4 Mar 2024, 10:16

Newsletter for PhD students and Postdocs

Dear PhD students and Postdocs,

We want to share tips on interesting events, educative courses, competitions, and also news related to doctoral studies. Do not hesitate any longer and read the current Newsletter for Early-stage Researchers.

Save the Date

Blood donation 105 - Celebrate the 105th anniversary of the Masaryk University: Become a blood donor! The campaign runs from February to the end of May 2024. Web

V4+ Conference on Environment and Health in Central and Eastern Europe - International conference. Campus Library Bohunice, pavilion B09, Kamenice 5, Brno. March 11, 2024. Web

Life After PhD With Cosimo Lobello - The session with MU alumnus about his career pathways. March 14, 2024 (15:00 on ZOOM). Held in English/ online. Web

Life Science Seminar - Interdisciplinary lecture "On the Machines that Make and Repair our Chromosomes" by Dr. Dana Branzei. March 14, 2024. Held in English. Web

Pride Conference - Conference in Education "How will AI impact Doctoral Education? The Future is a BOT" April 3-4, 2024 (Zurich, Switzerland). Held in English. Web

A.6 Faculty Scholarship for Doctoral Students

Erasmus+ Short-term PhD Mobilities

Erasmus+ Short-term PhD mobilities not only enhance academic growth but also foster international connections. With durations ranging from 5 to 30 days, this programme allows you to tailor your stay to your academic needs. Scholarships are available at a daily rate, with generous support of 79EUR for the initial 5-14 days and 56EUR for subsequent days. However, securing a spot is competitive, as only 20 places per year are allocated for Masaryk University.

Priority support will be given to students in their advanced years, ideally for stays longer than 14 days, allowing you to fulfill your study abroad placement obligation. A good cover letter is an essential part of the application—please do not hesitate to contact us for a consultation before applying.

Please note that Erasmus+ does not support research! Avoid including your own research or research activities in your cover letters and applications. Instead, focus on describing your activities in alternative terms, such as learning new methods of data collection/working on your academic skills etc. Remember, the goal is to emphasize the skills and experiences gained without explicitly using "research“ (such as collecting data; writing a paper…). Focus on the practical aspects, collaboration, and outcomes of your activities = what you will learn/gain from it.

To make the most of this opportunity, initiate contact with your preferred institution in advance. A cover letter is an essential part of the application—please do not hesitate to contact us for a consultation before applying.

The next call for applications: April 1, 2024 to May 31, 2024.
Do not hesitate to apply!

Contact person – Kristýna Bajgarová, bajgarova@sci.muni.cz.

Dean's holiday was officially announced for May 16, 2024,
on the occasion of MUNI Day 2024. This Dean's decision was made to encourage students and staff to participate in this special event.
We invite you to enjoy MUNI Day together!

MMD: PhD Thesis Defence in European Doctorate Mode

As a part of the MMD (MUNI Mendel Doctorandus) programme, the participants (PhD candidates) have had an opportunity to defend their dissertation thesis in European doctorate mode. Every successful graduate will received the valued European doctorate and the PhD diploma. But what are the requirements for this type of defence? Let's take a look at the example of Kamil Sobek, a PhD student of Geology at the Faculty of Science, MU.

Kamil became a member of the MMD at the very beginning of the programme and gradually fulfilled all the conditions of the programme. He was, therefore, eligible to apply for the European doctorate. The conditions for this mode are not very different from the usual PhD thesis defence procedure. The doctoral board provides the student with at least two opponents independent of MUNI and working at a research institution within Europe (outside CZ/SK). These opponents can also be members of the committee for the European doctorate mode PhD thesis defence, which needs to have a minimum of one member not affiliated with MUNI and working within Europe but outside CZ/SK. The dissertation thesis is written in English, and the defence is also held in English.

"A possible variation (form) of the defence is a so-called hybrid defence, where members (especially external/foreign members) can join online, e.g. via MS Teams. Thus, defending in the European doctorate does not bring any additional costs to the department for defending in the European doctorate mode." Concluding the possibility of online defence Kamil, who has successfully completed his studies at the Faculty of Science, DSP Geology and is going to work at the Research Centre in Řež as a research specialist. We wish him success in his future career!

*An expert from Slovakia is possible only in exceptional cases when finding another suitable foreign expert is hardly impossible.

Interdisciplinary Trainings

How to Popularize Science in the Classroom while Teaching Technical Terminology

The new workshop on "How to popularize science in teaching and learn scientific terminology" is suitable not only for PhD students.

One of the teachers' tasks is introducing students to the basics of their discipline and its vocabulary. This task, however, may seem at odds with popularisation activities in teaching, which often lead us to simplify. This raises the question: how can we popularise science in the classroom and teach specialist language simultaneously? In this session, we will explore together how to modify our vocabulary so that what we say is understandable, appealing, and, at the same time, accurate and unbiased. The principles we uncover will then be practised and reflected upon.

The workshop will be held in person and conducted Czech

When: April 8, 2024, (9-13)
When: CERPEK training room (328), Komenského náměstí 2, Brno 

The E-course Science and Scientific Cognition

This e-learning course consists of eight lessons covering different aspects of scientific work. You can look forward to various topics, such as interdisciplinarity and transdisciplinarity, the main scientific outputs and their characteristics, or the related topic of scientific teaching (its application in a university setting). The topic of popularisation and communication of science and research ethics will be included. The e-course is in Czech language only and is free of charge. / Web

Competitions for PhD Students / Postdocs

Rudolf Lukeš Prize: Competition For Outstanding Chemists

The Czech Chemical Society, in cooperation with the Experientia Foundation, is launching a new call for the Rudolf Lukes Prize with a personal bonus of CZK 100,000. The competition is open until March 31, 2024, to scientists without age limitation, working at any of the Czech research institutes with a set of papers in the field of organic, bioorganic and medicinal chemistry, which have been published in prestigious international journals in the last five years.

