EUCYS 2024

EUCYS History

The European Union Contest for Young Scientists (EUCYS), is a chief European challenge organised by the European Commission since 1989.

Two winners of the EUCYS 2022

Among the winners | Photo by EUCYS 2022


European Union Contest for Young Scientists

The competition started in 1989 after the then European Commission President, Jacques Delors, decided to take over a Europe-wide science fair that Dutch electronics firm Royal Philips had been running since 1968.

The European Commission launched the contest in Brussels with the aim of promoting cooperation and exchange between young researchers, as well as giving them the chance to discuss their work with the world’s leading scientists. Since then, the event has been continuously organised, giving young scientists the confidence to pursue careers in science.

The first competition was held in Brussels in 1989. Since then, the event was organised in Copenhagen, Zurich, Seville, Berlin, Luxembourg, Newcastle upon Tyne, Helsinki, Milan, Porto, Thessaloniki, Amsterdam, Bergen, Vienna, Budapest, Dublin, Moscow, Stockholm, Valencia, Paris, Lisbon, Helsinki, Bratislava, Prague, Warsaw, Sofia, Tallinn, Salamanca and Leiden.

According to statistics, the contest has been mostly participated by men (by 2021, it was 2,337 men out of 1,146 women), and most of the projects are devoted to engineering and biology. When it comes to the most awarded projects, they included works in the field of physics, while those in materials engineering and social sciences are the least likely to be awarded. Over the years, the number of people interested in participating in the contest has been growing. In 1989, there were only 53 participants, whereas in 2024, almost 150 contestants took part in EUCYS.

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Poland in the contest

Poland has participated in the contest since 1995. Since then, 67 projects by Polish students have been recognised, earning 29 core prizes and 38 special, honorary and other prizes.

Katowice is the second Polish city to host EUCYS. In 2014 the finals of the contest were held in Warsaw. It was organised by the University of Warsaw together with the Copernicus Science Centre and the Polish Children’s Fund. The strategic partner of the project was the PZU Foundation. First prizes were then awarded to the representatives of the Czech Republic and Portugal, while Polish high school students received special prizes: Monika Leończyk was awarded a research internship in Italy, and Jerzy Szuniewicz won a trip to the Intel ISEF science fair in the USA, sponsored by Intel.

Our country’s representatives received the first prize in EUCYS 9 times.

Maksymilian Gozdur

Among the winners. Maksymilian Gozdur from Poland | Photo by EUCYS 2023

The winners are:

  • Michał Książkiewicz (Thessaloniki, 1999), project: ‘Estimation of urban pollution using Epiphytic Lichens’;
  • Grzegorz Niedźwiedzki (Amsterdam, 2000) project: New Finds of dinosaur traces in the Holy Cross Mountains’;
  • Tomasz Wdowik (Stockholm, 2006), project: ‘Synthesis of a potential (beta)-blocker’;
  • Magdalena Bojarska (Copenhagen, 2008), project: ‘Hamiltonian cycles in generalised approach’;
  • Aleksander Kubica, Wiktor Pilewski (Paris, 2009), project: ‘Spiral Zone Plates’;
  • David Pegrimek, Łukasz Sokołowski (Lisbon, 2010), project: ‘Foraging Strategy of the Ant Formica Cinerea’;
  • Jakub Nagrodzki (Bratislava, 2012), project: ‘Development of molecular patches therapy: trimethylguanosine cap analogues synthesis’;
  • Michał Bączyk, Paweł Piotr Czyż (Milan, 2015), project: ‘The studies of behaviour of single and coupled on-off type oscillators on the example of bottle oscillators’;
  • Maksymilian Gozdur (Brussels, 2023), project: ‘Justice institutions stipulated in French and Polish  criminal procedure codes, and fair trial standards  included in international law standards and convict  rehabilitation’.
Maksymilian Gozdur, the winner of the EUCYS 2023

Among the winners: Maksymilian Gozdur from Poland | Photo by EUCYS 2023

In September 2023 in Brussels, the first prize of €7,000 and an honorary prize in the form of participation in the Stockholm International Youth Science Seminar were awarded to the representative of Poland, Maksymilian Gozdur. The jury appreciated the project ‘Justice institutions stipulated in French and Polish  criminal procedure codes, and fair trial standards  included in international law standards and convict rehabilitation’, in which the young researcher conducted an in-depth analysis of criminal law and the sociology of law. The 2023 edition was also lucky for Szymon Perlicki, a specialist in the field of ciphers from Wrocław. The student received a special award, which included participation in a conference and a research internship in Bulgaria for his project ‘A Novel Method of Constructing Block Ciphers Resistant to Linear and Differential Cryptanalysis’.