Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


CEITEC_ERA Report Summary

Project ID: 621368
Funded under: FP7-REGPOT
Country: Czech Republic

Periodic Report Summary 2 - CEITEC_ERA (The ERA Chair Culture as a Catalyst to Maximize the Potential of CEITEC)

Project Context and Objectives:
The ERA Chair project aims at supporting the on-going structural shift in the culture of the scientific community of Masaryk University by engaging a world-class scientific leader capable of inspiring positive change. Masaryk University has already been deeply involved in this process as the largest contributing member of the Central European Institute of Technology (CEITEC).

CEITEC is a scientific centre in the fields of the life sciences and advanced materials and technologies with the aim of establishing itself as a recognized centre for basic as well as applied research. The CEITEC consortium includes the most prominent universities and research institutes in Brno in the Czech Republic. Thanks to EU Structural Funds, CEITEC is currently in a very rapid stage of development. One of the challenges facing our organization will be to maximize the high potential that CEITEC has at its disposal through cross-disciplinary collaboration.

Within this project, we outline the intent to recruit an individual with the commitment to act as an agent of transformation to CEITEC and Masaryk University as a whole, and we will provide the eventual incumbent with a position and the means within the organisation to implement a robust cross-disciplinary program aimed at catalysing the creation of an open, dynamic scientific environment. Thus, we believe transformational leaders are an essential asset, not just for what they can achieve scientifically, but also how they can lead by example.

This concept determines the following key objectives of the project:

• Recruiting a renowned scientist and transformational leader, the ERA Chair;
• Establishing ERA Chairs’s research group which will lead by example, not only scientifically;
• Transforming CEITEC and Masaryk University and creating a more open and dynamic scientific environment;
• Increasing international and private research funding performance of CEITEC and Masaryk University as a whole;
• Increasing the international scientific visibility of CEITEC, Masaryk University and the whole region.

Project Results:
During the first period, the main objective of the project was accomplished, i.e. recruiting the ERA Chair. The recognised molecular biologist Mary O'Connell, graduated in microbiology from University College, Galway, before continuing her studies at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, where she gained her doctorate. She spent time at MIT in Boston and in the Biozentrum of the University of Basel in Switzerland, where she began to look at RNA modification. She then continued her research at MRC in Edinburgh. The last year and a half before arriving in the Czech Republic she spent at Stockholm University. She has co-authored dozens of articles in prestigious international peer-reviewed journals, and has written a number of chapters in notable publications.

Mary O'Connell has long studied the topic of inheritable information and its modification in connection with diseases of the immune system. She wants to continue this research within CEITEC MU’s Molecular Medicine research programme. Her task will be now to establish the research group which will lead by example, not only scientifically.

Potential Impact:
The ERA Chair project will have a significant impact in a number of ways. New research infrastructure financed from the EU Structural Funds and completed in 2015 in combination with a critical mass of progressive scientists inspired and influenced by the ERA Chair has the potential to bring in sustained research funding for further development of the research capacity. The high-impact research outputs of the newly established excellent research group that will be made public will serve as a key motivating factor for other groups.
Through the regular exposure of high potential researchers to a broad selection of international grant application avenues and working with scientists to hone their grant writing skills, the opportunities to access grant funding, will increase.
The project will also contribute to better integration in the European Research Area thanks to aligning to the European Charter for Researchers and Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers or respecting the Principles of Innovative Doctoral Training.
The economic impact will be most significantly realized with the creation of new technologically demanding jobs. The training of these new graduates as outlined in the project would come closer to the demands of the market than is currently the case. Involving the ERA Chair into the regular Regional Innovation Strategy meetings will also help to ensure linkage between academia and industry in the region.

List of Websites:

Reported by

Masarykova univerzita
Czech Republic
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