Cutting-edge research: the UK will lead three giant projects, partner in 13 others


Charles University has received funding to coordinate three excellent research projects in the areas of: natural and anthropogenic geophysics, new technologies for translational research in pharmaceutical sciences and the role of conflict in resilience building. The Johannes Amos Comenius Programme (P JAC) Top Research Call will also provide research funding as a partner in thirteen other research projects. The University was also awarded four projects for junior scientists of the Junior Star Grant Agency of the Czech Republic (GAČR).

"Supporting scientific teams to this extent will strengthen the position of Charles University within the European Research Area, as well as its competitiveness in relation to the European and world scientific leaders. The common denominator of the winning scientific projects is to push the boundaries of science and research, and thanks to it to improve the quality of life and address the global challenges of today's world," said the Rector of Charles University Milena Králíčková

The university's CoRe project is responding to the current state of the world by helping to build society's resilience to current security threats through new methodologies, mechanisms, procedures and processes that may emerge from this project. "People often have the idea that conflict needs to be removed from society, that political conflict is a problem, and that therefore a harmonious and resilient society is based on the absence of conflict. Our project is based on the opposite view: Conflict is a necessary part of the functioning of society. And increasing its resilience is about learning how to manage, regulate, and direct conflicts so that they are not destructive," explained the main coordinator of the CoRe project, Professor Petr Kratochvíl of the Faculty of Arts of Charles University, who wants to promote the systematic development of "resilience thinking". It is an approach that perceives individuals, societies and the material world as a complex system, cyclically changing and reflecting itself through a range of diverse natural, social and psychological processes.

The Faculty of Science of Charles University under the leadership of Professor Vojtěch Ettler will be the main investigator of the project focused on natural and anthropogenic geophysics. The detailed study of threats in the Earth's upper spheres will contribute to understanding the causes of their occurrence and determining the possible impacts on human society. Vojtěch Ettler says: "I think that all people perceive that the frequency and intensity of some negative natural processes are increasing. Every now and then we hear about some natural disasters, which often happen not only in distant corners of the globe, but also beyond our own doorsteps. These are mainly extreme events in the atmosphere and on the Earth's surface, which are linked to climate change." A major output of the project will also be the design of risk monitoring and forecasting, including mitigation options. 

The NETPHARM will be managed by the Faculty of Pharmacy of Charles University. The cutting-edge research and development of advanced therapeutics, (nano)formulations and drug delivery systems will use innovative technologies, state-of-the-art approaches and experimental models for translational drug development (close integration of laboratory research with clinical practice) in several excellent research laboratories and will link a number of departments and institutions with strong medicinal chemistry, pharmaceutical technology, biotechnology, pharmacology, analytical and clinical potential. The nationwide platform of sites is tasked to produce new potential small molecule drugs for multiple molecular targets, innovative formulations and drug delivery strategies for existing and experimental small molecule drugs. There will also be development of new approaches and experimental models to address adverse/toxic drug effects or drug resistance.

In another 13 projects, university departments and scientists are part of the research teams. You can find an overview of all excellent projects of The Johannes Amos Comenius Programme (P JAC) here.

Another success in the support of science was recorded by Charles University in the Junior Star competition for young projects. The Grant Agency of the Czech Republic (GA ČR) will newly fund excellent scientists at the beginning of their careers from January 2024. The unique opportunity to become scientifically independent and enrich the Czech environment with new research topics was awarded to four scientists from the UK out of the 17 selected. Titles and bones of ancient Egyptian officials: a new mathematical approach to data processing from the Ancient Kingdom; Model theory, structural combinatorics and algorithms; Innovative synthetic methods using transition metal catalysis and electrochemistry; and Tunable graphene/SiC optoelectronics. List of Junior Star GACR projects here.

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