MUNI Award in Science and Humanities JUNIOR

About MASH JUNIOR

The main aim of MUNI Award in Science and Humanities JUNIOR (hereinafter referred to as “MASH JUNIOR”) is to create conditions for timely achievement of research autonomy of highly promising researchers shortly after Ph.D. acceleration of career advancement of talented scholars; easier preparation of prestigious grant proposals, enhancement of “brain circulation”.

Successful project applicants must have clear potential to succeed in the ERC competition. A significant aspect of this type of grant support is the motivation of workplaces to invest in extraordinary research talents, whose hitherto research history may but need not be connected with MU.

A MASH JUNIOR holder shall be employed full-time at Masaryk University. The holder shall submit an application to the ERC within 2 years of the MASH JUNIOR award.

The workload shall also contain active promotion of science through one event per year, focused on the communication of science to general public (e.g. a lecture), organized at MU. The holder of this prestigious grant shall also be expected to represent Masaryk University and proactively contribute to the future direction of research conducted at MU for the entire duration of the grant holder’s engagement at MU, i.e. also after the completion of the MASH JUNIOR grant project.

  • An opportunity to conduct independent research at a progressive university in the Central European research and innovation hub.
  • Allocation: Expected number of grants awarded: 6 to 9 grants per year
  • Annual budget: CZK 2 million / year
  • Duration of funding: 3 years with the possibility of extension by another 2 years

Open to all domains of Social Sciences & Humanities, Physical Sciences & Engineering, and Life Sciences.

Call for 2020

Deadline for application 31st December 2020
Evaluation, interview and negotiation 1st January 2021 – 30th April 2021
Starting date During 2021 (open to negotiation)

 

Rules of the call

Who may apply?

The competition is open to internal as well as external applicants; an important prerequisite in both cases is their sufficient international experience. A junior researcher is a scholar of up to 40 years of age inclusive (~10 years after Ph.D.), taking into account career breaks.

Upon the announcement of the competition on the GAMU website, the applicant sends the application to the e-mail address gamu@muni.cz; the subject shall be MASH JUNIOR + first name and surname.

The application shall include:

  • The MASH JUNIOR form with a description of the research plan (in accordance with MU research focus, taking into account the career stage of the applicant).
  • Current CV including Researcher ID of the applicant.
  • Declaration of the ECU of its readiness to hire the applicant and create conditions for independent research.
  • Evidence of career breaks if applicable.
  • The application shall not contain the budget – the applicant shall obtain a predetermined amount in this competition.

Application Requirements

The applicant for MASH JUNIOR shall submit:

  • The MASH JUNIOR form with a description of the research plan (in accordance with MU research focus, taking into account the career stage of the applicant). The form requires contact details of 3 important researchers who can provide references, list of publications and a motivation letter describing the applicant’s idea of his/her future career at MU.
  • Current professional CV including Researcher ID of the applicant.
  • Declaration of the ECU of its readiness to hire the applicant and create conditions for independent research. The Declaration contains key requirements of the applicant (e.g. for instruments/technologies, administrative support, research team).
  • Optional annex: Decision on the award of the ERC or another prestigious individual grant (e. g. MSCA) / main information about a submitted ERC project that obtained excellent evaluation or other relevant individual grant /  form B1 from the ERC application and the Evaluation Summary Report or evaluation of other relevant individual grant.

The application shall not contain the budget – the applicant shall obtain a predetermined amount in this competition.

The applicant shall submit all the documents in English.

Upon the announcement of the competition on the GAMU website, the applicant sends the application to the e-mail address gamu@muni.cz; the subject shall be: MASH JUNIOR + first name and surname. The competition is intended for internal and external applicants.

Additional information and documents may be requested during the evaluation procedure (e.g. B2 form of the ERC application, detailed specification of the applicant’s key requirements etc.).

Funding

Co-funding by faculties and units is expected. Total eligible costs covered by GAMU are CZK 2 million per year.

The support is awarded for 3 years. In justified cases, it may be decided on the extension of the project funding by another two years.

Eligible costs

  • Paid by the GAMU:
    • Personnel costs (wages, bonuses, agreements to complete a job (DPP) and agreements to perform work (DPČ) of persons directly involved in the research activities necessary for the project investigation).
  • Paid by the ECU:
    • Immaterial tangible and intangible assets.
    • Local and international travel.
    • Publication and application costs.
    • Additional costs or expenses (projects must include the share in joint operating costs corresponding to the JOC coefficient for the given economic unit in the year concerned according to MU Instruction No. 3/2017 - Rules of determining the proportion of administrative overheads and system of applying overheads to projects, as amended).

The drawdown of funds must comply with the rules for the drawdown of funds of institutional support. The grant shall be provided as non-investment funds. Each ECU shall arrange an exchange for investment individually. Purchase of investment and necessary transfers among the respective items of the eligible costs are possible after the consultation with the relevant finance office of the ECU.

The amount of approved financial support for a given calendar year shall be allocated to a specific economic unit in the form of an adjusted schedule of institutional support. The economic and administrative resources of the projects shall be identical to the economic and administrative resources of the units where the researcher and his/her team work (now or in the future), and these units shall also bear common operating costs of the project. Professional and administrative coordination of the project shall be the responsibility of the project investigator.

