As part of the state-run programme ‘The Knowledge Economy in St Petersburg’, dozens of grant competitions are annually held to promote the development of research and academic activities. They include those aimed at supporting talented youth. Among their participants are undergraduate and postgraduate students, young researchers and teaching staff of universities and academic institutions of St Petersburg.

The winners of 2020 were determined following peer reviews. These included 233 University students and staff, who received almost 13.5 million roubles.

Four scientists from St Petersburg University became St Petersburg government award winners for significant scientific results in science and technology. The Ekaterina Dashkova award in the ‘Humanities and Social Sciences’ nomination went to the University’s Associate Professor Ekaterina Skvortsova for her contribution to the study of artistic relations between Russia and Europe in the 18th to the first half of the 19th century. The University’s Professor Sergey Britvin was awarded the Karpinsky Prize in Geology, Geophysics, and Mining. He received the prize for his works published in ‘From Fundamental to Applied Aspects of Geology: Selected Chapters of Mineralogy and Crystallochemistry of Phosphorus, Titanium, and Xenon’. Senior Research Associate Rostislav Arkhipov was awarded the Euler Prize in Natural Sciences and Engineering Sciences. He received the prize for a series of works that focus on discovering new ways of generating single-cycle and unipolar extremely short pulses. The winner in Mathematics and Mechanics is the University’s Professor Boris Plamenevsky. He was awarded the Chebyshev Prize for making a significant contribution to the theory of differential and pseudodifferential operators in irregular regions.

Six University researchers became recipients of grants from St Petersburg in research, and scientific and engineering activities. Among them are Associate Professors at St Petersburg University: Mikhail Kinzhalov (the Department of Physical Organic Chemistry), who is working on the creation of luminescent materials based on crystalline forms of complexes of platinum group metals; and Maria Toikka (the Department of Chemical Thermodynamics and Kinetics), who is engaged in the development of synthesis of biodiesel fuel with a cetane number above 51. The prestigious awards went to: the University’s Senior Research Associate Evgenii Gordeev (the Department of Physics of Earth) for his project of the ‘The substorm growth phase: the role of meridional convection in the formation of a local current sheet in the near-Earth magnetotail’; and the University’s Associate Professor Evgenii Nazarchuk (the Department of Crystallography) for his project ‘Natural sulphates as a basis to develop novel materials’.

Grants were also awarded to: the University’s Associate Professor Alexander Polyanichko (the Department of Molecular Biophysics) for his project ‘Developing a method for detecting early signs of the multiple myeloma genesis based on the analysis of blood serum IR spectra’; and the University’s Professor Irina Pervova (the Department of Theory and Practice of Social Work), who developed social solutions for elderly residents of St Petersburg to exit from the riskgenerating environment of COVID-19.

There was a particular mention of the results of the University researchers who had participated in the competition for awards of the Government of St Petersburg in research and academic activities. Seven teachers of the University received them.

The awards went to: the University’s Associate Professor Maria Toikka, who developed the syllabus for the course ‘Nonequilibrium Thermodynamics’; the University’s Associate Professor Iuliia Taranova, who developed a set of syllabi for academic disciplines, and scientific and learning kits in communication theory and branding of territorial entities (cities and regions) for bachelor’s and master’s programmes; and the University’s Professor Anton Makarov, the author of the textbook ‘Elements of Parallel Programming’.

St Petersburg University scientists discover a new mineral in Kamchatka

Additionally, among the prize winners were the University’s Associate Professors: Natalia Pavlushkina for a cycle of learning kits and research and practice publications on ‘Fundamentals of the creative activity of a journalist’; Maria Khokhlova for a practical training workbook in ‘Linguistic Databases; Anna Smoliarova for a compendium of lectures ‘Introduction to International Journalism’; and Maria Peshkova for a compendium of lectures ‘Chemical Sensors. Module 2: Optical Sensors’.

In 2020, students of St Petersburg University became prize winners and awardees of a number of intellectual contests. Last year, St Petersburg University won gold in the team championship of regional subject student Olympiads in computer science and programming, law, finance and credit, chemistry, ecology, and economics.