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IDLab Intern Aleksey Smirnov Attends the Seminar "Scientific Environment" for Intern Researchers

Alexey Smirnov, 2nd year student of the bachelor's programme "Economics" of the HSE University-Perm, shared his impressions about participation in the seminar "Scientific Environment" at the HSE University

On April 27, the HSE Center for Culture hosted an adaptive offline seminar "Scientific Environment" for research trainees. Recently, I have been an intern at IDLab, and thanks to the laboratory, I was lucky to be at this event. The seminar consisted of two parts: official and practical (networking session). During the official part, students were told about the opportunities in the field of science and future prospects for the development of scientific activity at the HSE University. It was very interesting to learn about the academic structure of the HSE and the history of its appearance, about numerous laboratories with an absolutely amazing number of different research areas and to feel like a part of this colossus. Particular attention was paid to the "horizontal power structure" in scientific activity, which, as it turns out, is of a historical nature, and the importance of student initiatives. It is pleasant to realize that no matter what position a scientist takes, the doors are always open for him, and if his ideas are really valuable, then support from the university will not take long.

We talked about interns-researchers, how HSE introduced and developed these positions and, thanks to this innovation, was able to move the scientific field forward. In addition, they talked about special programs of academic magistracy and postgraduate studies and the possibilities of academic mobility of students.

Probably the most valuable experience was gained during the “Academic Balance Wheel” networking session. In short, this is an exercise in understanding one's own place on the academic track and looking for prospects for its further development, something like finding a balance between life and work, but only in the academy.

We were asked to evaluate four areas that are somehow related to science: the research field, the project field, sources of funding and professional connections - and then imagine what will happen to these areas in three years. The idea is that in the process of thinking about the future in the context of the present, you involuntarily think about possible ways to achieve the desired results. And it really works! Especially when your ideas are cultivated not only by your own consciousness, but also by the consciousness of experts who have already come a long way and can share their own experience and correct the vector of your ideas. Since I am still only a 2nd year student, it was especially interesting for me to hear about the experience of older colleagues (other participants) - masters and graduate students, who, oddly enough, also have problems and doubts about their development path.

Perhaps the most important lesson for me was that it is necessary to choose and promote research topics not only according to interests (which, however, is also extremely important), but also taking into account the demand for their results. Returning to the idea of ​​balance, it seems to me that in research activity there should be a balance between these two factors: personal interest and interest from potential sponsors - otherwise you can either burn out or not get enough resources to turn ideas into reality. If the balance is found, then one should not forget about the skill of skillfully turning the reasons for interest into words, because otherwise it will not be possible to popularize the results and, as a result, oneself.