Thursday, 22 June 2017

Researcher: Czech science is average, wins few ERC grants

ČTK |
16 March 2017

Prague, March 15 (CTK) - Only few scientists in the Czech Republic win a grant from the European Research Council (ERC) because Czech science is average and a small number of projects apply for the grants, ERC member Tomas Jungwirth told CTK at a conference marking 10 years from the ERC's foundation on Wednesday.

The situation in Czech science might improve if the structure of research institutions changed, he said.

Researchers from other EU countries submit two or three times more applications for ERC grants than those from the Czech Republic, Jungwirth said.

Moreover, 12 percent of the grant applications are successful on average, while Czech projects succeed only in 5 percent of cases.

Czech projects have won ERC 25 grants worth 41 million euros since 2007, while Austrian and Hungarian projects have won 189 and 54 grants, respectively.

Scientific structures in the Czech Republic operate in a way that hinders the revealing of top researchers, Jungwirth said. Czech scientific institutions are not open, they lack external experts and top researchers from abroad and their managements do not answer for the results to any superior body, he added.

These institutions fail to tell what research is average and what is of high quality, Jungwirth said.

Young Czech scientists lack both trust and means to develop their own ideas in teams led by their senior colleagues, and the Czech system does not produce creative, independent personalities with fresh ideas, he said.

Due to this, the chance of winning a ERC grant is low, he said.

Jungwirth said the Czech Republic might get inspired abroad.

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