The academic works of the outstanding Czech historian of the 20th and 21st centuries, František Šmahel, have been focussed on the history of the Middle Ages, particularly on the era of the House of Luxembourg and the Czech Reformation. His research into the theme of the Hussites without any nationalistic or political contexts helped in mapping the times of late medieval Central Europe as a period of huge political, religious, and cultural changes. He also deals with the issues of Humanism, the Renaissance, and the Reformation in Central Europe, as well as the history of Central European universities. He has been respected for his critical approach to the sources for discoveries of new methodological approaches and his works have been highly received in Europe and America. He is a member of American Historical Association, a corresponding member of the Royal Historical Society, British Academy, and an international member of Monumenta Germaniae Historica. His research, societal, and personal contributions to the study of history were awarded by the Academy of the Sciences of the Czech Republic with the Anniversary Award, and with the František Palacký Prize at Palacký University; he received the Czech presidential Medal of Merit (First Class) award on the occasion of the Independent Czechoslovak State Day on October 28, 2002, and has received several honorary doctorates. In 2013, he received the Czech governmental award Czech Mind as the first scientist who received this most prestigious Czech prize for research in the humanities. He is currently employed as Vice-Director of the Centre for Medieval Studies, a joint institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic and Charles University.
- The František Palacký Prize - 14 June 2004