Barrande Fellowship Programme Partners Sign a New Cooperation Agreement

Pavel Rybář, Barrandův stipendijní program

Barrande Fellowship Program

The new agreement means higher scholarship rates for the programme.

Barrande 2022

The memorandum was signed by Radka Wildová, Deputy Minister for Higher Education, Science and Research section, on behalf of the Czech side, and Alexis Dutetre, French Ambassador to the Czech Republic, on behalf of the French side. 

France and the Czech Republic will continue to support international exchange stays of PhD students. This confirms the success of this joint grant programme; it has also been highly sought after despite the dominant position of the Erasmus+ programme. The Barrande Fellowship Programme, which we administer on behalf of the Czech Republic, was created three years ago. It aims to support the science careers of PhD students from Czechia and France. About 50 students apply every year. This year, the selection committee, acting on the recommendation of the expert committee, chose to support 22 PhD students. The French Institute in Prague hosted their joint meeting, which representatives of the Czech and French partners also attended. The ceremonial occasion of presenting the decrees to scholarship holders drew the whole year to a festive end.

Apart from congratulating successful students, the present representatives also signed the new programme agreement. The memorandum was signed by Radka Wildová, Deputy Minister for Higher Education, Science and Research section, on behalf of the Czech side, and Alexis Dutetre, French Ambassador to the Czech Republic, on behalf of the French side. The new agreement means higher financial support for PhD students who decide to conduct research abroad, whether for a short research stay or to acquire a double degree under the joint supervision of a Czech and French supervisor.

“During my career I had the opportunity to negotiate the conditions of the Horizon 2020 programme,” said Duterte, recalling the predecessor of the current programme Horizon Europe, which focuses on funding research and innovation. “We often debated the aim of EU programmes – if they should aim at quality or unity. We agreed that we need unity in the EU, but the power of research comes from its quality and extraordinary results. If you are standing here today, it’s because our joint grant programmes aims for quality and because we consider it to be the start of your mission, which will open doors to more projects with European support.” 

 Deputy minister Wildová followed the ambassador, saying: “During the past years, we have been working intensively on preparing a reform of doctoral studies to improve its effectivity and quality. That is what we committed to in the Strategic Plan for Higher Education for the Period from 2021. We continue to make PhD programmes accessible to applicants from abroad and we strive for the cooperation of universities and research centres. Our plan is to support the internationalization of higher education. The Barrande Fellowship Programme contributes to this goal significantly."

Wildová also praised another example of French-Czech cooperation that was made possible by the 4EU+ European University Alliance, and which connected the Charles University with the Sorbonne University in Paris. 

Another call for applicants to submit their scholarship application grant will be announced at the end of 2022. Any PhD students, or students planning to start PhD programme during the following year, in any branch of science, can apply for the grant. Apart from the bilateral Barrande programme, the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs continues to work with French universities in supporting international students that are especially gifted through the Eiffel scholarships. Another initiative France introduced during its European presidency is the France Excellence Europe Scholarship programme, which aims to support students from other European countries in studying at the Master’s level at French institutions. Six students from the Czech Republic succeeded in these programmes among competition from the whole of Europe.