“Make Some Effort and You’ll Succeed,” Says the Winner of the UMNIK Program, Kirill Shuldyakov


SUSU students have been participating in the UMNIK Program for several years now. The winners receive grants in the amount of 500 thous. Russian roubles each, for the period of 2 years to develop their innovation projects. Projects are selected in two phases by their degree of scientific novelty, idea relevance, and by other criteria.

The finalists are selected in such priority fields as information technologies, medicine of the future, modern materials and technologies of creating them, new devices and hardware systems, biotechnologies.

Kirill Shuldyakov, the 2013 winner and postgraduate of the 4th year of studies at the Institute of Architecture and Construction received a grant for studying a technology of high-performance pavement concrete.  

– Please, tell us why you decided to participate in this program? What were the preliminary rounds? What felt most difficult for you?

– I took part in UMNIK in 2013. The contest financially supporting young scientists attracted my attention, and I decided to give it a try. The contest consisted of two stages: a distance preliminary round following a standard application, and in-person presentation for the committee. This was my first experience in applying for a contest, that is why everything felt new. In the application form it was very difficult to put into words what should have been indicated under sections “Commercializability” and “Project Risks”, so it took some effort to collect quality information. Actually, I participated in UMNIK twice – my first attempt was in spring of 2013 when I passed to the in-person presentation stage under section “Modern Materials and Technology of Creating Them” but failed to take any prize. Nevertheless, I didn’t give up, tried to learn from my failure, and already in autumn of the same 2013 I succeeded in taking the first place. Further on, being a member of the SUSU Young Scientists Council I assisted in holding new UMNIK contests, and a few times acted as a secretary of the very section where I myself had twice taken part as a participant. By the way, now is the application time for the next UMNIK, the deadline is November 5, 2017.

– You became one of the winners and received a grant for your innovation. What did you feel when you learned about your victory?

– It was a real storm of emotions. The victory felt especially sweet since little people truly believed in my ability to win. My friends kept telling me silly stuff like “don’t waste your time, the winners are known beforehand, just mind your own business”. By winning I proved that you just need to make some effort, and you’ll succeed, even if not instantly.

– You suggested studying the technology of high-performance pavement concrete. What inducedyou to create such a project?

– The topic was suggested to me by the Department of Construction Materials and Products back when I was a student since the company “Innovative Technologies in Construction” CJSC showed interest in developing a technology for concrete paving slabs. Later, jointly with this organization we implemented the developed technology at an experimental road section in the Belgorod Region with the total area of 630 m2 of road bed. The structure of the road slabs was approved by the Russian Federation Ministry of Transportation and was recommended for Government procurement.

– What stage are you at with your innovation currently?

– For the moment, I am completing my Candidate-of-Technical-Sciences thesis titled “Concrete for Speedways”.

– Could you please give an advice or share the secret of your success with the future participants of the UMNIK program?

– Practice shows that you should by all means make your mind and come to participate in the contest. Even if you do not succeed at your first attempt, you can gain experience, work on your drawbacks, and next time you will win. I was able to win because I totally modified my presentation – I made it more concise, dropped everything that distracted attention from the truly important things, and shifted accents through animation.


Let us remind you that any Russian Federation citizen aged 18 to 30 dreaming to fulfill his/her research-and-innovation project may take part in the contest. You may file your application at the official web-site

The distance program phase will be held all through November 5th. November 6th to 20th the final phase participants will be selected. On November 21st the lists of the final phase conference participants will be approved. On November 22 – 28 presentation materials of the final phase conference participants will be collected. On November 29th and 30th the in-person presentation phase of the conference will take place.


Ekaterina Kuznetsova; photo by Anna Styazhkina
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