Nearly CZK 1 bn Earmarked for Highly Selective EXPRO and JUNIOR STAR Projects

The Czech Science Foundation (GACR) will fund 10 new EXPRO projects and 23 JUNIOR STAR projects starting next year. These prestigious schemes both aim to promote scientific excellence through superior conditions – EXPRO is designed for seasoned scientists who have a groundbreaking idea, whereas JUNIOR STAR will allow outstanding scientists in their early careers to pursue their own research topics. The five-year projects will receive a total of almost one billion crowns.

“Only the best of the best projects receive funding within EXPRO and JUNIOR STAR, reviewed and recommended by international evaluation panels. Their investigators will enjoy better terms of funding during the five-year project period,” says Petr Baldrian, GACR President. “It is also important what these projects are supposed to bring – EXPRO is expected to deliver a breakthrough in a given scientific field, and JUNIOR STAR fosters the rise of a new, independent scientific generation.” Projects will, for example, focus on the development of new detector systems for particle identification, contribute to more efficient plant breeding through a more detailed understanding of evolutionary forces,  improve the regulatory framework involving artificial intelligence, explore ways to reduce environmental burdens, and design more effective cancer therapies.

The evaluation process involves foreign scientists only. It takes place in two phases – each project that receives funding is first reviewed by six subject-matter experts, and it is then discussed in detail at a meeting of the Discipline Committee.


The aim of the EXPRO grants is to facilitate the development of excellent research, to set standards for excellent science, and to help overcome the barriers inhibiting the success of project proposals submitted to the highly prestigious European ERC grant programme. One of the obligations of the investigators is to apply for an ERC grant. The cost of EXPRO projects, which are mainly designed for seasoned researchers, can reach up to CZK 50 million over five years. The EXPRO grant calls will now be launched in even-numbered years only.

In this year’s tender, out of the ten winning projects, three will be carried out at the Masaryk University in Brno, two each at institutes of the Czech Academy of Sciences, the Czech Technical University in Prague, and the Charles University. One grant has also been awarded to scientists from the Palacký University in Olomouc. Over CZK 450 million will be allocated to these projects.

EXPRO Projects to be Funded 2023 onwards

Reg. numberApplicantProject NameResearch OrganizationDiscipline Committee
23-04754XMgr. et Mgr. Dalibor Blažek, Ph.D.Identification and characterization of a new pathway regulating pre-mRNA splicingMasarykova univerzita, Středoevropský technologický institutEX4
23-04949Xdoc. RNDr. Pavel Valtr, Dr.Fundamental questions of discrete geometryUniverzita Karlova, Matematicko-fyzikální fakultaEX1
23-05692XMgr. Eva Šlesingerová, Ph.D.Robots, Computing the Human, and Autism/Cultural Imaginations of Autism Diagnosis and Emotion AIMasarykova univerzita, Fakulta sociálních studiíEX7
23-06479Xprof. RNDr. Julius Lukeš, CSc.What do the most abundant oceanic protistan proteins actually do?Biologické centrum AV ČR, v.v.i.EX5
23-07085XMgr. Jiří Dědeček, CSc., DSc.Splitting of molecular nitrogenÚstav fyzikální chemie J. Heyrovského AV ČR, v.v.i.EX3
23-07580XJan Vitek, PhdRigorous Engineering of Data Analysis Pipelines (RiGiD)České vysoké učení technické v Praze, Fakulta informačních technologiíEX8
23-07969XMgr, Karel Říha, Ph.D.Biomolecular condensates in plant germline differentiationMasarykova univerzita, Středoevropský technologický institutEX5
23-07973XDr. rer. nat. Torsten SattlerA Unified 3D Map RepresentationČeské vysoké učení technické v Praze, Český institut informatiky, robotiky a kybernetikyEX8
23-07984XJan Weinzettel, Ph.D.PATHWAYS TOWARDS ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITYUniverzita Karlova, Centrum pro otázky životního prostředíEX6
23-08019XProf.Dr. Patrik SchmukiSingle-Atom-based 2D-PhotocatalystsUniverzita Palackého v Olomouci, Český institut výzkumu a pokročilých technologiíEX2


The JUNIOR STAR grants are designed for excellent early-career scientists who completed their Ph.D. no more than 8 years ago, have already published in prestigious international journals, and have had significant international experience. The five-year projects with up to CZK 25 million in funding will give them the opportunity to become independent scientists and possibly to start their own research group to bring new research topics to the world of Czech science.

Starting next year, a total of 23 JUNIOR STAR projects will receive new funding, most of them at the Charles University (5 projects), the Czech Technical University in Prague (4 projects), the University of Chemistry and Technology in Prague (4 projects), and institutes of the Czech Academy of Sciences (3 projects). More than half a billion Czech crowns is earmarked for these projects over the next five years.

