Dr. Michael J. Bojdys receives ERC Starting Grant
The ambition of the team around Michael J. Bojdys at the Faculty of Science, Department of Organic Chemistry at the Charles University in Prague is to make use of organic chemists' experience of creating bonds between atoms of various elements in designing materials for new-generation transistors (and other devices, such as gas sensors) . "Our ambition is to create a material whose morphology is identical with that of graphene (flat, i.e. at least approximately 2D, made up of hexagons, with favourable electrical properties), but its composition also includes other atoms," explains Dr. Bojdys.
Born in Poland, this young researcher has been building his university team at the Department of Organic Chemistry for less than two years. "Our strategy is to increase the migration of scientists and open this Department to the best members of other departments with the objective of bringing new ideas and new research subjects. We recently launched an international tender towards this end, and we ended up with a large number of candidates from both the Czech Republic and abroad. The fact that one of the two successful candidates, Michael J. Bojdys, has received this highly prestigious grant shows that we have chosen the right direction," Says Head of the Department of Organic Chemistry Prof. Jana Roithová, who received the same grant five years ago.
What are ERC grants?
The key mission of the grants provided by the European Research Council is to support top-class research. The objective of Starting Grants is to enable the most talented young researchers (not later than seven years after completing their PhD studies) to become independent, i.e. conduct their own research projects.
The selection process is, in many ways, similar to that known in the Czech Republic (where researchers apply for grants at the Czech Science Foundation), except that the competition is much tougher. As the focus is on young researchers and scientists, the selection committee finds it important to meet with the applicants and check their knowledge and skills through personal interactions. The grant application process therefore includes an interview in Brussels, before a committee made up of top-class experts from Europe and other parts of the world. The application success rate is about 10%, the grants are provided for up to 5 years and the total amount provided (per case) is as much as EUR 1.5 million.