11. May 2022
The Scientific Board serves as a strategic advisory body to the director and has 22 members. Thirteen members are from Masaryk University, and the other nine external members are leading figures from Czech and international science. The three-year term of office for the current scientific board began on 1st July 2020. The meeting on 5th May 2022 was the very first in-person meeting since the beginning of the covid-19 pandemic and also the first in-person meeting since the election of new members in July 2020.
The Director of CEITEC MU Jiri Nantl opened the meeting with the presentation of management priorities for the next two years. He explained, that the two years strategic plans are helping CEITEC MU to react faster to external challenges and opportunities. The next important topic on the agenda were future sources of financing and large institutional grants. Four major projects have been recently submitted by the institute – three projects within the National recovery and resilience plan (NPO) and one Horizon Europe Teaming project co-financed by OP JAK. The NPO projects, if successful, will enable CEITEC to be part of the new National Institute of Virology and Bacteriology, National Cancer Research Institute, and National Institute of Metabolic Disorders and Cardiovascular Diseases. The Teaming project CORMIC will connect scientists from life and material sciences, as well as electron microscopy producers from the South Moravian region and strengthen Brno´s position on the global map of electron microscopy and discovery-driven science.
Jiri Nantl shared the good news that the scientific secretary of CEITEC MU Nikola Kostlanova, together with vice-deans at the campus faculties, managed to negotiate unified principles and standards for all PhD programmes across all faculties based on the Bohunice Campus. The memorandum is to be signed by deans and CEITEC director this month. This unification will enable all PhD students across campus to benefit from the same high-quality PhD programme, as the international CEITEC PhD School. Jiri Nantl also praised CEITEC´s new leadership policy that provides several practical tools helping CEITEC´s leaders to develop their own leadership skills and herewith inspire, develop and empower also their team members.
As everywhere at research institutes, the availability of physical space is a critical issue and the main constraint of development. CEITEC MU is suffering already for some time with problems with insufficient office and lab space and has taken several measures i to create additional space for the growth of existing groups and for the acquisition of new strategically important research groups. Some research groups should prospectively moved to premises to be newly built or acquired by the university in order to create space for the needed growth. An interesting discussion arose around planned outplacement and retirement policy, that could also, at least partially, contribute to the improvement of the presented space issue and that would also contribute to timely completion of all running grants under the retiring group leader and to ensure smooth competition of PhD studies to doctoral students from the given research group.
The scientific board meeting ended with a discussion about the institutional budget. Due to the inflation and rising energy prices, the running costs of CEITEC buildings increased by 50 per cent, an unplanned issue that most institutes have to deal with. The budget for administration, as well as the budget for research groups, remained the same as during the previous year.