in Basic Science Research for Intercampus Departments. The competition, which the university is organising for the first time, will provide funding to 10 research teams working on five topics. Four of the winning projects will be implemented by new research departments formed as a result of the competition.
An international group of scientists and medical specialists, including HSE researchers, examined the role played by microRNA (miRNA) and long non-coding RNAs on the progression of ovarian cancer. Having analysed more than a hundred tumour samples, they found that miRNA can prevent cell mutation while long non-coding RNAs have the opposite effect of enabling such mutations. These findings can help design new drugs which act by regulating miRNA concentrations. The study was published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences.
In early September, the HSE University Faculty of Computer Science hosted the international conference Computer Methods of Cognitome Analysis. The event was organised by the International Laboratory of Algebraic Topology and Its Applications at the faculty.
Researchers of the HSE University and the Southern Federal University (SFedU) have tested a new method for studying the perception of facial emotional expressions. They suggest that asking subjects to recognise emotional expressions from dynamic video clips rather than static photographs can improve the accuracy of findings, eg in psychiatric and neurological studies. The paper is published in Applied Sciences.
Academics’ work week became even longer during the pandemic. This is true of researchers from different countries, independently of their gender and specialisation, an international research team with HSE University participation found. Their working time during the pandemic was 51 hours compared to the usual 40. The increased number of working hours per week seems to have become part of the new academic norm. The results of the study were published in the Plos One journal.
Researchers of the HSE International Laboratory of Statistical and Computational Genomics together with their international colleagues have proposed a new statistical method for analysing population admixture that makes it possible to determine the time and number of migration waves more accurately. The history of Colombians and Mexicans (descendants of Native Americans, Spaniards and Africans) features two episodes of admixture that occurred about 350 and 200 years ago for Mexicans and 400 and 100 years ago for Colombians. The results were published in the Plos Genetics journal.
Scholars from Moscow and Vladivostok Join Efforts to Study Institutes and Preferences in Economic Behaviour
Applications from HSE departments for the ‘Mirror Laboratories’ open project competition are open until May 20. One of the ‘mirror laboratories’ successfully operating today was created as a result of a similar competition in 2020 by economists from HSE University and Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU) to study institutes and preferences in economic behaviour. Alexis Belianin, Head of the HSE International Laboratory for Experimental and Behavioural Economics, talked about how peers from Moscow and Vladivostok collaborate.
Psychologists from HSE University have joined their peers from Ekaterinburg to look into the impact of the pandemic on the mental health of Russian doctors. They found that medical staff are suffering from stress, anxiety, and depression more often than before. The results of the study were published in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.
The laboratory will be led by Robert Sandlersky, a specialist in energy and mass transfer and the study of other properties of landscapes via satellite imagery and Senior Research Fellow at the Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The HSE News Service spoke to Robert about the laboratory’s future activities.
HSE University has launched a new International Laboratory for the Study and Assessment of Dangerous Geophysical Phenomena. Alexander Kostinskiy, Head of the Laboratory and Deputy Director of HSE MIEM, explains the laboratory’s future work, its important research and practical applications, and the role of international cooperation in the new laboratory.