2021 YAE Board elections

Prior to the Young Academy of Europe 2021 Annual General Meeting on 19 October, members of the YAE can cast their vote during one week, to elect or re-elect board members. There are three new seats opening in the board. YAE members will also be asked to vote whether they agree with the re-election of the current Chair (Gemma Modinos) and Vice-Chair (Moniek Tromp), who have expressed the wish to remain in these positions one more year, as allowed by our by-laws. The three votes will take place between Tuesday 12 October, 8.30 AM (CET) till Tuesday 19 October, 8.45 AM (CET).

The new candidates to the board are presented below, in alphabetical order. They give their statement in a video to tell more about themselves and how they envision their role in the YAE board.

Artur Ciesielski obtained his his PhD degree from the University of Strasbourg (P. Samorì). In 2016, he became a research associate at the Institut de Science et d’Ingénierie Supramoléculaires (ISIS) and Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS). His broad area of research interest lies in design of hybrid supramolecular systems, self-assembly of nanopatterns, and production and chemical modification of 2D materials by exploiting supramolecular approaches and their exploration in (nano)devices including health monitoring and environmental sensing as well as in energy storage/conversion.

Anna Kuppuswamy is a motor neurophysiologist investigating the neurophysiology of affect. Her particular interests are in understanding the neurophysiological basis of pathological fatigue, by combining brain stimulation and brain imaging with behavioral and modelling techniques. She completed her PhD at Imperial College London, and after a brief stint at National Institutes of Health in the US, she started her lab in 2016 at University College London. She is a Royal Society and Wellcome Trust Sir Henry Dale Fellow based at the Institute of Neurology, Queen Square, London.

Linn Leppert completed a PhD in physics at the University of Bayreuth, Germany, then did a two-year postdoc at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and the University of California, Berkeley. In 2017 she returned to her alma mater, now leading an independent junior research group in the Department of Physics, with funding from the Alexander-von-Humboldt foundation. Her research interests and main expertise are the development and application of accurate methods for calculating the electronic structure and dynamics of light-converting systems.


Affiliation: Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK

Keywords: Positron and positronium interactions with atoms, Molecules and condensed matter; Quantum (diagrammatic) many-body theory, Theoretical and computational atomic, Molecular and optical physics, Ultra cold molecule theory, Ultra-intense laser-plasma interactions (strong-field QED)



Full profile:

Dermot is a Reader in Theoretical Physics and group leader at Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK.

A first-generation university student, he graduated 1st class MPhys from University of Oxford (Balliol College) and PhD in Theoretical Atomic Physics from Queen’s University Belfast. He has been a Visiting Fellow to Harvard University (ITAMP) and a Research Fellow in the ultracold molecule theory group of Prof Jeremy Hutson FRS at Durham University, UK.

His primary research interests are in quantum many-body theory and theoretical and computational atomic, molecular and optical physics, and specifically low-energy antimatter-matter interactions, though he has also made significant contributions to ultra-intense laser-plasma theory and ultra cold molecule theory.
He has been awarded numerous internationally competitive Fellowships including the UK EPSRC Fellowship in Theoretical Physics and an ERC StG for the project `ANTI-ATOM’, and numerous prizes including the 2019 Institute of Physics David Bates Prize and the 2017 ICPEAC Sheldon Datz Prize, both for outstanding contributions to atomic and molecular physics, the 2018 Queen’s University Vice Chancellor’s Research Prize, and the 2010 Institute of Physics Rosse Medal for graduate research communication.
His chief achievement is the development of many-body-theory approaches to describe antimatter interactions with atoms and molecules. Positron interaction with many-electron atoms is a formidable theoretical problem, owing to strong correlations that produce orders-of-magnitude enhancements of the scattering, annihilation and binding characteristics. His approaches have enabled the full account of these effects, and have predicted scattering cross sections, annihilation spectra, and thermalisation rates in complete agreement with experiment, which remained poorly understood for decades. Most recently, he has developed the first accurate ab initio description of positron-molecule binding, elucidating the essential role of virtual-positronium formation. Overall, his work aims to develop fundamental insight, which is ultimately required to develop of antimatter traps and beams, and numerous applications of positron annihilation in condensed-matter spectroscopies and positron emission tomography.
Beyond antimatter, he solved the fundamental problem of the motion of an electron in an ultra-intense laser field accounting for the key QED effect of photon emission, and he predicted the emergence of quantum chaos in ultracold collisions involving simple atomic and molecular systems.

He is a member of the International Scientific Advisory Board for the International Workshop for Positron and Positronium Physics (the flagship subject-specific conference in the field), Treasurer of the Institute of Physics Ireland and Secretary of the Institute of Physics Atomic and Molecular Interactions Group.


