29 Jan 2024, 14:50

Newsletter for PhD students and Postdocs

Dear PhD students and Postdocs,

The Christmas holidays passed already; with them, the year 2023 ended, and you are probably fully immersed in work and study again!

Our newsletter for early career researchers will guide you into the new year, giving tips on interesting training events, competitions and events to develop your skills. May these tips help you!

We wish you success in everything you work on this year!

Save the Date

Representative Ball of the MU Faculty of Science – A rich programme prepared with students of the Faculty of Science.
March 2, 2024 (19:30), Semilasso, Palackého třída 126, Brno / Web

Dva dny s didaktikou matematiky - Conference focusing on the presentation of teachers' personal experiences with teaching mathematics and results of work in various areas of mathematics didactics. February 15-16, 2024, Held in Czech / Web

Interdisciplinary Meeting of Young Life Scientists 2024 - Interdisciplinary Meeting of Young Researchers and Students from chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology, and biomaterial-related fields. May 20-23, 2024, Milovy. Registration deadline January 31, 2024. Held in English / Web

EMBO | EMBL Symposium - Diversity of Plants: From Genomes to Metabolism         April 9-12, 2024. Virtual registration deadline April 2, 2024. Held in English / Web

Announcement of the Office for Doctoral Studies, Quality, Academic Affairs and Internationalisation

The autumn semester is over, so we would like to remind you of some of your duties for the next one:

1) Apply to be enrolled in the Spring 2024 here by February 18, 2024.

2) From February 1, 2024, at 17:00, enrolment for courses for the Spring 2024 is open until February 18, 2024. Remember to add the number of credits for "XDxxx" courses if applicable - as recommended by your supervisor/trainer following the study plan for your programme.

3) Fill out the Spring 2024 Term content by February 20, 2024 (Instructions on page 4). After completing this agenda, please send it to your supervisor. (save and notify supervisor button)

4) Check your grades for all Autumn 2023 courses you enrolled in.

If you have any problems or questions, don't hesitate to contact your study assistant (see our contacts here). We will be happy to help you!

Erasmus+ Stays in 2024

If you plan to travel to European countries in the Spring or Autumn semester of 2024, consider applying for Erasmus+. As you probably know, there are more Erasmus+ options that you can apply for. But what are the differences? See it below!

Erasmus+ study stays (Erasmus+ SMS)

  • one semester
  • lower scholarship (540/660 EUR)
  • you take the theoretical courses
  • only at institutions where we have a valid Erasmus+ contract
  • used mainly by Bachelor’s and Master’s students
  • possible combination with faculty A.6 scholarship
  • Faculty info

    Next round for stays in 2024/25: February 2024! 

Erasmus+ traineeships (Erasmus+ SMP)

  • minimum 60 days / Maximum 4 months
  • scholarship 630/750 EUR/month
  • any institution in project countries (university, private company, institute…)
  • you need to contact the institution in advance
  • possible combination with faculty A.6 scholarship

    Deadlines: January 31, April 30, July 31, October 31

Erasmus+ PhD short-term stays

  • 5-30 days
  • scholarships per day (5-14 days = 79EUR; from day 15 = 56EUR)
  • only 20 places for MU
  • internship = possible at any institution in project countries (university, private company, institute…)
  • you need to contact the institution in advance

    Next round for stays in 2024/25: April 2024

!Please note that Erasmus+ DOES NOT SUPPORT RESEARCH! Please do NOT include your own research or research activities (data collection, working on your own project, publication/manuscript, etc.) in your cover letters and applications. You can, of course, use different words to describe your activities (e.g. learning new methods of data collection...)
Contact person – Kristýna Bajgarová, bajgarova@sci.muni.cz + your Dep. coordinator. Please let us know if you have any questions about going abroad or book a consultation here.

MUNI Mendel Doctorandus - Open Call:

The autumn semester is almost over. For those interested in applying to become a MUNI Mendel Doctorandus student, this means one thing - an open call for applications for the spring semester! Thanks to this opportunity, doctoral students in the 1st-3rd year of their doctoral studies join the MMD talented doctoral students club! It currently brings together over 60 members who have attended interdisciplinary professional lectures, developed new soft skills, completed internships abroad, or networked with other scientific leaders. In addition, admitted students get an opportunity to obtain a European Doctorate, which can be very helpful in building their scientific careers, especially abroad.

If you are interested in joining the MMD programme, please upload your application by February 9, 2024, using the form on the MMD website.

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me directly noskova@sci.muni.cz. I look forward to your MMD application!

