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Million euro for the top researcher: the MUNI Award competition is now open

Researchers have until 23 September to apply and the winner will receive funding of one milion euro for five years from Masaryk University.

The MU Faculty of Informatics and Faculty of Arts have each welcomed the winner of the previous two rounds of the competition for a unique grant offered by Masaryk University: the MUNI Award in Science and Humanities. The Grant Agency of Masaryk University has now opened the competition for the third time.

Last autumn, the Faculty of Informatics was given a significant boost when Daniel Kráľ, an expert on graph theory, transferred to the faculty from the UK University of Warwick after winning the MUNI Award. The Faculty of Arts welcomed another grant recipient this spring, when Matthew Rampley, an expert on art and architecture from the interwar era, arrived from the University of Birmingham. Both have also transferred their grants financed by the European Research Council (ERC) to Masaryk University.

Holders of ERC grants or individual grants at a comparable level are the target group of the MUNI Award, which can also be awarded to researchers who have not received ERC funding, even though their project was evaluated as “A”, and researchers whose career history and publications are sufficient proof of the high quality of their work. The winner must transfer to Masaryk University and become a full-time employee of MU.

The concept of the MUNI Award in Science and Humanities is unique among Czech universities. Masaryk University aims to attract top researchers not only by the generous grant funding but primarily by the high level of freedom when it comes to using the money and the offer of a tenure track academic career.

“There was no doubt that we would open the competition for the MUNI Award again for the third time, simply because it is an exceptionally successful project. Our only problem is that we cannot select more applicants,” says Petr Dvořák, the MU vice-rector for research and the creator of the MUNI Award project.

The previous two calls for applicants were highly successful with around ten high-quality applicants for each call. Researchers interested in the current competition have until September to submit their applications. The selection committee will process the applications during the autumn and selected applicants will be invited to interview in December. The next MUNI Award winner is expected to start working at the university next year.