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S4S Initiative


The S4S Initiative

In 2022, the International Human Frontier Science Program Organization launched the Scientists for Scientists Initiative (S4S) to help Ukrainian researchers affected by the war continue their research in host institutions worldwide.

HFSPO is an international organization that supports research grants and fellowships for cutting-edge basic life science research for which there are no preliminary studies or data. All HFSPO programs are internationally collaborative, providing access for researchers to participate in and contribute to the most advanced thinking from the world’s most brilliant minds working on the newest frontiers of the life sciences.

The S4S Initiative is firmly rooted in HFSPO’s fundamental principle to foster peaceful, international collaboration by engaging its global awardees community and by showing its solidarity with affected researchers providing continued support for their academic work. Extraordinary financial support provided by the European Commission enables HFSPO to work with its global community of awardees to establish placements for Ukrainian scientists in laboratories and institutions, thereby demonstrating solidarity by helping them maintain continuity in their academic research.

Since 2022, HFSPO has supported proposals from 14 Ukrainian postgraduates, Ph.D. students, postdoctoral researchers, as well as senior scientists and created placements abroad in the laboratories and institutes of active HFSPO awardees. Four Ukrainian scientists were placed in HFSPO Fellowships, and seven in active HFSPO research grants. The experience and skills that the Ukrainian scientists bring will be an integral part of the ongoing research projects funded by HFSPO.

Host institutions that responded to the call to support Ukrainian life science colleagues include three institutions in the United States, two in Switzerland, two in the United Kingdom, and one each in Austria, Finland, Italy, the Netherlands, and Canada.


2023 Call for Applications - Terms of Reference

The Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP) will continue the initiative “Scientists for Scientists” launched in 2022 to help Ukrainian scientists affected by the war in their country.

A new call is open for scientists involved in active HFSP research projects. Only current HFSP Research Grant team members or HFSP Fellows can apply to this initiative.

HFSP awardees can apply for additional funding for their research projects with the intent to help and host scientists affected by the current conflict in Ukraine. Proposals for supplemental funds can be geared towards any type of activities that enables guest scientist(s) to be integrated into the HFSP funded project.

Projects already supported in the first call in 2022 can apply for an extension provided the HFSP award is still active. Team members hosting Ukraine scientists within their HFSP project should inquire with HFSP about the modalities of the extension providing a scientific progress report and an updated research plan for the future work involving the Ukraine scientist. Extensions can only be granted for the remaining duration of the HFSP funded project and will be funded on a pro-rata basis for the remaining time of the project.

For further details about the application process please consult the Terms of Reference, and contact the HFSPO Secretariat (Click here to show mail address).


The support provided by the European Commission made it possible for HFSPO to launch the “Scientist4Scientist” (S4S) initiative in 2022/2023. Initially, 11 Ukrainian scientists could be integrated into ongoing HFSP research projects providing an important international perspective in addition to hands-on research experience. The number of awardees grow to 14 in 2023. 

Ukrainian scientists supported by the HFSP Initiative S4S in 2022/2023



Research Title

Ukrainian Scientist


Host Institution



Unravelling an unusual biomineralization from nano to macro scale using advanced technologies

Nastya Maljuk

Mehran Moazen

University College London, UK



Controlling cellular biochemistry with electronic signals – a step towards bioelectronic hybrids

Oleh Smutok

Evgeny Katz

Clarkson University, NY, USA


Mechanosensitive dynamics at the fertilisation synapse

Tetiana Mylenko

Andrea Pauli

IMP, Vienna, AT


A new role for aging: origin of cellular differentiation and the evolution of complex life

Jliana Semaniuk

Juha Saarikangas

Helsinki Institute of Life Science, FI


Regulation of membrane receptor   function in the brain by lipid composition and dietary inputs

Daryna Sputay

Ilya Levental

University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, USA


Investigating mechanotransduction           at a single molecule level

Viktoriia Kashchuk

Anatolii Kashchuk

University of Florence, IT


Investigating collinear bursts of HoxD  genes transcription through live imaging  of gastruloid body

Julia Romaniuk

Alexandre Mayran



Pex ex machina: the cell biological mechanics of locally-controlled peroxisome biogenesis

Anya Borisyuk

Triana Amen

EPFL-Lausanne, CH


How transcriptional and epigenetic networks shape lung-resident memory        T cells and tissue immunity

