The Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic
The Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic (ASCR) was established in 1992 by the Czech National Council (Act No. 283/1992 of the Collection of Acts) as the Czech successor of the former Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences. ASCR is the leading non-university public institution for basic research in the Czech Republic. It conducts both fundamental and strategic applied research to develop scientific knowledge that contributes to strengthening the nation's position in key areas of science and to finding up-to-date solutions to contemporary problems of our society.
The primary mission of ASCR and its institutes is to conduct basic research across a broad spectrum of the natural, technical and social sciences and the humanities. This research, whether highly specialised or interdisciplinary in nature, aims to advance developments in scientific knowledge at the international level, while also taking into account the specific needs of both Czech society and the national culture. Scientists at the Academy’s institutes also participate in education, particularly through doctoral study programmes for young researchers and by teaching at universities as well. The Academy also fosters collaboration with applied research and industry. The integration of Czech science into the international context is promoted by means of numerous joint international research projects and through exchange schemes with counterpart institutions abroad.
Within three Scientific Divisions, namely the Division of Mathematics, Physics, and Earth Sciences, Division of Chemical and Life Sciences, and Division of Humanities and Social Sciences, the Academy currently manages a network of fifty-two research institutes and two supporting units, staffed by a total of 6400 employees, of whom more than half are university-trained researchers and PhD. scientists. The ASCR institutes are also involved in education by providing graduate level courses and supervising doctoral programs. The Head Office of the Academy and forty research institutes are located in Prague, the remaining institutes being situated elsewhere around the country.
The Academy formulates its own scientific policy, advises the state on major issues of its R&D policy, administers national as well as international research programs, and promotes cooperation with both applied research and industry to foster technology transfer and exploitation of scientific knowledge.
The Academy of Sciences is financed primarily from the state budget. The pattern of research funding at the Academy conforms to current international standards. In addition to basic institutional financing of the Academy institutes’ research, target-oriented financing is being more widely used to support research projects and grants selected on the basis of public competition. ASCR was the first institution in the Czech Republic to establish its own Grant Agency which financially supports research projects selected through a peer-review procedure involving reviewers from abroad. Individual Academy institutes obtain additional financial resources by participating in national as well as international research programmes.
The Academy also has financial responsibility for 71 specialised Czech scientific societies associated with the Council of Scientific Societies.