Interdisciplinary Trainings

The Life Science Seminar - Right Choice for the Spring Semester!

Are you considering what interdisciplinary course you could enrol in for the Spring semester? Try the Life Science Seminar Series! The seminar will provide lectures from the world's leading scientists on various life science topics. The seminar consists of the Life Science Seminar lectures on the Bohunice University Campus and the Mendel Lectures held in the refectory of Mendel's Museum. In the Spring semester, the series
will include 12 lectures, and students can also meet each of the speakers in person at a sponsored lunch to discuss an area of their common interest. Seminars are always
held at 16:00, pavilion B11/132. Mendel Lectures start at 17:00. All lectures are held in English.  More Info.

Let EMBO Workshops and Conferences Accompany you throughout the Whole Year 2024!

Thanks to the Czech Republic's membership in EMBL, Czech researchers have the chance to participate in achieving excellent results in the fields of natural sciences at EMBL sites, using unique technologies, instrumentation and services, including bioinformatics and training new generations of top scientists using programmes and study stays with an emphasis on interdisciplinarity and multidisciplinarity. Take advantage of the opportunity to attend ENBO events throughout the year. In addition, these events are often Online, making time and cost more affordable. Download the schedule of events for 2024!

Competitions for PhD Students / Postdocs

The Compostela Group of Universities Research Pitches Contest

The Compostela group of universities, of which Masryk University is a proud partner, announces the CGU research project competition for Early-stage researchers.
The main objective of this competition is to highlight the research carried out by CGU member universities and to support the dissemination of the research teams' results. Participants are challenged to present their research in a short video presentation, convincing the jury of its need and benefits to society in an understandable way to the broader public. Participation is open to postdocs and PhD students.

The deadline for submissions is February 29, 2024. A jury will then evaluate the projects, and the official presentation of the awarded projects will take place during the CGU Annual General Meeting in April and June.

Detailed information about the competition can be found here.

The Alfred Bader Prize

The Czech Chemical Society announces the annual Alfred Bader Prize for Organic Chemistry. The prizes are awarded to candidates of Czech nationality up to the age of 35 years, who do not have their primary employment abroad. (a postdoctoral fellowship is not considered such an employment relationship) The winner receives a financial award of 5,400 USD. The usual content of the submissions is organic synthesis, but submissions may also include mechanism studies. On the other hand, the prize does not cover work in the analytical field (including structural analysis), physical data measurements (including measurements of various equilibria and energy quantities), substitution effect studies, or computational chemistry.
Candidates for the Prize usually apply themselves at the Secretariat of the Czech Chemical Society (Novotného lávka 5, Prague), but colleagues, institutions, scientific councils and senates may also submit a proposal.

The deadline for submission with the recommendation of the Rector of Masaryk University is February 28, 2024. Nominations should be sent to Mrs Procházková.
The deadline for applications is March 31, 2024.

More Info in Czech or in English

The Balzan Prizes

The General Prize Committee chooses the Balzan Prizes in two general subject areas: literature, moral sciences, and the arts, and the physical, mathematical, and natural sciences and medicine. The subject areas in which the awards are granted are rotated, and this special characteristic of the Balzan Prize ensures the promotion and recognition of new or emerging fields of study or research that other international awards may have overlooked. Each of the four Balzan Prizes is around 750 000 CHF (approx. 18 mil. CZK). Prize winners must destine half of the prize to finance research projects that young scholars or scientists preferably carry out. The deadline for submission with the recommendation of the Rector of Masaryk University is February 15, 2024. Nominations should be sent to Mrs Procházková. The deadline for submission of applications is March 15, 2024.

Four Balzan Prizes, two in each category, are awarded to scientists, artists, and researchers who have excelled internationally in their field. The General Prize Committee announced that the 2024 Balzan Prizes will be awarded in the following fields:

  • Restorative Justice
  • History of Modern and Contemporary Science
  • Biological Mechanisms of Ageing
  • Nanoporous Materials for Environmental Applications

“Ma Thèse en 180 Secondes”

The contest “Ma thèse en 180 secondes” allows French speaking doctoral students to talk about their research work to a non-specialist audience by learning how to explain a complex subject in simple terms. The contest is open to any French speaking PhD students enroled in a Czech university.
All candidates have to present their thesis in French, using one slide and try to convince the jury and the public. The best candidates of the Czech selection will be able to take part in the Central Europe finale, which will take place in Budapest on June 6, 2024. Web

The registration is open until February 19, 2024.