Nataliia Liakhovska

Alexander Lercher

Rockefeller University, NCY, USA


Tracking trade across symbiotic networks

Oleh Prylutskyi

Toby Kiers

VU University Amsterdam, NL


Bacterial biofilms as a multicellular organism: from molecules to populations

Iryna Peretiazhko

Julien Bergeron

King's College London, UK


A spatiotemporal map of signalling processes controlling human stem           cell renewal and differentiation

Karyna Kulakova

Rafael E. Carazo Salas

University of Bristol, UK



Evolution of neural circuit dynamics and brain computations in Astyanax blind    cave fish

Solomiya Lebid

German Sumbre

Institut de Biologie de l'Ecole Normale Supérieure, FR


Can evolution minimize spurious signaling crosstalk to reach optimal performance?

Mariia Utrobina

Christian Landry

Université Laval, CA

The S4S initiative is a unique and very successful initiative that aims primarily to support individual Ukrainian scientists - and overall, basic life science research - affected by the war and facing an uncertain future during and after the conflict.

The results are impressive, and the scientists' opinions about the program reinforced its continuity.

"Being an integral part of such a highly interdisciplinary project is a big opportunity for me as a biologist because I will be able to become acquainted with new technologies and methods. Thank you for your support. My daughter and I can be safe, and she can continue studying and live a normal life." Nastya Maljuk, Natural History Museum, Kyiv, Ukraine

"Science in Ukraine had difficulties before the war. Very often, the only way to achieve something for a Ukrainian-born researcher was to leave Ukraine and become a part of a European lab. Only a few researchers returned afterward. Now, Ukrainian researchers, like all of Ukrainian society, struggle more than ever. But programs like HFSP are not only opening the possibilities for individuals, it is straightening out the very capacity of the Ukrainian research environment. The knowledge my colleagues and I are gaining thanks to the HFSP program, the connections with leading European research institutions, the insights into cutting-edge scientific practices, let alone the support that allows us, literally, to survive ― all of that, I believe, will bring Ukrainian individual researchers and Ukrainian institutions to a new level, in a free and peaceful UkraineOleh Prylutskyi, V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University, Kharkiv, Ukraine.

"This initiative has truly shown me the incredible difference that support can make in someone's life. I am immensely grateful for the invaluable help that HFSP has provided me. Their support has been essential to not only advancing my career, but also in keeping my current project on track. Looking ahead, I am excited about the prospect of putting into practice the diverse range of knowledge and skills that I am currently actively acquiring. With these tools, I am eager to contribute to the vital task of restoring scientific progress in Ukraine following the devastating impact of the war. The support and resources provided by HFSP have been instrumental in helping me to develop my abilities and expand my expertise, and I am confident that this will enable me to make a meaningful difference in the years to come.” Karyna Kulakova, Taras Shevchenko, National University of Kyiv, Ukraine

Our laboratory is very grateful that Yuliia could join our project. In addition to the positive effect that this initiative has on the research project, we’re even more grateful at the impact this had in the life of Yuliia and her family. We were thrilled to see the great potential that Yuliia has and was able to further cultivate. This initiative allows her to advance her scientific skills and knowledge in a welcoming and stimulating research environment. I am extremely thankful for the Scientist for Scientist (S4S) HFSP initiative for making this possible.” Alexandre Mayran, ISREC – EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland

The Scientists for Scientists Initiative is a wonderful response from HFSPO to help Ukrainian scientists and their families, who are affected by the war. We feel fortunate to be able to welcome Uliana Semaniuk to integrate her scientific expertise into this exciting frontier research project.” Juha Saarikangas, University of Helsinki, Finland

I am truly grateful to the HFSP for both creating the Scientists for Scientists program to support Ukrainian refugee scientists around the world, to help alleviate, if not their life tragedy, at least challenges to their professional prospects. I am wholeheartedly thankful to the HFSP for specifically supporting Karyna’s work in our collaborative project. Karyna greatly complements and strengthens our team, and it is a privilege to be able to host her in part thanks to the precious funds and support given to us by the HFSP, which once again through this initiative has demonstrated foresight and a touching and deep level of humanity” Rafael Carazo Salas, University of Bristol, UK


Read the complete brochure with the stories and testimonials from the Scientists4Scientists Initiative