Evaluation Criteria and Process

Evaluation criteria

Criterion

Weighting in %

Quality of the hitherto research of the applicant with regard to his/her career stage as documented in the submitted CV

40

Applicant’s potential of research growth based on the submitted research plan (potential for obtaining an ERC grant)

40

Feasibility of the research plan and its coherence with MU research

20

The applicant submits all requisites of the application

Formal inspection shall be made by the RMU Research Office under the supervision of the Vice-Rector for Research. In this stage, the Vice-Rector for Research after consultation with selected experts from the university shall have the right to exclude applications that fail to meet the requirements for MASH JUNIOR applicants.

In the application form, the applicant shall indicate the focus based on the standardized keywords (in accordance with the ERC) and the research domain of the project. Pursuant to these parameters, the respective applications shall be assigned 3 evaluators from the internal database. The selection of evaluators for each application shall be made by the domain guarantor from the database of evaluators (formerly referred to as Scientific Advisory Board, SAB). The RMU RO shall communicate with the individual evaluators about the evaluation procedure, delivery of an independent evaluation report, affidavit etc. The communication among all the stakeholders shall be managed by the RMU Research Office.

The RMU RO prepares an interim ranking list in the respective domains (Life Sciences, Social Sciences and Humanities, Physical Sciences and Computer Science) on the basis of 3 individual reports of each project proposal and refers the list to the domain guarantors.

For the sake of consistency, all the applications are evaluated by at least one evaluator (reporter) from each domain. This evaluator (reporter) is appointed by the guarantor during the process of selection of evaluators.

Output: interim ranking list in the form of an excel table with the overview of percentage evaluation of all evaluators including a short summary by each evaluator, including the reporter.

Interim ranking list – guarantors

If there are ambiguities (e.g. an extremely high or low evaluation by one evaluator), the guarantor shall ask for additional information from the evaluator concerned.

The result is the ranking list for each domain in both competitions (MASH and MASH JUNIOR), i.e. up to 6 ranking lists: 3 domains and 2 concurrent competitions.

No limit to the number of supported candidates is determined for MASH and MASH JUNIOR competitions.

Meeting of guarantors and Vice-Rector for Research

The domain guarantors in a meeting with the Vice-Rector for Research:

  1. Shall create one final ranking list for the competitions of MASH and MASH JUNIOR.
  2. After comparing the qualities of applications from both competitions, applications to proceed to the next round shall be selected, whereas strategic interests of the university shall be taken into account. Therefore, in practice a larger number of MASH JUNIOR applications than planned may be approved to the detriment of MASH, and vice versa (both calls have common allocation of funds).
  3. The result is the list of applicants proceeding to the last evaluation round, which is a personal interview.
  4. The maximum number of applicants proceeding to the next round who shall be accepted by a certain ECU is confirmed the ECU head.

Personal interview – guarantors, Vice-Rector for Research

  1. All personal interviews are ideally held in MU premises in Brno on a single date.
  2. The guarantors first introduce all candidates and their research plans (the guarantor of each domain introduces candidates of “his/her” domain).
  3. The candidates present their research plan proposal to the evaluation board. They do it in person and in English.
  4. The board suggests selected candidates for MASH and MASH JUNIOR grants. The situation of the previous evaluation round may repeat, i.e. a larger number of MASH JUNIOR applications may be approved to the detriment of MASH, and vice versa (both calls have common allocation of funds).
  5. The Vice-Rector for Research shall inform the MU management of the competition results in their session.
  6. Due to the fact that the “Declaration of the ECU of its readiness to hire the applicant and create conditions for independent research” was part of the application, it is expected that negotiation of specific conditions of the labour relationship between the winning candidate and the ECU is likely to be a formal matter.

Decision of the Rector on funding

The Rector of MU decides on awarding the grants in the MASH and MASH JUNIOR competitions pursuant to the recommendation of the evaluation board.

The competition results are subsequently published on the GAMU website (as soon as possible) and the successful candidates are interviewed (responsibility of the Press Office).

Grant Implementation

By the end of the 12th month of the commencement of project investigation, the MASH JUNIOR holder shall submit an interim report (in Czech or English) with a list or a brief description of the results achieved so far. The course of the project implementation is assessed by the Vice-Rector for Research and the GAMU consultative bodies. The interim and final report forms are in the IS and shall be sent electronically to gamu@muni.cz.

During the third year of the engagement of the MASH JUNIOR holder at Masaryk University, the achieved results shall be evaluated on the basis of the final report.

The final evaluation procedure shall include a final public lecture of the MASH JUNIOR holder at Masaryk University, in which the grantee shall summarize the main results of the engagement at MU, and outline the idea of further career at the university. The final public lecture is part of the GAMU final conference which is held in the last quarter of each year.

The board composed of the guarantors and Vice-Rector for Research may decide on the extension of the project by the maximum of 2 years on the basis of the final report submitted by the MASH JUNIOR holder and the consent of the head of the ECU.

Criterion of the extension decision: Importance of the continuing financial support from the GAMU for further outstanding career development of the grantee (e.g. for obtaining the ERC grant).

If the funding is extended, the MASH JUNIOR holder shall prepare the final report by the end of the last month of the last calendar year.

Research at Masaryk University faculties:

Faculty of Medicine

Faculty of Science

Faculty of Informatics

Faculty of Social Studies

Faculty of Law

Faculty of Arts

Faculty of Education

Faculty of Economics and Administration

Faculty of Sport Studies

CEITEC (Central European Institute of Technology)

Institute of Computer Science

 

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