Affiliation: Department of Chemical and Biological Physics, Weizmann Institute of Science, IL

Keywords: Lattice Dynamics; Optical Spectroscopy; Semiconductors; Electron-Phonon Interaction; Ion Conductors



Full profile:

Omer Yaffe’s group includes chemists, physicists, and engineers that use optical spectroscopy to investigate the structure-function relationship in functional materials such as semiconductors, ionic-conductors, and ferroelectrics. Specifically, they are interested in phenomena that stem from strongly anharmonic thermal motion.

Omer Yaffe is a principle investigator in Department of Chemical and Biological Physics at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel. He obtained a dual B.Sc. in chemistry and chemical engineering at Ben Gurion University in 2005. He then completed his Ph.D. in the Department of Materials and Interfaces at the Weizmann Institute of Science in 2012. From 2013 to 2016 he worked as a postdoctoral fellow in the Columbia University, Energy Frontier Research Center.

He has received a number of prestigious awards, including an ERC-starting grant, Marie Curie International outgoing Fellowship and the John F. Kennedy Prize.


Affiliation: University College London, UK

Keywords: Fatigue, Brain stimulation, Motor neurophysiology, Brain imaging



Full profile:

Anna Kuppuswamy is a motor neurophysiologist investigating the neurophysiology of affect. Her particular interests are in understanding the neurophysiological basis of pathological fatigue. She completed her PhD at Imperial College London, and after a brief stint at National Institutes of Health in the US, she started her lab in 2016 at University College London. She is a Royal Society and Wellcome Trust Sir Henry Dale Fellow based at the Institute of Neurology, Queen Square, London.

To investigate fatigue in disease, her lab combines brain stimulation and brain imaging with behavioral and modelling techniques. Aside from her scientific work, she is passionate about public engagement activities to raise awareness about fatigue, and contributing to policy surrounding fatigue, healthcare and employment.

Summary of the cOAlition S webinar: The Rights Retention Strategy and what it means for EU13 & Associated Countries

At the beginning of 2021, cOAlition S started implementing its Rights Retention Strategy (RRS). This strategy is to give researchers supported by a cOAlition S the freedom to submit manuscripts for publication to their chosen journal, including subscription journals, whilst obeying Plan S principles. It is obligatory for the funded researchers to assign an open (CC BY) license to their accepted manuscripts that protects their intellectual property. This way the researchers are able to reuse and disseminate their work as they see fit. Furthermore, they can deposit a copy of their Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) without restrain in their chosen repository.

On the 12 April we held a live webinar, organized in partnership with ENYAs in EU13 and Associated Countries: Estonia, Croatia, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Hungary, Albania, Israel, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Norway, Serbia, Turkey and Belarus. The topic of the webinar was: ‘The Rights Retention Strategy and what it means for EU13 and Associated Countries’. 51 participants from various countries joined the live event.

The webinar started with a brief welcome from Chair of YAE, Gemma Modinos. ‘There have been some concerns as to how the information and the implications can really have a transnational reach. So for these reasons we wanted to ensure a focus on young scholars in countries in which the funding ecosystem may not be a straightforward as for those in which there are more organizations endorsing Plan S’ said Modinos.

Johan Rooryck and Sally Rumsay of cOAlition S followed with a presentation where they talked about the principle and key objectives of RRS as well the problem they want to resolve through this strategy. It was discussed in what way authors can benefit from RRS, which incudes ownership and visibility. ‘Authors should retain they rights and own their AAM’ said Rooryck.

The webinar ended with a rich Q&A session, during which several important questions from the audience were discussed.

The full recording of the webinar is available on the YAE’s YouTube channel.

Insight Out rescheduled! Insight Out event for women in exact, technical and natural sciences.

Save the date for the Insight Out event!

The third edition of the event themed ‘Learning from and inspiring each other’ will take place on the 7, 14, 21 and 28 of June 2021, from 13:00-15:15 CEST.

Insight Out – Inspiring women in STEM is a career event for women in exact, technical and natural sciences, organised by NWO, with input from LNVH, ECHO, KNAW de Jonge Akademie, PNN, PostdocNL and Young Academy Europe.

The programme of this year’s edition offers various inspiring talks, workshops, panel discussions and networking activities. You can find more information about the programme and registration on the NWO website.

Note: Participation is free of charge, the language of the conference will be English. If you have previously registered for the Insight Out event in March it is not necessary to register again. You will be registered for the theme and day previously selectedIf you would like to cancel or change your registration for certain days, this will be possible via a notification email which will be sent to you at a later time prior to the event.



Affiliation: UCL Institute for Global Health, UK

Keywords: Community, Health Psychology, Participation and engagement, Power, Mental health, Non-Communicable Diseases, Multi-Morbidity, Political Economy, Racism, Global Health, Public Health, Social Change, Southern Africa, Colombia, United Kingdom



Full profile:

Dr. Rochelle Burgess is a leading community health psychologist who specialises in community-based approaches to health. Her work studies the social and psychological dynamics of health using qualitative, participatory, and transformative methodologies.

She is interested in the promotion of community approaches to health globally, and views communities as a route to understanding and responding to the political economy of poor health, with a particular emphasis on the impacts of broader development issues such as power, poverty, gender, systems of governance, and community mobilisation (civil society). For the past decade she has focused largely on mental wellbeing and common mental disorders and is a leading voice in the emerging field of social interventions in Global Mental Health. She has led a range of projects that focus on the development of community mental health interventions (in South Africa, Colombia, UK and Zimbabwe) and has contributed her methodological and mental health expertise to projects on community led responses to other health challenges, such as child health in Nigeria. Following the COVID-19 outbreak, she has written extensively to advocate for community oriented and locally driven responses to the pandemic, leading pieces in The Lancet and Nature.

She is a Lecturer in Global Health and Deputy Director of the UCL Centre for Global Non-Communicable Diseases, at the Institute for Global Health at UCL. She holds a BSc(hons) in Psychology from McMaster University, an MSc and PhD in Health, Community and Development from the London School of Economics and Political Sciences in the UK. She is the founder and Director of UCL’s Global Network on Mental Health and Child Marriage.   She has held visiting fellowships at LSE Centre for Africa, University of KwaZulu Natal, and is a Research Associate at University of Johannesburg. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Public Health, member of the ESRC peer review college, the UK Trauma Council, among other affiliations.

Webinar on research integrity: supporting early-career researchers in cases of alleged scientific misconduct

On 22 March, the Young Academy of Europe, SAPEA, the European Group on Ethics (EGE) and the AE Cardiff Hub organized an international webinar on the issue of scientific misconduct and support of early-career researchers in reporting such cases. The webinar was chaired by the Vice-President of Academia Europaaea, Professor Ole Petersen MAE. Almost 200 participants from 33 countries joined the live webinar and participated in the lively Q&A session.


The panelists of the Research Integrity webinar


The webinar was based on the article ‘A secure procedure for early career scientists to report apparent misconduct’, published by Professor Baruch Fischhoff, Dr. Barry Dewitt, Professor Nils-Eric Sahlin and Dr. Alex Davis. As highlighted by the authors of the paper, scientific misconduct can lead to potential damage for individuals as well as for society at large. The authors pointed out that early-career researchers often face the dilemma of whether they should report misconduct or not. A way to protect the wellbeing of early-career researchers could involve an institutional ‘scientific integrity official’, with the appropriate experience, skills and knowledge to manage the process effectively and fairly.

YAE Chair Gemma Modinos and Vice-Chair Moniek Tromp were among the panelists responding to the report. They pointed at the major factors that might lead to potential misconduct, such as heavy workload in the academy and the pressure to publish. Moniek Tromp highlighted that “The problem for young academics is still the hierarchy and their dependency. Groups are often very small and tight so the anonymity is very difficult to maintain – even if the person is not named, it can often be traced back.”

The panel presentations ended with Nils-Eric Sahlin’s reflections on the diverse range of national approaches to the problem. He advocated for a harmonized international procedure.

The webinar closed with a vivid Q&A session, where participants further highlighted the complexity of the problem, involving social, legal and financial aspects. The panelists once again emphasized the importance of adopting an international approach to the issue and pointed out that evaluation systems for career progression should include wider criteria which extend beyond high-impact publications to also include teaching, management and policy work.

The full recording of the webinar can be found on the Academia Europaea Cardiff Hub YouTube channel

Workshop: The impact of the pandemic on young scientists

The COVID-19 pandemic has been highly disruptive to scientific research, with a range of impacts on early career researchers and their career prospects. Various YAE members have voiced their frustration around the particular challenges they are facing – from conducting research to securing funding or building a curriculum vitae for instance – and saw value in having a forum for discussing these challenges, sharing experiences, and assembling coping strategies.

On 5 May at 13:00-14:30 CET YAE will host an online workshop to discuss the challenges of the pandemic for early career researchers and share coping strategies. The workshop will be hosted as a virtual event for YAE members on Gathertown. All participants will create avatars that can move around a virtual world and interact. The event will begin with a short plenary talk about the findings of the YAE survey on working during the pandemic, before moving into group discussions.

The workshop will cover following four themes:

  • Research groups at distance
  • Work-life balance during the pandemic
  • Research delays and career progression
  • The challenges of online conferences/webinars and networking