Introducing the 34th Annual Meeting of SETAC Europe: ¡Bienvenidos a Sevilla!

Registration opens in February 2024 for the next edition of the 34th International Conference on Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry - this time inviting you to meet in Seville, Spain. The theme of this year's meeting is "Science-based solutions in times of crisis: integrating science and policy on environmental challenges". The conference aims to highlight the demand for new science-based solutions to the many challenges that lie ahead. How can we ensure environmental quality and long-term sustainable solutions in our post-pandemic world where food production, cost of living and armed conflict are escalating? Leading experts will attempt to answer this and more questions on May 5-9, 2024. (The deadline for early registration is March 14, 2024. Web

*A regular SETAC member with a recent graduate or active senior status can register for the 34th Annual Meeting of SETAC Europe with a discounted registration fee instead of the regular one.

Held in English

When: May 5-9, 2024
Where: Seville, Spain

European Congress of Applied Chemistry (ECAC24)

At ECAC24, scientists from industry, universities, and research institutions from Europe and beyond will meet in Prague to discuss the latest research and industrial applications in all fields of chemistry, process engineering, biotechnology and related fields. The conference unites chemical and process engineers, biotechnologists, bioprocess experts, chemists, material scientists and related disciplines focusing on applied research and development. Web

Held in English

When: May 20-21, 2024
Where: Prague, Czech Republic

International Conference on Advance Physics and Mathematics

During this two-day virtual conference, we will have the opportunity to see some of the biggest names in the world of technology and engineering uniting together on the same platform for one goal - accelerating technological development through improved learning, research propagation, skill development and networking. Enjoy the world conference from the comfort of your own home. The article submission is already open! Web

Online / Held in English

When: March 15–16, 2024

Are our PhD Candidates Ready for AI?

We are sharing with you an offer for an Online Webinar (not only) for PhD students from the diverse offer of Pride Network.
Prof. OGUZ ACAR (King's College London, Research Affiliate at Harvard University), who is one of the main speakers of the Webinar, will shed light on the skills needed to make our PhD candidates ready for AI and ultimately ensure that they use generative AI tools effectively and ethically. Webinar is free.

Online / Held in English

When: February 9, 2024, (15-16)

More Info / Registration

Interesting reading for Early-stage Researchers

A new Amendment to the Higher Education Act is Currently Under Discussion. What Does this Amendment Contain? (An Interview with Jaroslav Miller)

Text: Vědavýzkum.cz (JT)

A new amendment to Act No. 111/1998 Coll. on Higher Education Institutions is currently under discussion. What are the most essential changes in the upcoming Higher Education Act amendment?

After all, the amendment is relatively comprehensive, so it introduces many new provisions that change the existing rules of the game. The backbone of the law is a relatively radical reform of doctoral studies by Czech standards, bringing a substantial increase in the minimum financial evaluation of postgraduate students, a retreat from the current practice of capitation payments, a change in the state doctoral examination or the possibility of submitting application outcomes instead of the traditional dissertation.

"More money for PhD students and fewer unfinished PhDs."

You mentioned a significant reform of doctoral studies. Have the previously announced proposals, including linking the doctoral stipend to 1.2 times the minimum wage, been implemented in the amendment?

Yes, we did, although it was not an easy negotiation. Although I consider myself a man of consensus, I have been a bit of a doorstop. In fact, the original proposal for the stipend was slightly lower. In my many years abroad and as a member of the ERC panel, I have had a fairly good overview of the financial situation of PhD students in European countries and in the USA. And this comparison does not look good for us at all. The Czech Republic needs to dramatically increase PhD scholarships so that we can attract motivated young scientists and maintain at least a modest brain gain. I would point out that the stipend should not end at the guaranteed 1.2 times the minimum wage, but universities should also mobilise their own financial and project resources.

Given that our country has invested heavily in research infrastructure and has the ambition to profile itself as a Central European research hub, harnessing the scientific potential of young people is absolutely crucial for our future. Some universities and partners in the debate felt that the proposed threshold was too high, but in the end, the majority accepted the arguments mentioned above, and I would like to thank them for that. The link to the minimum wage is also crucial because, in the past, the stipend level has stagnated for many years, making the situation for PhD students objectively worse. In the end, the whole situation is simple: in the global tug-of-war for brains, we have to choose between average quantity, which is the current situation (a high number of PhD students, about 60 per cent of whom do not complete their PhD studies), and above-average quality (fewer PhD students, but much more motivated), I clearly choose option number two.

Full Article (Czech)


 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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