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On 15 November 2022, a traditional National Information Day on ERC grants, this year extraordinarily thrown in cooperation with ERCEA, Charles University and Czech Expert Group for supporting ERC applicants, took place. The event, organised in a hybrid form, attracted over 200 participants.
The biggest event devoted to opportunities offered by the European Research Council was commenced by Milena Králíčková, Rector of Charles University (CU), and Eva Zažímalová, President of the Czech Academy of Sciences (CAS). Alice Valkárová, Member of the ERC Scientific Council, in her speech presented tools and incentives the ERC has developed to support participation of the so-called widening countries in its calls. Zdeněk Strakoš (CU), Coordinator of the Czech Expert Group for supporting ERC applicants (EG), a joint initiative of Charles University and Czech Academy of Sciences assisting Czech ERC applicants, drew attention to the transformative character of ERC and frontier research and its positive influence on Czech science.
After a presentation of rules for participation, the evaluation process of ERC project proposals, both as seen by an evaluator (Michal Hocek, member of the EG, Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS; CU) as well as from ERCEA’s viewpoint (Jana Šifta), was explained in detail. The National InfoDay was rounded off with a panel discussion of Czech-based ERC PIs (Alena Zíková, Biology Centre of the CAS; Matthew Rampley, Masaryk University; Ondřej Dušek, CU) and representatives of Czech host institutions (Adéla Jiroudková, CU; Ladislav Čoček, Masaryk University). During a debate moderated by Pavel Jelínek (member of the EG, Institute of Physics of the CAS), speakers discussed the ways how to raise the success rate of the Czech Republic in ERC grant competitions as well as what role future host institutions themselves (should) play in the application process.
The videorecording of the event is available on Technology Centre Prague Youtube channel here.