8 Jun 2023, 9:43

Newsletter for PhD students and Postdocs

Dear PhD students and Postdocs,

With the spring semester ending, we are beginning a period of exams, there may be a little stress, but also sunny days and rest. Before the end of the semester, please take some time to read the current Newsletter for PhD students and Postdocs, in which, among other things, you will find the latest information from the MUNI Mendel Program, a teaser for the upcoming PhD Day, student competitions, and information about the Fulbright Scholarship.

Finally, I wish you a wonderful summer full of unforgettable experiences!

Martin Toul: "MUNI Mendel Doctorandus is an opportunity to move and develop"

MUNI Mendel Doctorandus welcomes the new semester with new students and a brand-new logo

The first of the fabled first swallows to graduate from the MUNI Mendel Doctorandus (MMD) programme was a student of the Faculty of Science of Masaryk University, RNDr. Martin Toul, Ph.D.

Martin completed the program, fulfilled all the requirements and defended his dissertation in the European Doctorate mode. In addition to the diploma and the International Certificate, thanks to the support of the Dean of the Faculty of Science, Prof. Tomáš Kašparovský, he will also receive an incentive scholarship for successful MMD graduates.
“If PhD students want to move and develop during their studies, then this is definitely an excellent opportunity,“ he summarised his experience with MMD.

Full Article

Martin Toul with another MMD graduate Libor Šulc from RECETOX

Save the Date! - PhD Day 2023

We would like to inform you about an upcoming event, PhD Day, which will take place on October 6, 2023 (9:00 – 12:00) at the Library of the University Campus Bohunice.
Motto and focus of PhD Day 2023 will be PhD is just beginning – start your career!“

The Faculty of Science MU is organising PhD Day repeatedly, and this year, it will bring to the attendees new perspectives, guests and a lot of information.
Further information about the event will be emailed and posted on the PhD website sufficiently in advance.

Now note the date October 6, 2023, in your diaries. We look forward to seeing you!

The event will be held in English.

If you have any questions about the PhD studies, please send them to the following e-mail address: noskova@sci.muni.cz, current PhD students will be happy to answer them during the PhD Day.

Interdisciplinary Lectures under the Auspices of the Life Science Seminar

As the spring semester slowly comes to an end, we would like to look back and sum up the last semester as part of the Life Science Seminar Series.

The world-leading scientists have delivered ten lectures - four were held under the umbrella of the Mendel Lectures at the Mendel Museum, and six were held at the MUNI University Campus Bohunice under the auspices of the Life Science Seminar Series. Researchers from MUNI have hosted a diverse range of scientists from the field of biology, medicine, neuroscience, and botany, as well as cell biology, genetics and biochemistry.

So far, the most attended lecture was given by Dr Anne Laudisoit, the Belgium biologist and an expert on zoonotic diseases, whose talk attracted a large audience of closer to 300 listeners. Her lecture "Neglected Diseases in a Global World and the Unexpected Impact of Going Local", which described the challenges of field mapping of diseases in the global world, was undoubtedly very inspiring for many participants. We have learned how such field research is carried out and how difficult it is to find financial support for research of neglected diseases in neglected places such as the Democratic Republic of Kongo. Ann has also explained some of the hidden links between animal behaviour and the possible impact on their health and the health of the local human populations. If this topic interests you, we warmly recommend watching the film MBUDHA, which Anne Laudisoit produced to support her research on chimpanzees in the northeast corner of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

We are already preparing the programme for the autumn semester.
As a taster, we are happy to share with you that the following renowned speakers have already accepted our invitation:

We look forward to seeing you at the Life Science Seminar in the Autumn semester - be sure to register and follow the Life Science Seminar Series programme and our facebook.

Competition for PhD students

Science & SciLifeLab Prize for Young Scientists – celebrating excellent young researchers

To promote Early Stage Researchers in their careers, SciLifeLab and Science magazine/AAAS have joined forces in creating a global prize awarding the best PhD thesis work in life science. If you are interested in participating in this prestigious competition for early-stage scientists, you should submit an essay based on your thesis to the editorial board of Science. Four winners are selected each year. If your essay is the best, it will be published by Science magazine and receive up to USD 30,000! Each of the other category winners will receive USD 10,000. Furthermore, all four award winners are invited to Sweden for the prize ceremony, where they will receive their awards, present their research and meet with leading scientists in your field! The award banquet is held in the Hall of Mirrors at Grand Hôtel, the original venue of the Nobel Prize.

Take advantage of this great opportunity and submit your essay and the required materials by July 15, 2023. We wish you success in your endeavours!

Categories in which you can participate: Cell and Molecular Biology, Genomics, Proteomics and Systems Biology Approaches, Ecology and Environment, Molecular Medicine

More Info

Competition for PhD students

Brno PhD Talent 2023

Brno Ph.D. Talent is a competition for students of doctoral study programmes that offer long-term financial support and career development support to 25 talented postgraduate students in the form of a scholarship of CZK 110,000 per year for three years.

The competition is funded by the Brno City Council and administered by the South Moravian Centre for International Mobility. The scholarship will be awarded to the 25 best applicants who convince of the excellence of their achievements and the quality of their proposed research project.

Conditions for registration:

  • full-time student (indicate in the application form the date of admission to doctoral studies and enrolment)
  • commencement of the first or second semester of the first year of study in September 2023
  • be under 32 years of age at the time of registration

The Application structure:

The application consists of three parts: a professional CV of the applicant, a description of the research project and definition of the team, and a description of the professional background that will be used to tackle the project.

The application must be written in English and submitted in one PDF file. The maximum length of the application is 12 A4 pages of original text. For a more detailed description of the application form and the competition process, please refer to the Guide for Applicants. You can also take inspiration from successful projects from previous years.

Registration will be open during September 4 - 24, 2023.
To register, you must enter your details, create your own account, and upload your application electronically. (Registration system will be open on September 4, 2023)

All applications are assessed by two external assessors, with the applicants with the highest scores in the future to the final round of the selection process. The finalists will then present their projects to the expert panel in a final presentation in December 2023.
In addition to assessing the applicant's expertise and the project proposal in a broader context, the panel members will also evaluate presentation skills, ability to explain the project’s benefits and defend the project proposal, personal motivation, reaction time, assertiveness, etc. After listening to all presentations and discussing with the finalists,
the committee will propose the final ranking.

More Info Poster

Scholarship for PhD students and Postdocs

Fulbright Scholarship 2024/2025

The prestigious Fulbright scholarship programmes funded by the Czech and US governments provide opportunities for Czech citizens to study, conduct research or teach in the USA.

  • The Fulbright Postdoctoral Fellowship is for study or research at the PhD level in the United States for all disciplines. You can apply for either the full program or a research fellowship of 4-9 months. There are now two deadlines for research fellowships (September 1 and February 1), and you must arrange an appropriate invitation letter from the US. Minimum completion of undergraduate studies at the time of the deadline and good English proficiency are prerequisites. Details are at https://www.fulbright.cz/stipendia/stipendium-pro-postgradualni-studium/
  • Fulbright Scholarship for researchers and lecturers from the Czech Republic in all disciplines. Prerequisites are a PhD degree, previous successful research and/or teaching activity, good command of English, a quality research project and an invitation from the USA. The regular application deadline for the following academic year is November 1, 2023. The fellowship is awarded for three to ten months, depending on the applicant’s needs. Details are at: https://www.fulbright.cz/stipendia/stipendium-pro-vedce-a-prednasejici/

The deadline for application: September 1, 2023 (Postdoctoral fellowship)
                                               November 1, 2023
(Researchers and lecturers scholarship)

So, you have plenty of time to work on your application and try to succeed. It could be the best year of your life!

* One of the main criteria for obtaining a scholarship is Czech citizenship and permanent residence in the Czech Republic.

More Info

Summer Meetup (not only) for Expats

Czexpats in Science invite you to a networking event for researchers and everybody interested in science. Come meet scientists from different backgrounds to share research and personal experiences with settling in and taking root as a researcher. Open to all nationalities, disciplines and career phases.

Settling in by Matthew Rampley (Faculty of Arts, MU)

When: August 31, 2023, (13:00)
Where: Ceitec MU / Online (Registration needed!)

More Info

MUNI PhD Academia Activities for Early-stage Researchers

Workshop for PhD Students and Postdocs

Participants will learn and practice some vital principles of communicating science in this interactive workshop.
We will start by exploring some fascinating modes and genres (beyond merely academic papers and PowerPoint slides) which scientists use to excite and engage audiences with their research. We'll introduce some effective storytelling techniques, such as how to use analogies and metaphors and how to structure your presentations and texts in more welcoming ways. And we'll show you some simple techniques of language and formatting that will help you tailor your message to your audience's interest and level of understanding. The workshop will be highly experiential, with participants engaging in hands-on activities, individually and in groups.

Lecturers: Joseph Lennon and Markéta Dudová
When: June 16, 2023, (10:00 – 13:00)
Where: Komenského nám. 2 (CJV, room 213) / Only in person
Registration needed: https://is.muni.cz/auth/el/cus/ekurzy/KPOPHD/index.qwarp


Summer School 2023

The Summer School for PhD Students aimed at acquiring soft skills needed to prepare, organise and implement teaching activities.

The event will be held in English, but you can attend most of the workshops in Czech as well. Most of the costs associated with the Summer School are covered by the MU Rector's Office (bus, accommodation at the University Centre in Telč, breakfast /lunch and workshops).


