Johannes Amos Comenius Programme (P JAC): Excellence in Research

The call for Excellence in Research (Špičkový výzkum; Czech only) from the Johannes Amos Comenius Programme (P JAC) is aimed at supporting research of a preferably interdisciplinary nature with a high potential for creating top-notch and, in the future, applicable research results, research built on excellent research teams and the development of international collaboration between research organizations.  


In the specific part of the Rules for Applicants and Beneficiaries (Czech only), you will find information about the obligations relating to open science (pp. 17–19). The Managing Authority of P JAC has also published a detailed Handbook of Open Science Practices (Czech only).

Evaluation of open science

In the P JAC Programme Excellence in Research, open science is an integral part of the evaluation criteria!  


This is a combined criterion (V2.4.1), where evaluators assess the extent to which the applicant and partner apply the principles and practices of open science in the project, both mandatory (open access, research data management) and optional (e.g., citizen science, open peer review, preregistration, etc.). The minimum point threshold for fulfilling this criterion is 6 points out of 10.  


Applicants should describe whether they are ready and able to ensure the following:  


  • Open access to scientific publications, which are a result of research financed as a part of the programme;  

  • Management of research data (including data on which scientific publications are based) according to FAIR principles and open access to such data in accordance with the principle “as open as possible, as closed as necessary”.  

In addition, the evaluators look at whether applicants have agreed to fulfil the optional practices of open science in the project and whether they are ready and able to ensure them.  


In order to receive the highest possible number of points, the principles of open science in the project should be described in detail and in a manner corresponding to the focus of the research topics. All mandatory practices of open science must be ensured at a level of excellence. The mandatory and optional practices of open science should be methodologically and functionally connected.  

Mandatory open science practices

A mandatory condition for financing the project is the application of open science as an approach to the research process based on open collaboration and effective dissemination of knowledge. In accordance with this concept, the applicant/beneficiary is required to ensure the following in particular:  


  • Open access to scientific publications, which are a result of research financed as a part of the programme;  


  • Management of research data (including data on which scientific publications are based) according to FAIR principles and open access to such data in accordance with the principle “as open as possible, as closed as necessary”  

As a part of the project, the position of expert in data management may be established – data steward. They may be eligible to participate in the project up to a maximum of 0.1 FTE/month or 17 hours/month.  

Open access

The beneficiary is required to ensure open access to peer-reviewed scientific publications in the following manner:  


  • storing a machine-readable electronic copy of the final publisher version or the final version of the peer-reviewed manuscript accepted for publication (i.e., the version after incorporating comments arising from the review process) in a trusted repository for scientific publications no later than on the day of publication  


  • ensuring immediate open access to the stored publication   


  • ensuring open access to the metadata for the publications stored in the repository so that they are in line with the General Recommendations for Meta-data Description (Czech only) 


  • protecting copyrights to such an extent that it is possible to comply with the stipulated obligations  


  • providing information (via the repository) on any other research output or any other tools needed to validate the conclusions of a scientific publication.


Storing publications in the repository and ensuring open access  


The beneficiary is required to always store a machine-readable electronic copy of the publisher version or the final peer-reviewed version (author accepted manuscript, postprint) in a trusted repository no later than on the day of publication.  


In addition, the beneficiary is required to ensure immediate open access to the stored publication under the terms of the last accessible version of the public licence Creative Commons Attribution International (CC BY); monographs and other long-text formats may be accessed under the terms of a public licence excluding modification of the publication or its commercial use (e.g., CC BY-NC, CC BY-ND, CC BY-NC-ND). In order to comply with this requirement, the author must ensure sufficient protection of the copyrights (e.g., by selecting a publisher that will enable fulfilment of the conditions or by negotiating an amendment to the contract with the publisher). Fulfilling the obligation of immediate open access is possible both through the publisher (gold OA), and through the repository (green OA).  


