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Prague university confers new bonus on brilliant scientists

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Prague, April 6 (CTK) – Charles University (UK) in Prague has founded a new award that carries a one-million-crown bonus for brilliant scientists who have won an international recognition in their fields and contribute to the school’s prestige, daily Lidove noviny (LN) wrote on Thursday.

The new bonus bears a Latin name, Donatio Universitatis Carolinae, a gift of Charles University, the oldest university in the Czech Republic, established in 1348.

This year, it will go to Egyptologist Miroslav Barta, 47, biochemist and physician Pavel Martasek, 64, biblical studies scholar Petr Pokorny, 83, chemist Jana Roithova, 42, and cardiologist Petr Widimsky, 63.

These “global stars of Czech science” will receive the special premium today, LN writes.

“This is a new form of support for research by significant personalities from our university,” UK Rector Tomas Zima told LN, adding that he wants to be defending his mandate at the UK’s helm for the next four-year term (2018-22).

Representatives of the UK’s 17 faculties have sent proposals for the award winners. The recently established corps of advisers, the International Council of UK, comprised of renowned scientists from France, Germany, Israel, Switzerland and the United States, including a Nobel Prize winner, helped select the five laureates, LN writes.

Barta has headed the Czech Egyptology Institute since 2013 and his teams have uncovered significant ancient tombs in Abusir, southwest of Cairo.

Widimsky has long been one of the most quoted scientists in the world, scoring a record number of 37,567 quotes from his works so far, according to the Thomson-Reuters data.

Roithova is the only double winner of the European Research Council (ERC) grants in the Czech Republic that she drew in 2010 and 2015 for her research into optical spectra of isolated ions.

Pokorny, who studied in Oxford and now works at the Evangelical Theological Faculty, is a renowned expert in biblical texts and traditions as well as translator who has written 31 books. He also cooperates with Princeton University, USA.

Martasek, who has some 9000 quotes from his scientific studies, is director of the Biotechnology and Biomedicine Center (BIOCEV), a joint project of UK and the Academy of Sciences (AV), that is seated in Vestec near Prague, LN writes.

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