Rector's Directive No. 43/2017

Date of effect: 1 June 2017

Principles of University Research Centres

Article 1 Introductory Provision

Charles University (“CU” or “the University”) in accordance with its Long-Term Plan announces the competition for UNiversity CEntres of Research (“UNCE” or “centre”) as special-purpose support for young and promising members of academic and research staff in the top-quality fundamental research groups.

Article 2 Competition Conditions

  1. The research activities of the centre must cover a well-defined subject matter which must fall within the activities in which the research team of the centre clearly achieved internationally accepted outputs. Within one centre there may be multiple smaller teams which mutually cooperate in researching a common or related topic.

  2. A project proposal cannot be submitted by persons holding at the University the office of Rector, Vice-Rector, dean, director of a higher education institute (Institute of the History of Charles University and Archives of Charles University; Centre for Theoretical Study; Centre for Economic Research and Graduate Education; Environment Centre of Charles University (“higher education institute”).

  3. The research team consists of:

      a. 

    Senior researchers, who are members of academic or research staff with a full time equivalent at the University of at least 0.751;

      b. 

    Junior researchers, who are members of academic or research staff of the University holding Ph.D. or Th.D. degree, however no later than within the end of the eighths calendar year following after the year in which they obtained this degree;2

      c. 

    Other members of academic and research staff of the University;

      d. 

    Students in doctoral programmes of study at the University;

      e. 

    Technical and expert staff of the University.

  4. In case of projects of centres submitted for evaluation to the commission for natural sciences, mathematics and computing and the commission for medical science and biomedical sector the research team consists of at least three senior and seven junior researchers. In case of projects of centres submitted to the commission for humanities and social sciences the research team consists of at least two senior and five junior researchers.

  5. The lead researcher is always one of the senior researchers.

  6. One person may be named in the position of senior or junior researcher only in one research team of one project.

  7. The expert quality of the project is guaranteed primarily by the senior researchers.

  8. The maximum period of activity of the centre is six years.

Article 3 Financial Resources

  1. The budget of UNCE project may amount to a maximum of CZK 8 million per year.

  2. Financial resources are divided into:

      a. 

    Resources for wages further divided into:

    1. Resources for wages of senior researchers;

    2. Resources for wages for junior researchers; and

    3. Resources for wages of other staff members;

      b. 

    Levies for social security and health insurance in the amount stipulated by legal regulations and for generating social fund in the amount stipulated by the faculty (higher education institute);

      c. 

    Costs of acquisition of long-term tangible or intangible property; these funds may be spent only by the end of the third year of activities of a centre;

      d. 

    Operating costs and services;3

      e. 

    Bursaries and scholarships;4

      f. 

    Supplementary and overhead costs in an amount not exceeding 20% of the total of costs under letters a), b), d), and e).

  3. The resources for wages required for junior researchers may not exceed CZK 20,000 per month (per 1.0 full time equivalent on average per person per month) and may not exceed in one calendar year one half of the total minimum amount of resources for wages of junior staff guaranteed in the project by the faculty (higher education institute) for this period. The guaranteed minimum amount of wage5 may include only the basic wage and personal performance bonus (osobní ohodnocení). Allocated resources for wages may be paid to a junior researcher only in the form of basic wage, personal performance bonus and other bonuses (odměny); other bonuses paid to junior researchers may not exceed 10% of the total expenses for wages.

  4. The University contributes to funding of wages of junior researchers by no more than 50%.

  5. The share of all resources under paragraph 2 (c) may be no more than 20% of total financial resources for the first three years of the activities of the centre.

  6. Up to 5% of the originally allocated resources if unspent may be transferred by the faculty (higher education institute) to the fund of resources for a defined purpose for future use; this does not affect the conditions under the above paragraphs. The resources transferred must be used for the activities of the centre (i.e. for the purposes under paragraph 2 (a) to (e)) in the subsequent calendar year.

Article 4 Submission of Project Proposals

  1. Project proposal for the competition is submitted to the Rectorate of CU via electronic database.6

  2. The project proposal must contain in particular the following:

      a. 

    Project name (in the Czech and English language);

      b. 