PLEASE NOTE: In order to fulfil these conditions, the publication must always be stored in a repository, even if you have arranged open access through the publisher (gold OA). 


TIP: Recommendations for ensuring open access to publications can be found in the Handbook of Open Science Practices (Czech only).  

Research data

The beneficiary is required to ensure the management of research data collected and created during the project in accordance with FAIR principles in the following manner in particular:  


  • preparing a data management plan in accordance with FAIR principles and updating the plan on a regular basis  


  • storing research data in a trusted repository as outlined in the data management plan  


  • ensuring open access to the research data in accordance with the principle “as open as possible, as closed as necessary”   

  • ensuring open access to the metadata for the stored research data so that they are in line with the General Recommendations for Metadata Description (Czech only) 


  • providing information (via the repository) on any other research results or tools and instruments needed to reuse the research data or to validate them  

Data management plan  


A data management plan (DMP) is a document that specifies what data will be created and in what manner they will be used during research and contains information about their accessibility and possible reuse. A DMP should be updated on a regular basis so that it corresponds to what actually happened with the data.  


Data management plans as a part of the projects Excellence in Research must be prepared in accordance with the DMP template for the Horizon Europe programme. A bilingual version of this template is available in the National Library of Technology repository.   


PLEASE NOTE: The first version of the data management plan must be submitted together with the grant application.  


The applicant/beneficiary must submit the first version of the data management plan when applying for support as an attachment to the Feasibility Study. In addition, they must submit an updated version of the plan as an attachment to the first Implementation Report after lapse of 24 months from the start of project implementation, and also as an attachment to the Final Implementation Report.  


Storing data in the repository and ensuring open access  


The beneficiary should store the research data in a trusted repository and ensure open access to the data under the terms of the last accessible version of the public licence Creative Commons Attribution International (CC BY) or an equivalent thereof. The data should be shared in accordance with the principle “as open as possible, as closed as necessary”. Beneficiaries and other project participants are not required to make research data available if disclosure would result in unreasonable interference with the right to the protection of intellectual property, the right to the protection of privacy and personal data, the right to the protection of trade secrets, state security, or other legitimate interests of the beneficiary (e.g., in the event of commercial use). If data sharing is restricted, this restriction must be justified in the data management plan, and a regular review of this justification must be arranged.  


TIP: Recommendations for selecting an appropriate repository and other detailed information about data management can be found in the Handbook of Open Science Practices (Czech only).  


Optional open science practices

In addition to the mandatory practices, we also recommend that the applicant/beneficiary follow other practices and principles of open science, the aim of which is to increase the transparency, credibility, and reproducibility of research results and to strengthen cooperation between the various researchers. The introduction of optional practices is favourably assessed as a part of the evaluation process and approval of projects.  


In the Rules for Applicants and the Handbook of Open Science Practices, you can find, for example, the following practices:  


  • Early and timely open sharing of research results, for example, through preregistration, registered reports, or preprints  


  • Sharing research results above and beyond peer-reviewed publications and research data, e.g., software, models, algorithms, workflow, open lab notebooks 

  • Participation in open peer review, e.g., by publishing in journals and on platforms that provide open peer review  


  • Engaging other relevant actors (end-users, academia and industry, public authorities, non-profit organizations, etc.) in the open co-creation of research aims (citizen science)  


  • Creating open educational resources  

This list is not exhaustive, and if you can think of other ways to make your research open and to improve the reproducibility of your research, describe them in the Feasibility Study. If there is no opportunity in your research to use optional open science practices (e.g., there is no journal/platform providing open peer review in your field), provide an explanation in the Feasibility Study so that evaluators can see that you have carefully considered the options.  


PLEASE NOTE: The beneficiary must report on the optional open science practices in the Supplement to the Implementation Report. 


TIP: A more detailed description of selected optional practices for open science can be found in the Handbook of Open Science Practices (Czech only). 



Last change: August 5, 2022 10:31 
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