As Prof. Virginijus Šikšnys says, "A breakthrough in science usually takes place in areas where brilliant researchers are concentrated and the infrastructure needed for their work is created." Today, with the founding of the Life Sciences Centre (LSC), Vilnius University has become a global centre for 21st-century learning and research that’s supported by modern laboratory equipment and top-level scientific research services.
Vilnius’s University LSC provides state-of-the-art facilities for around 1,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students, as well as more than 110 Ph.D. candidates in three academic branches: Biochemistry, Biotechnology and Biosciences.
Life Sciences Centre | Photo by E. Kurauskas
Vilnius’ LSC gives students the chance to learn from world-class scientists conducting top research, such as Kavli Prize winner Prof. Virginijus Šikšnys and L'Oréal Baltic for Women in Science Scholarship winners Dr. Urtė Neniškytė and Dr. Rima Budvytytė. Lithuanian researchers who have graduated from and worked at various academic institutions abroad have come back to the LSC to make ground-breaking discoveries, including Prof. Linas Mažutis and Dr. Rapolas Žilionis from Harvard, Dr. Aurelijus Burokas from Pompeu Fabra University in Spain, and more.
Working alongside acknowledged scientists can give you a boost and help you achieve your goals. For example, a team representing Vilnius University won the 2020 International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition, an annual event that allows students to push the boundaries of synthetic biology by tackling everyday issues facing the world. The students competed against more than 300 teams representing leading universities from around the world, and their win was the second time a team from VU brought back the grand prize.
The City of Vilnius has recently established a scholarship named after Prof. Virginijus Šikšnys to help transform the research landscape and facilitate new discoveries. The annual EUR 10,000 scholarship will be awarded to young scientists to fund their studies or conduct research in Vilnius. The scholarship will be offered for 5 years with the possibility of an extension. Moreover, the scholarship is available for both local and international Ph.D. students, and is awarded by a panel representing the Vilnius University Life Sciences Centre. Learn more and apply for the Prof. Virginijus Šikšnys’ Scholarship soon at the Vilnius University LSC website.
Vilnius is constantly evolving, making it the perfect place to reach your full potential. For instance, the European Laboratory of Molecular Biology (EMBL) is opening a partnership institute at the LSC. This partnership will provide new opportunities for Lithuania to contribute research and innovations in the life sciences at a global scale. The EMBL unit in Vilnius will develop and strengthen technology related to gene therapy, which was pioneered in part by VU LSC Prof. Šikšnys.
Vilnius is also filled with startup potential, so you'll find like-minded colleagues to cooperate with to reach your goals. The Vilnius University Biotechnology Business Incubator gives startups valuable access to modern infrastructure, R&D services and top-level professional consultations.
Vilnius has a modern atmosphere – the city is home to life sciences startups, technology parks and valleys, and R&D centres are being built to sustain and grow businesses. However, the city is not only about work. Residents of Vilnius also score high on the Happiness Index.
Photo by A. Dzimidavičius
Being one of Europe’s capitals with the most green spaces means you get to hike in forests right in the city centre or run along the banks of the Neris River whenever you want. It’s also a compact city, so getting around is easy and quick – walk, ride a bike, take a scooter or use a car-sharing service for out-of-town trips. You’ll also be joining a vibrant and welcoming local community and get to explore the city’s hidden secrets, its active nightlife and impressive cultural scenes. These are just some of the city’s traits that contribute to its enviable work/life balance.