As an independent body, the ISAB provides Masaryk University with opinions and advice on issues and problems of scientific nature. Its members have already visited MU five times. At their most recent meeting on 22 and 23 November 2022, they met with Rector Martin Bareš, Vice-Rector for Research and Doctoral Studies Šárka Pospíšilová and other Vice-Rectors, and also discussed current topics with representatives of MU faculties and university institutes.
“ISAB members come to the university regularly and their visits are always very beneficial. Over the course of two days, we discuss topical issues in science and research. During their last visit, we focused mainly on the quality of doctoral studies and science assessment. At the end of each visit, ISAB members give their strategic recommendations for the next period,” explained Vice-Rector Šárka Pospíšilová.
The advisory board consists of four leading scientists who are very respected in their fields. Josef Jiřičný from ETH and the University of Zurich serves as chairman of the board. The other three members are Peter Williamson from the University of Cambridge, Marie-Janine Calic from the University of Munich, and Viktor Kunčak from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) in Lausanne.
Masaryk University gradually implements the advisory board’s recommendations, much to the satisfaction of its members. Their long-term recommendations concern the area of doctoral studies. After the most recent meeting, the board also made recommendations concerning the international mobility of students and academic workers, as well as increasing the attractiveness of MU for international researchers, both of which are strategically important topics for Masaryk University.
In the report from the ISAB’s November meeting, the advisory board praised the wide range of MU activities in the area of research support. “The advisory board’s members appreciated, among other things, that the MU central strategy to promote excellence through the Grant Agency of Masaryk University (GAMU) had real impacts on the quality of the research environment, as demonstrated by the newly awarded ERC grant,” said Vice-Rector Šárka Pospíšilová. New development projects in the Bohunice University Campus, the unique system of internal science and research budgeting and the increasing number of international students were also highlighted.
The next visit by members of the International Scientific Advisory Board is scheduled to take place at the end of this year. On this occasion, a new member will join the ISAB and expand the ranks of the current members.