December Festival and Five New Projects: News from the HSE Centre for Student Academic Development
The HSE Centre for Student Academic Development, in cooperation with the Student Development Office and Ingroup CTC, held a large-scale student science festival in December. Read on to learn about the outcomes of the event and the Centre’s projects for early 2022, including discussions about science, how not to get lost in the academic world, and new competitions.
Science and NIGHT
This year, the student science festival Science&Chill was held on December 4, on the same date as the NIGHT student initiative event. The Centre for Student Academic Development handled the official part of the programme, while the night part was run by HSE student organisations. The festival focused on self-directed student research: the role of student research communities, student involvement in university research, and inter-university research collaborations.
The festival featured several workshops to help students implement their science ideas. Those who had long wanted to create their own media product—be it a podcast, social media page or any other popular-science product—could chat with the creators and leaders of popular student projects and others (‘Best Part of an Hour’ (Битый час), Suffering Middle Ages (Страдающее Средневековье), Black Science media, etc). The creators shared life hacks for creating projects, talked about potential failures and difficulties, and spoke about the key characteristics of their projects and their goals in terms of science and research.
The festival also featured a presentation of Science Pitch student papers prepared with the help of the festival team and the НSE Science Battles student project. Six students from different programmes and courses were given seven minutes to speak about their research. The presentations covered a variety of topics, including the influence of the Protestant Reformation on Dutch painting, words that Russian native speakers find funny, and research into 'loners'.
The second part—the NIGHT festival—was divided into interactive discussions and lectures from guest speakers on a variety of topics. This year, the organisers gave accessible and interesting talks on a variety of sciences in the fields of innovation, the humanities, and the arts. They also showcased the exciting and lively world of extracurricular activities, demonstrating that online formats can be interesting too. The NIGHT festival also featured social activities, team games and contests by HSE student organizations.
Recordings of the Science&Chill events are available to watch in the NIGHT and Festival of Science groups on VK.
The Centre for Student Academic Development plans to launch the Academic Session (Научный сеанс) podcast in 2022. The hosts of the podcast will talk to HSE teachers and employees about research and other career-related issues.
The podcast is a new platform for talking about the academic world and gaining an insider perspective on the academic process. It aims to support student interest in academic careers and help students fulfil themselves and find their calling.
In the Academic Session podcast, HSE teachers will discuss academic activities, talk about current research, tell stories, and analyse mistakes from their own lives and academic careers. The goal is to help students make sense of the academic world and find fulfilling opportunities in science.
Each episode will feature both a new guest and a new host. Several students familiar with the guest's area of interest will be invited to join the podcast to make sense of various academic cases and trajectories. The podcast will deal with topics of real interest to the student audience.
Guests will also share stories about their academic careers that they’ve never told before—from tales of bad luck and failure to funny stories—while the hosts figure out what lessons can be learned from them.
(Not) Ashamed to Confess
(Not) Ashamed to Confess ((Не) Стыдно признаться) is a new media project from the Centre for Student Academic Development aimed at anyone who has ever felt lost in the academic world. New episodes will be released every two weeks for six months. Each episode deals with a new topic: how to understand the difference between an essay and a course paper, what to do if you skipped the data analysis course but still want to use quantitative methods, how to overcome stress when corresponding with academic supervisors, and more.
The goal of the project is to help HSE University students who may be struggling with the research seminar curriculum and can’t catch up on their own, but who are still eager to get involved in the academic world.
Each episode of (Not) Ashamed to Confess is a dialogue between a host and one or more guest experts. This format allows for a deeper and clearer discussion of topics, and transcripts will be available to make the project more accessible to a wider audience. Episodes will be released through the Centre’s social media pages (primarily Instagram) in the form of 10–15-minute videos with subtitles.
The Article for Wikipedia Competition
In 2022, HSE University and Wikimedia.RU—a non-profit organisation that supports Wikimedia projects (the most famous being Wikipedia) in Russia—will hold a competition for graduates, teachers, and researchers. Participants will be tasked with writing their own articles for Wikipedia, and various prizes will be awarded for taking part.
The competition has three categories: ‘Alumnus’, ‘Scientist’, and ‘Teacher’. Each category has its own selection criteria and conditions for participation. In addition to the competition, there will be an online course about Wikipedia in which participants will learn how to create new materials, work with the visual editor and wiki markup, and upload images to Wikimedia Commons. Participants will also have the opportunity to listen to an online lecture by Wikipedia experts. The students will then write their articles under the guidance of Wiki editors, who will serve as their mentors.
Contestants will not only compete for prizes, but also learn how to work with Wikipedia, the world’s largest online encyclopaedia, and get feedback on their materials from Wiki editors.
The SciCasting 2.0 Competition for Popular Science Projects
SciCasting 2.0 is a competition aimed at cultivating projects that disseminate scientific knowledge, research results, scientific problem-solving methodologies, and all forms of scientific rationality.
Supported by the Centre for Student Academic Development and invited project experts, students will be able to progress from the design stage of a popular science project all the way to its implementation. Projects can be presented in any format: video and audio podcasts, Telegram feeds, and any other experimental forms.
The four themed categories for submission are: Popular Life Science, Technology and Development in the Digital Age, The World through the Eyes of a Social Science Student, and Art & Science.
The Collaborative Research Project Competition
The Science Republic project organised a competition to support student scientific communities and their research. In December, 11 project teams (including groups from all HSE campuses) conducted a brilliant defence of their research results.
In 2022, HSE University will continue its innovative practice of identifying high-achieving and talented students who are interested in doing research in a proactive way, combining the roles of research project creator and scientific group participant at the same time.
The dates for the third Initiative Collaborative Research Project competition will be announced in February. The Centre for Student Academic Development is looking forward to submissions from students of all HSE campuses who dream of finding their own research team.