Applications for the competition were open to all University Chairs for the first three weeks of March. Some important factors taken into account were connected with scientific research, and for example the number of the chair’s staff who opened social network accounts for researchers such as ResearchGate or GoogleScholar, where full texts of scientific publications in any field of knowledge or format are posted. Other considerations were related to the comprehensiveness of the Chair’s website, with extra points going to those Chairs with more pages on their website, an English version of their website, and the website with the highest number of visitors. And finally, the competition took into account the number of applicants for undergraduate, graduate or post-graduate courses for each Chair.

“The main purpose of the “Top Chairs” competition is to increase the prominence of these structural divisions not only within the university but also in the educational and professional sectors in general. It is clear from the quality of a website whether the Chair is maintaining it. If the Chair’s website is empty or has outdated information, this puts a stain on the entire reputation of the university, not only in terms of science and entrepreneurship but also in terms of the relationship between the Chair and the industry, or the Chair and its graduates. The quality of our education is assessed based on things like the achievements of our graduates.” – explained ITMO University Rector Vladimir Vasilyev about the importance of the competition.

The winners of the competition were announced by the Academic Council on 29 March. Since the meeting took place a few days after the university’s birthday, the award ceremony was held in a festive atmosphere.

The competition prizes amounted to 1.65 million rubles. Third place with a 100,000 rubles award went to six Chairs: Computer Engineering and Design (head – Dmitry Shuklin), Optical-Electronic Devices and Systems (head - Valeriy Korotaev), Computer Science and Control Systems (head - Alexey Bobtsov), Financial Management and Audit (head - Irina Sergeeva), Optical Information Technologies and Materials (head – Nikolay Nikonorov), and Food Biotechnology (Vegetable Stock) (head – Tatyana Meledina)

Second place with 150,000 rubles went to three Chairs: Production Management and Technology Transfer (head – Marina Makarchenko), Photonics and Optical Information Technology (head – Sergey Kozlov) and Laser Technologies and Instrumentation (head – Vadim Veiko).

And finally, the winners of the competition, each winning 200,000 rubles were: Nanophotonics and Metamaterials (head – Pavel Belov), Computation Technologies (head – Taufik Aliev) and Secure Information Technologies (head – Igor’ Zikratov).

The awards will be distributed amongst the staff according to the decision of the Head of the Chair with support from the rest of the Chair’s staff.

The University Rector on behalf of the Academic Council also presented awards to the best students of 2015, as well as those university athletes who won city-wide and other competitions.

“In an atmosphere of love, we achieve small feats, we create new things, we conduct research and we create new jobs. It’s nice to reiterate that not so long ago our university yet again, presented its accomplishments in Project 5-100 over the last year and its plan for the coming years with the International Council on Competitiveness Enhancement of Leading Russian Universities. We were selected as part of the leading group of universities which would receive the highest amount of funding” – said Vladimir Vasiliev.

Vice-Rector for International Relations, Daria Kozlova encouraged everyone to read about ITMO University’s presentation in Moscow. She noted that the University was selected amongst the top-tier Project 5-100 universities and would receive a subsidy of 900 million rubles. The second tier received 500 million rubles and the third about 150 million rubles. Daria Kozlova explained that the Council paid special attention to how things are moving forward and the main priorities chosen by universities to extend research and educational activities as well as to improve their management systems.

At the end of the Academic Council’s meeting, the Head of Project Management and Innovation Department, Nina Yanykina talked about the university’s programs in the innovation sector.