Science Evaluation: International level of BC results defended
The Czech Academy of Sciences (CAS) recently concluded the most detailed and demanding evaluation of the the Biology Centre’s (BC) research and professional activities. International evaluators checked the results of 19 teams from BC for the years 2010 to 2014. The result? All teams have succeeded and six of these are rated excellent, world-class teams.
"The Biology Centre has defended its position. At least six teams comply to the strictest international comparisons and consistently provide high performance. The scientists involved represent international experts in their field. Other research groups are very good and not one team failed, so we don´t have to close any laboratories, "summarizes Biology Centre director Miloslav Simek about the results of the evaluation.
The group of entomologist Vojtech Novotny, who concentrates on the ecology of forests and last year gained the prestigious European ERC Advanced Grant, ranks among the internationally excellent teams. Also Czech parasitologists confirmed their respected status. "Especially successful groups are those who study protozoa and evolutionary and molecular aspects of parasite biology," says Julius Lukes, the director of the Institute of Parasitology BC and the head of one of the highly rated teams. Other highly rated teams include Miroslav Oborník‘s laboratory who participated on the discovery of Chromera Velia algae – the evolutionary ancestor of parasites; a team of hydrobiologists led by Karel Simek, who was awarded a medal for his achievements in the biological sciences last year; and finally teams led by Ivo Šauman and Jiří Macas in the field of molecular biology and cytogenetics.
Evaluation was conducted all last year and it was divided into two phases. In the first phase, the evaluators assessed the quality of scientific results, especially publications in scientific journals, monographs and patents. In the second phase the evaluation commitees visited the institutes. The researchers from the Biology Centre were evaluated by 4 different committees which had seven to nine members, a total of 33 experts, who came from 12 countries, mostly from Germany and Great Britain.
The evaluation had three main goals: 1. To obtain objective information about scientific results in the Czech Academy of Science for an international comparison, 2. to gain data for strategic management of CAS and 3. to provide feedback to institutions and scientific teams. The evaluation results will have practical effects; The Academy could increase the financial support for excellent teams.
More information about the evaluation and its results are accessible to the public on the internet pages of the CAS.