On September 20th, 2018 AAU received word from The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic that we are approved to hold the status of a Research Organization and the decision is valid immediately.

“This great success for AAU means the official recognition of our research and creative activities by Czech Authorities. Aside from the confirmation of our status to all external partners, it opens doors to many new grants and other funding options, for example, Technology Agency of the Czech Republic, grants of the Ministries and EU grants,” said Peter Bolcha, AAU Vice-President for Research.

What does this mean for AAU students?

The short response is additional funding for their research and creative activities. At this point in time, next to activities incorporated into classes (research, consulting, art projects or theses), research and creativity are supported by scholarships (MA Fellowships) and student conference participation for free or for discounted rates. In the near future, we might see new collaborative grant projects with faculty or monetary rewards for active student conference participation or for best theses.

How did we reach this accomplishment?

Our accomplishment today was made possible thanks to hard work of all AAU researchers who bring core content of such success. I would like to specifically thank Prof. Milada Polišenská who–next to being the heart of AAU’s research for years– initiated the process of application, President Emeritus Petr Jan Pajas who helped to re-established research and creative activities as a key part of the AAU mission, and President Lubomír Lízal for his support of research and help in finalizing the application, as well as others who helped me with the process. Last but not least, special thanks go to AAU Founders and Board of Trustees who find significant value in our research efforts and we hope to keep rewarding them for their trust.

What kind of criteria does an institution have to meet to become a research organization?

The formal criteria are connected to the mission of the institution coded in the main legal documents. Another formal criterion is a separate accounting system for all research activities that keep grant accounting transparent and in accordance to rules of grant providers. In the content part, we were obliged to prove that we have regular research outputs that are scientifically recognized (for example articles in Web of Science registered journals or scientific conferences that we organize) and other managerial components as research plans or research related directives. Pages for our Center for Research & Creativity summarize most of our current and future initiatives.

How many universities in the Czech Republic have the status of Research Organization?

Public universities usually get this status automatically, so it is maybe more relevant to assess this achievement in relation to private universities. We do not possess the statistics, but to my knowledge, this status is held by the largest private universities that have study programs in Czech Language and only by a few smaller scale universities like AAU. However, from my point of view, research is a collaborative activity and I’d like to put emphasis on the opportunities in cooperation that are now available to us thanks to this new status, including cooperation with university partners, rather than on improvement of our relative position.

If you would like to learn more about AAU’s research initiatives or the various student and faculty projects going on this Academic Year visit: https://www.aauni.edu/research/ for more information.

Publication date: October 03, 2018