ParAqua Young Researchers and Innovators Forum – 27.09.2022

ParAqua Young Researchers and Innovators Forum – 27.09.2022

On 27.09.2022 the first ParAqua Young Researchers and Innovators Forum (hybrid form) was held in Paris, France (location Ifocap, Salle Terrasse). Ten (10) Young Members from Croatia, Macedonia, Poland, Serbia, and Hungary were invited to discuss with the Core Group and shape the initiative.

The Forum was opened by the ParAqua Action Chair, Serena Rasconi, after which the participants introduced each other.

Sami Kham, former Co-Chair elected of GLEON Student Association (GSA) was invited as speaker and joined remotely from New Zealand. GLEON (The Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network ( conducts innovative science by sharing and interpreting high–resolution sensor data to understand, predicting, and communicate the role and response of lakes in changing global environment.

Sami presented his experience as GSA Co-Chair and provided insight on how a network of young scientists can really boost a larger scientific network. He also provided some advices and tips during the discussion and the Q&A session. After the meeting Sami kindly shared the presented slides.

The following discussion was then chaired by the Action Vice-Chair, Alena Gsell which presented the goals and mission of the ParAqua Young Forum, the structure, and organization of the Forum, and initiated a round table and discussion between the members of the Forum, with Break Out Rooms focusing on the fundamentals 5Ws questions.

The main discussion was to create a platform for the early-career ParAquanauts from management, industry, and academia to connect and fully profit from the opportunities within and through ParAqua.


  • Advertise positions (all levels) within ParAqua network
  • Active enabling of connections to seniors/institutes
  • Add perspective and advice from the Y R&I to entire network
  • Own network tools
  • Advise on existing themes for STSMs and other mobility tools
  • Training


  • Expand and facilitate network
  • New ideas and inspiration
  • Get leadership experience
  • Be heard
  • Training opportunities/access to datasets
  • Access and info on funding


  • Labs and research trips
  • Portal with themes for mobility tools, expert database, systems
  • Workshops for specific skills
  • Onsite and virtual meetings, linked to e.g. core group or MC meetings
  • Online tools
  • Writing retreat

When and Where?

  • Online, non personal meetings
  • Linked to other ParAqua meetings
  • Cyberinfrastructure
  • Add-on to conference sessions


  • Mainly early careers, but open for all
  • What defines as “Young”? < 40 years old (COST definition)

Each Break Out Room decided a rapporteur for the restitution of opinions and conclusions discussed in each working group, separately…..

Joe Money report on the Break Out room “How”
Kálmán Tapolczai report on the Break Out room “Why”
Jovica Leshoski report on the Break Out room “Who and What”

Jovica Leshoski, Ph.D. Candidate at PSI Hydrobiological Institute Ohrid, North Macedonia, will organise the next steps to launch the Forum and will take the coordination.

“Leading the Young Researchers and Innovators Forum for the ParAqua COST Action is a great responsibility and honour. Increasing the communication and mobility of young researchers working on zoosporic parasite-related themes will be a big priority for me in the next period. To bring the activities of the working groups of the ParAqua COST Action, closer to the young researchers. To motivate people to seize the chances offered by the ParAqua initiative in order to spread knowledge of the zoosporic parasite. We will work together to plan a variety of conferences and webinars that will be useful to young researchers.”

Jovica Leshoski MSc, Ph. D. Candidate, PSI Hydrobiological Institute Ohrid

Dijana Blazhekovikj – Dimovska


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