Through Academic Culture to Scientific Excellence

Conference about how fostering academic culture leads to cutting edge discoveries.

In the dynamic realm of academia, success is built on more than just scholarly achievements alone. It is founded on robust working conditions, nurturing interpersonal relationships, and adherence to the highest standards of scientific integrity. We find these to be key prerequisites for pioneering groundbreaking research. The conference is open to participants at all stages of their academic careers beyond the undergraduate level. 

What can you look forward to by attending this conference? 

Gathering of Experts: This conference brings together distinguished leaders from academia and research management to emphasize the profound influence of a positive academic culture on advancing knowledge. Their insights will highlight the critical role of supportive academic settings in fostering innovation and excellence. 

The Culmination of the Workshops Series: As the grand finale of an extensive series of workshops and seminars, this event encapsulates three years of dedicated discussions on academic culture across Czech academic institutions. Since 2021, the #SharingCzexpats workshops have covered critical topics such as time and project management, academic mobility during PhD studies and beyond, and the key characteristics of effective research groups. These workshops have brought together scientists at all career stages to positively influence their professional trajectories. This conference will accentuate  the most important questions that came out of three years of discussions: dealing with academic misconduct, healthy work environment, positive leadership or benefits of international mobility and collaboration.

Focus on Collaboration and Productivity: Explore how collaborative environments significantly enhance knowledge sharing and idea exchange, leading to exceptional research productivity and cutting-edge discoveries. This final conference will provide actionable strategies for those at all levels of institutional hierarchy to improve research practices and institutional cultures. 

Hosted by Czexpats in Science and its partners, this conference is supported by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Alumni grant. It represents the culmination of a transformative journey that began in 2021, exploring the facets of academic culture and making it a pivotal event that promises to shape the future of academic practices globally.


The number of places for in-person participation is limited. Tickets can be purchased through GoOut for the price 600 CZK for in-person ticket, reduced in-person price for students 300 CZK (lunch and afternoon refreshments included in the price of in-person tickets), and 100 CZK for online participation. Ticket purchase is connected with registration for the event, therefore it is possible to buy only one ticket at a time.

Upon payment for your ticket, a receipt will be generated and sent to the email address. If you need an invoice with specific billing details of your institution, please don’t hesitate to contact GoOut via email at In your email, kindly include your ticket number and the billing information required for the invoice.

Most of  the events organized by Czexpats in Science have been free of charge. However, organising a top-tier event of this dimension demands substantial costs related to the conference organisation (e.g. catering, venue hire, travel expenses etc). By introducing admission fees to some of our events, we can deliver the highest quality experience to our attendees. 

We understand that financial constraints can be a barrier for some, and we are committed to ensuring accessibility to the broader audience. If anyone requires a fee waiver for any reason, we encourage them to reach out to us via email, and we will do our best to accommodate their needs!


10:00–10:30Opening words
Morning talks
Prof. Maria Leptin, ERC
Dr. Robert Schlögl, AvH
Prof. Matthew Rampley, MUNI
12:00–13:30Lunch & networking
13:30–15:00Panel discussion
Prof. Pavel Tomančák, MPI-CBG
Assoc. Prof. Petra Guasti, Institute of Sociology, CAS 
Dr. Barbora Špačková, Institute of Physics, CAS
15:00–15:15Concluding remarks
15:15–16:30Coffee, refreshments, networking

When and where

Wednesday, 12 June 2024 from 10 AM
& Online


Maria Leptin

European Research Council

Maria Leptin is a developmental biologist and geneticist who is the President of the European Research Council (ERC).

After her studies in mathematics and biology, Maria Leptin carried out her PhD research at the Basel Institute for Immunology. She then moved to the Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, became a group leader at the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology in Tübingen, and professor at the Institute of Genetics, University of Cologne.

Before her appointment as ERC President, Leptin was the Director of the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO) in Heidelberg and a research group leader at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory.

She is an elected member of EMBO, the Academia Europaea and the German National Academy of Sciences (Leopoldina). She is an Honorary Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, a Foreign Member of the Royal Society and an international member of the US National Academy of Sciences.

Robert Schlögl

Alexander von Humboldt Foundation

Robert Schlögl is a chemist with research interests in heterogeneous catalysis and materials for energy storage concepts. After his studies and PhD in Munich, he was a postdoc in Cambridge and Basel. Following his habilitation in Berlin, he became a professor at the Goethe University Frankfurt. For many years, he led the Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society, Berlin (1994-2023), as well as being the founding and subsequently managing director of the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion in Mülheim an der Ruhr (2011-2022).

Long before starting his tenure as President of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in 2023, Professor Schlögl has been active both nationally and internationally in a number of advisory and consultative bodies. He is Vice-President of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina and a member of several other academies. Concurrently, he chairs the Advisory Board of the Kopernikus Projects of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, which drive research on energy transition. He has played a significant role in bringing together sciences, industry, civil society, and policy makers.

