Student's competition of the Division of Optics - rules

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Sign up for the first year of the Optics Section student competition, here you will find the complete rules.

Rules of the Student Competition of the Division of Optics

  1. Definitions: The organizer and host of the competition is the scientific Division of Optics (hereinafter referred to as "the Organizer"), of the Institute of Physics of the Czech Academy of Sciences (hereinafter referred to as "the Institute"). The guarantor of the event is the head of the Division of Optics, Alexandr Dejneka, and the ambassador of the competition is the head of the Laboratory of Functional Biointerfaces, Hana Lísalová.
  2. Time and Place: The competition is an internal activity of the Organizer and will take place from January 1, 2024, to December 1, 2024. Applications for the competition will be accepted electronically from January 1, 2024, to February 29, 2024. The competition will take place at the Institute of Physics of the Czech Academy of Sciences, v. v. i., and at other related locations given the nature of the evaluated activities.
  3. Purpose: The purpose of this student competition is to support young scientific talents and their development in terms of skills needed for a future scientific career, and at the same time to promote the creativity and innovativeness of students and their ability to present their ideas and projects with an impact on the scientific and research environment.
  4. Eligibility: The competition is open to all Ph.D. students of all years of the Division of Optics, with a valid employment contract (the length of the employment contract is not limited). Ph.D. student status must be valid for the entire duration of the competition.
  5. Information provided within the competition is provided by the participants with full knowledge, without pressure and freely. By participating in the competition, each participant expresses their consent to the rules and undertakes to comply with them without reservation.
  6. Dates:
    1. The deadline for applying for the competition is February 29, 2024.
    2. The deadline for evaluating the first phase is July 31, 2024.
    3. The date of the final conference will be set for November 2024 (to be specified).
    4. The deadline for completing the competition activities is December 1, 2024.
    5. The results of the competition will be announced by December 1, 2024.
  7. Participation: Participation in the competition is free of charge and participants can apply on the basis of a properly completed form, which can be found at this link: bit.ly/2024student-competition
  8. Evaluation: The competition is divided into two phases, which are consecutive. Progress to the next phase is subject to the completion of the previous phase.
    1. In the first phase of the competition, participants will fill out an application form including the name of their supervisor and an extended abstract in English, which describes the scientific topic they have been working on in the past 12 months. The abstract should include a brief description of the current state of research, an explanation of the scientific methods used, a description of the results achieved, and a conclusion. The abstract should be no longer than 2,000 characters. Participants can upload one image with the abstract. In addition to the extended abstract, participants must write a motivation letter, which should not exceed 500 characters. In the letter, they should describe what motivates them to work on the given research and why they want to continue in this area. Both parts of the application will be evaluated by a jury, which will decide on the progress of the participant to the final phase based on the evaluation. There is no limit on the number of participants who can progress to the second phase. Participants who progress to the second phase will be notified by e-mail without delay.
    2. In the second (final) phase of the competition, participants who have advanced to this phase will compete at a one-day scientific seminar, where the basis for evaluation will be individual presentations of the results of their scientific activities as described in the extended abstract. Participants are required to prepare a presentation on a topic they are researching. The required language of the presentation is English. The time allowance for one presentation is 15 minutes, followed by a 5-minute question-and-answer session with the jury. Each participant will receive three questions from the jury, and the audience will be allowed to ask 1-2 additional questions, the answers to which the jury may also consider in the final evaluation. The jury evaluates each participant individually, considering the following criteria:
      1. Ability to present scientific content.
      2. Presentation skills and level of communication.
      3. Ability to interact with the audience and level of understanding of the presented topic, as assessed by the answers to the questions.
      4. Ability to meet the time limit for the presentation. 
  9. Announcement of the winners: The winners will be announced orally by the jury at the end of the scientific seminar. The winning projects will also be published on the FZU intranet.
  10. Prizes: The winners will receive a financial reward and will also be given the opportunity to present their research at the joint FZU seminar. The amount of the financial reward will be as follows: first place will receive CZK 15,000, second place will receive CZK 7,000, and third place will receive CZK 5,000. The jury will also have the opportunity to award a special prize to any number of participants for outstanding work and performance. Each participant will receive a personal evaluation from the jury with feedback on their presentation. This evaluation will be confidential and available only to the participant.
  11. The jury: The jury is nominated by the organizer of the competition and is composed of three internal scientific staff members of the FZU, outside the Division of Optics. Each jury member has the same right to evaluate, as well as the right to abstain.
  12. Detection of irregularities: If it is found that a participant has violated the rules of the competition, they will be automatically disqualified. This may include plagiarism, use of other people's work, or non-participation in any phase of the competition.
  13. The results of the competition are final and cannot be appealed. The final decision on disputed issues is always with the organizer.
  14. The organizer reserves the right to make a final decision on all matters relating to this competition.
  15. The organizer is also entitled to change, cancel, or amend these rules in writing at any time. The enforcement of participation and winnings in the competition through the courts is excluded. In the event of non-compliance with the conditions of this competition, the participant loses the right to a prize.

These conditions are effective and valid from 11.12.2023.