Friday, 18 April 2014

Scientists' success in winning EU grants far below average

21 February 2013

Prague, Feb 20 (CTK) - Czech scientists stay in the last positions in terms of successful applying for European Research Council's (ERC) grants, Czech PM's adviser Rudolf Hanka said Wednesday, adding that the Czech scientists' success rate is 4.8 percent, compared to the EU's average of 16 percent.

Hanka was speaking to journalists after meeting Anne Glover, EC President Jose Barroso's chief adviser for science.

"The Czech media permanently report on world successes of Czech science, but if we look at Czech scientists' success rate in applying for ERC grants, which are a genuine criterion of state-of-the art science, we can see Czech scientists in the last positions," Hanka said.

Glover, on a day-long visit to the Czech Republic, said Czech science must also seek a higher publicity at home because it is as important as culture.

Hungarian scientists' grant application success rate is 12 percent and Austrians' even 22 percent, Hanka pointed out.

"The problem is that our science is probably not that good. Let's be sincere," he added.

Hanka said the Czech failure in this respect is also due to problems young scientists face in publishing their works.

To have a chance of winning a European grant, a scientist must produce at least eight world publications in which no else has participated. In the Czech Republic, however, it is usual that young scientists publish their works as ones they completed together with their teachers or colleagues.

Glover said the Czech research has proved to be on a high level.

On a visit to Prague, Glover acquainted herself with the system of Czech science management and with problems such as the representation of women in Czech science and the shortage of foreign experts in Czech research centres.

She showed interest in the operation of the Czech Academy of Sciences (AV CR) and the decision making of the Czech Grant and Technological Agencies.

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