Marius Jakulis Jason foundation announced the first 7 scientists who will receive its first grants. The recently established not-for-profit foundation of lawyer and investor Marius Jakulis Jason financially supports talented entrepreneurs, academics and students who want to and can contribute to the economic growth of Lithuania.
To attract talented academics to Lithuania, MJJ foundation granted 220 900 Eur for their research and lectures in Lithuania, which will be paid to the seven grant recipients in 1-3 years. Every year, more new academics will be selected and financed, so the total amount granted will grow significantly over the years.
“The challenges in moving to Lithuania, are the lower salaries and/or budgets for academic research than at foreign universities. After announcing our call for applications, the MJJ foundation received applications from 18 well-qualified candidates. I am glad that the Ministry of Education, Science Council, our partners VU, KTU and VGTU universities were actively involved in spreading information and inviting scientists living abroad to apply for our grants. It’s important that the selected academics are bringing their knowledge from foreign universities to share with science and business enterprises in Lithuania”, – said the director of MJJ foundation Kotryna Stankutė-Jaščemskienė.
Here are the scientists, who are coming in 2019 to continue their academic research and share their knowledge in Lithuania:
- Vida Mačikėnaitė-Ambutavičienė has been living in Asia for 12 years and currently works in the International University of Japan. Her research topics are Chinese State foreign policy, its political system, its policy on direct foreign investments. With the grant of MJJ foundation, Vida will continue her research in the Faculty of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities, with the team of dean Dr. Anius Lašas at the Kaunas University of Technology.
- John Liobe, born, raised and educated in USA, has 10+ years of Integrated Circuit design experience in Radio Frequency, analog, and mixed-signal design. John holds a PhD in electronic and computer engineering and currently is the lead Readout Integrated Circuit (ROIC) designer and manager at Sensors Unlimited in New Jersey. With the grant of MJJ foundation, John will be working in the Faculty of Electronics at Vilnius Gediminas Technical University.
- Kasparas Rakštys holds a PhD degree in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering from École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland and currently is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Queensland, Australia. His field is organic photo semiconductors development for new generation of solar panels. Kasparas aims to design and synthesize interfacial functional materials in order to improve the stability of existing photovoltaic perovskite-based solar cell (PSC) devices which recently became the hottest topic due to their unique optical and electrical properties. With the grant of MJJ foundation, Kasparas will continue his research in the group of well-known Dr. Vytautas Getautis, in the department of organic chemistry at KTU university.
- Vidas Regelskis has lived abroad for 11 years and got his PhD at the University of York in England. He conducted a postdoctoral internship in England and Canada working with quantum group theory and applications in mathematical physics. Currently Vidas is working as mathematics lecturer at the University of Hertfordshire. With the grant of MJJ foundation, Vidas will continue his research in the Institute of theoretical physics and astronomy at Vilnius University.
- Mindaugas Mitkus currently works in the National Polar Research Institute in Japan. For 11 years he was living abroad and doing research on the development and aging of photoreceptors and central retina hole, important to human vision diseases. With the grant of MJJ foundation, Mindaugas will now continue his research in the Life Sciences Center, Institute of Biosciences at Vilnius University.
- Agnė Petrošiūtė has been developing a science career in USA for almost 15 years and currently works in the Cleveland Clinic doing research on the aggressive child cancer form – medulloblastoma. With the grant of MJJ foundation, Agne will return to Lithuania with her family to join the team of the Vilnius University startup ThermoPharma Baltic. Their goal is to develop new medicines for treating cancer.
- Paulius Yamin-Slotkus was born and raised in Columbia, Latin America. Paulius has done 10 years of research on behavioral change, led the team responsible for this topic at the Colombian Government, worked with Antanas Mockus (of Lithuanian descent), the former Mayor of Bogota. Currently Paulius is completing his PhD at the London School of Economics and Political Science, Psychology. With the grant of MJJ foundation, Paulius will continue his research in the Transport and Logistics Competence Center at the Vilnius Gediminas Technical University
“It is very important to attract talented scientists, with academic experience at the best foreign research universities to our renovated science centers. It is great to see the MJJ foundation joining the initiative of inviting our brightest minds back. Our common goal is a smart, prosperous, innovative Lithuania,” – said the Minister of Education, science and sport Algirdas Monkevičius on the occasion of MJJ foundation academics grant initiative.
Please find more information about the academics who received the grants here.