    Project description (in the Czech and English language);

      c. 

    Description of the research project in English language:7

    1. Project objectives;

    2. How the objectives will be achieved;

    3. Expected outcomes of the project;

      d. 

    Specification of the workplace and description of the existing and required equipment;

      e. 

    Information on senior and junior researchers;

      f. 

    Summary information on the number of other staff and students;

      g. 

    Brief professional CVs of senior and junior researchers including publications for the last five years;

      h. 

    Specification of requested financial resources for the first year of activities of the centre;

      i. 

    A general overview of planned financial resources required for the future years of activities of the centre, including specification of planned costs for acquisition of long-term tangible and intangible property and the time of its acquisition.

  3. The project proposal may contain also the names of persons who are to become the members of the research team later than on the day of launch of activities of the centre.

  4. The project is submitted via the faculty or higher education institute of the University. The project must be submitted as a joint project if the research team is to include junior or senior researchers from several units of the University.

  5. After submission of the project proposal the dean or director of higher education institute adds his opinion on the project proposal. In case of higher education institute whose director is not entrusted with management of property, also the Bursar adds his opinion on the project proposal.

Article 5 Evaluation of Project Proposals

  1. Project proposals are evaluated by commissions; the membership and activities of the commissions are regulated by a Rector’s directive.

  2. For each project proposal the overall quality is evaluated together with the following:

      a. 

    Clearly defined research plan of the submitted project proposal;

      b. 

    The research carried out by the applicant to date where emphasis is placed on excellent outputs and international cooperation;

      c. 

    The composition and expert quality of the research team;

      d. 

    Quality of publications of the proposed senior and junior researchers for the last five years, project originality and relation to the publications of the team members;

      e. 

    Adequacy of financial costs to the identified objectives.

  3. The commission discusses every project proposal and its evaluation. Then the commission prepares the sequence of projects including the proposal for granting or rejection of financial support. In case of projects that the commission proposes to support it expresses consent to the amount of financial resources or recommends modification of the amount. It also identifies projects that may be granted support if additional financial resources are made available (for example in case agreement with an applicant for another better evaluated project is not reached).

  4. A project which does not contain all required information or does not comply with the conditions under Article 2 paragraphs (2) to (4) or (6) or Article 3, which was not amended upon notification within five working days, will not be evaluated.

  5. The commission proposals are discussed by the Research Board of CU and may also be consulted with the International Board of CU.

  6. The recommended projects will be discussed with the dean of the relevant faculty / director of a higher education institute.

  7. The Rector decides on allocation of financial resources to a project on the basis of the opinion of expert commissions and the Research Board of CU. In case the proposal for allocation of financial resources is not accepted by the applicant or the faculty / higher education institute, the commission or the Research Board of CU may recommend for funding the next recommended project.

  8. The applicant becomes acquainted with the Rector’s decision of which he is notified by email. The decision will be available in electronic database for internal tenders of CU. It is possible to object to the Rector’s decision within 15 days of the day when the notification of uploading of the decision in the database was sent. The Rector decides on the objection based on recommendation of the commission. The decision on the objection is final.

  9. There is no automatic right to grant of project funding.

Article 6 Project Implementation

  1. Allocation and management of the financial resources is governed by an agreement between the University, faculty or a higher education institute or in case of a joint project all involved units and the lead researcher.

  2. The lead researcher is responsible for proper spending of the budget and economical use of the allocated resources, the details of which are provided in the agreement. The lead researcher is also responsible for compliance with the conditions of the decision on granting of institutional support for long-term conceptual development of a research organisation issued by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports.

  3. The agreement also includes an obligation of the lead researcher and the faculty (higher education institute):

      a. 

    To submit upon request the detailed documents on the spending of financial resources; and

      b. 

    To provide the required cooperation when the University submits the application to the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports to acquire long-term tangible or intangible property from the resources of the centre;

      c. 

    To dispose of the intellectual property and the proprietary rights in the outputs of research and development in accordance with the effective Rector’s directive and the relevant legal regulations.