The application must include the following:

  • Brief CV (1 page)
  • Brief research report (max. 3 pages) summarizing the most important results of the last 5 years
  • List of all publications in the last five years
  • The five most significant publications from the last five years, where the nominee must be a corresponding author (pdf format of the articles).

    The application should be submitted in English as a PDF file sent electronically to the CSCH Secretariat (lukes.award@csvts.cz).

The Henri Becquerel Prize For Nuclear Research 2024

To reward the best doctoral thesis in nuclear research, the annual competition, organised in cooperation with Electricité de France and the French Embassy, takes place in the Czech Republic!

The winners will receive a financial reward (CZK 80 000, 50 000 or 30,000), and the first two also receive a scholarship for an internship in France.

Conditions of participation:

  • Doctoral thesis in the field of nuclear research
  • Citizens with Czech or Slovak nationality under the age of 33 (to the date of May 1, 2024)
  • Students of a PhD programme at a Czech research institution / university or young researchers who defended their dissertation in 2023 or 2024
  • Their doctoral studies do not conflict with their work for Electricité de France
  • Authorship of at least one published scientific article (or accepted) in a peer-reviewed international journal

    Send your application to Mrs. Procházková, (prochazkova@sci.muni.cz) until March 7, 2024. More information can be found on the competition website.

A list of competitions relevant to the MU Faculty of Science and more detailed information about them can be found on the website Competitions and awards.


10th International Conference on Nuclear and Radiochemistry

The conference dedicated to modern nuclear and radiochemistry will provide you with an overview of current developments in this area. All aspects of the field will be covered: from nuclear fuel cycle to radiopharmaceutical chemistry, environmental radioactivity and transactinide chemistry, etc.

Deadline for abstracts: April 30, 2024

Held in English / Web

When: August 25-30, 2024
Where: Brighton, United Kingdom

International Conference ICHES and ICTELS

International Conference on Humanities, Education, and Social Sciences (ICHES) and International Conference on Technology, Engineering, and Life Sciences (ICTELS)

You are invited to attend and participate in the International Conference on Humanities, Education, and Social Sciences (ICHES), which will take place on June 20-23, 2024, at the Hotel IBIS in Prague. Its objective is to explore opportunities how interact with practical scientific questions, explore theoretical and global issues, and connect with leaders in human expression, education, and social understanding. This gathering is organised annually by the International Society for Technology, Education, and Science (ISTES).

In conjunction with the ICHES conference, there is also a conference ICTELS: The conference aims to offer opportunities to share your ideas, discuss theoretical and practical issues and connect with the leaders in technology, engineering, and life sciences. The conference is organised annually by the ISTES.

The workshop will be held in person / online and conducted in English.

When: June 20-23, 2024
Where: Hotel IBIS, Plzenská 14, Prague

Interesting reading for Early-stage Researchers

The Brno PhD Talent winner 2024: I Have Always Loved Exploring Nature

Text: F. Breindl, eng Petr Bokůvka
Foto: M. Indruch

Being a lifelong nature lover, it seems natural that Eliška Řehůřková ultimately found herself in the laboratories of the Faculty of Science of Masaryk University. As a doctoral student she focuses on cell models which enable the testing of the effects of various substances on male reproduction. This research has now earned her the Brno PhD Talent scholarship.

“Our goal is to come up with a model originating in stem cells, which we refer to as induced pluripotent stem cells. Using small molecules referred to as signal molecules we attempt to reprogram the cells into Leydig cells which are responsible for the production of testosterone. Testosterone and other androgens have an irreplaceable role in processes related to male reproduction, as well as other processes. Chemicals present in the environment may disrupt the process of production of androgens. Once we have the newly programmed Leydig cells we will be able to test the effects of the environmental pollutants on male reproduction. Our cell model could very much replicate the actual processes in the human body, compared with other conventional methods, such as animal or rodent testing,” Řehůřková explains. She currently works at RECETOX where, for 40 years, scientists have studied environmental and health risks posed by chemicals around us.

“I have always loved nature. I was in a forest ranger club in junior high school, where they taught us to like and explore nature. This is where my love for nature comes from, which is why the Faculty of Science was a logical step. As was RECETOX and its activities in the area of the protection of the environment,” Řehůřková says, adding that she is happy about her choices. “RECETOX emphasises the importance of interdisciplinary work and familiarity with things happening around us. They do not want us just sitting in labs all the time. We are supposed to develop soft skills, such as external communication, project management and other tasks.”

The latter was a major asset for Eliška in the PhD Talent competition. “It is amazing that I have succeeded, considering the competition, because all projects were interesting,” she commented on the fact that her project was one of the 25 successful ones among 150 contestants. “The scholarship will allow me to focus entirely on my research and the improvement of the soft skills and interdisciplinary aspects. We enjoy the support from the university through the MUNI Mendelus Doctorandus programme, which helps me develop individual abilities as well as the research as such,” she explains.

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 (noskova@sci.muni.cz)

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Masaryk University

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