The University of Novi Sad (UNS, founded in 1960) with around 50 000 students and 5 000 employees, is one of the largest educational and research centers in Central Europe. It belongs to the group of comprehensive universities, which are characterized by providing nearly all fields of science and higher education. UNS offers 350 accredited study programs at the level of Bachelor, Master, Specialist and Doctoral studies, carried out at its Faculties and within the University Center for Interdisciplinary and Multidisciplinary Studies and Research. The study programs are modern and up-to-date with the latest developments in science and research. Along with the Faculties and the Center, three Scientific Institutes have a significant role in creating a solid scientific base for the process of continuous modernization of the educational offer. UNS has a well-developed research infrastructure and great potential for innovation. About 250 laboratories, 140 start-ups and spin-off companies have been established at the UNS, mostly in the IT sector.
The practice at UNS includes the cooperation of teaching staff in joint modules, projects, scientific papers, conferences, as well as the exchange of staff within the institution in appropriate courses, in order to achieve an interdisciplinary approach in teaching and scientific methods. During the last three years, UNS was implementing dozens of ERASMUS projects, with the aim of expanding the network of partners, strengthening institutional and human capacity, transferring knowledge, skills and experiences. Since 2016, UNS has been involved in the implementation of 18 ERASMUS projects in the field of strategic partnerships – seven were approved in 2020, which testifies the upward trend, competencies and growing experience in the implementation of these and similar projects. UNS staff are actively working on the popularization of science among students of all levels of education as well as general public through organizing numerous activities such as Science Festivals and Researchers’ Night.
Dr. Marija Lesjak is an Associate Professor at the University of Novi Sad Faculty of Sciences, Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Environmental Protection, Serbia. Marija has two doctorates, one in the field of biochemistry defended at University of Novi Sad Faculty of Sciences, Serbia and the other in the field of molecular biology defended at University College London, UK. At the Faculty of Sciences University of Novi Sad, she holds courses related to biochemistry, biochemistry of nucleic acids and medicinal plants at various levels of studies. She has leaded or participated in several national and international research projects. Marija has published more than 30 papers in leading international scientific journals. She was an invited lecturer on several international conferences and has numerous mentorships regarding bachelor, master and PhD theses She received numerous fellowships and awards for her research work, such as Dr. Zoran Djindjic award for the contribution as a young scientist for 2018; L’Oreal-UNESCO For Women In Science national fellowship for 2016 in Serbia; Start Up for Science in 2016; Faculty of Sciences Award for the Best Young Scientist in 2015; Dr. Willmar Schwabe Research Scholarship for Young Scientists Award for 2011; UCL Overseas Research Scholarship for PhD studies at UCL. Marija is very active in science popularization. Namely, her greatest contribution in science popularization to kids was via regional TV show ”When it rings“, where she was one of the main producers and actors during five years of broadcasting. The idea of the show was to bring chemistry closer to children in the lowest grades of primary school in a simple and creative way. Marija was a representative of the University of Novi Sad at the 10th Night of European Researchers in Brussels in 2015. She was organizer of several workshops on the Science Festivals and Researchers’ Night all over the Serbia. Furthermore, she is co-founder of two start-ups, FeJuice and HerbElixa, whose aim is to develop products based on plants and scientific facts which can help people to live happier and healthier.
Dr. Ivana Štajner-Papuga is a Full Professor at the University of Novi Sad Faculty of Sciences, Department of Mathematics and Informatics, Serbia. Over the years, in addition to the home department, she was teaching subjects related to mathematics for students in the field of chemistry, tourism, physics, astronomy, medicine, pharmacy and mechanical engineering, at various levels of studies. As a researcher and guest lecturer, she has realized mobility at several universities (University Johannes Kepler, Linz, Austria; Sapienza-Universita di Roma, Italy; Erasmus + teaching mobility at the University of Graz, Austria). She is the author of textbooks for computer science and informatics students and scripts for astronomy students, which contribute to a better understanding of mathematics in the various scientific fields. Of great importance is the WUS project CDP + project No 021/2006 Mathematics II (for Students of Astronomy with Astrophysics) – Course Development Plus Program within the “Support to Higher Education in Serbia and Montenegro in 2005-2007”, financed by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Ivana was a lecturer within the project “The Wonderful World of Mathematics, Physics and Informatics”, which has a purpose, among other things, to popularize mathematics and bring a wide range of mathematical concepts closer to high school students. She is a member of the Statistical Society of Vojvodina.
Dr. Milica Solarević is an Assistant Professor at the University of Novi Sad Faculty of Sciences, Department of Geography, Tourism and Hotel Management, Serbia. She teaches in the field of social geography, demography, GIS, EU regional policy, information technologies. For three years, she was hired as a geography teacher for the 7th and 8th grade of talented students at the Jovan Jovanović Zmaj High School in Novi Sad, which meant an interdisciplinary approach and innovative methods in the teaching process. The idea of this program is to bring scientific ideas and knowledge closer to elementary school students with a simple and creative approach, which prepares them for more demanding levels in high school education. Within her university subjects teaching is closely related to mathematics, because the goal is to understand spatial relationships and phenomena, through frequent modeling and measurement. The connection between GIS and mathematics is in the analytical-synthetic basis, while demography is a science with the very important quantitative component, regarding the numerical data that must be qualitatively interpreted and shaped in the clearest possible way. Milica participated as the implementer of an accredited seminar for teachers based on the application of Web GIS in geography and related disciplines, through available Web GIS platforms and tools. She was the manager of one and a participant in several subnational projects. She has participated in numerous Erasmus + staff teaching and CEEPUS staff teaching exchanges (Oradea – Romania, Alcala – Spain, Olomouc – Czech Republic, Zagreb – Croatia and Prague – Czech Republic).