It has been a calendar year that will long be remembered by everyone. 2020 at the University of Warsaw saw, e.g. different rules for university operations during a COVID-19 pandemic, change of the UW authorities, ground-breaking research projects, national and international successes of UW employees and students. We present selected facts of the last year.
From protective masks to social distancing to online teaching and learning, the most relentless global health emergency of the last century will undoubtedly dominate memories for most community members of the University of Warsaw.
UW in the pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic impacted the functioning of the University of Warsaw. In March, UW switched to remote mode regarding teaching and learning, except classes and duties that had to take place on-site. The exam period in the summer and the 2020/2021 admissions had to be postponed. Thanks to new technologies, live-streaming it was possible to follow and participate in various events, including, the Online Open Day.
The new coronavirus affected a lot of people. The University of Warsaw developed new forms of support for its community members. For several months, employees and doctoral candidates have had the opportunity to undergo free of charge tests for SARS-CoV-2. Another round of testing is currently underway, starting on 4th January until 26th February 2021. From the very beginning, UW students, doctoral candidates and employees were offered free online psychological support provided by the UW Psychological Counselling Centre.
The UW academic community also supports others in the fight against the pandemic. During the first coronavirus wave, volunteers from the Faculty of Physics produced more than ten thousand face shields 3D printed and donated them to medical institutions from all over Poland. UW researchers are steadily involved in carrying out scientific projects that help understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on various aspects of life (e.g. biological, sociological, psychological, and economic).
Elections at UW
2020 was an election year at the University of Warsaw. From March to June, the UW Electoral College members have selected the new university authorities and the Senate members. Three candidates run for the rector position: Prof. Alojzy Z. Nowak, Prof. Paweł Strzelecki and Prof. Andrzej Tarlecki. On 17th June, the UW Electoral College elected Prof. Alojzy Z. Nowak who became the 45th Rector of the University of Warsaw. On 1st September, he took office together with four Vice-Rectors: Prof. Sambor Grucza (Vice-Rector for Cooperation and Human Resources), Prof. Ewa Krogulec (Vice-Rector for Development), Prof. Zygmunt Lalak (Vice-Rector for Research) and Prof. Sławomir Żółtek (Vice-Rector for Students and Quality of Teaching).
New faculties and faculty authorities
When established in the early 1800s, the University of Warsaw had five faculties. Today, this figure has increased to 24. As of 1st September 2020, five new faculties started their operation: Faculty of Archaeology, Faculty of History, Faculty of Sociology, Faculty of Philosophy, and Faculty of Culture and Arts.
Simultaneously to the election of the UW authorities, individual faculties were electing new deans and vice-deans.
“Initiative of Excellence” at UW
In 2020, UW kept developing one of its strategic programmes – the “Initiative of Excellence” (IDUB). In 2019, the University of Warsaw was granted research university status for 2020-2026. Thanks to the funding, UW will execute 70 measures specified in the application, including programmes supporting the potential of employees, doctoral candidates and students.
In the first year of the programme, the university organised several information meetings where members of the UW community could learn what particular research areas refer to and how to join it. As part of IDUB, the first calls were published, e.g. mini-grants programme for inter-institutional research teams in the framework of strategic partnerships.
In 2020, the University of Warsaw strengthened its international visibility by taking high places in world rankings: Quacquarelli Symonds World University Ranking (QS), Shanghai Ranking (ARWU), and Shanghai’s Global Ranking of Academic Subjects (GRAS). For its achievements in obtaining research grants in the Horizon 2020 programme (in 2014–2020), UW received the Crystal Brussels Sprouts Prize.
As a member of the 4EU+ Alliance, UW actively participated in plenty of initiatives and projects, developing a new quality of cooperation in teaching, education, research and administration. Only in November, a student team representing the University of Warsaw won the second price in the 4EU+ Urban Health Case Challenge.