JUNIOR STAR Projects to be Funded 2023 onwards

Reg. numberApplicantProject NameResearch OrganizationDiscipline Committee
23-04740Mdoc. Mgr. Zbyněk Heger, Ph.D.Hybrid biocompatible nanocatalysts for extracellular bioorthogonal activation of prodrugsMendelova univerzita v Brně, Agronomická fakultaEX4
23-04869MDr. rer. nat. Benedikt BergmannParticle identification in high-energy physics experiments and space with advanced detection systemsČeské vysoké učení technické v Praze, Ústav technické a experimentální fyziky ČVUTEX1
23-04921MRNDr. Petr Šácha, Ph.D.Unravelling climate impacts of atmospheric internal gravity waves.Univerzita Karlova, Matematicko-fyzikální fakultaEX1
23-04962MRNDr. Vojtěch Vyklický, Ph.D.NMDA receptor conformational dynamics: from structure to function and pharmacologyFyziologický ústav AV ČR, v.v.i.EX4
23-05027MIng. Jakub Cikhardt, Ph.D.Strong electromagnetic pulses: their generation, characterization and controlČeské vysoké učení technické v Praze, Fakulta elektrotechnickáEX8
23-05107MDr. Erin Claire Carson, Ph.D.Inexact Matrix Computations for the Exascale EraUniverzita Karlova, Matematicko-fyzikální fakultaEX8
23-05119MIng. Andrea Konečná, Ph.D.Shaped beams for a new era of electron microscopy and spectroscopyVysoké učení technické v Brně, Fakulta strojního inženýrstvíEX2
23-05194Mdoc. Ing. Ondřej Jankovský, Ph.D.High-strength and water-resistant MOC composites with secondary fillers: contribution of 2D carbon-based nanomaterials and their combinationsVysoká škola chemicko-technologická v Praze, Fakulta chemické technologieEX8
23-05227Mdoc. PhDr. Zuzana Iršová Havránková, Ph.D.Spurious Precision in Meta-Analysis of Social Science Research (METASPUR)Univerzita Karlova, Fakulta sociálních vědEX6
23-05336MMgr. et Mgr. Pavla Perlíková, Ph.D.Development of actin polymerization inhibitors as potential migrastaticsVysoká škola chemicko-technologická v Praze, Fakulta chemické technologieEX3
23-05476MIng. Ctirad Červinka, Ph. D.Making ab initio modelling possible for disordered molecular semi-conductive materialsVysoká škola chemicko-technologická v Praze, Fakulta chemicko-inženýrskáEX3
23-06162MIng. Robert Pěnička, Ph.D.TOPFLIGHT: Trajectory and Mission Planning for Agile Flight of Aerial Robots in Cluttered EnvironmentsČeské vysoké učení technické v Praze, Fakulta elektrotechnickáEX8
23-06540MElías Fuentes GuillénNormalisation and Emergence: Rethinking the Dynamics of Mathematics The case of Prague in the First Half of the 19th CenturyFilosofický ústav AV ČR, v.v.i.EX7
23-06781MBruno de la Torre, Ph.D.Atomic-scale control and visualization of charge delocalization in light-harvesting molecular nanomodelsUniverzita Palackého v Olomouci, Český institut výzkumu a pokročilých technologiíEX2
23-06815MDr. Jan VolecExtremal and probabilistic combinatoricsČeské vysoké učení technické v Praze, Fakulta jaderná a fyzikálně inženýrskáEX1
23-06977MPeter FabianAnalysis of the craniofacial skeletal stem cell nicheMasarykova univerzita, Přírodovědecká fakultaEX5
23-07108MMgr. Ondřej Srba, Ph.D.Changing Adaptive Strategies of Mobile Pastoralists in Mongolia: Dynamics in Community Histories and Movement Patterns Documented Through Oral SourcesMasarykova univerzita, Filozofická fakultaEX7
23-07204MFilip KolářMechanisms driving convergent genome evolution in natural populationsUniverzita Karlova, Přírodovědecká fakultaEX5
23-07283MMgr. Aleš Kudrnáč, Ph.D.The dynamics of adolescents‘ attitudes toward outgroupsSociologický ústav AV ČR, v.v.i.EX6
23-07419MSven Hoeppner, M.Sc., LL.M., Ph.D.Human-Machine Transactions: Behavioral Micro-foundations and Legal ImplicationsUniverzita Karlova, Právnická fakultaEX6
23-07692MRNDr. Vojtěch Kubelka, Ph.D.Animal migrations in a changing world – Movements for reproduction to higher latitudes: still advantageous strategy or maladaptive behaviour? Jihočeská univerzita v Českých Budějovicích, Přírodovědecká fakultaEX5
23-08010MAleš BučekTrajectories of genome evolution in convergent organismsČeská zemědělská univerzita v Praze, Fakulta tropického zemědělstvíEX5
23-08083MIng. Martin Veselý, Ph.D.Synthesis and Property Tuning of Layered Low-Dimensional Materials Beyond Graphene – Utilization in Fundamental Research of Heterogeneous CatalystsVysoká škola chemicko-technologická v Praze, Fakulta chemické technologieEX3


The evaluation of EXPRO and JUNIOR STAR project proposals will be made available to proposers in GRIS in the coming days.