More information can be found here: https://portal.muni.cz/en/research/doctoral-studies/muni-phd-academia/summer-school

Registration: Czech workshops: https://forms.office.com/e/rfU4fgK7ET

                       English workshops: https://forms.office.com/e/3iHMX7D1eq


If you have any questions, don't hesitate to get in touch by e-mail: jaskova@rect.muni.cz or vicianova@rect.muni.cz.



The New Medical Practice for (Foreign) Students of the Faculty of Science

The new medical practice for students is now open at the Bohunice University Campus, which provides emergency medical services (i.e. outpatient care in cases of a sudden change in health or worsening of the course of a disease).

Please note that in some cases depending on the insurance, it will be necessary to pay in CASH for the examination - students will receive a receipt, and they can then claim the amount from their health insurance company.

Doctor: MUDr. Kateřina Kolářová, (tel.: 549 24 5005)
When: Monday 13:00 -15:00 and Thursday 11:00 - 14:00
Where: 3. floor/building B22, room 302.

More Info

Interesting Reading from the Faculty of Science / MU:

The PRIDE Network Conference through the Eyes of MMD Student Kamil Sobek: Challenges on the PhD Path

Text/Photo: by Kamil Sobek

In academic pursuits, the doctoral journey is a pinnacle of scholarly achievements for young scientists. It is a demanding path that includes relentless dedication and unwavering commitment. However, the research conduct and integrity challenges could overshadow this scholarly voyage. The foundation of the PhD journey revolves around adherence to ethical and moral standards in research that encompasses the ethical principles that guide us in our quest for knowledge, demanding honesty, transparency, and accountability. Upholding these fundamental values, unfortunately, faces many challenges due to the complexity of research and the demands placed on doctoral students.

I want to share with you my experience from the conference, which was intensively devoted to this problem and which I was able to attend, thanks to MMD. The meeting was divided into several sections, each devoted to a specific issue, which I will discuss below.

We can all agree that one of the main challenges in our PhD journey is the pressure to publish and produce ground-breaking results. In the competitive academic environment, the demand for novel findings can fuel a culture of "publish or perish," pushing researchers to prioritise quantity over quality. The relentless pursuit of publications may lead our supervisors or us to compromise the integrity of our work by engaging in dubious research methods like data manipulation or selective reporting. So, if you want your manuscript in Nature at all costs, isn't it better to submit it to the forest? :o)

And here we come to another problem, which is that we should start prioritising our well-being. A crucial but frequently disregarded aspect of the academic landscape is mental health in research. Long hours, intense pressure, and high expectations contribute to research's demanding nature. The constant drive and the inherent uncertainties and setbacks in the research process can contribute to stress, anxiety, and even burnout.
The need for the research community to prioritise mental health by creating encouraging environments, encouraging work-life balance, and providing mental health resources cannot be overstated. My advice is that more research is needed to save your health!

The area of collaboration and intellectual property presents another challenge. PhD students frequently collaborate with senior researchers or work in research teams. While collaboration can improve research results, it can also muddy the lines between authorship and attribution. Conflicts could emerge from problems with credit sharing and intellectual property ownership. Combined with the rapidly evolving artificial intelligence, we face challenging times. Developing digital tools and platforms creates new research opportunities and novel ethical conundrums. Responsible use of emerging technologies demands increased vigilance and ethical scrutiny from us and must be used cautiously. Universities and academic institutions must provide comprehensive training and mentorship programs emphasising research ethics, integrity, and responsible conduct; thanks to Masaryk University being part of the PRIDE Network, we, fortunately, provide such mentorship and training, which I 100% recommend visiting!

However, the blame cannot be placed on either side; we are all part of the problem. You and I are often afraid to talk about these things out loud and address them, thinking we can damage our reputation and the research team. Supervisors and mentors should understand that they are crucial in providing direction and serving as role models for ethical behaviour. They can create the conditions for research conduct throughout the doctoral journey by fostering an inclusive and supportive environment and outlining transparent and fair rules. Encouraging ethical research practices should also be a top priority for academic journals and publishers. They can help maintain the integrity of scholarly work by implementing effective peer-review procedures, fair publication standards, and transparent reviews. What I took away as a highly positive outcome is that a large group of experts at the international level are interested in improving the quality of doctoral and postgraduate studies, and trust me, they care about us.

The PhD journey is a challenging but transformative experience shaping tomorrow's leaders and scholars, and you should be proud to be part of this community. Be proactive! Take advantage of Masaryk University’s courses, and don't be afraid to speak up if you're down and struggling.

A little tip from me at the end, I also recommend becoming a member of MMD, where you can gain experience and skills that are a huge competitive advantage in the labour market after you finish your studies.


 Sites we recommend to follow:

Develop Your Skills  Externí odkaz

MUNI Mendel Doctorandus  Externí odkaz


Life Science Seminar  Externí odkaz

Competitions for Students  Externí odkaz

All issues of Newsletters for PhD students and Postdocs

Distributed by: Office for Doctoral Studies, Quality, Academic Affairs and Internationalization


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Masaryk University

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