Matthew Rampley

Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University Brno

Matthew Rampley’s research interests lie in modern art, art criticism and theory, with particular focus on museums and cultural politics in the later Habsburg Empire. After his studies in Oxford and PhD at the University of St. Andrews, he lectured at the Surrey Institute of Art and Design, was director of the Centre for Visual and Cultural Studies, Edinburgh College of Art followed by his role as assistant dean of research at the Faculty of Arts and Media, Teesside University. He finally settled in a position as Chair in History of Art  at the University of Birmingham, where he received, amongst others, a Major Award from the Leverhulme Trust. 

Prof. Rampley received an ERC (2017) Advanced Grant focused on Continuity and Rupture in Art and Architecture of Central Europe 1918-1939, work on which was initially undertaken in Birmingham. Following on from the United Kingdom’s departure from the EU, Brexit encouraged him to transfer the grant to Masaryk University in Brno, Czechia, where he has been since 2019. Contributing towards scientific excellence, he supports the next generation of researchers by acting as coordinator for the social sciences and humanities within the Czech Expert group to support ERC applicants.

Pavel Tomančák

Max Planck Institute for Molecular Cell Biology & CEITEC

Pavel Tomančák is a high-profile Czech scientist. The evolutionary and developmental biology expert has been a research group leader at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden since 2005.
His laboratory is dedicated to studying the regulation and evolution of gene expression during the embryonic development of multicellular organisms. Among other things, his research  advanced molecular analysis methods with state-of-the-art imaging and computational analysis of microscopic data.

He started his scientific career as a molecular biology and genetics student at Masaryk University, Brno. He completed doctoral studies at the prestigious European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg, Germany. He then worked for five years at the University of California, Berkeley, in the group of the American geneticist Gerald M. Rubin. He has received two grants of the European Research Council and has been a member of EMBO since 2016. He has co-authored more than a hundred scientific publications that have been cited more than 56,000 times.

From 1 February 2021, he has been the Director of the CEITEC consortium in Brno. His extensive experience from world-class research institutes in Germany and the United States of America, combined with his knowledge of the Czech academic environment and his experience in interdisciplinary approaches at the interface between biology, physics, and computer science, contribute significantly to the gradual realization of the CEITEC ambition to become a significant player in the field of science at least in the European research area.

Petra Guasti

Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University & Institute of Sociology, Czech Academy of Sciences & SYRI

Petra Guasti is Associate Professor of democratic theory at the Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University in Prague, and a senior research fellow at the Institute of Sociology, Czech Academy of Sciences. Her research focuses on reconfiguring the political landscape and revolves around representation, democratization, and populism. Petra holds an MA in political sociology from Lancaster University, a PhD in sociology from Charles University and a PhD in political science from the University of Bremen. She has two habilitations in political science (Goethe University in Frankfurt and Charles University in Prague). She has previously held research and teaching positions at the Universities of Würzburg, Mainz, Frankfurt and Jena, as well as at the John F. Kennedy School of Governance, Harvard University. 

Contributing towards academic excellence and culture, Petra Guasti serves as an expert for Bertelsmann Transformation Index, Sustainable Governance Indicators, Nations in Transit (Freedom House), is an editor of the new all-female edited Cambridge Elements series on Politics and Society from Central Europe to Central Asia (CUP). From 2022 – 2025, Petra is a co-PI of SYRI (National Institute for Research on the Socio-Economic Impact of Diseases and Systemic Risks), where she leads an interdisciplinary mentoring program for young researchers, and a team focusing on polarization and populism. She leads the Czech part of the Neo-Authoritarianisms in Europe and the Liberal Democratic Response (AUTHLIB) Horizon project, where she leads a work package on mini publics.

Barbora Špačková

Institute of Physics at the Czech Academy of Sciences

Barbora Špačková is a physicist specializing in theoretical and experimental aspects of nanooptics and nanofluidics. She aims to expand our understanding of light-matter interactions at the molecular level, and to develop new applications addressing contemporary issues in biochemistry, biophysics, and medicine. Barbora undertook her PhD at the Czech Technical University in Prague and the Institute of Photonics and Electronics of the Czech Academy of Sciences and has then pursued a scientific career at the Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg. In 2020, she co-founded Envue Technologies, a Swedish spin-off company  commercializing the nanofluidic scattering microscopy method. In 2022, she was awarded the Marie Skłodowska-Curie postdoctoral fellowship, enabling her to return to Czechia and continue her research at the Institute of Physics at the Czech Academy of Sciences.

She was successful in the first call to establish three Dioscuri Centres in Czechia, and will be starting her centre in the summer of 2024 to focus on the development of new technologies to study life at molecular level in real time and under physiological conditions, which has not been possible to date.


Generální partner Czexpats in Science: