The MUNI Award in Science and Humanities, or MASH, is a university grant intended to bring successful scholars to Brno and offer them attractive working conditions to motivate them to continue their research activities at MU for an extended period. The newest MASH recipient is doc. Dr. rer. nat. RNDr. Mgr. Bc. Jan Křetínský, Ph.D., who made his mark at the Faculty of Informatics several years ago thanks to the number of degrees he had received. Now, he is returning to his alma mater, enriched by his experiences at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria and the Technical University of Munich, where he taught courses on theoretical informatics.
“One of the critical differences is the ability to connect with industry. For basic research it doesn’t need to play such a direct role, but collaboration brings in more money and the opportunity to hire big names and be seen on the international stage. This will help the University grow dramatically. They are all leaders in their fields, and they come here thanks to MU’s reputation and the conditions it offers. This was all created thanks to money. No public institution can finance everything with public funds. Thanks to this, the Technical University of Munich is rated one of the best institutes in the world,” says Křetínský, comparing the differences between the German and Czech approach in a recent interview for the Faculty of Informatics website. The MASH grant will provide him with full-time employment and five years of financial support so he can devote himself to independent research at MU.
This year also marks the second time the MASH Junior grant was awarded; this programme focuses on young researchers and fresh PhD graduates. It helps winners gain research autonomy and guides them toward getting an ERC grant. In fact, having applied for one of these prestigious grants awarded by the European Commission is a requirement for being considered for a MASH Junior grant. There were two winners out of a field of eight: Peter Fabian from the University of Southern California and Patrik Flammer from the academic publisher SpringerNature. The former will apply his experience at the Faculty of Science; the latter will join the Faculty of Arts.
The purpose of the MASH grant is to attract successful researchers to Brno.