Scientific achievements of UW researchers
2020 abounded in grants and awards granted to UW academics by both Polish and international funding institutions. Three researchers received European Research Council grants for 2020, and two UW employees were awarded ERC grants for 2019. ERC Starting Grants were awarded to Dr. Wojciech Czerwiński and Dr. Michał Pilipczuk from the Faculty of Mathematics, Informatics and Mechanics. Dr. Justyna Olko from the Faculty of “Artes Liberales” received an ERC Consolidator Grant. Prof. Anna Matysiak from the Faculty of Economic Sciences, and Prof. Stefan Dziembowski from the Faculty of Mathematics, Informatics and Mechanics, received ERC grants for 2019, an ERC Consolidator Grant and Advanced Grant respectively.
Polish institutions such as the Foundation for Polish Science, the National Science Centre, and the National Agency for Academic Exchange, provided funding, enabling UW researchers to carry out their projects.
Rector’s Didactic Award
Dr. Krzysztof Kaleta from the Faculty of Law and Administration, Dr. Renata Hryciuk from the Faculty of Culture and Arts, Dr. Janusz Cukras from the Faculty of Chemistry and Prof. Agnieszka Szarkowska from the Faculty of Applied Linguistics received the University of Warsaw Rector’s Didactic Award. The award aims to recognise selected academics who have remarkable achievements in teaching and introducing innovative education methods. This year, however, more academic teachers were distinguished. Honourable mentions were awarded to Prof. Robert Ślepaczuk from the Faculty of Economic Sciences, Prof. Agnieszka Otwinowska-Kasztelanic from the Faculty of Modern Languages and Prof. Katarzyna Grabowska from the Faculty of Physics.
Not only UW scientists but also UW students had remarkable achievements in 2020. For example, a team of students from the Faculty of Law and Administration won the 2020 All-European International Humanitarian and Refugee Law Moot Court Competition. Students of the MBA programme took first place in the spring edition of the international strategy game CAPSIM Challenge, defeating 73 teams from universities in the world. Our students performed great in sports, including bridge and climbing.
28 grudnia 2020
On 4th January, the next round of free of charge COVID-19 RT-PCR tests will begin. UW employees and doctoral candidates can book a test, also those who got tested in the autumn (26.10-20.11).
Employees and doctoral candidates have an opportunity to undergo COVID-19 RT-PCR tests that detect active SARS-COV-2 infection.
Testing takes place on-site (on the campus in Ochota) following the registration.
SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR detects viral RNA. Diagnostic tests use a mucus sample from the nose or throat. Medical personnel take a swab which will get analysed by Warsaw Genomics.
Before getting tested:
At least half an hour before taking a swab for SARS-CoV-2 virus, one should not:
- smoke cigarettes,
- take medications,
- brush their teeth,
- rinse mouth and nose,
- chew gum.
Testing period: COVID-19 swab collection will start on 4th January and continue until 26th February 2021 (except for 6th January).
How to book a test?
Step 1: Download a discount code
A discount code, which entitles employees and doctoral candidates of the University of Warsaw to get tested free of charge, can be downloaded from covid.uw.edu.pl.
Step 2: Register
Step 3: Undergo a test
Taking a swab will take place on the campus in Ochota, in the building of the Sports and Recreation Centre, in a separate room with a separate entrance. Tests are organised and coordinated by the University of Warsaw. Swabs will be collected by medical professionals.
Warsaw Genomics team will offer tests from Monday to Friday: 8 am – 6 pm as of 4th January until 26th February.
Please note: A person should come to the swab collection facility wearing a protective mask on, with their ID and test order number, which will be generated during registration.
Step 4: Get your results
The test results will be available to patients at https://wyniki.warsawgenomics.pl/. It can take up to three business days until the results will be given. One should enter their order number (from the e-mail confirming acceptance of the SARS-CoV-2 test) and their PESEL number (or their ID number if there is no PESEL number). It will be possible to download the signed and authorized test result.
