The first YPIF meeting attracted more than fifty PIs 

More than fifty young principal investigators from all over the world working at Czech institutions met and networked at the first Young PI Forum (YPIF) meeting – a joint project of the Charles University and the Czexpats in Science initiative.

What are your recommendations? How do you hire students? What is the best way to manage…? How do you deal with…? And many more questions were raised at the first YPIF meeting with the main theme, “I’ve got a grant! And now what?” which took place on Tuesday, February 28 at Café Potrvá and online. 

“Every group is unique, there are no general rules. But sharing and collective knowledge helps,” says molecular geneticist Petr Svoboda, one of the invited speakers, from the Institute of Molecular Genetics of the Czech Academy of Sciences and the Faculty of Science of Charles University. He has gained international experience mainly in the United States and has been successful in competing for prestigious European Research Council (ERC) grants.

Tips, tricks, and recommendations for managing research grants and starting a new independent group were also shared by psycholinguist Kateřina Chládková from the Faculty of Arts of Charles University and the Institute of Psychology of the Czech Academy of Sciences, who spent many years abroad at universities in Amsterdam and Leipzig. Now, thanks to Primus, the internal grant support scheme of Charles University,  she leads her own multidisciplinary team. The moderator of the debate was Kateřina Rohlenová, an ERC Starting grant holder and group leader at the Institute of Biotechnology of the Czech Academy of Sciences. 

“The atmosphere was amazing. We are really happy that more than fifty junior PIs came and openly shared and exchanged their experiences until late in the evening,” says Matouš Glanc, director of the Czexpats in Science initiative. “From the first feedback we see that these activities and events are highly appreciated, as they were previously missing in Czechia. We have also reaffirmed to ourselves that creating a platform dedicated exclusively to researchers at the junior PI career stage was the right idea, because starting a new group is a unique phase with specific challenges that are hard to understand for Ph.D. students, postdocs, or even senior researchers that don’t (yet) have a leadership role,” summarized Glanc, adding that the next YPIF meetings will take place on April 25 and June 27.