30 Oct 2023, 13:13

Newsletter for PhD students and Postdocs

Dear PhD students and Postdocs,

we bring you a new batch of information not only from the field of doctoral studies at the Faculty of Science, but also from the events at Masaryk University.
You can read about this year's summer school, what new things PhD Day brought to the students, and what is ahead of us for this semester.

Have a nice reading!

PhD Day 2023: PhD is Just Beginning – Start Your Career!

Traditionally, PhD Day was held at the beginning of the autumn semester, this year, under the theme "PhD is just beginning - start your career!" Under this slogan, leaders of MU, representatives of the MU Rector´s Office, faculties and CEITEC Institute, as well as current PhD students shared their experiences and interesting tips with younger students and future PhD applicants.

The programme attended by about 40 participants was launched by a presentation of the Department for Doctoral Studies of the MU Rector´s Office, with its "basic information package" for students from the first year of PhD studies. Attention was also focused on the wide range of opportunities students can take advantage of during their PhD studies. For example, the mentoring programme, TaC (Thesis Advisory Committee), or the mobility programmes that students are often very interested in were also mentioned several times.

"We believe that PhD Day provided our students (not only from master's degree programmes) with valuable information about the opportunities, benefits and conditions associated with doctoral studies, and outlined not only an overview of the options they can take advantage of during their studies, but also further career opportunities after the completion of their studies," said Vice-Dean for Doctoral Studies prof. Luděk Bláha.

The programme also included a section for questions from new or prospective PhD students. Applicants for PhD studies and those who were hesitant to apply could ask their more experienced colleagues (PhD students) questions about PhD studies, their conditions and further application in practice. The students were most interested in knowing whether the PhD studies have met young scientists' expectations or their recommendations regarding studies and placements abroad.

On the occasion of the PhD Day, an additional call for applications to the MUNI Mendel Doctorandus Programme was open. The Programme, officially launched at the last year's PhD Day, brings together 60 students. The Programme supports talented students actively preparing for future careers through trainings in interdisciplinary and transferable skills. A final coffee break was a pleasant end to the PhD Day and provided a space for participants to network or ask further questions.

More information about PhD studies is available on the website.

RMU Presentation Brno PhD Talent Mobilities MMD Intro

Let Us Know Your Feedback

As we would like to know your feedback on PhD Day 2023 and your overall satisfaction with doctoral studies at SCI MUNI, we would be glad if you could take a few minutes to fill in the questionnaire survey. Your answers will help us improve doctoral studies and the services provided by our faculty.

Thank you for your time and response!

Questionnaire Survey

Psychological Counselling Helps Not Only Employees But Also Students

Negative feelings, stress, feelings of exhaustion, difficulties with concentration or relationship difficulties are some of the issues that both students and employees can face. This was evident from last years´s questionnaire survey for PhD students, where student responses clearly indicated the need of care for mental help.

The counselling service for students and staff has been implemented thanks to a centralised MUNI counselling development project. Barbora Šolcová, Director of the Department for Personnel Management, says: "Masaryk University strives to provide its employees and students with excellent working conditions and motivational background for realising and developing their careers. This is also related to a strong emphasis on work-life balance," said Barbora Šolcová.

MU students and employees can use psychological counselling, but it is always necessary to make an appointment for a consultation in advance using the booking system. It is possible to use an online session or a personal visit with one of the psychologists and therapists from the MUNI Counselling Centre.

Employees with at least half-time employment can benefit from up to 3 free consultations. The number of free consultations available to students may vary throughout the year.

Consultations are available in the following languages: Czech, English, Ukrainian.

Reservations - Students Reservations - Employees More Info

The 7th Year of the Summer School for PhD Students

Text: Natálie Terčová, Jana Blahošová, Linda Nosková / Photo: Irina Matusevič

A total of 28 doctoral students from Masaryk University spent a week at the University Centre in the heart of historic Telč.
At the Summer school for PhD students, organised by the RMU Research Department, students developed their soft skills in teaching, communication and presentation skills. Moreover, for the second time now, the programme was held in Czech and English. The educational programme included, besides other activities, communication training workshop on developing pedagogical communication and effective lesson planning. During these sessions, students focused on planning a lesson to meet a specific pedagogical goal and, if needed, what tools can be used to achieve this goal. Participants also learned how to provide valuable feedback. But to do this effectively, they need to look after their mental health first and foremost - that's what the workshop on doctoral student well-being was designed to do, which was supported by a lively discussion. And what impressions do students take from summer school?

"The teaching tips were the most beneficial thing about the Summer school. I learnt how to set up the lessons properly to fit a specific goal and not be dull and monotonous. The section on well-being for PhD students was also perfect. For example, we learned to identify and become aware of moments in our work when positive and motivating stress becomes a distress, which was very beneficial." (Jana)

The Summer school is primarily designed for students after their 1st or 2nd year of PhD studies, but upper-level students can attend if available.

