With the new year and new semester also come new opportunities. One offered to students is from the Palacký University Endowment Fund, which today announced its sixth call, to which students can apply until 30 March in order to get support for their scientific, academic, and artistic projects.
The Palacký University Endowment Fund (UP EF) supports outstanding international scientific, research, and artistic activities of students. Since it was founded in 2015, 42 student projects have been supported, in the total amount of €150,000. “This year we will distribute €25,000 to successful applicants. This is money from private donors. Their contributions are intended for all students of Master’s and doctoral programmes, from all faculties of UP. Students can receive up to €8,000 for their projects. We support scientific, academic, and creative projects. We maintain the same principles upon which the UP EF – a unique project in the Czech Republic – was founded years ago: maximum trust and minimal bureaucracy. In addition to the money, students also receive support via training in key areas such as leadership, project management, popularisation of science, and medialisation,” said Dita Palaščáková of the UP EF.
Students can make use of the monies in various ways: e.g. on airfare, accommodation, or purchasing lab materials, etc. What they all however have in common is the effort to manage their own project, become acquainted with top-notch international professional workplaces, and get to meet leaders in their field. Otomar Pešek, a student from the UP Faculty of Science who was successful in the last call, can attest to the programme’s worth. “The entire process of applying was very simple and quick for me. I am very grateful to the coordinators of the UP EF for their help and support in the application process. Thanks to UP EF support, I gained a new insight on academic work and expanded my horizons. I’m very glad for the opportunity to cooperate with other scientific workplaces, for the possibility to gain new contacts, and for the chance to delve into the world of real science,” the student evaluated, and added a comment for his fellow students across the university: “If you have a vision, you are excited about your project and you believe in it, then do not hesitate to apply in order to turn your dream into reality.”
František Zálešák has a similar evaluation of his experiences. This student from the Faculty of Science was also successful in the last call. “The UP Endowment Fund meant the opportunity for me to get to the lab of Prof Cristina Nevado, in snowy Switzerland. I have no idea where else I could have obtained the funds for spending three months in such a pricey country. Filling out the application was like taking a stroll through a rose garden. Compared to applications for other grants, where for example I had to get a signed statement from my doctor that I was physically and mentally fit, UP EF has a minimum of bureaucracy,” the doctoral student said. He also considers making contacts with other scientists as crucial. “I was able to spend more than three months among people who share the same passion for chemistry I have, which was enriching for me personally as well as professionally. In a seventeen-member workgroup there were thirteen different nationalities, so I also made contacts from all over the world, which I intend to make use of in the immediate future.”
The sixth call for projects is open as of today. On-line applications including all required attachments must be sent by 30 March 2020. Detailed information including the registration system can be found on the pages of the UP EF. The pages also have a list of all the projects supported in the past, as well as information and experiences from supported students. It has also been published as a Facebook event via the UP EF Facebook profile.
For those interested, there will be an informational meeting at which one can ask about anything. It will take place at 3:30 pm on 17 February in the UP Career Centre in the Zbrojnice (Armoury Building).