Research History

The Research Department at UFAZ was established in January 2021.

Historic developments and key objectives

1. From January 2021 till December 2022:

The RD operated under the supervision of Prof. Philippe Turek, Professor in Physics and former Deputy Head of International Relations of Unistra, who was detached on a quasi-permanent basis in Baku (with a regular 6 weeks per 2 months local presence), in order to structure and put in place the research activites at UFAZ the following work have been put in place :

  • creation of a research laboratory and structuring of research teams in the three fields: computer sciences, geosciences and chemical engineering;
  • identification and creation of scientific collaborations with Azerbaijani researchers from ASOIU and ANAS;
  • creating conditions for UFAZ teachers, lab assistants and technicians to engage in research activities'
  • launching of a scholarship programme (FR AND AZ) for thesis co-supervision;
  • establishment of functional links allowing UFAZ staff (AZ and FR) to conduct part of their research activities in Unistra laboratories;
  • creation of a cycle of research seminars open to AZ colleagues from ASOIU and ANAS, inaugurated by a lecture by JM Lehn, Nobel Prize in Chemistry;
  • signature of an MoU associating ANAS with the research activities of the UFAZ.

Some examples of research activities :

  • 7 mobilities at Unistra on different research projects;
  • 36 research seminars alternating UFAZ and external guests;
  • 1 grant received from the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research for the organization of an annual UFAZ research conference;
  • 8 co-supervised PhD, with external support, involving the creation of “temporary teacher-researchers”, thus generating a pool of future Azerbaijani teacher-researchers for Azerbaijan HEIs.

2. January 2023 till now:

A new organization was put in place in order to reinforce a sectoral approach: the coordination work for UFAZ research activities is now operated by 3 scientific advisors from Unistra and other partner universities in France (1 per each field: chemistry, computer science, geosciences), with an overall supervision by the UFAZ Coordinator at Unistra. Moreover, a Scientific Council was put in place to discuss the scientific policy and strategy for further developments. The scientific policy and all UFAZ research activities shall be systematically discussed during the steering committees.

The scientific advisors are selected among the UFAZ members of the consortium led by Unistra. They do remote coordination work and perform short-term missions in Baku (1 per month as rotation for the three domains (chemistry, computer science, geosciences), i.e. one advisor per domain and per quarter throughout the year). 

From the Azerbaijani side, the coordination is ensured by 3 research coordinators from ASOIU (one for each domain, chemistry, computer science, geosciences) with an overall supervision by Vice-Rector for Research of ASOIU. The 3 research coordinators and the supervisor are part of the Scientific Council; those first meetings took place in May 2023. 

The role of Research Department

  • Liaise between the UFAZ, Unistra and the members of the French consortium, for the research activities of master students and French staff working at UFAZ;
  • Define, organize and evaluate the operating conditions of the UFAZ research department as a research and service unit within the framework of a public-private partnership;
  • To set up collaborations aimed at developing UFAZ research and offering internships and professional opportunities to UFAZ master's students;
  • To set up a scientific animation within the future research department of UFAZ
  • To develop and promote the international partnerships of UFAZ;
  • Support fundraising activities for the benefit of the Foundation in Strasbourg and the UFAZ Foundation in Baku.