The National Science Centre (the NCN) has concluded the first edition of the SONATINA call. Laureates of the programme will receive ca € 5.75 million, which will fund not only their research, but also their visiting fellowships in research institutions abroad. The Centre has also published the names of the first laureates of the MINIATURA funding scheme for specific single research activities.
SONATINA is an opportunity for researchers who within the previous 3 years have received their doctorate. Funding offered to the grantee under the programme includes full-time employment in a Polish research institution, realisation of their research project, and a visiting fellowship at a research centre abroad of 3 to 6 months. The programme’s first edition has seen 123 proposals, of which 36 have been approved for funding. The winning projects’ budget has totalled ca € 5.75 million.
SONATINA is a new funding scheme of ours, while at the same time it comes as a continuation of the ministerial Iuventus Plus programme, said professor Zbigniew Błocki, director of the National Science Centre. Thanks to a sizeable increase in the Centre’s budget by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education, the success ratio of the call’s first edition reached 29 per cent, very close to the optimal 30 per cent.
The Iuventus Plus programme, taken over from the Ministry, has been incorporated in the NCN’s existing offer as an element of a coherent structure. SONATINA is a funding opportunity for those who have earned their doctorate relatively recently, and subsequently seek, on the one hand, stable employment, and on the other: investment in international cooperation. After completion of the grant, researchers may apply for funding under the SONATA scheme for more experienced doctorate holders, as well as SONATA BIS, which enables its laureates to form a research team.
44 research proposals have been submitted in the domain of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, resulting in 6 funding recommendations for projects worth over € 766,000. They include a project analysing early medieval objects related to religious worship, unearthed on Polish territories. Its principal investigator will be Paweł Szczepanik, PhD, of the Faculty of History, Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, and the funding of the project comes close to € 95,000.
The domain of Life Sciences has seen 31 proposals, of which 11 have been approved, securing a total budget of more than € 2.15 million. Among them is the research on the influenza A virus, carried out by doctor Elżbieta Lenartowicz of the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Polish Academy of Sciences. The researcher will work with a budget of ca € 240,000.
The most numerous, 48-strong response has come from the representatives of Physical Sciences and Engineering. 19 proposals have been awarded funding, more than € 2.82 million in total. Among the beneficiaries is the Faculty of Geographical and Geological Sciences, Adam Mickiewicz University. This is where Arkadiusz Tomczyk, MA, will conduct his project on the significance of disturbances in the upper and middle troposphere for the forecasting of extreme air temperature values in Central Europe. The research has received funding of over € 105,000.
The National Science Centre has also published the first results of the MINIATURA call for single research activities, in which researchers holding a doctorate degree may secure funding of library and archival research, research travels and conferences. Unlike other NCN calls, MINIATURA, or the “small grant” programme, welcomes submissions on a continuous basis, and the review procedure is simplified. Ranking lists of the MINIATURA 1 opportunity will be thus regularly updated until the end of 2017. In the call’s first round, 8 projects received funding, ranging from € 1,437 to ca € 11,730.