Don't hesitate to sign up next year – it's worth it!


Competition for PhD Students / Postdocs / Supervisors

The Werner von Siemens Prize 2023

Are you finishing your dissertation? Don't keep it only to yourselves and apply for the Werner von Siemens challenge and get CZK 70,000 for it!

The aim of the competition is to reward the authors of the best student and scientific papers and university teachers focusing on natural sciences and thus contribute to the development of Czech higher education, science and research.

Categories announced:

  1. Most Outstanding Basic Research Result
  2. Best teaching staff member
  3. Best thesis (first three places + thesis supervisor)
  4. Best dissertation (first three places + supervisor)
  5. Award for overcoming obstacles to study (the candidate is nominated by academic staff from among the university's undergraduate, master's and doctoral students)
  6. Special award for excellence in women's scientific work
  7. Best graduate thesis (master's/dissertation) dealing with Industry 4.0 concepts
  8. Best graduate thesis (master's/dissertation) dealing with smart infrastructure and energy

Nominations are also open to the general public this year – candidates and their work can be nominated via the website www.cenasiemens.cz. If the nominated candidate wins, the nominator will receive a bonus of CZK 10,000!

Application deadline: November 30, 2023
Announcement of winners: January 31, 2024

More Info + Apply


Join the Discussion (Not Only) about Doctoral Studies

HR Award Office of the Faculty of Arts, together with the Student Chamber of the Academic Senate of the Faculty of Arts (MU), cordially invite you to the discussion about changes in science and research, interdisciplinarity and doctoral studies on the topic "Continuities and Discontinuities in Science and Doctoral Studies." Three consecutive Vice-Rectors of MU have accepted the invitation to the debate with PhD students, prof. Šárka Pospíšilová, prof. Petr Dvořák, prof. Jana Musilová, who will discuss with us the role of scientific knowledge, the structure and organisational framework of doctoral studies.

The discussion will be held in Czech

When: November 22, 2023 (17:00)
Where: Faculty of Arts MU, Arne Nováka 1, Building C, 2nd floor (meeting room)

Save the date

The events will be held in English

Scholarship for PhD students and Postdocs

One-Year and Short Terms Grants by DAAD

  • One-Year Grants for Doctoral by DAAD

The DAAD Grant Programme for PhD students provides funding for a research project or further academic training at a state or state-recognised university in Germany for a maximum of 7 to 12 months. For the duration of the grant, you are entitled to a bonus of €1,300 for doctoral candidates. An independent expert committee will assess your application according to three criteria: Professional qualifications, Quality of the research project, and Potential of the applicant. The programme is suitable for PhD students, who want to improve their language skills, join an international research team, and, finally, experience a different culture.
Application deadline: November 15, 2023

  • Short-Term Grants

The primary goal of this programme is to support research projects within the context of doctoral programmes. The scholarship enables doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows to undertake a short-term stay at a German university or research institute as part of their research activities in the Czech Republic.
The duration of the scholarship can be from 1 to 6 months. Applications are collected twice a year with deadlines of November 15, 2023 and April 30, 2024. Depending on academic level, monthly payments of euros €1,300 for doctoral candidates and €934 for postdocs if you are not yet taking a doctoral degree.

Beyond the scholarships mentioned above, the DAAD offers a wide range of opportunities to study in Germany. Find the right option to suit you!

New Erasmus+ Opportunity for PhD Students

Erasmus+ has just launched a new opportunity for PhD students: Short-Term stays.
These are stays of 5-30 days in the form of an INTERNSHIP at any institution of your choice in Erasmus+ Member States. This is another option that can help fund your stay abroad. The current call is the first „trial“ round and is open for stays in the spring semester 2024. The earliest start date is January 15, 2024!

Application deadline: November 15, 2023
Where: online in ISOIS system

Evaluation of the applications: December 1, 2023
Mandatory attachment: Motivation letter in Czech, Slovak or English, maximum length 1A4. In particular, justify your choice of institution, the programme of the internship and the academic and professional benefit. A part of the online application form is also the Learning Agreement for Traineeship. Please do not use research as the reason for your internship. Neither do not mention  research activities such as collecting data, collaborating on a publication, working on your own research project, etc. If you are splitting your stay abroad into smaller parts and therefore applying for a shorter stay, please also indicate this in your cover letter.

Contact person: Kristýna Bajgarová, bajgarova@sci.muni.cz
More Info: Erasmus+


The KRECon Conference 2023

Are you struggling with questions about "What is the role of assessment of research and researchers? What is wrong with current systems and practices?"Then you should definitely not miss the next edition of KRECon!

The aim of this year's conference is to foster dialogue and exchange ideas on the future of research(er) assessment. Three sessions and panel discussion will be dedicated to the following topics:

  • Session 1: Reforming Research Assessment
  • Session 2: Researcher Career Assessment
  • Session 3: Research Grant Assessment
  • Panel Discussion: The Future of Research(er) Assessment

The conference will be held in English and will be free of charge.

Where: The National Library of Technology (NTK), Prague
When: November 9 - 10, 2023

More Info

BELONG Conference

WellTogether: Belonging and Inclusion Conference in Brno

A practice-oriented conference that aims to share good practice and experience in the field of inclusivity and well-being across different levels of education, drawing inspiration from the commercial sector, which is further ahead than educational organisations on these issues. The conference is suitable for university teachers, education students, stakeholders and also for actors of change in education.

The conference will be held in CZ/EN and will be free of charge.

When: November 30, 2023 - December 1, 2023
Where: Masaryk University, Poříčí 31, Brno (Faculty of Education)
Deadline for registration: November 27, 2023.

Registration is required separately for the first day of the conference and each workshop.

More Info + Registration

MUNI PhD Academia Career Days 2023

The MUNI PhD Career Days offer examples of career paths and possible jobs for doctoral graduates: a career in academia or a research institution, running your own business, or going abroad as a postdoctoral fellow? The aim of this event is to provide an overview of a wide range of career possibilities for young researchers.

*If you are interested in a career in the private sector, we strongly encourage you to attend the Job Challenge event on November 1, 2023.

Held in English

When: November 22-24, 2023
Where: Otevřená zahrada Brno (opening), Komenského nám. 2 (workshops)

More Info

Soft Skills Training

Master Brain for PhD Students

Maybe even you can't use the total capacity of your brain! At the Master Brain workshop, you will understand how our memory works; you will improve your concentration and also how to strengthen your memory with exercises and other techniques.

The workshop is exclusively for PhD students and will be held in English.


For employees (including postdocs), the same workshop is available only online within the EDUC project. Other courses of this project dedicated to developing soft skills for the 21st century can be found on the web.

When: December 6, 2023 (9:00 - 12:00)
Where: CERPEK training room (328), Komenského náměstí 2, Brno.


Interesting Reading from the Faculty of Science

A Young Microbiologist from Masaryk University Impressed NATO Experts

Text: Leoš Verner / Photo: Mariya Ostrenko

NATO Science and Technology Board (NATO STB) awarded the prestigious Early Career Scientist Event 2023 Award for best presentation to Barbora Hrnčířová, a student of the doctoral study program at the Faculty of Science, Institute of Experimental Biology, Department of Microbiology.

Barbora’s research on the decomposition of waste plant biomass and its potential has attracted the attention of NATO and partner nations. NATO recently recognized the biotechnologies as the technologies of the future. Barbora well prepared her poster and explained clearly and fluently in content her research in time-restricted limit. Barbora was selected as one of four from nationwide selection of candidatesand NATO Science and Technology Organisation invited only thirteen nominees from 31 NATO nations. NATO Early Career Scientist Event (ECSE) took place on September 19–21, 2023, in Espoo, Finland, as part of the autumn NATO Science and Technology Board Meeting.

In her presentation, she showed the audience how genetic engineering and synthetic biology approaches can be applied


to modify selected natural bacteria to break down this resistant material into simple sugars. These bacteria can then be used to produce substances with added value, such as biodegradable plastics, biofuels or pharmaceutical compounds, which today are commonly produced from oil. "I am thrilled with the award for the best presentation. It proves that microbial bioengineering is a field with huge potential, in which very important organisations are interested," said Barbora Hrnčířová, who is also a member of the MUNI Mendel Doctorandus programme, when describing the possible benefits of her research.

Full Article

Peter Fabian’s Project Wins a Prestigious ERC Starting Grant

Text: Leoš Verner / Photo: Markéta Křížová

Biologist Peter Fabian from Masaryk University’s Faculty of Science has received a prestigious award, being the first young scientist of this faculty to receive the highly valued ERC Starting grant. The grant is awarded by the European Research Council (ERC) with the aim to support the best young scientists start new ambitious research projects.

“We are very happy that we managed to attract Dr. Fabian and his ambitious research to MU’s Faculty of Science. For us, obtaining such a prestigious project is proof that our personnel and infrastructure policy, and our subsequent focus on project support, is the right path. I believe that Peter Fabian’s project will generate many local synergies and further increase the attractiveness of our institute and faculty for talented young researchers,” said Vítězslav Bryja, Director of the Institute of Experimental Biology at Masaryk University’s (MU) Faculty of Science.

Full Article


 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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