Assoc. Prof. RNDr. Petr Baldrian, Ph.D., Appointed to Head the Czech Science Foundation

The Government appointed Assoc. Prof. RNDr. Petr Baldrian, Ph.D., to the position of President of the Czech Science Foundation (GACR). At the same time, Prof. MUDr. Milan Jirsa, CSc., was appointed Presidium Member in charge of medical and biological sciences.

“I am honoured to be able to build on the good work of Dr. Alice Valkárová and Professor Jaroslav Koča. As one of the members of the Presidium, I have been involved in the current setup of the grant environment, which includes, in particular, new grant opportunities for early career scientists and funding for excellent projects with the potential to bring breakthroughs in their field. In the future, I plan to focus the activities of the Czech Science Foundation especially on a further development of international cooperation, and to finalize preparations for a new type of grant tender that will allow us to respond directly to current challenges facing the society as a whole, such as the covid-19 pandemic,” says Petr Baldrian, Ph.D., summarizing his plans.

The position of the Chairman of the Czech Science Foundation and a member of the Presidium for Medical and Biological Sciences has been vacant since the beginning of July, when Prof. Jaroslav Koca, who had held these positions, died suddenly. The government appointed Petr Baldrian and Milan Jirsa on the nomination of the Council for Research, Development and Innovation.

Petr Baldrian has been a member of the Presidium of the Czech Science Foundation in charge of agricultural and biological-environmental sciences since January 2017. Currently, he is also the Head of the Laboratory of Environmental Microbiology at the Institute of Microbiology of the Czech Academy of Sciences. Milan Jirsa works at IKEM and at the 1st Faculty of Medicine of the Charles University. He also has experience from the evaluation panels of the Czech Science Foundation, whose activities include the assessment of project proposals for funding.

Prestigious JUNIOR STAR Grants to be Awarded to 16 Scientists in the Early Stages of their Careers

Starting next year, the Czech Science Foundation (GACR) will fund 16 projects that won the JUNIOR STAR tender. The goal of the five-year projects with a budget of up to CZK 25 million aim to support the best of scientists in their early-stage careers within 8 years of completing their Ph.D. programmes. They will be able to pursue their own scientific topics, and also to establish their own research groups. Half the projects funded will be carried out within the Czech Academy of Sciences.

“The JUNIOR STAR calls aim to identify projects of young researchers who have a high potential to achieve world-class results and, at the same time, have the ambition to become independent scientists. Similar to the EXPRO calls, these are exclusive grants – only a small percentage of projects get selected, providing their investigators with extraordinary funding for a period of five years. While scientists in the early stages of their careers enjoy greater research freedom, we also hope that the award of the grant sends a message to their institutions that those scientists can be expected to produce excellent results in the future,” said Assoc. Prof. RNDr. Petr Baldrian, Ph.D., adding: “Funding junior scientists is one of the priorities of the Czech Science Foundation. This year, we have launched the POSTDOC INDIVIDUAL FELLOWSHIP calls for young scientists who completed their Ph.D. programmes recently, aimed at scientific mobility. However, young scientists – both students and postdocs – are also an important part of standard or international project teams, where they can gain practical research experience.”

In the second year of the JUNIOR STAR calls, a total of 16 projects have been recommended for funding out of a total of 315 proposals submitted. Half the projects funded will be carried out starting next year at the Czech Academy of Sciences, three at the Masaryk University in Brno, and two at the Czech Technical University in Prague. One project each at the Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague, the University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice, and the University of Chemical Technology in Prague.

The evaluation of JUNIOR STAR project proposals is carried out purely externally by scientists abroad recommended by the international agency Science Connect. The evaluation is carried out in two phases, with each project proposal being evaluated by at least four experts abroad in the given research field.

Registration No.ApplicantTitleOrganizationProject Duration
22-06008MIng Prokop Hapala, PhDComputer Aided Desing of Templated Assembling, Replication and Synthesis on Ionic SubstratesFyzikální ústav AV ČR, v.v.i.5
22-11299MIng. Petr Kovaříček, Ph.D.Reaction networks at phase interfaces for dynamic self-assemblyFakulta chemické technologie, Vysoká škola chemicko-technologická v Praze5
22-17593MMgr. Kateřina Sam, Ph.D.Ecological meltdown in the absence of birds and spiders?Přírodovědecká fakulta, Jihočeská univerzita v Českých Budějovicích5
22-18033MIng. Tomáš Fíla, Ph.D.High velocity impact dynamics with fast and flash X-ray radiographyFakulta dopravní, České vysoké učení technické v Praze5
22-18424MJan Perner, Ph.D.Functional Genomics and Symbio-Genomics in TicksBiologické centrum AV ČR, v.v.i.                5
22-20303MMgr. Hana Sedláčková, Ph.D.Deciphering Origins of DNA replication in genome integrityBiofyzikální ústav AV ČR, v.v.i.5
22-20342MRNDr. Tomáš Slanina, Ph.D.Organic Solar Electric Batteries Using Electron Storage into Chemical BondsÚstav organické chemie a biochemie AV ČR, v.v.i.5
22-21743MDr. Madalina Bianca MoraruRolE oF cOuRts in Shaping Access to asyluM (REFORM)Právnická fakulta, Masarykova univerzita5
22-22000MDr. Dominik KriegnerMultipole antiferromagnets: New interlinked chapters in crystallography, band structure, and electronicsFyzikální ústav AV ČR, v.v.i.5
22-23183MRNDr. Zuzana Kúkelová, PhD.New generation of camera geometry solversFakulta elektrotechnická, České vysoké učení technické v Praze5
22-28659MMgr. Filip Hrbáček, Ph.D.Dynamics of the periglacial environment in the Antarctic Peninsula region under ongoing climate changePřírodovědecká fakulta, Masarykova univerzita5
22-30571MRNDr. David Sehnal, Ph.D.Cell*: a web platform for visualization, modelling and dynamics of organnel- and cell-sized structuresPřírodovědecká fakulta, Masarykova univerzita           5
22-33162MOle Jann, PhDData, Algorithms, Power: Economic Theories of the Information SocietyNárodohospodářský ústav AV ČR, v.v.i.5
22-33266MIoannis MarkonisInvestigation of the Terrestrial HydrologicAl Cycle Acceleration (ITHACA)Fakulta životního prostředí, Česká zemědělská univerzita v Praze5
22-33877MMgr. Kateřina Rohlenová, Ph.D.Intercellular metabolic crosstalk in nucleotide metabolism: an emerging targetBiotechnologický ústav AV ČR, v.v.i.5
22-35680MRoman Pleskot, Ph.D.4D plate - Spatiotemporal dynamics of cell plate developmentÚstav experimentální botaniky AV ČR, v.v.i.  5

The results of the other grant calls made by GACR will be announced on 6 December 2021.