Discount on RT-PCR test for family members of UW employees and doctoral candidates
UW employee and doctoral candidates who will get tested will receive a discount (PLN 89) from Warsaw Genomics on RT-PCR tests to be used by their family member. The cost of the test for a family member amounts PLN 350. Up to four people from the family can you the discount. Link to book a test: https://badamygeny.pl/zamow.
How to get a discount code for family members?
The discount code will be sent by Warsaw Genomics by e-mail, confirming registration for the free RT-PCR test for active SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection.
In case of questions regarding discount codes, please e-mail us on: email@example.com.
21 grudnia 2020
Prof. Alojzy Z. Nowak, the University of Warsaw Rector, together with the Vice-Rectors: Prof. Ewa Krogulec, Prof. Zygmunt Lalak and Prof. Sławomir Żółtek wished the entire academic community a healthy, safe and joyful holiday season.
Every year, we used to meet around this time, here, at the Kazimierzowski Palace to wish ourselves a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We looked back at the year that was coming to an end and were thinking about the next year. This year is different. In the face of pandemic, we cannot have such a meeting. Let me use the opportunity and to utilize this channel to wish you and your dearest ones all the best for Christmas and the coming New Year — Prof. Alojzy Z. Nowak.
15 grudnia 2020
BUW is the main library of the University of Warsaw. On 15th December 1999, the library was opened to readers in its new premises in Powiśle, at Dobra 56/66 street. In the beginning, BUW granted 42 temporary entrance cards. Today it has more than 100 000 registered users.
In July 1990, Prime Minister Tadeusz Mazowiecki took the strategic decision to allocate funds generated from the rental of the former building of the Central Committee of the Communist Party for the construction of a new library building. In 1993, following a contest, the first prize and recommendation for realization were given to the project by Marek Budzyński and Zbigniew Badowski. In December 1999, after many months of the logistically complicated collection transfer operation, the new building in Powiśle was made available to users, marking a new stage in a history of the University of Warsaw Library.
The library has one of the largest scientific and university collections in Poland, with more than 6 million books, periodicals, and electronic materials. In the library, every reader can find a place to study, work or relax. The new building of the University of Warsaw Library has won numerous prestigious awards and prizes in architectural competitions and polls among residents of the capital. The concept, which combines the functionality of a modern library, respect for the shaping of the Vistula embankment, and fascination with the intermingling of culture and nature, found expression in a building of surprising diversity. BUW has one of the biggest and most beautiful roof gardens in Europe visited by students, residents of Warsaw, and tourists.
Let’s read together
Anna Wołodko, General Director of BUW, announced a new series of videos “Czytaj z UW” (Read with UW) that are being made with librarians. BUW employees will present their favourite books available on the shelves in BUW. The first video will be released in January 2021.
The library extends its opening times
From 14th December BUW is open: Monday–Friday 9 a.m.-9 p.m. The maximum number of users allowed to be in the library at the same time is 300. Only users holding a valid library card can enter the building.
- Self-service mode hours: Monday–Tuesday 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Wednesday–Friday 4 p.m.-9 p.m.
- Telephone information in self-service mode: 55 25 181.
- Registration and Information: Monday–Tuesday 2 p.m.-8 p.m., Wednesday–Friday 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
- Information Desk, Circulation Desk, Reading Room: Monday–Tuesday 2 p.m.-9 p.m., Wednesday–Friday 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
- Open Stacks: Monday–Friday 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
11 grudnia 2020
Just as every year, the Volunteer Centre of UW organises a special mission before Christmas. The UW community members can get involved and send online Christmas wishes which will be forwarded to ca. 90 seniors, staying in the Nursing Home of the Society of St. Francis de Sales in Warsaw. Especially during the Christmas season, every kind word addressed to seniors will be extremely important, as of mid-March their contact with the outside world is limited. That is why the mission matters.
How to get involved in the “Mission: Christmas Card”? There are two ways:
- One can send the text of wishes on wolontariat[at]uw.edu.pl. The VC team members will put them on an online Christmas card, and send to the Nursing Home.
