Wed, 05/30/2012 - 09:16

The NCN is pleased to announce the results of OPUS 2, PRELUDIUM 2 and SONATA 2 calls for proposals, issued on the 15th September 2011, as well as the list of successful applicants in the competition for the NCN post-doctoral internships opened in December 2011.

The competitions yielded 6,551 applications. The greatest number of proposals – 3,087 were submitted under the OPUS funding scheme, which is intended for a wide range of applicants, irrespective of their research experience. Among the 648 grantees who received the highest amount of funds was Dr Katarzyna Kisiel-Sajewicz from the University School of Physical Education in Wrocław. Her project in the field of life sciences focused on the effects of mental and computer-aided reach and grasp skills training on motor control plasticity in bilateral upper limb congenital transverse deficiency humans. It received 2.1 mln PLN. In the field of Physical Sciences and Engineering the largest grant, 1.4 mln PLN, was awarded to Dr hab. Michał Cyrański from the University of Warsaw, whose research aims focused on crystal engineering and the physicochemistry of gas/liquid water clathrates or hydrates. The largest funds in arts, humanities and social sciences were given to Prof. Henryk Domański (0.9 mln PLN), who works at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences. His research project concentrates on eating patterns, lifestyles and social stratification in a comparative perspective.

The SONATA scheme attracted 1,029 post-doctoral researchers. Thanks to this funding opportunity 212 grantees will be able to carry out projects aiming to establish a new research team or create an innovative scientific or academic approach, methodology or research equipment. Within the PRELUDIUM funding opportunity, designed for pre-doctoral applicants, the NCN received 2,435 applications, out of which 358 were selected for funding.

We are glad to receive so many applications. Our experts have thus a wide range of projects to choose from, the goal being to select those that are the most interesting and crucial to the advancement of Polish science.  Thanks to the experience we have accumulated over the previous editions, we have been able to improve the evaluation system. It consists of a two-stage peer-review process overseen by the NCN Discipline Coordinators.  We hope that our commitment will enable us to finance the most promising research that will enrich our knowledge and understanding of the world, says Prof. Andrzej Jajszczyk, Director of the NCN.

The competition for post-doctoral internships, a new NCN funding initiative, introduced for the first time in December 2011, is designed for researchers holding a doctoral degree. It intends to facilitate mobility of Polish scientists between different Polish research institutions. 49 awardees, selected out of 268 candidates, will be employed in an higher education institution or other research performing organisation on a fulltime basis and will receive funding for their research activities.

Post-doctoral internships in research centres nationwide are very attractive grants in the Polish academic landscape. They stimulate researcher mobility and may be carried out over a period of one to three years. In addition to the considerable remuneration, interns are also given substantial financial support for their research – and these can be used within a flexible framework. One of the requirements for prospective grant recipients is their transition to a new academic community, in a region other than the region where they have been awarded their doctoral degree, says Prof. Michał Karoński, Chairman of the NCN Council.

Traditionally, the most successful among grant-receiving host institutions were the University of Warsaw (88 projects qualified for funding) and Jagiellonian University and its Medical College (70). Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań followed next with 58 awarded projects. The highest success rate in applying for funding was Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology’s outstanding 55%: out of the 38 project proposals it submitted, 21 received funding.