Status of Czech Science Is Improving, Says Head of Advisory Council

Top scientists working in the Czech Republic are now accepted as equals among international colleagues, according to Josef Michl. Credit: Freepik.

Prague, Oct 10 (CTK) – Czech science is much better off than it used to be, as top scientists working in the Czech Republic are now accepted as equals among international colleagues, Josef Michl, head of the advisory body of the Council for Research, Development and Innovation, told journalists yesterday.

After yesterday’s meeting of the council, he said the status of Czech science was gradually improving. The International Council, the council’s advisory body, evaluated the activities of the Czech Science Foundation (GACR) and the Agency for Medical Research (AZV), among other things.

Michl said this was an interesting and rare opportunity for them to help with the development of science in the country they grew up in.

The International Council meets every year. “I feel that over the years we have been doing this work, we have managed to improve the situation in cooperation with the people here. The GACR agency (…) and more recently AZV have been better off now and the people who receive the funds from them are better off. This is a satisfying feeling,” he added.

The one problem, Michl said, is the lack of finances, due to which scientists cannot do as much now as they used to. However, Michl said he would still assess its condition positively, explaining that the demands on principal investigators, expert panellists and the agency itself have improved, and the administrative burden has decreased.

According to Josef Jiricny, the activities of AZV, which supports grants in medical research, have also improved. According to him, the agency was working with panellists who were not optimally qualified, and the administration related to grants was also complicated. Since 2019, when the issue was addressed, the international council has proposed some changes.

He said the situation has also improved since the new director of AZV, Ondrej Slaby, started in his post this February. He said the vision for the agency’s future was the same as that of the International Council’s commission.

The International Council is an advisory body to the Council for Research, Development and Innovation composed of distinguished foreign experts. This year’s meeting was held in a hybrid format, with experts meeting in two stages.

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