- One can prepare an online Christmas card yourself and send on wolontariat[at]uw.edu.pl. Please remember to add your wishes.
It is advised to make the wishes more personal by beginning with greetings, e.g. Dear Senior, or signing them with your name. The wishes will be forwarded, read to seniors, and displayed on the screens in the Nursing Home so that they feel kindness and support during the Christmas season. One can send their wishes by 15 th December.
Who can take part in the mission? The action aims to involve the UW community members, namely:
- doctoral candidates
The main goal of the Volunteer Centre of the University of Warsaw is to activate the academic community and everyone who wants to develop within themselves a social and civic attitude in a conscious and responsible way. Details: www.wolontariat.uw.edu.pl/mission-2020.
07 grudnia 2020
The Centre of New Technologies invites to a webinar by
Prof. Beata Wielgus-Kutrowska,
Faculty of Physics, Department of Biophysics, University of Warsaw,
Title: Folding and refolding – two different routes to GFP fluorescence
Date: 11th December 2020 (Friday)
Time: 12:00 pm (Central European Time)
Host: prof. Joanna Trylska
Virtual seminar: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81011696381
Competition notice – Doctoral School, discipline: chemical sciences, project title: „Modelling of crystal and magnetic local structure in potential quantum spin liquid (QSL) alpha-RuCl3”. Principal Investigator: dr hab. Wojciech Sławiński. Registration in the Internet Registration of Candidates, referred to as „IRK”, submitting an application to the IRK: 04 Dec to 18 Dec 2020. More information >> pdf
05 grudnia 2020
As part of the implementation of the Excellence Initiative (IDUB) programme and Action I.3.4 – “Creation of three research teams that will initiate development of scientific networks conducting studies in the area of civilization diseases, emerging pollutants and circular economy”, the University of Warsaw hereby announces a competition to employ a researcher, whose task will be to create a new, interdisciplinary research team. This team leader will act as Project Leader, in accordance with Ordinance No. 115 of the Rector of the University of Warsaw, from 1 June 2020, on the implementation of the “Excellence Initiative – Research University” (IDUB) programme at the University of Warsaw (cf. Monitor UW, item 246).
The team, under the direction of the winner of this competition, will be obliged to carry out a project – proposed by the winner of the competition and accepted by the University of Warsaw – with breakthrough research in the area of „The circular economy – energy storage”.
Detailed research objectives:
- designing and prototyping electrochemical energy storage solutions;
- studying biological aspects of producing and storing energy;
- studying physical bases of processes occurring in modern electrode materials.
Deadline for applications: January 25th 2021
More information: www.inicjatywadoskonalosci.uw.edu.pl
04 grudnia 2020
On 16th-17th December, UW long-term international students can join new online workshops regarding career planning. The closing date for applying is 7th December.
How to effectively search for a job? What are the expectations of employers? Current trends on the Polish labour market and other issues will be examined and presented by Dr. Joanna Jasińska. Participants of the event will get acquainted with, e.g. the rules for creating application documents (CV and cover letter). Also, they will have an opportunity to do self-presentation as a job interview simulation.
Who can take part?
- 2nd and 3rd-year students of the 1st cycle (Bachelor’s degree)
- 4th and 5th-year students of uniform Master studies
- students of the 2nd cycle (Master’s degree)
The workshops, organised by the University of Warsaw Welcome Point, will be held on 16th -17th December, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. To participate, please register >>
Application deadline: 7th December.
More information is available on the Welcome Point website >>
03 grudnia 2020
Project Manager – prof. Karol Grela (Head of Organometallic Synthesis Laboratory, Faculty of Chemistry, University of Warsaw) is looking for candidates to work in a scientific project: „Unorthodox concepts in olefin metathesis”, programme Maestro supported by National Science Centre positions: Post-Doc (1) – Assistant in a group of research workers, operating in the field of exact and natural sciences. Deadline for applications: 2 January 2021. For more info see >> pdf