IEB Young Researcher Retreat 2024


The first-ever meeting of young scientists of the Institute of Experimental Botany of the Czech Academy of Sciences (IEB) was held at Lovecká chata in Horka nad Moravou on April 24–26, 2024.

Similar events are regularly organized at modern workplaces both in the world and in the Czech Republic. The primary goal of the meeting was to connect young scientists from the IEB, enable them to share experiences and provide space for establishing new collaborations.


The meeting was opened by Jan Martinec, the director of the Institute. In his lecture, he presented the structure of the IEB to the young scientists and also shared his view on a scientific career. At the end of his lecture, he proposed a discussion on the involvement of young researchers in the improvement of the Institute. This was followed by short scientific lectures by all participants. The day ended with board games and discussions.



On the morning of the second day, two interactive workshops dealing with personal development were organized. The first one, led by Clément Lafon-Placette, focused on understanding and processing the unpleasant feelings many of us face during our scientific careers. The second workshop by Radoslava Kvasničková provided participants with practical tips and exercises about how to present research results in an engaging and stress-free way.

The beautiful environment of the Litovelské Pomoraví Protected Landscape Area also provided an ideal space for outdoor activities. In the afternoon, the participants were randomly divided into teams, in which they solved tasks and puzzles on the tourist route around the environmental center Sluňákov.



After returning from the trip, Matyáš Fendrych shared with the participants the experiences from his scientific career path. It led him from master’s studies at the Charles University in Prague and PhD studies at the IEB to postdocs at the University of Ghent in Belgium and the IST institute in Austria. Matyáš is a successful holder of prestigious ERC grants and he advised the participants on how to proceed when choosing future workplaces, as well as when is the right time to become a principal investigator.

The program of the second day ended with a pub quiz about the Czech Academy of Sciences, in which the assembled teams competed again. The winners were announced and everybody received a prize. The quiz was followed by a lively discussion of the participants who responded to the information presented during the entire retreat.



On the last day, all participants moved to the Centre for Plant Structural and Functional Genomics in nearby Olomouc. Lectures by Jan Bartoš, head of the Centre, and Jan Šafář, head of its Application Laboratory, were followed by an excursion. Visitors thus gained an overview of the methods and projects solved at the facility.

The event was concluded with an evaluation and comments by all participants, which will help the organizers to prepare the next IEB Young Researcher Retreat in 2025.


Text: Eva Dvořák Tomaštíková, Jovanka Vladejić

Photo: Zuzana Tulpová, Beáta Strejčková, Eva Dvořák Tomaštíková