  4. In case of significant changes during implementation of the project the lead researcher has a duty to inform of the changes the Research Support Office. In case there is a change in the lead researcher of the project, the decision on appointment of the new candidate is made by the Research Board of CU based on nomination by the faculty or higher education institute.

  5. In case of partial changes in composition of the research team the lead researcher only notifies the Research Support Office of the changes.

  6. The ongoing supervision over the spending of financial resources is carried out by faculties (higher education institutes).

  7. The overview of spent financial resources including information on changes in the positions of senior and junior researchers and complete information about other members of the research team is filed every year; the provision of Article 4 (4) applies by analogy. The application for allocation of resources for the following calendar year forms part of the overview. The Rector (Vice-Rector under Article 8(1)) decides on this application, and he may request the opinion of the relevant commission or reviewer of the project of the centre; this opinion is requested whenever the applications substantially deviate from the granted project of the centre.

  8. Ongoing supervision of the activities of the centre is carried out in particular by means of seminars with presentations of the outputs by junior researchers. This seminar is held at least twice a year; the lead researcher informs with sufficient advance the Research Support Office on the agenda and date of holding the seminar. If interested, the Vice-Rector for Research or members of the evaluation commission may participate in the seminar.

  9. The progress report on the activities of the centre is submitted after first two years and after three years of activities of the centre or in a specific case whenever the Rector decides so upon the advice of the commission or the Research Board of CU. The progress report contains in particular the description of the activities of the centre, list of publication outcomes of junior researchers and overall verbal evaluation of outputs.

  10. In case of unsatisfactory research activities of the centre, serious lapses in the activities of the centre or changes in the research team that were in breach of the conditions under this directive or seriously diminished the expert quality of the centre, the commission proposes discontinuation of the activities of the centre or reduction of its financial support, usually as of the first day of the following calendar year. The Research Board of CU gives opinion on the proposal and the decision is made by the Rector.

  11. Final report on the activities of the centre is submitted within three months of the termination of activities of the centre. It contains in particular the description of the overall activities of the centre, the list of publication outcomes of the junior researchers and the overall verbal evaluation of outputs.

Article 7 Common Provisions

  1. UNCE competition and procedures under this directive are coordinated by the Vice-Rector for Research and administered by the Research Support Office of the University Rectorate.

  2. The University earmarks in its budget for UNCE competition and for its administration a part of the resources from institutional support for long-term conceptual development8, or from other resources. The criterion of success consists primarily in the number of supported projects and the total number of junior researchers involved in the projects.

  3. The basic information about UNCE competition, its outputs, including the records of meetings of commissions and of the activities of the centres are published in the usual way.

  4. The date of launch of activities of the centres, the date of announcement of the competition, the deadline for submission of projects, the deadline for publishing of results of the competition and the dates for submission of overviews of spent financial resources and progress and final reports is stipulated by a Rector’s directive. Such Rector’s directive may also stipulate other deadlines and administrative requirements.

Article 8 Final Provisions

  1. These principles were approved by the Research Board of CU on 25 May 2017 and they become effective on 1 June 2017.

  2. The Rector’s Directive No. 9/2011 as amended by Rector’s Directive No. 15/2013 is hereby repealed.



In Prague on 30 May 2017





Prof. MUDr. Tomáš Zima, DrSc., MBA




Poznámky

1

It is a full time equivalent at CU where part of this full time equivalent may be implemented at University hospitals or at a joint establishment of CU and the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic (Akademie věd ČR, v. v. i.).

2

This time limit does not include maternity or paternal leave supported by due documents of the junior researcher and military service.

3

Including costs for acquisition of petty long-term tangible and intangible property.

4

Article 6 of the Scholarships and Bursaries Rules.

5

The guaranteed minimum wage is defined as the total of the requested resources for wages from the centre and the resources for wages that will be paid out in the form of basic wage or personal performance bonus by the faculty from any other resources.

6

Information on access rights to the database will be specified in a Rector’s directive announcing the second round of UNCE competition.

7

In exceptional and justified cases, the description of the research project may be submitted only in the Czech language.

8

Act No. 130/2002 Sb., to regulate the support for research and development from public resources and to change related acts (Act on the Support of Research and Development), as amended.


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