Researchers scoop € 111 million thanks to the National Science Centre


czwartek, 18 maja 2017

The National Science Centre has published the results of the twelfth edition of the OPUS, PRELUDIUM and SONATA programmes, and – for the third time – the list of awardees of the POLONEZ funding opportunity. Researchers conducting basic research under the four schemes have been granted nearly € 111 million.

OPUS, PRELUDIUM and SONATA are the most popular funding opportunities operated by the National Science Centre (NCN), a Krakow-based governmental agency for funding basic research. This May has seen the conclusion of their 12th edition, with ca € 104 million in financing. The results of the POLONEZ 3 opportunity have also been announced, with funding granted to incoming researchers. In the current edition, authors of the winning projects will receive over € 6.7 million.

A total of 4,219 research projects were submitted under the four schemes, of which, 1,042 have been approved for funding.  In the OPUS, PRELUDIUM and SONATA programmes, the success rate has been 27 per cent. It was far more difficult to win funding under the POLONEZ scheme, with only 10 per cent of the competing entrants receiving funding for their projects.

The success rate in our three most popular funding opportunities has increased by 3 per cent in comparison to that of the results published only one year ago, in the 10th edition, said professor Zbigniew Błocki, director of the NCN. At the moment, the success rate in most funding schemes is around 30 per cent. This is something of a welcome proportion, which allows us to recognise the merit of a fair number of projects, while making sure the system remains competitive.

The OPUS 12 call was open to all researchers, notwithstanding their years of experience and degrees earned. It is, therefore, no wonder that it has seen the largest number of entries, totalling 1,786. Of those, 409 have been approved for funding, with almost € 73 million to be distributed among their authors.

One of the awardees is dr hab. Przemysław Bąbel, affiliated at Jagiellonian University. Dr Bąbel will continue his research on pain in the project titled “Social Context of Pain. The Effect of Social Information concerning the Pain on Pain Experience and Pain Memory,” worth over € 211,700.    

The PRELUDIUM 12 call  has been dedicated to persons at the early stages of their research pursuits, who hold no doctorate. This time, beginner researchers have submitted 1,171 proposals, of which 372 have been approved as research projects to be carried out with the help of € 9.34 million in funding.

Under the PRELUDIUM scheme, Aleksandra Hernik of Poznan University of Medical Sciences, will perform research on the causes and course of hematological disorders that accompany conditions of the thyroid gland. Her project has been granted funding in excess of € 35,600.

SONATA is a call for projects carried out by researchers with a doctorate degree held for up to 7 years at the time of application. The programme is intended to support researchers at the beginning of their career with the opportunity to carry out innovative research, using state-of-the-art technology or an original methodology. There were 882 entries in the current call, of which 224 have been selected for funding. The call’s budget has been set at nearly € 21.8 million.

Among the grantees is dr Andrzej Siódmok of the Institute of Nuclear Physics, Polish Academy of Sciences. In his project titled “Colourful Precision for the Large Hadron Collider”, he will work on improving measuring methods by developing Monte Carlo event generators, which are “virtual hadron colliders” of sorts. Dr Siódmok will be granted ca. € 32,600 in funding.

POLONEZ 3 is among those NCN calls that are geared towards bolstering internationalisation of research in Poland. The programme enables incoming researchers to move to Poland for fellowships in Polish host institutions. Of the 380 proposals submitted, 37 have been approved for funding, totalling over € 6.7 million.

Incoming researchers who have received the grant in POLONEZ include dr Asiya Bulatova, who has been accepted as a fellow to the University of Warsaw. Her project titled “Science of the Self: Human Agency in Formalist Theories of Literature and Biomedical Research, 1917–1925” has been granted € 141,300.

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