Second inbound recipient of the UQ-Prokhorov Scholarship for Russia

6 Aug 2019
UQ-Prokhorov scholar Sofya Cherkasova.
UQ-Prokhorov scholar Ms Sofya Cherkasova.

The University of Queensland (UQ) has awarded its second inbound recipient of the UQ-Prokhorov Scholarship to high-achieving law student Sofya Cherkasova.

Sofya is the third of six students awarded $5000 to support bilateral exchange between UQ and Russia. She is in her final year of a Master of Law at Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU).

In Russia, you have to know what you want to be when you grow up when you choose a university degree. In Australia, there’s a chance to find out. For this reason, Sofya chose to study law.  

“Law gives you a good foundation like a bachelor’s degree,” Sofya said.

“Even though education is free in Russia, I worked part-time in a law firm who specialise in corporate dispute resolution for six months before coming to UQ. I really enjoyed my time there, and they’ve offered me a job when I graduate.”

Even though the stability of walking into a law firm straight out of university appeals to Sofya, she’s thinking something in family law might suit her better.

“I’m interested in child protection litigation,” she said.

“I want to work in something closer to the people and less about business. I want to know I’ve had a positive impact on somebody’s life.

“At UQ, I can study mediation, which I’m very excited about as this isn’t available at MSU. I believe this opportunity broadens my horizons so that I have more choices on returning to Russia.”

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (External Engagement) Mr Rongyu Li said the Scholarship shows UQ’s commitment to innovative and flexible learning options, diverse and dynamic partnership opportunities, and an integrated learning environment.

“Alexander Prokhorov’s discovery has helped transform almost everything humans now rely on – from surgery to the internet. It’s this intrepid spirit of innovation that inspires UQ to share knowledge and resources, and to uncover research with global impact,” he said.

The Scholarship was proposed by His Excellency Mr Peter Tesch, Australian Ambassador to the Russian Federation, in 2017, to celebrate 75 years of diplomatic relations. Its namesake, Queensland-born Russian physicist Alexander Prokhorov, pioneered research on lasers and shared the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1964.

The inaugural recipient was Lomonosov Moscow State University Yulia Antoshina, while language scholar Samuel Brotchie was UQ’s first outbound student.

The Scholarship is funded by the Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (External Engagement) to strengthen the University’s ties to Russia – a country with which UQ shares two institutional agreements, seven academic staff, 64 alumni, and more than 250 co-publications in the past five years.

The UQ-Prokhorov Scholarship will be granted to a total of six students across three years. The fourth recipient will be a student from The University of Queensland studying at the Lomonosov Moscow State University studying from September 2019.

Media: Dr Jessica Gallagher, Director, Global Engagement and Entrepreneurship,, +61 435 961 173.